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10 Essential things to do in Hoi An

Things to do in Hoi An

Hoi An, nestled between rivers, rice paddies, and beaches, offers an array of captivating things to do. Its iconic yellow shop houses, blooming flowers, and lush countryside provide the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable experience. If you’re exploring this former trading port, make sure to check out these 10 inspired things to do in Hoi An.

Explore the Countryside by Bicycle

Hoi An offers excellent opportunities for bicycle exploration

Hoi An offers excellent opportunities for bicycle exploration

Rent a bicycle from your hotel or a rental shop (around VND 30,000 per day) and ride from the Ancient Town to Cam Thanh and Cam Chau. You’ll witness Vietnamese countryside life, leafy vegetable gardens, duck ponds, and repair shops.

Tip: If you don’t want to cycle, take a vintage sidecar tour with Victoria to explore Tra Que’s vegetable village, Cam Chau’s rice paddies, and An Bang Beach’s sand dunes.

Take a Boat Cruise

A boat trip on the Hoai River

A boat trip on the Hoai River, Hoi An

Don’t miss a sunset cruise on the Thu Bon River. Negotiate at the ferry quay for a half-hour trip (about VND 150,000 – VND 200,000). Depart just before sunset for the best views.

Tip: Early risers can try sunrise stand-up paddleboarding at An Bang or join a kayak tour to explore more waterways.

Café Hopping

Coffee at Hoi An Roastery

Enjoy a cup of coffee at a local cafe in Hoi An

Hoi An’s cafes have a special charm. Try fresh-pressed juice and avocado toast at Rosie’s Cafe, caramel coffee or mango shakes at Le Fe, or tea and snacks at Reaching Out. People-watch from Hoi An Roastery’s balcony.

Enjoy a Beach Day

The pleasant An Bang beach

The pleasant An Bang beach

An Bang Beach, just 7 km from the Ancient Town, is one of Vietnam’s best. Find beachfront favourites like Soul Kitchen and The Hmong Sisters. Local sellers offer sun loungers, coconuts, and cold beer.

Tip: For a quieter experience, visit Salt Pub & Restaurant or Sound of Silence.

Shop for Souvenirs

Metiseko, fashion and accessories shop in Hoi An

Metiseko, fashion and accessories shop in Hoi An

Explore boutiques like Cocobox (Vietnamese jams and coffee), Metiseko (fashion and accessories), Artbook (posters and stationery), and Reaching Out (ceramic tea sets and jewellery) for high-quality items. Check out OZU by Tadioto at 54 Phan Boi Chau.

Try Local Dishes

Cao Lầu, a regional Vietnamese noodle from the city of Hoi An

Cao Lầu, a regional Vietnamese noodle from the city of Hoi An

Savour authentic local specialities like Cao Lầu, White Rose, Hoành Thánh, and Mì Quảng at Morning Glory Restaurant, Miss Ly, or Mai Fish. For fusion fare, visit Nu Eatery.

Tip: Don’t miss the outstanding banh mi at Madame Khanh.

Explore the Ancient Town

A lantern shop at night in Hoi An

A lantern shop at night in Hoi An

Visit the UNESCO-listed Ancient Town during the day and night when lanterns light up the streets and the Thu Bon River sparkles.

Learn About Hoi An's History

Japanese bridge in Hoi An

Japanese bridge in Hoi An

From the 15th to 19th centuries, Hoi An thrived as a trading port. Explore ancestral houses and pagodas in the Ancient Town, including the Japanese Bridge, Tan Ky House, and Phuc Kien Assembly Hall.

Take a Cooking Class

Hands-on cooking class in Tra Que vegetable village

Hands-on cooking class in Tra Que vegetable village

Experience Hoi An’s cooking classes, where you’ll learn local techniques and enjoy the results.

Tip: Consider the Red Bridge cooking school.

Experience the Nightlife

Enjoy the evening at Mango Mango

Enjoy the evening at Mango Mango

Mango Mango offers cocktails, dishes, and live music. For a casual setting, try The Happy Buffalo. On An Bang beach, enjoy live bands and DJ sets at Soul Kitchen or Soul Beach.

Tip: On Saturdays, visit Le Fe for Vietnamese vocal talents.

Cultural Show

Teh Dar - Vietnamese Bamboo Circus in Hoi An

Teh Dar – Vietnamese Bamboo Circus in Hoi An

Lune Production hosts world-class circus, dance, and musical performances. Watch “The Mist” at their new performance centre for an authentic Vietnamese experience. Check schedules and ticket prices on the Lune Production website.

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