A Complete Guide for Traveling to Hoi An

Hoi An was originally a foreign trade port of the ancient Champa State. As early as the 17th century, it became an important commercial port in Southeast Asia along with Malacca. Through the vicissitudes of time, war, and natural disasters, the ancient city of Hoi An has remained undamaged, and the cultural traditions and historic buildings are still well preserved, which is why it is listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. If you plan to take a tour to Vietnam, Hoi An is one of the must-visit places.

Today, let's explore this mysterious city together, to see the most wonderful sites and the rich culture.

Hoi An is located in south-central Vietnam, the weather is warm all year round, with an average annual temperature of 25℃. Every year from January to July is the arid season, rainfall is relatively less, and from January to April the weather is relatively cool, is the best time to visit Hoi An. Every year from August to December, it's the rainy season, however, it will not affect you too much. Because the precipitation is very slight, you can go to the cafe to enjoy a cup of local coffee. The benefit is you will be offered a lower price with fewer crowds. And remember to bring rain gear.

Hoi An is an incredible city, ancient towns with ancient buildings, historic sites, and beautiful beaches. In Hoi An, there is an illusion of time and space. One second you are still lamenting the great wisdom of our ancestors, feeling the cruelty of war, the ruthlessness of age, the next second the sea breeze takes you to the endless seaside. Hoi An is such a wonderful place, just waiting for you to visit. Here are some of the suggestions for what to do in Hoi An.

1. Explore the Old Town

The main attractions of Hoi An are concentrated in the ancient town, where every antique building is a fascinating sight, such as the Japanese Covered Bridge, the Tan Ky Old House, Tran Family Chapel, etc.

The night tour of the Ancient Town is also incredible when the night comes. Walking on Lantern Street by the Thu Bon River is the best example of Hoi An's night scene. When night falls, various small and exquisitely made lanterns gradually light up in the courtyard and street buildings, turning Hoi An into a sea of colorful lanterns. Or, find a restaurant near the river to have a local specialty meal. While enjoying the delicious food, you can enjoy the sunset sun in the west.

Hoi An Old Town at NightHoi An Old Town at Night

2. Go to the Cua Dai Beach

Cua Dai Beach, which literally means "sea mouth" in Vietnamese, is located about 4 kilometers northeast of the ancient city of Hoi An and is one of the most famous beaches in Quang Nam Province. Chu Dai Beach is 3 kilometers long and 300 meters wide, with snow-white sand and cool and clear water, accompanied by gentle slopes and slightly jumping waves, making it an ideal place for swimming, paddling and other Marine recreational activities. Especially in summer, when people visit the ancient city of Hoi An, they will go to Cua Dai Beach. Cua Dai Beach is busy every weekend but is very quiet at other times. The best time for swimming is from April to September. Walking barefoot on the beach or simply taking a nap in a hammock beside the beach can relax your tired body and mind, especially during the full moon, when many tourists stay up late till the night and don't want to leave.

3. Take a Basket Boat Ride

The most fascinating activity must be the basket boat ride, it has another name Coconut boat. In the past, it was used by the local fisherman to avoid paying taxes during the French Colonial Rule. However, here is another version that says that the basket boat can carry more loads than the traditional boats. Today's basket boat is designed by using bamboo and cow dung with a waterproof resin from tree sap., this will help to keep the boat afloat. If you go to Hoi An's Coconut village, you will see thousands of boats in the river. Of course, you can have a ride in the basket boat, and with the local skipper's control, you will be very safe. It is worth mentioning that the best time to visit the Coconut Boat Village is avoiding the 10am-noon and 2-4 pm. If you want to enjoy your trip, try to avoid this congested time.

Basket Boat RideBasket Boat Ride

4. Get Custom Clothing Made

Ao Dai is a traditional Vietnamese national costume, especially for females. However, there are still popular among men to wear Ao Dai. It is usually made of silk cloth and divided into two parts: kaftan and trousers. The kaftan is generally split to the waist. In the whole of Vietnam, the most suitable place to buy Ao Dai is Hoi An. There are many tailor shops in the ancient town of Hoi An, and you can see one just a few steps away. You can choose your favorite fabric for yourself according to your body type and customize Ao Dai. For those who want a traditional Ao Dai, Hoi An is the best choice.

For male tourists, you can try the bamboo hat, which is a kind of traditional Vietnamese straw hat. It is a kind of wide hat made of mature bamboo as the base and attached with layers of tough sunflower silk, which is fixed with silk thread and shaped like a cone. It is light and easy to use and can also provide shade from the sun and rain. Almost every family in Hoi An has a bamboo hat, and they wear it on their heads wherever they go, whether it's sunny or rainy. The bamboo hat is usually made of mature bamboo, which is split into small round strips, used as a skeleton and shaped into a cone shape. After plait and then coated with a layer of a little yellow bamboo hat special oil to smooth and have no water seepage effect, coated oil, then dried for a day or so can be used.

