What To Do In The Amazing City Of Hoi An
Hoi An is an absolutely beautiful area and is very popular with locals or tourists alike. From the UNESCO city, to the beach and laid back country life, it seems to have it all! When in a new place I constantly find myself googling “what to do in Hoi An? things to do in Hoi An? how to spend three days in Hoi An?” and I always find these articles extremely helpful.
I have rounded up my personal favorite things to do in Hoi An and I hope to inspire you to visit this magical city which has something for every type of traveler!
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Hoi An Old Town
With no doubt exploring the Old Town is the number one thing to do in Hoi An. It was previously used as a trading port between the 15th and 19th century. Now days it is considered one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam. This fact is proven true by it being granted a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Walking through Hoi An Old town you will be in awe. With over one thousand well preserved timber frame buildings that have brick or wooden walls, it feels like you have stepped back in time. The area of the old city is even motor free, so for once you don’t have to be concerned about being run over, which is a common thought when exploring Vietnam.
Though, I will say it has become like a ‘Disneyland’ for tourists. I honestly cant tell you how many bar job offers I received simply because I spoke English! There is enough here to keep you busy all day, either eat at one of the amazing restaurants, take a boat out onto the river and explore the many alleyways. Though, by the end of it you will probably get over having to dodge all the crowds and will be ready for a good nights sleep.
My Son Temple Complex is certainly something I did not expect to stumble upon when visiting Vietnam. Though, when we checked into our Home stay and asked our host what to do in Hoi An and she recommended My Son.
We booked a sunrise tour which was very affordable and it was an easy hour drive to reach My Son. Surrounded by the morning mist, a rising sun, lush deep Vietnamese jungle and amazing temples rich in history it was certainly a highlight in Hoi An.
My Son stretches on for 2 kilometers within a valley and the contrast between the restored and crippled structures is amazing. They are beautiful worn in every single way.
Easy to reach on bicycle or motorbike is Thanh Ha Pottery Village. It is an integral place of Vietnamese history and the skilled craftsmen that live here even contributed pieces in the Imperial City of Hue when it was under control of the Nguyen Dynasty.
These days it is the perfect way to spend a few hours and perhaps even learn some new skills when looking for things to do in Hoi An. You will witness hundreds and hundred of pots which looks exactly the same, though are each handmade. Seeing how the ladies here do it is just incredible. If you manage to time your visit right you can even see the locals using the kiln which is only fired up once a month.
Check Out The Night Markets
Located within the Hoi An Old Town in the Night Market where you could find any Vietnamese souvenir your heart requires. Held every night from 5pm-11pm you will no doubt be spending your nights exploring the many stalls.
Whether you want to try some street food, try on clothes or pick up some knick knacks you can easy spend hours here. One of the greatest things here is definitely the personality of the vendors. They are always down to smile and laugh, even if they are doing it at your obnoxiously sad haggling techniques.
Head To The Beach
This coastal town is lucky enough to be close to some amazing beaches, so you will have no problem finding things to do in Hoi An. The most popular beach is definitely An Bang as it is close proximity to the old town so you can just bike there. Though, I will say this beach is extremely touristy so be prepared to pay for beach chairs, be offered numerous boat rides and the constant shouting of sellspeople.
If you are after something a bit more relaxing I recommend hiring a motorbike and following the coastline until you find something which better suits your style. We went about 15 minutes further south and found a much more beautiful place with a lot less people and gorgeous white sand.
Eat Amazing Food!
Being a vegetarian Hoi An was the best place for me to find delicious meals. There seemed to be an excellent vegetarian restaurant around every corner serving one of my favorite foods, tofu! If you are a foodie like me, you will be in heaven!
Sometimes you just need to get out of the city and a visit to Tra Que Vegetable Village is the perfect way to do this! It is extremely accessible and soon enough you will find yourself in a slower pace of life surrounded by workers and delicious produce.
What makes Tra Que Vegetable Village so special is the rich soils and the absence of chemicals. Rather algae is collected from a nearby lagoon and is used to fertilize the plants.
I highly recommend taking one of the cooking lessons in Tra Que Vegetable garden which will allow you to work with the amazing produce a well as pick up some new Vietnamese techniques.
Hire A Bicycle
The perfect thing to do in Hoi An is to hire a bicycle and discover the beauty of it yourself. The roads here are a lot less chaotic than in Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi so no need to worry about the motorbikes. I felt so safe on the roads in Hoi An. It is actually where I learned to ride a motorbike for the first time!
If you don’t know where you are going just follow all the other tourists on the bicycles and trust me there will be plenty. It is extremely easy to cycle to the rice fields, the beaches or to local villages. You can even cycle around the old town without having to worry about vehicles! This is because nothing with a motor is allowed in.
Visit A Tailor
Vietnam is known for cheap tailor made clothing and the most popular place to get this done is Hoi An. The streets here are lined with tailor shops and you will constantly hear the screams of “new suit, new dress?” It becomes a part of daily life here in Hoi An.
Even if you are only in town for a couple of days, you still have amount of time. Just go into a store, check out their designs and get measured up. Thanks to the quick turn around time you will have your pieces unimaginably fast. Everything from dresses, suits and pants to bags, wallets and belts can be made. I know what you are probably thinking, there’s no way I will be able to afford that! Well prices here are amazingly cheap, especially considering you are receiving something which is custom fit to your body!
Just remember to do your research before settling on a store as not all tailors produce high quality pieces.
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