Located in the central Vietnam nearby Da Nang City, Hoi An has long been rated the top favorite place to get in by a majority of visitors to Vietnam. In this picturesque historical home, you will find everything a traveller needs in order to relax. Though Hoi An town itself looks small and relaxed, there are endless ways for travellers to indulge themselves in the architecture, art, culture, landscapes, food, shops and lifestyles in this one-of-a-kind place. Below you will find a thorough travel guide to explore the best things in Hoi An Ancient Town and its surrounding site, compacted in a recommended one-day Hoi An itinerary.
After immersing yourself in the delicate cuisine of Hoi An by enjoying morning treats like Cao Lau or Mi Quang, kick the day off by visiting traditional handicraft villages. You can get to know an important part of Hoi An’s culture and heritage, by seeing how locally famous products such as tailor-made garments from silk, pottery, and wooden handicrafts were created in these traditional villages: Hoi An Silk Village, Thanh Ha Pottery Village and Hoi An Wood Village.
Have lunch at Banh My Phuong in the old town. Spend the afternoon strolling around through the most famous surrounding sights including the Japanese Covered Bridge’s Pagoda (or Chua Cau), congregation halls (Phuc Kien, Trieu Chau, Quang Dong), Quan Cong Temple and tons of art galleries and tailor shops. As Hoi An’s old town is rather small, you will feel like you have seen everything already. Yet there are so much more of Hoi An to be discovered.
Make your way to Faifo cafe in the late afternoon to watch Hoi An’s street views from the 2nd floor.
After lining up to taste the famous Ba Buoi Chicken Rice of Hoi An, head to Rehahn’s art gallery – Couleurs D’Asie Gallery before the closing time of 8 PM. Rehahn’s award-winning portrait photography style will take your breath away.
There are plenty of art museums and galleries in Hoi An. Most museums are quite small but highly authentic and focused on preserving the local culture and products. Later, head to the night market and chill at a street-food stand or wander around souvenir stores.
After sunset, Hoi An really wakes up as hundreds of lanterns and light are lit up all around the town.
Enjoy the peaceful and colourful typical night at Hoi An on a boat. You can also release your own lantern to wish for luck and happiness.
The old town center of Hoi An is completely pedestrianized every evening from 7 PM, forbidding cars and motorbikes.
The best way to get around Hoi An is on foot or by bicycle. Thus renting accommodation near the town center is highly recommended. If you want to explore Hoi An further out of town, to An Bang beach, for example, renting a motorbike is always an option.
Visitors who wish to spend more time on the seaside whilst in Hoi An should take a day trip out to Cham Island, that is just above 20 kilometers away from Hoi An. Take a boat to the island, where water is clear enough to dive or snorkel and adore the colorful sea-life just a few meters away from the waterfront.
Located about 40 kilometers away in the West of Hoi An, My Son Sanctuary is the famous religious site of central Vietnam. My Son Sanctuary is an abandoned complex of Hindu temples’ ruins.
Travelling Vietnam by trains or buses are more recommended than taking flights if you like to enjoy the beautiful natural landscapes on the journey.
Train: Vietnam Railway train rides from Hue to Da Nang – the gateway to Hoi An pass by the famous Hai Van pass, one of the most beautiful mountain passes of Vietnam. Experience passing by steep mountains covered with rainforest whilst watching endless shorelines, and viewing of the bay from your window. Da Nang also operates plenty of flight connections to major destinations in Asia.
Bus: There are various daily bus connections between Hoi An and nearby tourist cities/town including Da Nang , Hue , Nha Trang , etc.