Hoi An Ancient Town
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Hoi An Travel Guide

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Meaning “peaceful meeting place”, Hoi An was once an important trading city on Vietnam’s central coast. Traveling to Hoi An is mainly for the well-preserved ancient town which has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Rich in historical buildings, pagodas, and shop houses decorated with colorful paper lanterns, Hoi An Ancient Town is like a film offering a glimpse into the thriving atmosphere and authentic port life in the 18th century. Historically, Hoi An was an intensive haunt of foreign merchants from China, Japan, and European countries, leaving the city a unique cultural fusion.

Don’t like the country’s larger cities full of hustle and bustle, Hoi An is the place to experience the timeless charm, romantic laid-back vibe, and profound history and culture.

Interested in visiting Hoi An? The following Hoi An Travel Guide will help you to find out all the ancient city has to offer.

Hoi An Japanese Covered Bridge
Hoi An Japanese Covered Bridge

Top Things to Do in Hoi An

Wander Around Hoi An Ancient Town

Being mentioned as the best highlight of Hoi An, the UNESCO-listed Hoi An Ancient Town is a top reason many visitors go to the city. It’s an outstanding example of Southeast Asia’s trading port in the 15-19th centuries, housing plenty of cultural heritages, traditional shophouses, ancient architecture, pagodas, etc. Cars and motorbikes are not allowed on some streets in the town, making it more peaceful and walking friendly. Visitors need to spend about 150,000VND (about 6.5 USD) to buy a ticket since it is required to enter some cultural monuments. Some of the top-recommended sightseeing sites in the ancient town include the Japanese Covered Bridge, Museum of History and Folklore, Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall, Chua Ong Pagoda, Phung Hung Ancient House, and Church of the Tran Family.

Hoi An Town Local People
Peaceful Hoi An Ancient Town

Get Close to Local Life at Hoi An Central Market

Visit a market is one of the best ways to see local’s authentic daily life. While in Hoi An, we highly recommend spending a charming morning walking through a host of interesting stalls selling seasonal produce, cooked Vietnamese food, various souvenirs, fresh fruit, vegetables, seafood, etc. Try to be like a local, to communicate, bargain, and choose food from all the groceries.

Visit Hoi An Night Market

Night Market is popular with visitors for a glimpse into Hoi An’s nightlife. Vibrant and brightly lit up by colorful paper lanterns, Hoi An at night becomes more intriguing. The over 50 food vendors selling local cuisines, handicrafts, clothing, and jewelry will offer all travelers lively experiences and a pleasant vibe. The night market will come alive from 4:30 pm every evening and will continue until 10:00 pm. Even if you are not a foodie, still it is worth a visit to capture local life and night views through your lenses.

Ride a Boat along the Thu Bon River

The Thu Bon River is a landmark of Hoi An which is just a stone’s throw away from the Hoi An night market. When traveling in Hoi An, you should not miss a boat ride along the Thu Bon River. It is the best way to relax and admire Hoi An’s poetic scenery, local’s fishing activities, and rustic life. The river is at its most dreamy as the sun sets. Nothing beats the view when the setting sun painted the water and sky into a golden color. Most visitors choose to cruise along the Thu Bon River at sunset to capture the natural beauty.

Hoi An Thu Bon River
Boat trip along Thu Bon River

Discover the 1600-year-old My Son Sanctuary

Another UNESCO World Heritage Site about 40km away from Hoi An, the 1600-year-old My Son Sanctuary will offer you a chance to explore the history and culture of the ancient Champa Kingdom. My Son is often nicknamed “mini Angkor Wat” for housing over 70 ancient temples, statues, and towers that were constructed by Cham people from the 4th to 13th Century. It is worth a visit if you are interested in ancient temples ruins, or Cham culture.

Hoi An Weather: Best Time to Visit Hoi An

Hoi An has a typical tropical climate that can be divided into the dry season (about February to August) and the rainy season (about September to January). And it is warm all year round with the average temperature hovering around 26 degrees Celsius (78.8°F).

The comfortable weather of Hoi An makes it suitable for visiting throughout the year, though most people prefer the period from February to May, which is also the peak season in Hoi An when the city sees less rain and enjoys cool weather, with the average temperature ranging from 18-23 degrees Celsius (64-73.5°F).

July to August is the hottest period in Hoi An with the temperature ranging from 25-35 degrees Celsius (77-95°F), in some days the highest temperature even reach 38℃ (100.4°F). But for people who like water activities and leisure beaches, this is a great time for a beach holiday around Hoi An.

Hoi An Transportation: How to Get to and Get around

How to Get to Hoi An?

By Plane

The fastest and most convenient way is to fly to Da Nang International Airport first, then transfer to Hoi An from the airport. The taxi transfer from Da Nang International Airport to Hoi An will cost at least 15 USD and take about 45 minutes. The shuttle bus is a cheaper alternative, with a cost of about 6 USD for a single trip.

By Bus

Travelers can reach Hoi An by taking luxury sleeper buses from major cities like Ninh Binh, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, and Nha Trang. Since the direct bus lines are limited, you can also take a bus to Da Nang at first, from where take a local bus or taxi to get to Hoi An.

By Train

Getting to Hoi An by train is a viable option for people who are not in a rush. There is no railway station in Hoi An, so you can still take a train to Da Nang Railway Station, and then take a taxi or order a private car to Hoi An.

How to Get around Hoi An?

Hoi An is friendly for a walking tour for the city is small, and most streets in Hoi An Ancient Town ban cars and motorbikes. Also, you can rent a bike or motorbike from your hotel or rental shops to explore the city leisurely and at your own pace. Renting a bike will cost about 1 USD per day, and a motorbike will cost about 5 USD per day.

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