5. Cooking Class

When you come to Hoi An, you must try the local cuisine, and you will be shocked by the chef how is possible they can make such nice food. Don't be so curious, now, you have the chance to 'get in touch' with these gourmets. Therefore, you should try one of the most famous activities in Hoi An, which is joining a cooking class to learn how to cook. In Vietnamese cuisine, fresh herbs occupy the main domain, almost in every cuisine. Such as in the Banh Mi, Noodle Soup, Salad and etc. To get a better understanding of how these foods are cooked, in the ancient city of Hoi An, you can join a cooking class and culinary activities. When you need to pick up the ingredients, you have the chance to visit the local market or nearby villages which are offered by the cooking class.

6. Countryside Cycling

Cycle through Hoi An's picturesque countryside to fully explore Vietnam's natural and cultural charms. Riding past rice paddies, quaint villages and grand gardens. Tra Que Herb Village's 3-hour experience introduces you to all the intricacies of a farmer's life: from watering to picking vegetables. The longer Hoi An Cam Thanh Village Bike tour will teach you how to dry and smoke fish and let you row a traditional boat through the exotic waterways of Cam Thanh Coconut Village. You will enjoy traditional Vietnamese cuisine, such as Cao Lau (noodles, pork, and vegetables); Quang Noodle (rice noodles with turmeric in a strong broth) in a local farmhouse.

For the full experience, take part in a full day of village activities in Hoi An during the full-day tour.

7. Make a Lantern

Lanterns have long been regarded as the cultural beauty and soul of nightlife in Vietnam's ancient town of Hoi An. On a variety of special holidays, Hoi An ancient town in the streets, temples, and shops everywhere hung colorful, small and exquisite beautiful lanterns so that the town was more brilliant at night. The Vietnamese lantern-making has really taken off since the ancient town of Hoi An was added to UNESCO's World Heritage list in 1999. With their innovative abilities, artists in the ancient town of Hoi An in Vietnam have made more than 10 kinds of lanterns in different styles, such as spherical, six-diamond, garlic, diamond and flying saucer shapes. The lantern frame is made of high-quality bamboo and is paired with luxurious and elegant silk. Despite the simplicity of the materials, the product is exquisite. Therefore, experiencing the fun of making lanterns has become a new tourist highlight of Hoi An ancient town.

8. Day Trip to Da Nang

If you have walked around the most scenic spots in Hoi An. You can go to the Da Nang to have a visit. The distance from Hoi An to Da Nang is 30km. You can take an hour's taxi to arrive there. As the earliest coastal resort city in Vietnam, Da Nang has unique resources. My Khe Beach, known as the six most beautiful beaches in the world, the Nui Son Tra where Vietnam's highest Guanyin statue stands, the World Heritage town Hoi An Ancient City, Vietnam's Angkor My Son Valley, Hai Van Mountain by the mountains and the sea, and Hue Imperial City, the ancient capital of three dynasties, are scattered around Da Nang. It can be said that Da Nang is a holiday paradise surrounded by numerous beautiful scenery. National Geographic has ranked Da Nang as one of the most 50 scenic spots to visit. As the third biggest city in Vietnam, Da Nang has a mature urban infrastructure, the row of luxury hotels and resorts along the beach, the shadow of coconut trees, the clear sea and the fine sand are attracting more and more international tourists. It has been viewed as the perfect integration of modern civilization and nature.

9. Day Trip to My Son Valley

My Son Valley, also known as the My Son Sanctuary, was the ruling center of the Champa Kingdom from the 3rd to the 12th century AD, and it is the oldest and largest surviving complex of the Champa Kingdom. In the 4th century, the king who died was buried here. The first wooden temple in the My Son Valley was built at the end of the 4th century AD and destroyed in a fire 200 years later. During the renovation, a large number of more durable building materials were used. Each prosperous generation of the Champa dynasty built new temples or restored old ones. From the 4th to the 13th centuries, more than 70 temples were built, making My Son valley a sacred place in the kingdom. Abandoned at the end of the 13th century, My Son valley has survived unscathed. The site was discovered by archaeologists more than 100 years ago. Restoration work began in 1937. But only 20 of the 70 temples and pagodas that were bombed by U.S. forces during the Vietnam War in 1969 survived. In 1999, UNESCO listed My Son valley as a cultural heritage site.

My Son ValleyMy Son Valley

As an ancient foreign trade port and a gathering place for Chinese, Hoi An cuisine combines traditional Vietnamese cuisine with Chinese cuisine to make it more suitable for Chinese tastes. In Hoi An, there is no gorgeous restaurant decoration and the atmosphere of the dishes, and this is the temperament of the ancient city. When you come to Hoi An, you must try the three wonders of Hoi An.

White Rose

Under the soft white rice skin, wrapped in a delicious dried shrimp pine, kneaded into a random shape like rose petals, arranged into several flowers, the center of the flower sprinkled with oil-pickled shrimp pine and fish pine, like a rose. It is drizzled with fish sauce and lemon juice to make sweet and sour juice, which is used to increase the overall umami flavor. Some of them are sprinkled with chives and coriander fragments. So, when you come to Hoi An, you must try this gourmet.

