Hoi An Ancient Town is a famous tourist destination about 30 kilometers southwest of Da Nang’s city center. Hoi An has the beauty of being ancient and full of nostalgia, harmoniously combining modern and traditional features. The city’s attraction, more than 400 years old, comes from ancient architecture, moss-roofed houses, colorful lantern streets, etc.
Not only can you immerse yourself in the idyllic beauty of the old town, but you can also learn about the interaction of Eastern cultures from Japan, China, and Vietnamese culture, which has resulted in a multicultural Hoi An that remains multi-colored to this day.
Wonderful things to do in Hoi An
Walk around the Old Town
Hoi An ancient town is located on main roads close to the river, such as Bach Dang, Nguyen Thai Hoc, Phan Chau Trinh, Tran Hung Dao, Tran Phu, Le Loi streets, Minh Anh Ward, Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province.
Hoi An is something of a rarity in Vietnam as it managed to escape most of the bombing that razed many other cities to the ground during the Vietnam War.
This means that the beautiful buildings here were spared, and so you will still find some gorgeous architecture here in the Old Town, which makes it the perfect place to go for a walk and take in all the sights.
The Old Town has now been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is said to date back some 2,000 years.
Visiting the assembly hall and ancient house
Visit the Phuc Kien Assembly Hall
Address: 46 Tran Phu street, Minh Anh ward, Hoi An city, Quang Nam province.
One of the most opulent buildings in Hoi An is the Fujian Assembly Hall which dates from the 17th century. This was built by the Fujian Chinese community in Hoi An and is considered a sacred space.
The main hall here is covered in carved figures that feature around a gateway that is etched with carvings of mythical Chinese creatures. There is also a large courtyard here, and legend has it that if you pray in the Assembly Hall, then you will be lucky when it comes to conceiving children. This is down to the presence of the 12 Midwives which are carved fertility statues that stand on the grounds of the hall.
Tan Ky Family House
Address: 101 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Minh An Ward, Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province
The Tan Ky Family House is one of the most historically significant buildings in Hoi An and is located in the Old Town section of the city. The family home was built in the 18th century and would have belonged to a family of merchants.
The architecture here combines Japanese, Chinese, and traditional Vietnamese design motifs, and you can now take a tour of this amazing property.
Some seven generations of merchants lived in the home, and you will still find their original furniture and memorabilia here, which will give you an idea of how people would have lived in Hoi An in the days of old.
Visit Phung Hung Old House
Address: 4 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Minh An Ward, Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province
The house is known for its ornate and colorful entrance hall covered in lanterns and embroidered wall hangings.
There is a pretty balcony with spectacular views and a charming suspended altar.
Admire the Japanese Covered Bridge
Address: 186 Tran Phu, Minh An Ward, Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province
The Japanese Covered Bridge is located in the center of the city and is also one of its focal points. The bridge spans some 12 meters and is famous for its ornate carvings.
The only covered bridge in the world to house a Buddhist temple was built in the 16th century to symbolize goodwill between Chinese and Japanese merchant communities. Unlike most other buildings in the old town, decorated in flamboyant Chinese and Vietnamese architectural styles, the bridge has retained a distinctively Japanese character, with subdued decorations and references to Japanese history.
Enjoy a traditional Hoi An water puppet show
A great way to get under the skin of local culture, this re-creation of Vietnamese traditional village tales through the medium of puppets who seem to float on the water is a delight for all ages. An English-language narration helps you keep up with the light-hearted storylines. Make sure to pre-book – these hour-long shows (made up of several mini-tales) are deservedly popular.
- Address: 548 Hai Ba Trung, Tan An Ward, Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province
- Open: from 18:30 p.m, Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays
- Price: Children: 1.6 USD/person. Adults: 3.3 USD/person
Dropping flower garlands on the river
If tourists come to Hoi An on the full moon day of the month (lunar calendar), do not miss participating in the traditional lantern festival on the Hoai River. This is the most beautiful moment that Hoi An owns. When the shimmering lights from the candles flicker from the lanterns floating on the river, it is also the time when they bring people’s thoughts and sorrows along with the flowing water.
