As sparkling as it is old, the traditional town of Hoi An is situated on the Vietnamese coastline, just to the south of Da Nang. Although the town is only small, it does have a rich history of colonial trade and Chinese influences, making it quite a popular destination for travellers wanting to see a slice of Vietnam’s World Heritage enticements.
Hoi An is only about 15kms south of Da Nang, a major coastal city in the central region of Vietnam. There is no airport in the town of Hoi An, but the nearest air facility is located in Da Nang. The Da Nang International Airport caters for many domestic and international flights, connecting the central Vietnamese coast to several major destinations, including Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore.
Once in the city of Hoi An, there are a plethora of things to do. There are quite a number of high-end Hoi An hotels, and most of these offer tremendous services when it comes to touring the city. Many visitors arrive into Hoi An expecting a two or three day stay over before moving on. However, the abundance of intriguing attractions that this captivating town possesses quickly persuade visitors to stay that little bit longer.
Ecotours: travellers rarely experience true Vietnamese culture, but that won’t be the case for visitors who embark on a Hoi An Eco Tour. Guests will learn about the culture of Hoi An, the lifestyles of the people, and get first hand experience at several important skills in the town, such as rowing basket boats and fishing Hoi An style.
Cooking: towns in Vietnam are famous for their colourful and flavoursome delicacies, and Hoi An is certainly no exception. A number of restaurants scattered across town offer cooking lessons for interesting customers. This is a great way to really embrace one of Hoi An’s greatest cultural assets…its cuisine!
Festivals: the town of Hoi An is renowned for its many celebrations held throughout the year. In the Old Town, the Full Moon Party occurs once a month on the night before a full moon. The mid-autumn festival is also quite popular among locals and domestic travellers, occurring on the 14 August every year. Many locals in and around Hoi An flock to the township for this event, so expect quite a few people roaming the streets.
Shopping: there aren’t any department stores in Hoi An, but that doesn’t stop the town from boasting a healthy shopping culture. Traditional arts and crafts can be purchased from a number of galleries and marketplaces across Hoi An, including the Central Market and Reaching Out Gallery. Also, tailors are quite ubiquitous in Hoi An, but a word of warning…you generally get what you pay for!
Beaches: several beaches serve the Hoi An community, and serve them quite well. The best beaches to visit are An Bang Beach and Cua Dai Beach. An Bang Beach is the main strip of sand frequented by locals, as it is less than three kilometres from downtown Hoi An, and contains countless seafood shacks along the beach.
Go Motorbiking: Hoi An is one of the safest towns in Vietnam to travel by motorbike. For visitors, it is the perfect place to ‘do as the Romans do’ and explore, or simply enjoy, the town in control of a motorbike rather than simply on the back of one.
Sightseeing: sightseeing the major landmarks of Hoi An can literally take days, even though the town is only relatively small. Apart from the typical historic zones, some of the most alluring sites are the museums of Hoi An, including the Hoi An Museum of Culture and History, Museum of Folk Culture, and Phung Hung House.
Lek Boonlert is an editor and content reviewer at DirectRooms and is responsible for all Hoi An Hotels content.