For the ultimate travel guide – Hoi An, we have pieced together the best places to eat, sleep and see. Our guide contains our personal recommendations and experience for Hoi An. Enjoy!
Hoi An town is one of our favourite cities in Vietnam. Top 3 if we had to choose! The town still holds its 15th – 19th century aesthetic while embracing modern life. As of 1999, Hoi An officially became a UNESCO world heritage site. As a result, the popularity of Hoi An has increased dramatically with thousands of tourists coming each year. With its beautiful architecture, wonderful night market and lantern lit streets, its easy to see why this place has become a hotspot for travellers and tourists alike. In our opinion, it is the quintessential Vietnam experience
HOW TO GET THERE
The nearest airport and train-station are located at the neighbouring town of Da Nang, making Hoi An accessible only by road. Da Nang is only a 15 minute drive from Hoi An, so taxis and busses are very accessible between the two towns. Additionally, if you are traveling by road, busses will directly stop in Hoi An rather than stopping in Da Nang. We actually traveled here via night bus from Da Lat which was an experience all in its own, but nevertheless, we arrived in one piece!
THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL GUIDE TO HOI AN WHAT TO DO
An Bang Beach
An Bang beach is located just a couple of minutes out side of Hoi An. Luckily it is one of the few beaches in Vietnam that hasn’t seen much development, making this a hotspot for travellers venturing to Hoi An. The beach is long and filled with local beach vendors offering beds and drinks for a reasonable price. It is a great place to spend the afternoon and top off that tan!
Japanese Covered Bridge
What is so fantastic about Hoi An is the accessibility. Just by walking you are able to visit some of the main attractions in the town. The Japanese Covered Bridge is one of these sites you cannot miss. The bridge was constructed in the 1700’s and renovated in 1986. Featuring many sculptures of the era such as dogs and monkeys representing Chinese new year, this bridge is a delight to visit and makes for a great photo opportunity.
Tan Family House
This is one of the oldest and most historical houses in the city! Dating back to the early 19th century, this home has been kept in the same condition since. Aimed to give travellers an idea of what the ‘typical Vietnamese home’ was back in the day, this little house is a really cool place to explore!
The night market in Hoi An is one you absolutely can’t miss when visiting. Probably the best in our opinion for fashion and home decor, they have it all! For all you ladies looking for those amazing wicker bags…they have them and for cheap! You can bargain prices down and find things for a steal!
Old Town (Ancient Town)
When you picture Vietnam, you think of all the beautiful streets and handcrafted lanterns. Old Town Hoi An is the best to visit at dusk. You can see the streets come to life and window shop in all the amazing craft/boutique stores. This was our favourite place in Hoi An and a great place for photos too! Not to mention, since it is the centre of town you are surrounded by all of the gorgeous French colonial buildings, pagodas, and ancient Chinese temples!
You can’t come to Hoi An without getting some custom made clothes! A few years ago I even got a full 3 piece suit tailor made for a steal! Hoi An is known for their amazing tailors. Streets are lined with hundreds of different shops offering essentially the same services. This time around it was no different! Hanna and I both decided to add some new pieced to are wardrobe and we had a blast picking out all the fabrics and styles!
Chuch Thanh Pagoda
We absolutely love visiting pagodas. They are so beautiful and the grounds have this sense of peacefulness. Out of all the pagodas we visited this was by far the most underrated one yet! Likely due to the fact that it is located a bit out of town, we had this whole place to ourselves! It was spectacular to walk around and admire the oldest Buddhist pagoda in Hoi An!
Ancient Town Hoi An boarders with the Thu Bon River, making the riverside a great place to take a stroll! Along the waterfront you can find some of the best bars, restaurants and enjoy fresh seafood and cocktails, whilst watching the world go by. They also offer boat trips along the river! In the evening you can also participate in the lantern lighting and release a lantern into the river! Seeing them all light up at night is truly a sight to behold!
