Top Tips For Visiting Hoi An

Old Town Hoi An, on Vietnam’s coast, is an enchanting mix of colorful shophouses, French colonial houses, and Chinese temples, adorned with bright silk lanterns. In the 17th and 18th centuries, this was one of the best port towns in Southeast Asia, with traders from China, Japan, the Netherlands, France, Portugal, and India. Today, this well-preserved town provides an interesting glimpse into life here 200 years ago. This post features the top tips for visiting Hoi An, how to get there, and other must-see areas nearby.

Visiting enchanting Hoi An Vietnam
Hoi An

Top Attractions When Visiting Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An Riverside

Riverside is the liveliest area in Hoi An, located on the Thu Bon River, with bars, cafes, and markets along its banks, and a must-see when visiting. Although lovely both day and night, it’s especially atmospheric at night. The charming buildings, lit in bright colors, reflect off the water, making this area even more alluring. And the delicious Vietnamese food at the many cafes and bars here, make it the perfect place to explore at night.

How To Get To Riverside: Located between Old Town Hoi An and Hoi An Island on the Thu Bon River.

The Japanese Covered Bridge, Or Chua Cau

This landmark bridge, built by Japanese merchants over 400 years ago, connected what was once the Japanese Quarter to the Chinese Quarter. Very charming, inside and out, it’s a popular tourist and photo spot. Locals refer to it as Chua Cau, or Pagoda Bridge, as it has a temple dedicated to the Taoist God of weather, Tran Vo Bac De.

How To Get To The Japanese Covered Bridge: The Japanese Covered Bridge is located on the west end of Tran Phu Street.

Tan Ky Historic House

A mix of Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese architecture, this 18th century house was home to several generations of merchants. Full of ornate architectural details and antiques, it’s one of the oldest and most beautiful houses in Hoi An.

How To Get To House of Tan Ky: The Historic house of Tan Ky is located a short walk from the Japanese covered bridge at 101 Nguyen Thai Hac Street.

Hoi An Central Market

This bustling market, spanning five streets, starts before sunrise. You will find lots of fresh fish, meat, spices, produce, and souvenirs. There’s also a large food court, which is a great place to try a variety of Vietnamese food. And if you want a custom-made dress, suit, or shirt, this is reputedly the best place to find a tailor.

How To Get To Hoi An Central Market: Located north of Thu Ban River, there are several entrances to the Central Market. The food court entrance is at the corner of Tran Phu and Nguyen Hue Streets.

Hoi An is very charming. Just walking the Old Town is one of the top tips for visiting.
Charming Hoi An

Lantern Market, or Night Market

This market, on Hoi Ann’s islet, is a spell-binding site with its thousands of colorful silk lanterns lit in the night sky. Many crafted from the silk made here. Although mostly for tourists, it’s one of the most beautiful markets in Vietnam. Held nightly from 5-10 PM, in addition to the colorful lanterns, you can also find food stalls and souvenirs.

How To Get To The Lantern Market: The Hoi An Night Market is located on Nguyen Hoang Street on the islet of Hoi An. Simply cross the bridge and look for the signs.

Chinese Temples and Assembly Halls

There are many colorful temples and assembly halls in Hoi An. Most of them are Chinese, as the Japanese were prevented from rebuilding after destruction from the 18th century Tay Son rebellion. The most sacred temple is Quan Cong, or Ong Pagoda, located near the Japanese Covered Bridge. Built in the 17th century, this dazzlingly colorful temple honors a famous Chinese general. Quan Am, or On Lang Pagoda, is nearby, and another popular temple.

Phuc Kien Assembly Hall is one of the biggest and most grand assembly hall in Hoi An. Just down the road is Hai Nam.

Visiting temples in Hoi An Vietnam


An Bang Beach, Or Cua Dai

The palm-lined, white sand beach of An Bang is relatively undeveloped, making it a charming place when visiting in Hoi An. There are also water sports options, like surfing (best from September to March) and Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP).

Hoi An Beach | Dronepicr

How To Get To A Bang Beach: A Bang Beach is located about 4 miles (7 km) north of Hoi An Old Town. You can rent a bicycle or catch a taxi.

