If you are truly planning Vietnam tours 2023, it is recommended to put Hoi An tours on your list. Hoi An is a well-preserved heritage site which was used to be the trading port town dating from the 15th to the 19th Century, mostly for Chinese, Japanese, and European businessmen. It explained why the architecture here is the blend of indigenous and foreign style. Many people put it into their bucket list due to the charm of the ancient walking town, the lovely beach paradise, the good nature of locals, and the amazing culinary!
How to get to Hoi An
Hoi An does not have an airport, so most visitors come here via Da Nang airport which is 30km away. Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet, Jetstar and Bamboo Airways operate loads of domestic flights coming to Da Nang from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and a few others from Da Lat & Nha Trang. As Da Nang is located in the Central region, those are short-haul flights – about 1,5 hours each.
Some people choose the railway for the experience to get to Hoi An, but not from the major cities like Hanoi or Saigon because it will take more than a day to reach here – pretty tiring. Ideally, board on the train from Hue city (about 3 hours) is a great idea while you can travel through Hai Van pass – an unforgettable sea view from your cabin!
The best time to visit Hoi An
Hoi An (like 2 other nearby tourist destinations – Hue & Da Nang) has 2 main seasons: a dry and a rainy one. The dry season starts from March to September which is sunny and humid. The rainy season from October to February is with a high chance of typhoons and floods in the old town. Consequently, February to May is the best time to visit Hoi An to avoid rain and the summer heat.
Hoi An accommodation
There are also several options for accommodation from the local guesthouses to luxury resorts. Most of them are assembled the authentic Hoi An houses or with boutique style. What you should question is where to stay – near to the old town or on the beach? The distance between the town to Cua Dai or An Bang beach is about 4 – 6 km but it would be a little issue for those who do not fancy walking or riding a bike. Let’s take a look at the following recommendations:
- Near to the old town: Atlas Hotel, Hoi An Central Boutique Hotel & Spa, Little Boutique Hoi An Hotel, La Siesta Resort & Spa, Almanity Wellness Resort, Anantara Resort, etc.
- Near to the beaches: Palm Garden Resort, Boutique Hoi An Resort, Victoria Resort & Spa, Sunrise Premium Resort, etc. In these places, the shuttle bus is normally free offered so that you can easily travel to the town but there is a fixed schedule.
Things to do in Hoi An
Now, you want to know things to do in Hoi An. Below is what you needed
Walk/bike around the walking streets
Cars are never allowed inside the old town area which is just so convenient for the walkers. It is also easy for those who love cycling slowly around. I myself, have been traveling to Hoi An 3 times and each time, I never walked around the ancient streets less than twice.
The streets here filled with tailors, vendors, galleries, boutique restaurants, authentic coffee houses, etc. All are painted in the bright shade of yellow and decorated with multi-colors lanterns. The paperflowers in the summer make Hoi An harmonious in any painting! The words are spread, many more people coming to this small and it gets more crowded every time I come back. So ideally, take a stroll in the early morning where it is still tranquil.
My Son Sanctuary
It is a holy land to recall the Champa people’s glory days dating from the 4th to the 13th century. My Son was an important political center that consists of more than 70 structures devoted to Hindu gods and goddesses. Sadly, the great damage of this complex was made by wars and time. However, as the local authorities have been trying to preserve it, it is able to welcome guests every day and to remind them of the great Angkor Wat of Cambodia.
Visit the countryside
Hoi An has more to offer than just the small area of the walking streets. Some people find it more peaceful to have a day explore the countryside, the fishing villages or the handicraft villages like Tra Que (vegetables & herbs), Kim Bong (carpentry), Thanh Ha (pottery), etc.
Join a cooking class
It is no doubt that gastronomy plays a crucial part in Vietnamese culture and it is praised on many famous travel magazines, by the chef or food experts. You can learn to cook some traditional dishes in many other cities but it is always different in Hoi An. Imagine you board on the sampan boat to the vegetable gardens and the local markets to pick up the fresh ingredients; then come to a local house inside a garden, cook, and enjoy what you just make with a local chef. Red Bridge or Hoi An Waterwheel are two outstanding classes with great staff and great reviews.
Have a tailormade shirt
As a port, Hoi An was welcoming Japanese, Dutch, Chinese and Indian to trade silk. So that somehow relates to the fact that tailor-made clothes in Hoi An have become well-known nowadays with good quality and style made by the skillful tailors. There are plenty of shops in the old streets. You may want to drop by Yaly, Thu Thuy, or A Dong Silk showrooms. You will get a measure and choose the material, colors, type of clothes, come back a couple of times to do the fitting until it is perfect for you. The whole process would take around 1-2 days and cost very reasonable.
Suggested Hoi An tours
Daniel Nguyen – Travel Specialist