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Hoi An

Things to see and do

  • Souvenirs
    4 stars

    Kitsch is easy to find in Hoi An, but you may want some extra guidance when it comes to finding the more unusual and special souvenirs. A stroll around the faded facade of Hoi An's old town casts a magical spell on even the tightest of purse strings; baggage allowance may be forgotten and bags soon ... read more

  • Things to do with kids
    4 stars

    With Hoi An’s close proximity to some of Vietnam’s best beaches and countryside plus its mostly traffic-free centre, the central coastal town is a deservedly popular choice for family vacations. Of all the beaches around Hoi An, An Bang is the easiest with kids. From the old town, it’s a ... read more

  • Do-it-yourself photo tour
    3.5 stars

    To help you make the most of Hoi An's photographic charms, we’ve come up with a finger-clicking bicycle route filled with year-round action and vistas. For the snap-happy traveller, Hoi An can make for a memory card-sapping experience. To help you make the most of the town's photographic charms, ... read more

  • Getting a hair cut in Hoi An
    3.5 stars

    Hoi An is well ahead of the hot toc (barber) phenomenon curve, offering in addition to trimming that handlebar moustache or highlight refresher extras such as nasal hair burning and technical ear cleaning. Women are well served too. Here's a rundown on where to get a buzzcut or wash and blow dry ... read more

  • Gourmet Adventures Hoi An
    4 stars

    Gourmet Adventures isn’t the cheapest food tour in Hoi An. But then again, it’s a a bicycle trip, cooking class and market tour all rolled into one. We checked out the Ocean, Field and Town tour by Gourmet Adventures Hoi An, led by Australian chef Sarah and her wise-cracking husband Pete. ... read more

  • Live music

    Hoi An’s live music scene may appear to be an uninspiring cacophony of bland Filipino resort bands blasting out Celine Dion over a seafood buffet, but if you know where to head, you’ll discover there’s a vibrant live playlist to suit every muso’s musical taste going off almost every night ... read more

  • Train to Lang Co
    4 stars

    An adventure that is cheap, filled with local colour (and flavours) and remains relatively unexplored is Hoi An to Lang Co by train. Pre-book your return train tickets, a service that is well worth the $1 charge from most agencies. The best (and cheapest) for the short but scenic journey are in the ... read more

  • Hoi An Kayak Centre
    4 stars

    Hoi An Kayak Centre provides both guided tours and kayak hire for those wishing to mess around on the Thu Bon river. Having heard good things about Hoi An Kayak Centre's eco-river tours, we signed up for two hours of lazy paddling. Run out of beautiful cafe-cum-antique shop Nam Tran Art and Craft ... read more

  • Castaway fishing tour
    3.5 stars

    Tempted to try your hand at cornering a coracle? Casting a line like a local? Castaway is run by an enterprising local family, headed up by smooth talking ex-tailor Ms Lan and her brothers Truong and Dung. The fishing lessons on offer start at 50,000 VND for beach line and net fishing, where either ... read more

  • The Hoi An culture tour
    4 stars

    An oddity of Hoi An is the bizarre cultural tour ticket system where, in order to see all the museums, old houses, assembly halls and so on you have to buy several tickets. One ticket costs 120,000 VND, and allows access to five of the 21 attractions which include: a) Three communal houses; b) ... read more

  • Shopping
    4.5 stars

    First and foremost, Hoi An is the place to come for tailored clothes at cheap prices, at least by Western standards. An absolutely ridiculous number of shops are scattered throughout town, with most of them concentrated in the area between Hai Ba Trung, Phan Chu Trinh, Hoang Dieu and the ... read more

  • Full Moon Lantern Festival
    4.5 stars

    If you happen to be in Hoi An on the 14th day of any lunar month, you'll be treated to central Vietnam's version of a full moon party. Totally unrelated to Thailand's rave party full moon events, the Hoi An lantern festival is an age-old tradition that sees the entire old town shut off ... read more

  • My Son
    3.5 stars

    Quang Nam's efforts to market My Son as the "Angkor of Vietnam" are a little misguided but that's not to say it isn't well worth seeing. Those who make the trip to My Son expecting to see a well preserved city on par with the one across the border will likely be disappointed to see only a few ... read more

  • Cooking classes
    3.5 stars

    Morning Glory and Red Bridge get particularly well rated when it comes to cooking classes, but if you're after something more intimate and cheaper, find a restaurant you enjoy that offers classes. And if they don't offer classes try asking for a lesson as it's sometimes possible to arrange one -- ... read more

  • Photography tour
    3.5 stars

    Hoi An can be a beautiful place from behind the lens so if you'd like to improve your skills, why not take a photography tour? Budding photographers overwhelmed by the myriad photo opportunities and magical light in Hoi An will be pleased to know French expat Ettiene offers various tours to take ... read more

