Home Vietnam Travel GuideTop 8 Things to Do in Hoi An

Top 8 Things to Do in Hoi An

Strolling around the city, you will find lots of yellow Chinese-style buildings decorated by colorful flowers infused with French feeling. It thus seems like an exotic ancient town with a contract between Chinese sentiment and French romance.

It’s a lovely quaint old city with a slow pace of life. No matter how restless you feel, you will find peace and relaxation here. You will surely marvel at exquisite assembly halls, be amazed by fancy lanterns, enjoy coquettish Ao Dai, and love soaking yourself in the romantic Thu Bon River.

Soak in the Beauty of Old Town

The old town

Recommended length of visit: three to four hours

The most popular activity is quite simple: just stroll around the old town as sundown approaches, until 21:30.

Most activity in the old town takes place when the temperature has cooled down in the evening. It’s a great time to wander round and explore shops and restaurants. You can simply soak in the beauty of Hoi An.

When all the lanterns along the river and in the boats are lit, it's particularly lovely. Strolling around the lantern-lit streets in Ao Dai, you may have a sense of peace and tranquility.

Recall the History of Chinese People in Vietnam

Chinese Assembly halls

Recommended length of visit: two to three hours

When you walk through the streets, you will find numerous colorful congregation halls dotted about town. These halls were built by Chinese expatriate residents during the Chinese Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties.

There are five halls in total, named after the place of origin of their members: Assembly Halls of General, Hainan, Chaozhou, Fujian, and Cantonese Chinese Congregations.

These buildings are built in typical Chinese style and decorated with sculptures of dragons, phoenixes, unicorns and tortoises, known as the four spirits of China. When you touch them, you may feel like you are walking back into Chinese history in Vietnam.

Enjoy the Fun of Diving

Cham Island

Recommended length of visit: half a day to a day

When on Cham Island, you will be impressed by its clear water, white sandy beaches, good ecological environment, tranquil fishing port and hospitable residents.

One activity on the island that shouldn’t be missed is diving. An international team offers help and courses for scuba diving and snorkeling. You will have a lovely snorkeling experience here, seeing different corals, starfish and other underwater creatures at a low price.

Feel the Soul of Hoi An

Thu Bon River

Recommended length of visit: half a day to a day

As the main river in Hoi An, Thu Bon was important in ancient times. Although no trace of busy merchant ships can be found nowadays, you can still feel the river’s spirit. It carries the soul of Hoi An. For centuries, the river has flowed through the town and witnessed the town’s story; it’s flooded with memories.

Taking a cruise and watching the stunning sunrise or sunset on the Thu Bon River is probably the best way to idle away time in Hoi An.

Or you can take a long-tail boat to see some wildlife living in the shallow water. That would also be very interesting.

Witness the Ebb and Flow of Champa

My Son

Recommended length of visit: half a day to a day

My Son is the largest complex of ruins from the Champa culture in Vietnam, enjoying equal popularity with the Borobudur ruins in Indonesia and the Bagan Temples and Pagodas in Myanmar.

It is sometimes referred to as “little Angkor Wat” and in 1999 was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Rambling through the site, seeing shabby remnants which used to be glorious buildings and touching carved stones revealing exquisite craftsmanship, you can’t help but sigh for the once formidable Champa Kingdom.

Get Close to Local Culture

Hoi An Handicraft Workshop

Recommended length of visit: two to four hours

If you are a fan of traditional culture, Hoi An Handicraft Workshop will be a must-see.

This old house with two hundred years of history is like a microcosm of arts and crafts villages.

Here you can observe the manufacturing process of various handicrafts, including embroidery, ceramics, wood carving, stone carving and lacquer painting.

Another attraction is a performance of traditional arts. This performance highlights love and hate in the countryside, in myth or real life, via wonderful dance and song.

Be a Happy Foodie in Hoi An

A restaurant on the riverside

Recommended length of visit: one to three hours

There are lots of restaurants on the riverside. You can enjoy the beautiful river and romantic environment while having dinner. It will be very enjoyable.

Coming to Hoi An, you should taste the local dishes: cao lau, white rose and wonton dumplings. Only here can you taste the authentic taste of these foods. Don’t miss it.

Travel Back Into Ancient Times

A tailor’s shop

Length of time to make clothing: one to three days

Hoi An has the best tailors’ shops in Vietnam. Here you can order a high-quality tailored dress or suit at a low price, with good service.

Of course, if you’re a lady, or even if you’re a man, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to order a Vietnamese traditional dress, an Ao Dai. Going through the streets wearing an Ao Dai and a bamboo hat, you’ll feel like you have traveled back into ancient times.

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How to Get in and Get around Hoi An

Planning a Trip to Hoi An

Guide to Hoi An Ancient Town

Hoi An Countryside Adventures