The historic city of Hoi An is Vietnam’s most delightful and charming city. Located along the coast of the central region, this beautiful city is influenced by the combination of Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and even French heritage and architecture due to its trading port back in the 15th – 18th century. Nowadays, many people flock to this UNESCO-heritage town to soak up the rich culture, delicious food, and truly unique experiences. We take you on an exploration guide of the stunning city of Hoi An.
How to get there
Hoi An doesn’t have an airport or a train station; the only way to get there is by car or taxi. From the neighboring city of Da Nang, you can actually either fly to its airport or take a train from whichever Vietnamese city you’re currently into Da Nang and rent a car or taxi from there. It should cost you around $15 for the 30-kilometer ride.
Where to stay
There are a ton of great hotels you can book in Hoi An, from budget-friendly hotels to 5-star ones. Decide on the type of hotel you need – whether it’s for a luxury or if you’re sticking to a budget. If you need recommendations, see a list of some of the best hotels to stay in here and you can make a decision on the most suitable hotel according to your budget and travel purpose. The majority of inns and hotels are actually a walking distance from the Old Town. If you opt to stay further, then you’ll be just a scooter-ride away. However, riding a scooter is at limited times because most traffic in Hoi An is on foot or bicycle.
Where to go
One of the greatest places to visit is definitely Old Town. It’s easy to get around on foot as it doesn’t have much traffic like other major cities. The ancient town is home to fascinating architecture and historical buildings like Tan Ky House, which was built two centuries ago, or the Phung Hung House with gorgeous lanterns. Visit Hoi An’s main symbol, the Japanese Covered Bridge as well as the Chinese Assembly Halls, the Phac Hat Pagoda, or the Quan Cong Temple to soak up some holy culture. Hoi An is also famous for its arts and crafts, silk, and textiles; take a stroll through the Silk Village or to the Museum of Trading Ceramics. You can even attend a workshop or two to learn skills from the masters. Be sure to visit their liveliest street at night and during the day; The Riverside is where the traditional meets the modern with an endless variety of restaurants, local markets that are bustling at night, or chill as you watch boats cruising by.
What to eat
Hoi An is the ideal place to try some of the best Vietnamese delicacies that are blended with Japanese, Chinese, and Portuguese cuisines as well. Back in the day, traders and merchants brought their home country’s flavors into Hoi An, and so, this fusion cuisine was created. You can indulge in bottomless fresh noodle bowls, fresh seafood, shrimp or pork-filled dumplings, or the famous Com Ga, a dish of delicious Vietnamese rice and chicken. You’ll also find some of the best street food, be sure to try Banh Xeo, which literally means ‘sizzling pancakes,’ it’s served with seafood or pork.
The best time to visit Hoi An is away from monsoon season as the Old Town tends to flood. You can visit during the dry months which are February through July. But for the best weather, consider March or April. Rent a bicycle to ride around the town, or even if you’re heading to the beach as it’s very popular there. Hoi An has everything for any kind of traveler; it has culture, shopping, great food, a fun nightlife, and a chance to relax in a simple but exquisite town. Be sure to take in everything that it has to offer for a trip of a lifetime!