Hoi An Silk Village

This quaint village once employed thousands in the silk trade. Today, there are still silk artisans living and working here. You can learn about the art, visit the mulberry garden, shop silk products, and maybe even feed the silkworms.

How To Get to Silk Village: Located in Quang Nam Province, Silk Village is about 1.24 miles (2 km) from the city center. It’s best to arrive by taxi, or you can rent a bicycle.

Other Things To Do In Hoi An

Hoi An Lantern Moon Festival

Monthly, during the full moon, lanterns with candles are set to float on the Thu Bon River in celebration. They block the streets for pedestrians to walk freely and music is played. A variety of street food stalls also pop up, turning this into a fun event. Make sure to arrive early to get a spot near the waters edge. The first full moon of the lunar New Year, in February, is the biggest event.

Take A Cooking Class

Cooking classes are very popular in Hoi An, so there are many choices. Most include a visit to the central market, a ride in a traditional basket boat on the river, as well as other cultural learning opportunities. Plus the people of Hoi An are very charming, making this a fun activity when visiting.

Visiting the charming town of Hoi An in Vietnam

Side Trips From Hoi An

The temple complex at My Son and the bridges in Da Nang make perfect side trips when visiting Hoi An.

My Son Sanctuary

My Son is a complex of Hindu temple ruins, from the Kings of Champa that once ruled here. This UNESCO listed site, dating from the 4th to the 14th century, was both a burial site for Cham royalty and a site for religious ceremonies. The temples pay homage to the God of Shiva.

It’s best to visit in early morning or late afternoon, when there are fewer tour buses.

How To Get To My Son: Approximately an hour southwest of Hoi An, near the village of Duy Phu, there are several ways to visit outside a tour. The most beautiful way to travel is via motorbike, riding through the stunning mountain scenery. Only do this, however, if you’re an experienced rider. You can also hire a motorbike taxi (GrabTaxi), taxi (Grab is the ride hailing service here), or private car for the trip.

Da Nang

Da Nang is a 45 minute drive north of Hoi An. Although not as charming as Hoi An, there are some unique bridges, and if you want something quieter and less touristy, this would be the best place to stay while in the area.

The top sites include the Instagram worthy Golden Bridge, in Ba Na Hills, which is over an hour west of Da Nang. This is that bridge that looks like a giant pair of hands is holding it up. Sorry, I don’t have a photo…The views from here are stunning.

There’s also Dragon Bridge, which literally shoots flames and water on weekend evenings around 9 PM. This bridge is within walking distance of the main town area of Da Nang.

Da Nang also has several pristine, quiet beaches.

Da Nang Beaches are beautiful when visiting Hoi An Vietnam
Da Nang Beach

How To Get To Da Nang: Da Nang is the nearest airport from Hoi An, so if you’re arriving in this area from a different city, you may actually arrive in Da Nang before traveling to Hoi An. There is a direct bus (bus #1) between the two cities that costs about $1 USD, taking about an hour and a half. Taxi and private car are other options. The ride sharing service here is called Grab. And if you only have a back back, you can try GrabBike.

Want More of Vietnam?

Hanoi, the capital, and main hub or culture and history, is a must-visit spot. This busting city is full of friendly people and amazing food. its also fascinating to visit its Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake, temples and more. its also the perfect base for a day trio to lovely Halong Bay or interesting Sa Pa.

Ho Chi Minh, formerly known as Saigon, is the biggest and most populous city in Vietnam. You can visit the War Remnants museum to see a different side of the war, as well as Independence Palace, also known as Reunification Palace, and learn more about the history of Vietnam. From here, you can take a day trip to the fascinating maze of rivers in the Mekong Delta.

And to help plan your trip, see the Vietnam Travel Guide, which covers all the highlights, how to get around, the best time to visit, safety, commons scams to be aware of and more.

Hello! I resigned from a corporate career in product development to explore the world. Although my goal was to travel for a year, 8 years later, I’ve been honored to have explored more than 60 gorgeous countries and met some unbelievably amazing people. Our world truly is a beautiful place! Follow me into the gorgeous unknown by subscribing below. You’ll receive details on fabulous destinations, comprehensive travel guides, travel tips and tidbits, and information on travel trends, like experiential, sustainable, and transformational travel. Where is your next gorgeous unknown? Julie

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