It’s easy to get to Hoi An and let your quest for impeccably tailored garments overtake your sightseeing agenda, but don’t miss out on some of the ancient treasures tucked into this town. In addition to the countless "Old Houses" featuring well-maintained traditional architecture
, there is a wealth of colorful markets, grand halls
and stunning pagodas.
Discover the past through the remains of Cham rule, most notably at the ancient Ba Le Well
, and the extensive Museum of History and Culture, boasting a collection from the major civilizations that have occupied Vietnam. For more recent history, tour one of the many assembly halls in the region, each outfitted with timely and artistic flourishes.
Start your pagoda tour at the Quan Cong temple
, adorned with elaborate statues and artwork. The unique carp fountains spit water out of their mouths whenever it rains. Head next to the Phuoc Lam pagoda
, a holy site known for the history of one of its monks, An Them. Upon returning from his time in the army, his remorse for the lives he took drove him to clean the central market without pay for twenty years. Before retirement, he considered sending a bill, but the penance was enough reward in itself.
If you’ve come to Hoi An for a relaxing stay, you’re in luck. The town and surrounding area contain a collection a four and five star hotels and resorts, all-in-one complexes that cater to your every need.
Beach front villas are common, as are comfortable bungalows with breathtaking views of the sea. Don’t let the modest descriptions fool you, however. The fine resorts housing these gems have full amenities and facilities, including trained masseuses, elegant pools, fitness centres, first class dining, gaming rooms and bars, evening entertainment and everything else needed to complete your stay.
While they are countless options along the coast, if you wish to stay in town, there are hotels and resorts in Hoi An closer to the centre that do a bang-up job competing with their water-lined comrades. Start at the Hoi An Hotel
, nestled in the Old Quarter and outfitted with all of the quality services offered by their rivals. Their Zen Spa, the first of its kind in Vietnam, is renowned for its treatments and favoured by locals and travellers alike.
For a nice mix, try one the Hoi An hotels and resorts facing the river, it will give you the relaxation of waterfront property and the proximity to the town’s major sights.
Hoi An boat and bike with sunset BBQ
15:00 pm You are picked up at meeting point Hoian Urban Adventure, No 24 Nguyen Hue Street, Hoi An at 15:00pm for a relaxing bike ride and boat trip among the rural surrounds of Hoi An. Your local guide leads as we cycle on backstreets and country paths, past rice paddies and small traditional villages on the outskirts and surrounding ...
Hoi An Walking & Cooking class
8:00 am You are picked up at Meeting point Google Café, No 10 Phan Chu Trinh Street, Hoi An (Corner of Phan Chu Trinh St and Nguyen Hue St) at 14:00pm – 14:30pm for a walking tour of the Ancient Town of Hoi An. Your local guide takes you through the narrow winding streets of this picturesque and atmospheric town ...
Hoi An Local Life Tour
The tour starts with a delicious smoothie and muffin at our comfortable lounge in the centre of Hoi An. We then drive past the old town to Cam Nam Island where we visit a local ship repair yard and we experience the hard work involved in maintaining a local fishing boat.After a short drive through a local village and beautiful ...
Dining in central Vietnam is a feast for the senses and restaurants in Hoi An are one of the certified hotspots for this colourful cuisine. Start with Cao Lau, Hoi An’s famous specialty noodle dish topped with juicy pork and sharp chili jam. Sample fried wontons and the twist on chicken rice, Com Ga, but do not fill up before having Hoi An’s signature dish, White Rose. Succulent shrimp dumplings steamed to perfection, the recipe for White Rose is a family secret and it is not hard to see why. They may be served everywhere, but this treasure is too valuable to share with everyone.
In addition to the countless noodle shacks and fine Vietnamese restaurants in Hoi An, there are international options for travellers looking for a taste of home or curious about the local twist on an old favourite. From dazzling fusion creations to traditional French food done right, Hoi An caters to every taste bud.