  • Motorbike tours
    4 stars

    Hoi An is a great base to use while dashing off for motorbike trips and the town has seen a huge influx of Easy Riders poaching for business on every corner. It's also where Top Gear did the most famous stretch of their Vietnam special, which makes it very popular. The Hai Van Pass, Son Tra ... read more

  • Bicycle tours
    4 stars

    Hoi An's flat countryside makes it an ideal location to jump on a pushbike and explore by yourself. Maps are readily available and roads easy to negotiate; if you stick to the areas between the old town and beaches you will be rewarded by some beautiful countryside, vast paddy, rivers, temples and ... read more

  • Cua Dai and An Bang Beaches
    4 stars

    Though Hoi An doesn't really market itself as a beach getaway, there are some pleasant stretches of sand located just a hop away. Hoi An's main beach is Cua Dai, located at the end of predictably named Cua Dai Road. Some of the beach is given over to high-end resorts, but the public section is the ... read more

  • Van Duc Pagoda
    4.5 stars

    Van Duc is one of the largest pagodas in Hoi An and is home to hundreds of friendly monks who are very happy to give you a guided tour of the pagoda and its grounds. The best time to visit is in the evening when the whole thing including the gates and gardens are lit up with candles and lanterns ... read more

  • Chuc Thanh Pagoda
    3 stars

    This is the oldest Buddhist temple in Hoi An, originally built in 1454. The original ancient gateway is still standing, but a large modern gate has been built in front of it and on the left you'll see three newer pagodas. There's also an extensive cemetery plot to the right that you can wander ... read more

  • Phuoc Lam Pagoda
    3.5 stars

    Phuoc Lam is home to a large group of monks. It's a beautiful and elaborate temple with many different renderings of the Buddha, including a gold-covered "Buddha as a boy". There's plenty to wander around and look at here, but if you really want to understand it all, we recommend going with a good ... read more

  • Japanese Tombs
    2.5 stars

    There isn't much here except for an overgrown tomb with an inscription, but it's a fine spot to visit in conjunction with a walking or cycling tour. The tombs (there are three of them) are located in the rice fields at signposted intervals along Hai Ba Trung Street, 1.5 kilometre north of the ... read more

  • Thanh Ha Pottery Village
    4 stars

    Thanh Ha is definitely worth a visit, especially on your way to My Son if you're going under your own steam. Head west out of town on Tran Hung Dao and then turn right onto Hung Vuong. The road forks after three kilometres. For Da Nang (and My Son) take the right fork and for the pottery village ... read more

  • Tra Que Vegetable Farm
    3 stars

    If you're looking for an informative tour, book one in town, but it's a beautiful spot to visit on your own. There's a ticket booth just after the rice fields end as you go out of town on Hai Ba Trung, on the right hand side. It is rarely manned and if it is you can cycle straight past without ... read more

  • Ong Vang charity bike ride
    4 stars

    Jump on a mountain bike and explore the surrounds of Hoi An in the capable hands of enthusiastic local volunteers wanting to break into the tourism industry -- and all money raised goes to helping locals in need. Cycling around Hoi An is the one activity we’d usually suggest you don't need a ... read more

  • Cham Island
    4.5 stars

    If you're pressed for time and need to choose between My Son and Cham Island -- no contest, go to Cham Island. Tours of Cham Island can be over-hyped if you are looking for anything more than stunning white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and some great snorkelling. Some tours talk about visiting ... read more

  • Cam Kim Island
    4.5 stars

    Cam Kim Island can be visited by taking a ferry from the pier just to the east of the market along Bach Dang. Departures are frequent — a lot of people live on the island and this is their only way to and from Hoi An town. Locals pay 3,000 VND, but foreigners get charged more — be sure to ask ... read more

  • Boat trips on the Thu Bon river
    4 stars

    Getting out of the touristy old quarter and into Hoi An's picturesque countryside is a must. One of the best ways to do this is by hiring a boat to take you on a cruise of the Thu Bon river. You could do this the posh way by jumping aboard one of many tourist boats, but we recommend hopping in one ... read more

  • The Pink Flamingo
    4 stars

    It's not exactly a boat trip and it's more of an experience than just a meal -- the Pink Flamingo offers an open kitchen on its moored boat where you can tuck into a great Vietnamese meal. Hoi An's Pink Flamingo river boat is a brilliant and cheap floating dining experience that is quite a long ... read more

  • Teenage adventure activities in Hoi An
    4 stars

    Hoi An isn’t only about shopping and old stuff -- there’s a host of activities that will have teenagers leaping out of bed at dawn; this is our guide to the best. ... read more

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