Fried Wonton

Like white roses, Wonton's skin is made of rice skin, which is light and crispy when fried. Wonton stuffing is similar to half a ball of meat, the taste is relatively smooth. The secret sauce is placed on a fried wonton with vegetables and shrimp to make the dish famous.

Cao Lau

Unlike rice noodles in places of Vietnam, Cao Lau makes thick rice vermicelli that is springy when cooked and usually served with sauces and crackled fried shortbread. Although Cao Lau is available elsewhere, it is not as good as Hoi An's because it is said to be cooked with water from Ba Le Well, an ancient well northeast of Hoi An town.

In addition to the Ao Dai and Lanterns in the previous section. There are also other products you can buy and bring home. For example, lacquerware, and coconut shell products are also popular items here.


Generally, bamboo or wood is used as the tire, and the SAP of the lacquer tree is used as the paint. Brown and black are natural resinous colors, while red is produced with hematite. Later, with the influence of France, Vietnamese lacquerware patterns began to integrate into Western techniques. Egg shells, animal bones, shells and so on were inlaid into the lacquer layer to form different shapes.

Coconut Shell Products

Vietnamese people skillfully use the special natural texture of coconut shells, resulting in the traditional lacquer craft, to make a lot of simple and complex crafts. Such as necklaces, bracelets, etc., you can also see the coir based on the inside of the bowl inlaid shell or hand-painted more artistic soap box, the average price is about 2 dollars.

Spring Festival

Every January and February, local people will welcome the biggest traditional festival of the year - Spring Festival(Tet). During the Spring Festival, every family in Hoi An will put up Spring Festival couplets and hang red lanterns. There will be dragon and lion dances and other artistic activities in the streets. The whole city will be immersed in a jubilant festive atmosphere.

National Day

Every year September 2 is National Day, to celebrate Vietnam's independence, the downtown is filled with mass rallies. If you catch up, you can experience the celebration activities.

Hoi An Full Moon Festival

The Full Moon Festival is celebrated in Hoi An on the 14th day of the lunar calendar. Every month during the 'Full Moon Festival', Hoi An becomes a sea of lanterns. Families hang exquisitely made lanterns, and water lanterns praying for good luck float in the Thu Bon River. Traditional song and dance performances, poetry recitals and chess competitions were also held in the ancient city. Visitors hope to take some of Hoi An's charm back home with them.


Most hotels and restaurants in Hoi An offer free WiFi. If you do not have free WiFi, you can ask if there is a computer with free Internet access, or you can buy a local Simcard. Vietnam has three major telephone operators, Viettel, Vinaphone and Mobiphone. Viettel is recommended.


Tourist cities in Vietnam are generally safe. Just watch out for speeding motorcycles on the streets and protect your belongings. In case of any situation, contact the local police immediately.

Sanitary Condition

The sanitary conditions in Hoi An are good, and the streets are clean. In addition, try to choose a restaurant with a highly sanitary environment, in the regular supermarket to buy drinking water. And make sure to carry a regular supply of medication.

Bank Card

You can withdraw cash at the ATM with the Union Pay logo. There will be partial withdrawal charging fees. There are many places in Hoi An where you can directly spend US dollars. In many hotels and travel agencies, you can exchange dollars for local currency and the exchange rate is very reasonable.


In Hoi An, you can often see the local special means of transportation - rickshaws. This kind of tricycle has the passenger in the front and the driver in the back. The passenger seat has a movable canopy to provide shade from the sun and rain or to lower the canopy to broaden the view of the scenery along the way. A tour of the city by rickshaw takes about 20 minutes. Remember to negotiate the price with the driver before boarding to avoid unnecessary trouble.


Hoi An is a small city, not too far away from other attractions, and there is little public transportation. If you have time, you can rent a bike and park on the go. Most hotels offer bike rentals for about $1 a day.


Motor vehicles are not allowed in Hoi An, so taxis are rare in and around the city. But if you go to the east coast, you can choose Mai Linh taxi, which has a good reputation.


The ancient city of Hoi An has a river, and you can take a boat tour to see the residential buildings along the river and the local fishermen casting their nets. The whole journey takes about an hour.

Private Cars

Of course, if you travel with Odynovo, you don't need to worry about anything, with a personal guide and competent driver, all you need to do is enjoy the beautiful scenery.

1. Vietnamese people are used to greeting each other when they meet, by using a nod, or shake hands, or hugging each other according to French etiquette.

2. Temples are recognized as sacred places. When entering a temple, visitors should dress modestly and neatly, and try not to wear revealing clothes.

3. Hoi An is relatively safe, but in crowded places, you have to take care of your belongings. Try not to expose money, wallet, camera, mobile phone and other items. Do not put it in conspicuous places, try to keep your passport, cash and other items separate, and do not carry too much cash.

Hoi An is a city you don't want to leave. With the beautiful scenery, warm and welcoming locals, and exquisite arts and crafts. You will regret not coming here early. If you consider that you need to do a lot of preparation work. Don't worry, Odynovo will help you to plan a perfect Hoi An trip. Our staff will help you to create a tailor-made itinerary for you in advance, we will take care of everything you need. You will spend an unforgettable travel experience.

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