20 Things To Do In Hoi An

Things To Do In Hoi An

Welcome to Hoi An, a city that seamlessly blends historical charm with cultural vibrancy, tucked away on the central Vietnamese coast. Whether you’re a history buff, foodie, or outdoor enthusiast, Hoi An offers a myriad of activities to satisfy your wanderlust. With its stunning UNESCO-listed Ancient Town, serene beaches, and lush countryside, exploring Hoi An is like stepping into a living postcard. In this blog post, we delve into the top things to do in Hoi An, providing you with a curated list of experiences that promise to make your visit truly unforgettable.

Things To Do In Hoi An

  1. Explore the Ancient Town

The heart of Hoi An is its Ancient Town, a beautifully preserved area that tells tales of centuries past. Stroll through narrow lanes lined with historic homes, quaint cafes, and bustling markets. Highlights include the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge and the vibrant lantern market. Take a guided walking tour to learn about the town’s rich history and architecture. This experience is not just a walk but a journey back in time.

  1. Take a Cooking Class

Vietnamese cuisine is celebrated worldwide for its freshness and complexity, and Hoi An is the perfect place to learn how to make these delicious dishes yourself. Join a cooking class where local chefs will teach you to prepare traditional Vietnamese recipes. Classes often start with a trip to the market to select fresh ingredients, followed by hands-on lessons where you’ll cook dishes like Banh Xeo (crispy pancakes) and Pho. It’s a tasty way to connect with the culture.

  1. Visit An Bang Beach

Just a short bike ride from the city center lies An Bang Beach, a serene getaway from the bustle of the town. Here, you can relax on white sandy beaches, swim in the clear blue waters, or indulge in fresh seafood at a beachside restaurant. An Bang is less crowded than other beaches, offering a peaceful retreat with ample amenities like loungers and umbrellas for rent. It’s the perfect spot for a day of sun and sea.

  1. Attend the Lantern Festival

Hoi An is famous for its monthly Lantern Festival, an enchanting evening where the town turns off its street lights and the river comes alive with floating lanterns. This magical tradition is best experienced by taking a sampan ride down the Thu Bon River, where you can release your own lantern and make a wish. The festival also features folk music, dance performances, and street food vendors, creating a lively cultural feast for the senses.

  1. Explore the Tra Que Vegetable Village

For a unique cultural experience, visit Tra Que Vegetable Village, where you can see how local farmers grow a variety of herbs and vegetables using traditional methods. Participate in farming activities to get a real feel for rural Vietnamese life. The village is also a great place to enjoy a farm-to-table meal, where every dish is made with ingredients sourced directly from the gardens you just walked through.

  1. Cycle Around the Countryside

Venture outside the town to explore the lush countryside of Hoi An on a bicycle. This eco-friendly activity allows you to visit rural villages, picturesque rice paddies, and riverside locales at a leisurely pace. Many tours offer guided cycling trips that include stops at local artisan workshops where you can observe traditional crafts like pottery and mat weaving. It’s a refreshing way to see the natural beauty and everyday life of the Vietnamese countryside.

  1. Shop at Hoi An Night Market

Located on Nguyen Hoang Street, the Hoi An Night Market is a vibrant spectacle of colors, aromas, and sounds. This bustling market is home to over 50 vendors selling a variety of local snacks, handicrafts, and souvenirs. It’s an ideal place to find hand-made lanterns, intricate jewelry, and bespoke tailoring. Don’t forget to haggle to get the best price, and try some local street food delicacies like skewered meats and sweet desserts.

  1. Take a River Cruise on the Thu Bon River

A river cruise on the Thu Bon River offers a different perspective of Hoi An. As you glide along the water, enjoy views of the historical architecture and the daily activities of local fisherman. Sunset cruises are particularly popular, as the sky and river turn into a canvas of stunning colors. Some cruises include dinner and live music, making for a romantic or relaxing evening.

  1. Discover My Son Sanctuary

A day trip to My Son Sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in a lush valley about an hour’s drive from Hoi An, is a must for history enthusiasts. This ancient Hindu sanctuary dates back to the Cham civilization and consists of several temple structures in various states of ruin. Tours often include a guide who will explain the history and significance of the site, which enhances the visit substantially.

