Hội An, the Vietnamese city of lanterns. Its charm is undeniable! All those colourful lanterns and houses were a winner on my insta! We spent a week exploring this colourful UNESCO city in Vietnam, and couldn’t get enough. Read along to find out my top 10 things to do in Hội An, along with tips on how to get there and where to stay.
How to get to Hội An
First things first how do you get to Hoi An. It all depends if you started traveling from the South or North. We flew from Hanoi to Danang on Vietjet air for $75USD pp. The flight is approximately 1.15hr. If you have more time you can go via train as I’ve heard the views are pretty spectacular. Keep in mind the journeys is quite long (15hrs). It will cost you $50 to $75USDD pp in a 4 berth or a bit more exxy if you are after a private one for 2 people.
Once you arrived to Danang you can order a Grab or catch a taxi to Hoi An. Our grab cost us about $15USD including the airport fee of .45 cents (10k VDN)
Where to stay in Hội An
There’s a range of budget and luxury accomodation on offer. We were debating between staying close to the old town or at the beach. In the end we did both.
For our first nights we decide to stay closer to the old town as there’s a lot more things to do and see. We ended our stay with a couple of night on the beach to relax and unwind before heading back to Indonesia.
Four our beach stay we headed to the Four Seasons Nam Hai this was the perfect romantic tropical escape with its bungalows nestled amongst the coconut palms right on the white sand beach.
You can see more of our stay at Four Seasons here
When is the best time to visit Hội An?
We visited during August. Temperatures were extremely high and humidity too. TBH it was a bit uncomfortable at times and we often felt tired. Thank God for Vietnamese iced coffees!
We would recommend to visit between Feb and May when temperatures are more pleasant.
We were there before and during the Lantern Festival.
Seems to be that the popularity of the Lantern Festival has made the locals make everyday a Festival day as you can find lanterns floating through the river everyday of the week! So if you can’t make it for the Lantern festival do not worry you’ll still get to experience it.
The only two differences that we noticed was that the lights go off at 8pm and the crowds were bigger.
When we first got there on the weekend we thought the tourists crowds would be less on a weekday however this was not the case. Expect big crowds every night as Hoi An is a hot spot in Vietman.
Early mornings are great to explore the city with less crowds.
How to get around
We used both bikes and motorbikes depending on where we were going.
Price for bicycle rental at our guesthouse was USD$1 (25k VND) or $4 USD(100k VND) for a motorbike.
What to do in Hội An
1. Visit the Old town
You are require to purchase a ticket to enter the old town however this is not something we saw was been enforced and the only time we were asked for a ticket was when visiting the temples and Pagodas. The pass will give you 5 tickets to use at any of the relics. You can purchase your ticket at any of the Tourist Kiosk at the main entrances of the town. It can not be purchased on any of the historic sites. Here’s the places we visited it.
Fukian assembly hall
Trung Hoa Hall
Hainan Assembly Hall
2. Cooking class
It was very hard to choose a cooking class as they all have great reviews on Trip Advisor. So it really depends on how much time you have, what would you like to experience and the food that you would like to cook.
We chose Mo’s Cooking adventure as it suited our needs better and it didn’t disappoint.
It was definitely one of the highlights in Hoi An.
The menu was great! it included,
- Spring rolls
- Banh Xeo
- Grilled Fish
There’s vegetarian options for all of the dishes.
The adventure included a visit to the market to buy all the fresh ingredients for the cooking class and a return boat trip.
Participants are limited to 10.
We would highly recommend this cooking class.
3. Sunset Boat ride
This was truly a magical experience even if its was busy. The energy was beautiful. It costs us USD6.4 (150k VND) for 30 minutes.
4. Visit the Beach
Our favourite beach was Cua dai, it was not as crowded as the others and it had some beautiful palms.
5. Visit Tra Que Garden
This village is just of the center of Hoi An. If you visit during the early mornings you can see the farmers out working.
This also a great place to do a cooking class.
6. Get something Tailor Made
The amount of Tailors in Hoi An is overwhelming and I almost didn’t get anything made until the last days when I saw a mannequin with the same jumpsuit as the photos below.
The name of my Tailor was Silk Road and it cost me $35USD.
Make sure you are honest and if you don’t like something on the first fitting get them to change it.
7. Explore the surroundings of town
There’s beautiful rice fields and scenery just 15min ride or less out of town.
8. Explore Hội An by Night
Great place to try local snacks or buy local souvenirs. Also at the beginning of the markets there’s lantern shops that are the perfect backdrop for a picture! Make sure you are respectful and ask first and if they ask you to pay it’s usually just $1 or $2.
Explore the old town by night
9. Visit a Rooftop Cafe
The chef has not only nice views but the food is great too, try out their famous white rose dumplings!
The best rooftop photospot in Hoi An. Perfect place for Vietnamese ice coffee, fresh croissants and views over the town.
10. Try These Delicious Vietnamese Foods
- Pho at Pho xua
- Ban Xeo at Trà Quế Garden
- White rose dumplings at Miss Ly
- Coconut Ice Coffee at Expresso station or Cộng Cà Phê (basically anywhere you go you’ll get a great coffee)
Hoi An Vietnam
We hope this guide to the top 10 things to do in Hoi An has inspired you for your next adventure in this beautiful Vietnamese town. From historical landmarks and vibrant markets to culinary delights and scenic bike rides, Hoi An offers something for every traveler. So go ahead, immerse yourself in the rich culture and natural beauty that this quaint town has to offer, and you’re sure to leave with your heart full and your camera roll brimming with photos of lanterns 🙂 Safe travels!
While you here check out our blog on our stay at Four Seasons Hotel Hoi An