There are many things to do in Hoi An such as exploring the pristine beaches, taking a self-guided walking tour in the historic old town, and visiting the UNESCO site in the majestic mountain ranges.
I have put together this complete guide to Hoi An which includes everything you need to know before you go!
WHERE IS HOI AN VIETNAM?
Hoi An is 900km north of Ho Chi Minh and 800km south of Hanoi, basically the halfway point on the east coast of Vietnam.
HOW TO GET HERE
Most people plan their trip throughout Vietnam by traveling from the north to the south or vice versa. There is no shortage of sleeper buses available from every main town or city costing you no more than $15.
Click here to check all routes, timetables, and ticket prices online and book ahead of time to secure your seat.
If you are planning to fly to Hoi An, the closest airport is in Da Nang City, 45 minutes north of Hoi An. Flights are approximately $50 one way from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.
Search All → Flights to Da Nang
You can then take a taxi directly from Da Nang Airport to Hoi An which will cost you anywhere between $15 – $30.
Alternatively, take a taxi to the central bus station in Da Nang and jump on a local bus to Hoi An that costs only $1.50. Buses run every 20 minutes between 6 am and 9 pm.
Old Town Hoi An Vietnam
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
The best time to visit Hoi An is in the dry season, February to September.
The best mode of transport around Hoi An is on a bicycle or by scooter. The majority of the accommodations will rent out bicycles for free when you book a stay with them.
Alternatively, you can rent a scooter for $5 a day from one of the many scooter rental shops dotted throughout the town of Hoi An.
There are plenty of ATMs around town, so if you need to take cash out the option is there.
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TOP 4 THINGS TO DO IN HOI AN
HOI AN OLD TOWN
Exploring Old Town is one of the top things to do in Hoi An. The architecture in Old Town is influenced by the French, Chinese and Japanese cultures.
There are colorful buildings around every corner, the streets are decorated with stringing lanterns and beautiful canals cut through the center of the Old Town Hoi An.
There are many shrines, temples, and pagodas dotted throughout the streets of the Ancient Town Hoi An, and a Japanese-inspired wooden bridge that can be found on the northern end. Most of the Hoi An attractions are free of charge, and some others require a small fee of around $2 to enter.
For food and drinks, you will be spoilt for choice with countless restaurants and bars or you can head to the central market for cheap and easy local cuisine and a refreshing fruit juice. My favorite local food is Bahn Mi, (similar to a subway) or a bowl of Pho (pork noodle soup).
Another great thing to do in Old Town is to get some clothing tailor-made from one of the dozens of tailors throughout the town. I recommend choosing a tailor off the main street and down one of the smaller alleyways for a much better price on custom-made clothing.
Must Read → 4 Week Vietnam Itinerary
Central Market in Old Town
The Japanese bridge
Temple in Hoi An Old Town
MY SON SANCTUARY
Next on this list of things to do in Hoi An is a visit to My Son Sanctuary which is a cluster of ancient Hindu temples that were constructed in the emerald hills in the Duy Xuyen District between the 4th and the 14th century.
The abandoned temples of My Son Sanctuary are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is the most popular attraction in the region that draws in thousands of visitors every year.
The My Son Sanctuary is located 40km west of Hoi An, Vietnam. The journey time is approximately one hour from Hoi An to My Son Sanctuary.
The My Son Sanctuary is open Monday to Sunday from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm and the entrance fee is 150,000 VND.
As you enter the gates to My Son Sanctuary there is a courtesy buggy that will transport you from the main gate of the park to the start of the walking trail.
The trail at My Son Sanctuary is very easy to navigate and it will lead you through the abandoned complex of magnificent Hindu ruins. There are a total of 71 temple structures that are impressively older than the Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia.
Full Blog Post → My Son Sanctuary
My Son Sanctuary
My Son Sanctuary – What to do in Hoi An
HOI AN BEACH
The best cure after a long day exploring the Old Town and My Son Sanctuary is to head down to Hoi An beach to cool off and enjoy the shade underneath the cluster of coconut palms that line the beachfront.
As busy as Hoi An can get with locals and tourists combined, you will be sure to find your own little private beach spot along the pristine stretch of white sand coastline.
Hoi An Beach
Sunrise at Hoi An Beach
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BAMBOO BASKET BOAT RIVER CRUISE
Last but not least on this list of top things to do in Hoi An is a Bamboo Basket River Cruise.
Never have I ever seen anything like these hand-crafted bamboo baskets that are used as fishing boats by the local fisherman in Hoi An.
Take an hour-long cruise down the river and canals in one of these uniquely constructed, bamboo basket boats.
Book Now → Bamboo Basket Cruise
Bamboo Boat Cruise
WHERE TO STAY IN HOI AN
Hoi An has hundreds of accommodations to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Hoi An to suit budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
LUXURY: ANANTARA RESORT
MID RANGE: HA AN HOTEL
BUDGET: HAPPY MONKEY HOSTEL
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN HOI AN, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
WHAT TO PACK FOR HOI AN
When visiting Hoi An, here is a list of items I highly recommend bringing with you;
- Sunscreen – the Vietnamese sun is very strong, so make sure to pack some high-quality sunscreen.
- Quick-dry travel towel – the most compact and lightweight towel for traveling.
- Reusable water bottle – stay hydrated by bringing along a reusable water bottle.
- Backpack – The Nomatic 30L Travel Pack is the ultimate backpack for everyday adventures.
If you’re interested in taking awesome photos and videos on your travels, this is the camera gear that I use and recommend;
- GoPro HERO10 – the most popular camera on the planet for action-packed adventures.
- Canon EOS R – perfect for traveling, this is the most affordable, compact camera on the market.
- DJI Mini 3 Pro – take your photos and videos to new heights with this user-friendly drone camera.
BEST VIETNAM TOURS
MORE VIETNAM TRAVEL GUIDES
- Vietnam Travel Guide: 4 Week Vietnam Itinerary
- Ho Chi Minh City Guide: 7 Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh
- Nha Trang Travel Guide: 3 Things To Do In Nha Trang
- Hoi An Travel Guide: 4 Things To Do In Hoi An
- Ninh Binh Travel Guide: 3 Things To Do In Ninh Binh
- Da Nang Travel Guide: Golden Bridge Ba Na Hills
- Cam Ranh Travel Guide: Things To Do In Cam Ranh
- Ha Giang Travel Guide: 3 Day Ha Giang Loop Adventure
TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or it’s your first trip overseas, here are some useful travel resources to help you kick-start your next adventure!
- BOOKING.COM – search and book accommodation worldwide
- SKYSCANNER – compare and book cheap flights to anywhere
- VIATOR – find tickets, tours, and experiences around the world
- BOOKAWAY – book buses, trains, and transfers online in advance
- RENTAL CARS – search all rental cars in your next destination
- GROUP TRIPS – join one of my epic small group trips
- TRAVEL INSURANCE – purchase World Nomads travel insurance
- TRAVEL MONEY CARD – get a Wise card today for free
Looking for more? Check out my Travel Resources page for further help with your trip planning!
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions, please drop me a comment below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can. For a quicker response, be sure to join Jonny Melon’s Travel Tribe on Facebook and post your questions or recommendations to our awesome community.
THANKS FOR READING
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