How to Plan a Hoi An Trip

Last Updated: January 09,2019

Dating from 15th century to 19th century, Hoi An is certainly an amazing tourist place and an exceptional example of a Southeast Asian port. Looking forward to planning your trip for this vacation? Well, you have come to the right place. As this guide talks about the attractions, bars, food, special things, and tourist staying hotels at Hoi An, let's get straight to the point. Follow this step-by-step guide to planning a trip to Hoi An Town and learn more about this amazing place. 

Why visit Hoi An

Hoi a Town is a peaceful city with vast tourism places. Unlike Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An isn't congested and comes with its own charm – truly complementing the beauty of Vietnam. The best yet unique ancient places, restaurants, rice paddies, hip-looking coffee-shops, and souvenir shops of this UNESCO World Heritage Former trading village ensures quality time spent on your vacation. 

  • The Old Town Charms

As discussed earlier, Hoi An was the UNESCO World Heritage Former trading village in the 16th and 17th centuries. It was the busiest city in Vietnam. Today, this ancient city is filled with enchanting, mysterious streetscape of Vietnamese, Japanese, and Chinese houses. Majority of the streets in Hoi An have a unique signature and are painted mango-yellow. Every night comes with a lot of fun, outdoor activities, and beautiful lanterns hung along the mango-yellow streets. Sounds fascinating, right? In addition, the river life of this beautiful city of Vietnam is marvelous.

  • It is a great place to get tailormade clothes

When it comes to crafts, custom-made clothes, and traditional items, nothing can beat Hoi An town in Vietnam. You will find hundreds of tailors along the streets making handbags, clothes, shoes, and other crafts. If you're looking forward to bringing back some gifts for your loved ones, these Vietnamese tailored products can be an ideal choice. These custom-made products are certainly top-notch, high quality, and easy combats the western standards. Also, you can easily get them within a short time. 

  • Nearby beaches

Though Hoi An is famous for its crafts and trading, there are also two well-managed beaches to spend quality time. The An Bang Beach is located 3 Kilometers to the north of the city and the Cua Dai Beach is located 5 Kilometers to East of the city. You can easily hope on a cycle or bike to spend the evening in either of the beaches.

  • Street food

Almost all cities of Vietnam are famous for their delicious yet affordable street food – and Hoi An Town is not an exception. There are many local specialties available in Hoi An including Cao Lau and white rose dumplings. These dishes are thick noodles that come with mint and pork. 

Is Hoi An safe?

Though Vietnam is one of the safest towns in Vietnam, it is still not recommended to go out late at night. There are several stories of pickpockets, bag-snatching, and personal attacks on women after midnight. Therefore, if you are traveling alone, make sure to get back to the hotel before midnight. In addition, there are some areas that go off at 9:00-10PM. In such situations, taking a taxi is the best option rather than walking to the hotel. Vietnam Government is trying its best to exclude all such activities and things have been better for a while now. 

Hoi An Weather

Typically, Hoi An has two primary seasons i.e. rainy and dry. The raining season ranges from October to February and dry seasons ranges from March to September. When it comes to humidity and temperature, the best time to visit Hoi An is from February to April as the weather is pleasant in these months. After April, the temperature starts rising that even the locals often complete their work early in the morning. 

Things to do in Hoi An

Still concerned about what things to do in Hoi An? Worry no more, because Hoi An Town has a lot of things for you. From wandering around rice paddies to enjoying the street food to spending quality time at the beach, everything is worth giving a shot. One cannot be disappointed by Hoi An's amazing delights. 

Top recommendation:

  • Stroll around Hoi An old town

As the name suggests, Hoi An old town is known for its ancient structure. The colorful lights at night turn this simple town into a magical yet romantic place. You can find several restaurants and eateries at the Hoi An old town representing delicious food – ranging from fusion to Vietnamese traditional food. 

  • Sunbathe on An Bang beach

Cua Dai is the most visited place by tourists in Hoi An town. However, if you're looking forward to a peaceful place to spend quality time with your loved ones, the An Band Beach is the best choice. The sunset away from the crowd of other tourists looks amazing. Although, both beaches stretch with beautiful white sand and beachside eateries. To be honest, Hoi An beaches are the best place to meditate in the evening and spend romantic time with your other half.  

  • Shop for a Custom-Made Suit or Dress

As mentioned above, Hoi An is filled with hundreds of tailors across the streets tailoring shirts, suit, dresses, shoes, and handbags. You can take the best quality travel clothes or outfits for your way back home. The upmarket options have some high-grade suits at affordable rates. Moreover, you can get the ordered items within a couple of hours or maximum a day.

Other Places You May be Interested While Staying in Hoi An includes 

•Explore the Paddy Fields & the Countryside

•Take a Day Trip from Hoi An to Danang

•Follow a cooking class in Hoi An

•Explore the nightlife in Hoi An

•See the Japanese Bridge

•Take a day trip to the My Son ruins

•Go for a stroll to the Lantern Market

•Sip Egg Coffee

Transportation in Hoi An

Get to Hoi An

You can either use the plane, train, or automobile to get to Hoi An Town. Being one of the best tourism countries, Vietnam has amazing transport to all its cities. Visitors can easily get to Hoi An by flying to the Danang Airport. The next distance can be covered by a taxi or private airport transfer that will hardly take $25. Moreover, you can also use the train to get around other cities in Vietnam. 

Getting around Hoi An

Hoi An is the best place for people looking for a peaceful trip. This is because Hoi An is quieter, smaller, and easy to navigate than most cities of Vietnam. In addition, Hoi An town is closed for the traffic for a few hours each day. 

