This is a Travel Guide for First Time Visitors to Hoi An, Vietnam. Hoi An is personally one of my favorite towns, and it is certainly as magical as it is beautiful to look at. The Old Quarter is known for its yellow UNESCO Ancient Town. There are lanterns everywhere, creating the most magical atmosphere. The food is awesome, there are small street stalls everywhere, and the locals are so warm and kind. Here are our list of our top 5 awesome things to do in Hoi An, Vietnam.
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Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An must be one of Vietnam’s most atmospheric towns, and with good reason. Lantern-covered streets, colorful shops, romantic restaurants and the river floating by the cobble stoned streets, is nothing but magical. The Old Town of Hoi An boost with historic houses, Chinese temples, warehouses, bars and boutique hotels. There are also plenty of tailor shops to choose from, or you can spend you time at the local market. Either way, I am sure you will love your time in Hoi An just as must as we did. You should plan to spend between 2-3 nights in Hoi An.
TIP! Just outside Hoi An you will find laid-back scenery and beautiful beaches! There are also great bicycle, boat- or scooter trips to enjoy 🙂
1. Take a free bike tour
The free tour is arranged by Vietnamese students that need to practice their English. This is a great way to do exactly that! They will bring you through rice fields and visit the outer parts of the town. You will also learn how they make some types of local food. To sum it up, its a great experience!
2. Stroll around the Old Town
The Hoi An´s Unesco Old Town is nothing else but magical, especially at night. When the sun sets, all the lanterns light up the street. The old town turns into something completely spectacular. The romantic and peaceful atmosphere is off the charts. There are loads of restaurants everywhere you see, all from traditional Vietnamese to fusion food. And trust me, the food is kickass.
You also cannot miss the Vietnamese handicraft shops or the famous lantern shops. Everyone is so kind, and its just really fun to explore all the small, cozy shops 🙂
The Japanese Bridge
The bridge was built by the Japanese community who where situated in Hoi An. They wanted to create better links with the Chinese quarters of town. They therefore decided the best way to do this was to build a bridge that would cross the river. This was done as an attempt to bring the two sides together. The bridge is only crossable by foot, and more importantly: its a great place for photographs.
Shop at the Hoi An Market
The bustling Hoi An market is packed with people at all times and offers an excellent choice of food at very low prices. This is the place to pick up souvenirs and taste the local cuisine. If you are into spices, its also a great place to pick these up and explore the fish market at the same time.
3. Get a tailor-made suit or dress
One of the most popular things to do in Hoi An is to get a tailor-made suit or dress. Why? It is ridiculously cheap!
There are so many tailors in hoi An, and it can get quite confusing when choosing which you would like to go for. Tuong Tailor was recommended to us by our hotel, and I could not have been happier that we chose them! I decided to go for a suit, and it cost me about USD 150.
And yes – you don’t have to carry it with you through your travels. Send it home via Vietnamese post by boat or by plane – it only depends on that you would like to pay and how fast you want it 🙂
4. Take a day trip to The Golden Hands Bridge and Bana Hills
Located about 45-minutes from Hoi An, Da Nang is a bigger city. The city is famous for its Marble Mountains, great beaches, and a surfing scene. The city is popular among foreigners living here. We didn’t spend any time exploring the centre of Da Nang, but instead we spent a day at the Ba Na Hills Resort!
Ba Na Hills is a mountaintop resort complex that looks like a medieval castle, and is actually one of the newest projects in Vietnam. It has become a major tourist destination the last couple of years with unique projects such as Ba Na Cable Car, the French Village, the Love Garden ++. And let me tell you – the cable car ride alone is worth the trip! This is easily one of the very highlights of our top 5 awesome things to do in Hoi An, Vietnam.
Read more: The Golden Bridge and Ba Na Hills
5. A Lantern tour on the Hoai River
When in Hoi An you should absolutely enjoy 20 minutes onboard a wooden boat in the evening, releasing lanterns in the Hoai River. Touristy yes, but still a lovely memory and one of our favorite things to do!