Release lanterns on the Hoai River from 6:30 p.m., on the 1st and 14th of the lunar calendar, along the Hoai River, from Cong Nu Ngoc Hoa to Bach Dang.
Discovering the old-town cuisine
Hoi An cuisine is extremely rich and diverse, with a distinct Central Coast flavor. When visiting Hoi An, you should try white rose cake and Cao Lau.
White rose cake is also known as dumplings or cauldron cake. Small cakes like white roses are dotted with green of vegetables, a little red and pink chili, and a little golden fried onion.
Address: White Rose Restaurant, 533 Hai Ba Trung Street, Tan An Ward, Hoi An City, Quang Nam province.
Cao Lau Hoi An: A dish associated with Hoi An has a strange name and a unique taste. Cao Lau is a noodle dish made from flour mixed with the ashes of Melaleuca firewood, so the noodles are bright yellow, big, and soft. The soft noodles combined with shrimp, pork, char siu, and raw vegetables have created a typical Cao Lau dish only available in Hoi An.
Here are some suggestions for the ideal restaurant for you:
- Cao Lau Thanh restaurant, 26 Thai Phien Street, Minh An Ward, Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province. Price: 0.6 USD – 1.34 USD.
- Lien Cao Lau restaurant, 21B Thai Phien Street, Minh An Ward, Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province. Price: 0.8 USD – 1.2 USD.
- Hoi An Ba Be restaurant, 19 Tran Phu street, Cam Chau ward, Hoi An city, Quang Nam province. Price: 0.8 USD – 1.8 USD.
In addition, Hoi An cuisine also has other attractive dishes such as Quang noodles, Banh Chung, wontons, wet rolls with grilled meat, pancakes, battered cakes, mussel rice, tea dishes, tea, etc.
Participating in Folk games
Coming to Hoi An and participating in folk games is a great experience you should not miss on your travel itinerary.
Usually, folk games are held in the evening at the beginning of Nguyen Thai Hoc Street or Kazik Park, Bach Dang Street, or an empty lot area right on the banks of the Hoai River (near Hoi An Bridge Pagoda). Visitors can join in the fun atmosphere of folk games in Hoi An, such as Bai Choi, roundabout beating, blindfolded pot beating, et cetera.
Visiting Cham Island Hoi An
Address: Bai Ong Hamlet, Tan Hiep Village, Hoi An City, Quang Nam province.
In 2009, the Cham island cluster was recognized by UNESCO as one of the few biosphere reserves in the world. Cham Island is endowed by nature with majestic sapphire blue beaches such as Bai Xep beach, Ong beach, and Bai Huong beach, with nearly 950 marine species.
Cham Island tourism offers visitors a variety of interesting experiences, such as fishing with local fishermen, coastal camping, scuba diving, etc. Bearing the bold imprints of Sa Huynh and Champa civilizations, the island is a blend of nature and culture.
Exploring the Tra Que vegetable village
Address: Tra Que village, Cam Ha commune, Hoi An city, Quang Nam province.
This place is known for growing a variety of green vegetables on the fertile land between Tra Que lagoon and the De Vong river. Tra Que Vegetable Village today has become an ideal eco-tourism destination for those who want to leave the city, find a peaceful and quiet countryside to relax, find inner peace, and forge exercise to improve health.
Cruising down Hoai River
Address: Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, Minh Anh ward, Hoi An City, Quang Nam province.
Immerse yourself in the magic of Hoi An nightlife with a relaxing Hoi An boat ride down Hoai river. On the 15th of the lunar calendar every month, visitors will have the opportunity to personally release twinkling flower garlands down the river in the hope that the lights will bring good fortune to their families and loved ones.
The town will then be illuminated by hundreds of sparkling garlands and colorful lanterns. This one-of-a-kind experience is one of the top Hoi An things to do.