The Hangout is a newly established barber/tattoo parlour. No, neither of us got tattoo this time, but it is actually owned by one of my mates from back home! It is a really chill vibes kinda place. If you are ever in Hoi An and are in need of a haircut, shave, or tattoo, be sure to check these guys out! They offer the best hot towel shave in all Vietnam!
Gemstones Art Museum as it stands for is another unique place to visit in Hoi An. Within this 100 year old colonial building, lies the largest collection of rare minerals, gems and cut stones in Vietnam. One of the best parts about this museum is the chic lounge located inside. It is a great place to enjoy a cocktail in the middle of the stunning art.
Fujian Assembly Hall
Probably one of the most symbolic icons in Hoi An. Built in 1690, this cultural heritage site was the meeting place years ago for the Fujian’s in China to socialise and discuss life in Hoi An.
THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL GUIDE TO HOI AN
PLACES TO EAT
Banh Mi Phuong
WE STILL DREAM OF THIS PLACE! Rated as the best Banh Mi in all of Vietnam, this place definitely lives up to its reputation. We ate here everyday for lunch and fell in love. One thing will be guaranteed…there will always be a line. Pro Tip: go ahead and walk through upstairs in the restaurant itself. They have loads of tables and guys up there taking orders for guests. That way you don’t have to stand in the long line! The two we recommend to order are: The Chicken with Pate and the BBQ Pork! For only 25,000 dong, this spot was our favourite by far!
Reaching Out Tea House
If you are in Hoi An, you must stop by this tea house for an afternoon tea! It was such an amazing experience and one we thoroughly enjoyed. The tea house itself is actually run by the deaf. It was created as a way to help the deaf community find work and encourage them to self sustain themselves. The staff at the tea house are all speech and hearing impaired. They require that guests be respectful and either sit in silence, or whisper when talking. This sets a really unique ambiance and a great escape from the noisy town outside. The way you order is through little blocks and a notecard where you circle your desired selection. They have a wide variety of teas, coffees, and homemade baked goods. Overall, it was one of our most memorable tea experiences ever!
Funny story… so after days of only eating Banh Mi, we decided to do a juice cleanse. We managed to do it all day until dinner.. when we said ‘screw this we need a burger!’ We walked into Burger Craft starving! Although they also serve pizzas too, you can’t go to a place with burger in the name and not try them! They were to die for! Brie cheese on a burger and truffle fries..ah man it was good! The ultimate travel guide to Hoi An wouldn’t be complete without a good Burger.
The Happy Buffalo
This is a fantastic tapas restaurant located near the beach. A great spot to stop and grab a bite with an interesting fusion of foods! Polenta fries, duck spring rolls, and fish tacos… let’s just say it was delicious. They also had really cheap wine by the glass…something Hanna had been missing!
Bamboo Chicken Hoi An
We stumbled across this place on an evening bike ride and were immediately allured by the 5,000 dong beer sign out front! The food was actually really delicious and not to mention cheap! We orders a fantastic eggplant hot pot with rice and chicken. They also had free cocktails with dinner! FREE cocktails, sign us up!
WHERE TO STAY
East West Villas
This family run hotel was the absolute best place for us during our stay in Hoi An. This tucked away property had an amazing private pool, comfortable rooms with the most amazing bathtub we had ever seen, and a great breakfast each morning. One other amazing thing about this place is the free bikes! The hotel has many bikes for guests to use to navigate their way around town. Overall we couldn’t recommend this hotel more for our ultimate travel guide to Hoi An! You can read more about it here:
Dream City Hotel
Located a bit more centrally to Old Town, this hotel was another great place to stay. The rooms were comfortable and spacious! They also had a great little pool that we enjoyed chilling in the afternoons and evenings!
Vietnam Backpackers Hostel
The well known party hostel in town. One of the most popular hostels in Vietnam, you will definitely meet many people!
Paddy’s Hostel and Bar
A decent hostel located near the beach. A great option for those looking to make friends.
I saw you mentioned on the Social Buddy blog. Congrats!