During the research, you may have also found that Vietnam is filled with utmost traffic, especially motorcycles. Worry no more, because you don't have to worry about being taken out by any vehicles. Furthermore, tourists can also rent the push bikes to wander around the beautiful UNESCO Heritage Town. Push bikes can rent out from hotels at about 30,000 VND/day. 

On the other hand, the cycle is also a great gateway to get around Hoi An within a short budget. Make sure to finalize the price or rent per day before taking a ride. Vietnamese are generally polite, and the majority of the drivers can act as a tour guide while giving you a tour on their ride. Each seat of the cycle can accommodate two people and comes at 25,000 VND per kilometer.

If you are looking forward to exploring the outskirts of the Hoi An town, you can also rent the motorbike taxis or regular taxis. You can easily rent a motorbike at 100,000 VND per day – make sure to wear a helmet while riding around the town.

Where to Stay in Hoi An

There are a variety of Hoi An hotels available at both beachside and town. You can determine your interests according to your trip plan. Typically, people who are interested in exploring the ancient town Hoi An, then renting a hotel in the town is the best choice. You can also visit the Tan An nearby the old town, however, you must use a bicycle, taxi, or motorbike to avoid a lot of walks. Note that rental taxis, cycles, and motorbikes are available at most Hoi An Hotels. Another beautiful place near old town includes Cam Nam, but again, using a bicycle to get there would be a perfect choice. Hoi An town features a beautiful nightlife during the lantern festival. 

If you are most likely to spend most of the time at the beach and visit the ancient town once or twice, then An Bang Beach is certainly the best choice. However, you must use a taxi to get to the ancient town from the beach. Note that there are many luxury hotels and resorts at the beach and you have a vast choice to select the one that suits your budget. 

What to eat in Hoi An

  • Cao lao

It is the Hoi An's specialty. Cao Lao are yellow thick noodles served with beans sprouts, pork, crunchy rice crackers, raw greens, and a delicious dark pork broth. 

  • Mi Quang

The special Mi Quang are thick rice noodles that are deliciously fluffy, soft, chew, and slippery all at the same time. It is topped with amazing roasted pork, herbs, fresh lettuce, crunchy rice crackers, and a little bit small broth. The best thing about Mi Quang is the quail boiled eggs, small fired river shrimp, and peanuts – certainly a must-have dish when visiting Hoi An town.  

  • Banh vac

They are steamed rose white dumplings with shrimp meat in the center. There are unique folds around the rice flour dumplings that makes it look like a flower. 

  • Banh xeo

A fried rice flour pancake that is crispy, delicious, and amazingly served with shrimp. Fatty pork, bean sprouts, diced green onion, and turmeric powder. 

  • Com ga

The special chicken rice of Hoi An town cooked in flavored chicken and stuffed with thin onion slices, herbs, shredded chicken, and a broth bowl. You can also add chili, lime, and spices per your taste buds to enjoy an unmatched dish.  

  • Banh Mi

A combination of Vietnamese and French dishes. Banh Mi is typically a baguette with a special selection of barbecue pork, pickled vegetables, cold cuts, pate, mayonnaise, and chili sauce. 

What to wear

The weather of Vietnam is often warm/hot and pleasant throughout the year. Therefore, it is recommended to wear summer dresses like t-shirts, tanks, and shorts. But keep in mind that if you are willing to visit the religious temples and mausoleum, wearing shirts with low neckline would not be a good choice. The best choice to wear in Hoi An is knee-length pants and high neckline shorts.

On the other hand, if you are traveling to Hoi An in the rainy season, make sure to take a light jacket or sweater; you may also need a sweater in air-conditioned hotels.

Shopping in Hoi An

Hoi An is known as one of the biggest Southeast Asia's trading post. It is a paradise for both buyers and sellers and is always filled with tourists throughout the year. There are many new markets opened showcasing artistic handicrafts for the continuous flow of tourists. With the ever-evolving tourism, the contemporary creativity and ancient handcrafts are being sold in the Hoi An markets.

When it comes to the Hoi a specialty, the hundreds of tailors available at the Hoi An street offers several hand made products. The tailored suits, handbags, shoes, and other crafts are of western standards. There are many boutiques to order custom-made suits for your loved ones at home.  

Cost and price in Hoi An

Hoi An town is filled with cheap as well as luxury hotels. A cheap hotel in Hoi An can be rent for about 160,000 VND. However, it is recommended to rent a normal hotel room for 200,000-300,000 VND per bed. Going for an extremely cheap hotel may result in poor services, electricity problems and other hidden charges. Hoi An hotels follow the great standard. This can be justified by saying that even a 1-star hotel room will have a fridge, cable TV, air-conditioner. and Wi-Fi. Sounds marvelous, right? 

About the food, you can enjoy a delicious meal at 15,000 VND from food street and 30,000 from restaurants. When it comes to beverages, a beer comes at about 15,000 VND while the wine is expensive. Renting a hotel in the central Hoi An will have everything at the walking distance including food street, tailored shops, and other necessities. 

Nightlife in Hoi An

Most of the nightlife in Hoi An is associated with the riverside and the ancient town featuring artistic lounges, live music & performances, bars, trendy bistros, cafes, and more. Don't worry, all these facilities are available at a walking distance from the center of Hoi An. The central of Hoi An town enjoys a great nightlife until 3:00 am. Make sure to stay connected with your fellow tourists or you can also hang out with the Hoi An locals. Trust me, the Hoi An locals can never be polite enough. 

Featuring the cheapest beer in Vietnam, the pubs and bars offer delicious craft beers. You may also find international DJs performances and live music. 

Have a good journey!

Also read

How to plan your first time travel to Vietnam

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