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Hoi An, Vietnam

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HOIAN 

things to do
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1. Explore Old Town

Spend hours walking along the riverbank, meandering past charming lantern-lit streets, old yellow homes and bright ornately-decorated temples. There's a story at every corner. Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and this ancient town is the main reason for it. Many of the Chinese, Japanese, and French style buildings date back hundreds of years.

Tickets

Tickets

120,000 VND (around 5 USD) to enter 5 sites of your choice

with the Hoi An Old Town ticket

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2. Japanese Bridge

This charming pedestrian bridge is most it's beautiful by night when set aglow with red lanterns reflecting off the water below. The iconic bridge was built in the 16th century to connect the Japanese and Chinese communities in the area and has since been restored. You'll want to visit at night and also earlier in the morning to view its beautiful architectural details up close.

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3. Hoi An Night Market

Across the bridge, hundreds of colorful lanterns mark the way to the Hoi An Night Market. This market runs every night from 5 PM to 10 PM and is famous for its food stalls and souvenir shops. The market is a great place to try some local street food such as Banh Xeo pancakes. As you walk through the market, you'll be met with the aroma of grilled meat, fresh seafood, and the flashing lights of the vendors.

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Tip:

Visit the market after 8 PM when the crowds begin to die down.

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4. Hoi An Lantern Festival

Once a month, Old Town becomes studded with thousands of glowing lanterns, turning the Thu Bon River into a beautiful, starry sky. Even though the Lantern Festival brings more crowds to Old Town, the experience is close to magic. Wishing on a floating lantern is one of the best memories you can make in Hoi An. The Lantern Festival takes place on the 14th day of each lunar month with traditional music, dance performances, and the release of paper lanterns.

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5. Hoi An Free Bike Tour

Bike through the countryside past rice fields and local villages. See a different side of Hoi An and learn about the culture of the area. Learn how to make rice paper noodles, weave sleeping mats, and meet some of Hoi An's amazing local artists. Tours are led by Vietnamese university students practicing English and can be booked here. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water.

Tickets

Tickets

are free but a donation is expected to thank the local community.

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6. Quan Cong Pagoda Temple

Contrasting Hoi An's typical yellow buildings, Quan Cong Pagoda Temple is a riotous pink, ornately decorated with red and gold. This temple was built in the 17th century to honor a Chinese general; it's colors reflect its Chinese style. Inside the courtyard, you'll find a peaceful and tranquil garden along with a mix of locals and tourists as diverse as Hoi an itself.

Tickets

Tickets:

120,000 VND (around 5 USD) to enter the temple and 4 other sites of your choice with the Hoi An Old Town ticket

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7. Hoi An Market

Open from early morning until late at night, this market (Chợ Hội An) is at the center of Hoi An's energetic local life. The vibrant colors, honking motorbikes, and buzzing market crowds are a must-see. Inside the market, dine with the locals and get to know more of Hoi An, or explore the bright array of vegetables and fruit outside, sprawling onto the streets and lining the Thu Bon River.

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8. Reaching Out Teahouse

Run by men and women who suffer from hearing and speech impairments, this charming teahouse is a peaceful and serene spot tucked within the colorfuls streets of Hoi An. Sipping on a warm cup of tea or coffee, trying a delicious biscuit, and taking in the beauty of the surroundings is a must-do. In the teahouse, silence is respected and all orders are placed with speech cubes. Not only will you find a moment of peace, but it's a wonderful way to have a positive impact.

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Socially Responsible Travel:

Make sure to be respectful of local rules and customs.

Reaching Out Teahouse has a "no talking" rule.

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9. Ba Mu Temple Gates (Tam Quan)

The Ba Mu Temple Gates were part of a larger temple that no longer exists, but their beauty remains. Built in 1626, they are made of bricks and have been preserved for more than 500 years. You can still see the intricate carvings, and the gates have become a significant landmark in Hoi An.

Tickets

Tickets:

120,000 VND (around 5 USD) to enter the temple and 4 other sites of your choice with the Hoi An Old Town ticket

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10.  Hoi An, the Banh Mi Capital of Vietnam

Vietnam is famous for Bánh Mì, and Hoi An is its Bánh Mì capital. In Old Town, you can find a Bánh Mì shop on almost every street corner, but one of the most famous is Bánh Mì Phượng. They have their own take on this traditional Vietnamese sandwich made with French bread, meat, pathé, cucumber, coriander, chili, and mayonaise.

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Tip:

Vegetarian or vegan? There's a vegan Banh Mi stall right next door.

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11. Coffee Tasting

Vietnam is known for its delicious coffee and Hoi An is no different. There are plenty of charming coffee shops in Old Town to keep you busy, some with rooftop seating looking out onto the river and beautifully-lit streets, such as Faifo Coffee. Make sure to try phin coffee, a traditional Vietnamese style of brewing.

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These are some of our favorite coffee shops to try in Hoi An:

  • The Espresso Station

  • Faifo Coffee

  • Phin Coffee 

  • Hoi An Roastery

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Tip:

You have to try The Espresso Station's OH-SO-GOOD espresso ice served with warm milk! ðŸ˜

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12.  Lantern Making Class

Hoi An is known for its colorful lanterns that give Old Town its charming and romantic feel. At this lantern making class, learn how to make lanterns from a family that's been preserving this traditional art for generations. It's a perfect souvenir to take home to remember Hoi An's beautifully-lit streets.

Tickets

Tickets:

200,000 to 300,000 VND (around 8 to 12 USD)

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13.  Day Trips - Da Nang's Dragon Bridge and Ba Na Hills

Just 30 minutes from Hoi An, is the large and developed city of Da Nang, known for its famous Dragon Bridge and some of the best beaches in Vietnam. Visit on a Saturday or Sunday to see the 9pm Dragon Bridge fire show. On your way to Da Nang, stop by the Lady Buddha and Marble Mountains for picturesque views over the city.

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Imagine riding a cable car above Vietnam's lush, green hills when a French village appears through the mist. That's Ba Na Hills, a surreal amusement park perched high above Da Nang's coast. If you want to photograph the iconic Golden Bridge, you'll want to arrive by 7am when gates open; it's about a forty-five minute drive from Hoi An.

Tickets

Tickets:

900,000 VND (around 37 USD)

14.  Precious Art Gallery

Visit the gallery of photographer Rehahn, whose focus is preserving the culture and history of Vietnam's ethnic tribes. Over 8 years, Rehahn photographed and documented 51 out of Vietnam's 54 remaining ethnic tribes. Available to see are his photographs of the tribes paired with their traditional costumes to provide real insight into this important part of Vietnam's culture.

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15.  Memories Show

Hoi An's Memories Show is a performance by 500 actors and dancers, telling a story of 400 years of Vietnamese history, reflecting on the cultural influences of Hoi An. The show has been compared to an Olympic Games opening ceremony and is one of the biggest performances in Vietnam. Performances begin at 7:30pm on an island in the Thu Bon River on the same side as the Hoi An Night Market. Tickets start at around 24 USD.

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Tip:

Sadly, professional cameras aren't allowed during the Memories Show.

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16.  Cao Lao Noodles

Cao Lao noodles are a fusion of Japanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese cuisine, reflecting the cultural influences of Hoi An. Much like Hoi An itself, Cao Lao noodles are a unique blend of flavors only found in Hoi An. Delicious and homey, these hand-pulled noodles are made from a special blend of rice, giving them a unique texture, and they are topped with slices of roasted pork, fresh herbs, and crispy crackers.

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You have to try the Cao Lao noodles from this spot😍

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