Trying making pottery in Thanh Ha Pottery Village
Address: Pham Phan Street, Thanh Ha ward, Hoi An City, Quang Nam province
Thanh Ha Pottery – National Intangible Cultural Heritage:
Having been standing for over 500 years, Thanh Ha pottery village has witnessed the many ups and downs of Hoi An history. The location brings travelers numerous new experiences, the village has become a famous tourist destination.
Besides being able to observe the sophisticated process of pottery making directly, you also have the chance to participate in creating your own unique ceramic product. This should be on the list of the top Hoi An things to do.
Exploring Bay Mau Coconut Forest
Address: Group 2, Can Nhan Hamlet, Cam Thanh Commune, Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province
Another best thing to do in Hoi An is to explore the wilderness in Bay Mau Coconut Forest. Known as the “Southwestern region in the heart of Hoi An,” Bay Mau Coconut Forest is situated about 3 kilometers to the south of the center of Hoi An Ancient Town.
Coming here, you can have a relaxing journey on a basket boat floating up and down the river under the lush tree canopy. If you are more of a daredevil, you can always join the thrilling basket boat dance performance by the skillful boatmen.
Visiting the Culture Museums
Hoi An Folk Culture Museum
Address: 33 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Minh An Ward, Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province.
Hoi An Folk Culture Museum has fully preserved the unique cultural values of the heritage land from the beginning days to the later development stages. The museum displays great stunning sculptures and carvings that represent the culture and folk art forms of Hoi An, such as Bai Choi, Tengu dance, Ba Trao singing, etc.
Sa Huynh Culture Museum
Address: 149 Tran Phu Street, Minh An Ward, Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province.
Storing artifacts with a history of more than 2000 years, Sa Huynh Culture Museum is considered to be one of the richest and most unique museums in Vietnam. Stepping inside the museum, you will notice glass cabinets displaying relics with clear captions and photos of their excavation origin. The artifacts demonstrate the social life and customs of the ancient inhabitants of the Sa Huynh civilization around the Southeast Asian, South Indian, and Chinese areas.
Visit Hoi An Silk Village
Address: 28 Nguyen Tat Thanh Street, Minh Anh Ward, Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province.
The Hoi An Silk Village is the place to come if you want to get outside the city and check out the ancient weaving techniques for which this part of Vietnam is known.
The village is located in Quang Nam Province, which is around one kilometer from the center of the city, and you will find a quaint village with homes built in the traditional style.
The village is filled with artisans who will teach you how to make beautiful silk pieces, and you can even feed the silkworms here and help to unravel their cocoons. This is also a great place to buy traditional silk pieces, which make great gifts and souvenirs.
Experience Hoi An cyclo
Cyclo Hoi An: Traveling around the old town is a great experience when coming to Hoi An. It is very convenient to sit and enjoy the scenery while visiting historical sites. The bicycle riders here are very friendly and provide great service.
The price of a cyclo in Hoi An for a visit to Hoi An is currently about 150,000 VND per hour. You can take a cyclo in Hoi An at Phan Chau Trinh and Tran Phu streets.
Cyclo Hoi An is an invaluable cultural gift that history has bestowed on Vietnam. Although society is modern and civilized with many advanced means of transport, the cyclo in Hoi An is still trying to preserve and develop this beauty so that it does not go into oblivion.
Swimming in An Bang Beach
Address: Cam An Ward, Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province
Crowned as one of the 50 most beautiful beaches in the world, An Bang beach should be on your must-visit list. Blessed with crystal clear blue water and long white sand stretch, this Hoi An beach is the ideal destination to have all your worries and fatigue washed away in the gentle waves. You can also lie in the sun, sip a refreshing smoothie, and calmly feel the peaceful pace of life. However, if you are a thrill seeker, it is highly recommended that you try different extreme sports such as windsurfing and waterskiing riding.
Wonderful things to do in Hoi An by Metta Voyage hopes to be the suitable choice and bring you the most wonderful experiences. Please contact us; we are always ready to assist you as soon as possible!
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