  1. Enjoy Traditional Performances

Immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture with a night of traditional performances. Hoi An offers a variety of shows where you can see folk dancing, hear classical Vietnamese music, and watch theatrical performances that depict local legends and stories. The Lune Performing Center is one notable venue where you can experience spectacular productions that combine contemporary and traditional art forms in an intimate setting.

  1. Explore the Hoi An Silk Village

Visit the Hoi An Silk Village to discover the ancient art of silk weaving, which is an integral part of local heritage. This village functions as both a museum and a marketplace where you can learn about the silk-making process, from silkworm breeding to the final weaving stage. Participate in a workshop to try your hand at silk weaving, and don’t miss the opportunity to purchase some of the finest silk products directly from the artisans.

  1. Experience the Hoi An Memories Show

The Hoi An Memories Show is a breathtaking outdoor performance that brings 400 years of Hoi An history to life. Held in an open-air theater that uses the actual night sky as its backdrop, the show features a cast of nearly 500 performers in elaborate costumes, with stunning visuals and sound effects. This spectacular display is a cultural journey through time and a must-see for any visitor to Hoi An.

  1. Visit the Assembly Halls

Explore the historical assembly halls in Hoi An, originally built by Chinese immigrants. Each hall is dedicated to a different Chinese clan and deity, and they serve as striking examples of Chinese architecture and cultural influence in Vietnam. The Phuc Kien and Cantonese Assembly Halls are particularly famous for their intricate woodwork and beautiful courtyards filled with bonsai trees and incense.

  1. Take a Photography Tour

Hoi An’s exceptional beauty makes it a perfect location for photography enthusiasts. Join a photography tour early in the morning or late in the afternoon to capture the golden light. These tours guide you through picturesque spots in and around the town, helping you to photograph iconic sights and hidden gems. It’s not only a chance to improve your photography skills but also a unique way to see the city through a different lens.

  1. Relax at a Spa

After a day of exploring, unwind at one of Hoi An’s luxurious spas. Choose from a range of treatments such as traditional massages, herbal baths, and beauty therapies using local ingredients like coconut and jasmine. Many spas are set in tranquil settings, ensuring that you feel rejuvenated both in mind and body.

  1. Participate in a Lantern Making Workshop

Lantern making is one of Hoi An’s most cherished traditions. Participate in a workshop where local artisans will teach you how to craft these beautiful silk and bamboo lanterns. This hands-on activity not only allows you to create a personalized souvenir but also supports local craftspeople. Workshops typically conclude with you lighting your lantern, adding a touch of magic to your creation.

  1. Visit the Central Market

Hoi An’s Central Market is a vibrant hub of activity and commerce, located on the banks of the Thu Bon River. This bustling marketplace is where locals shop for everything from fresh produce and spices to seafood and textiles. It’s a fantastic place to experience the local lifestyle, try some traditional street food, and pick up some unique spices and souvenirs to take home.

  1. Go on an Eco Tour

Hoi An offers several eco-tours that allow you to explore the area’s natural beauty while promoting environmental sustainability. Options include kayaking through mangrove forests, visiting a butterfly park, or cycling through rice paddies. These tours not only provide a deeper understanding of the local ecosystem but also highlight the importance of preserving it.

  1. Sample the Nightlife at An Hoi Islet

Cross the bridge from the Ancient Town to An Hoi Islet, which becomes a lively spot as the sun sets. The area is filled with bars, cafes, and bistros, each offering a view of the night-lit Ancient Town across the river. Enjoy a cocktail or a local beer, soak up the vibrant atmosphere, and listen to live music performances.

  1. Attend a Leather Workshop

Hoi An is known for its skilled leatherworkers and high-quality leather goods. Participate in a leather workshop where you can design and create your own leather products, such as wallets, belts, or bags. These workshops provide a unique opportunity to learn a traditional craft and take home a handmade, practical reminder of your visit.


From crafting your own silk lantern to exploring ancient ruins and indulging in local culinary delights, Hoi An is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered. Each activity offers a unique way to connect with the rich tapestry of history and culture that defines this enchanting city. Whether you’re wandering through bustling markets, taking part in traditional workshops, or simply soaking in the natural beauty, the variety of things to do in Hoi An ensures that every traveler will leave with their heart full and memories to last a lifetime. So pack your bags and prepare for an adventure that will take you beyond the guidebooks into the very soul of Central Vietnam.

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