Stroll through town and let your nose guide you to the perfect spot, preferably with a view of the ocean. With fresh seafood, inventive flavours and impeccable ambience, you will not be able to leave this city without a full stomach and a satisfied smile across your face.
If the shopping and touring has not tuckered you out, there is a host of other activities in Hoi An to enjoy. Start with cooking class, an immersive instruction on how to recreate Hoi An’s delicate dishes for all of your friends and family back home. Vietnamese skills in the kitchen are the souvenirs that keep on giving, supplying a taste of adventure any time you like.
More active travellers have a variety of options available including eco-tours
, leisurely motorbike
jaunts and bicycle tours
through the heart of the country. These excursions can be the best way to see the real Vietnam, taking you out of the city centre and into traditional villages and rural landscapes. There are also world-class golf courses for those interested in a round or two of testing your luck on pristine greens.
All this activity may give you a few kinks and cracks, so wind down with a relaxing treatment at a spa. Featuring modern services in addition to the traditional medicine practiced for millennia, pamper yourself with everything from a pedicure to full service acupuncture. Your stresses will float away, leaving you in the perfect state to enjoy your stay.
Historically, Hoi An has been one of Southeast Asia’s chief trading ports, a place where people and culture converge. As such, it is not surprising that this quaint town has remained a buyer’s and seller’s paradise. Hoi An is a commercial centre, a market and a melting pot, all rolled into one tastefully attractive cornucopia of commercial products.
The increased flow of tourists has created a new market
for traditional handicrafts and artistic creations in Hoi An. With new demands and desires, the combination of ancient customs and contemporary creativity pushes new boundaries and results in dazzling products. Don’t miss the signature lanterns or original jewelry designs crafted with silver and a variety of precious gems.
Beyond the souvenirs, there are high quality crafts and elegant clothes. If you have a design in mind, bring in your ideas and see them come to life. Otherwise, peruse the selection and pluck the perfect piece.
Of course, the main shopping
attraction in Hoi An is the flocks of custom tailors waiting to make you the perfect outfit. Whether you’re in the market for a Western styled suit, a traditional Vietnamese Ao Dai or anything in between, there is a boutique with the fabric and expertise necessary to bring your dreams to fruition.
This may be a traditional town better known for its shopping and historic architecture, but that does not mean that there are not venues to cut loose and have a few designer cocktails in Hoi An. Haul in your full bags and grab a seat by the street to pair relaxation with the delightful sights all around you.
Many of the fine restaurants in town offer innovative cocktails and wine lists that read like novels, perfect for a drink or two before, during and after your meal. Don’t miss White Marble
, a wine bar and restaurant that has a listing for every desire and a house Pinot Noir that more than lives up to international standards.
The most masterful mixes are conducted at Mango Mango
, a perfect stop after strolling across the Japanese bridge
. Sip a few original concoctions and wonder why no one ever thought up these delectable drinks before.
For a touch of the past, go inside the Life Resort Heritage
Bar in Hoi An, a venue that recalls Indochina’s classic bars and proudly displays this legacy with black and white photographs and traditional architecture.
Chill out with a cocktail and enjoy the scenery. Hoi An has intoxicating hustle and bustle, but don’t let that keep you from the relaxing bits.
Vietnam is a diverse and beautiful country, but it is not without its fair share of concerns. Most importantly, look out for bag snatchers and pickpockets, usually lurking around major tourist sites. Keep your bag close and your wallet closer.
Hoi An is a beach town, so be sure to take a dip in the crystal blue. Remember, however, that not everyone here is as open-minded as the Western crowds you may be accustomed to. It is not uncommon to see locals dive in fully clothed, and while you may not have to go that extreme, it is best to keep your bathing suit fastened.
In the centre of the country, people stick closer to the traditional beliefs and are less apt to go all in to modernity. They may have cultural superstitions and practices that seem odd at first, but do not judge quickly, rather let their ideas seep in and see the inherent value in historical knowledge.
Go with the flow, take in all you can and, most importantly, enjoy yourself. There are always things to keep in mind, but do not let that ruin your vacation. With a little care, Hoi An can be paradise.