Top Attractions in Hoi An

Hoi An is brimming with cultural heritage and picturesque landscapes. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the top attractions in Hoi An you shouldn’t miss during your visit, complete with historical background, attraction highlights, best visiting times, costs, and exploration tips.

An Old Town Entry at Hoi An

Hoi An Ancient Town

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hoi An Ancient Town dates back to the 15th century when it was a bustling international trading port, drawing merchants from Japan, China, and Europe. Its rich history reflects in its well-preserved architecture and street layouts, which have remained largely unchanged for centuries.

Wander through its well-preserved streets adorned with ancient houses, pagodas, and wooden shop houses. Key sites include the Japanese Covered Bridge, Tan Ky Old House, and Phuc Kien Assembly Hall. The town’s architecture showcases a unique blend of different cultural influences, making it a fascinating place to explore.

Tips to Visit:

Early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds and heat. Evenings are also magical, especially during the Full Moon Lantern Festival when the town is illuminating with thousands of colorful lanterns. Entry tickets cost around $6, allowing access to five heritage sites within the town.

Best Way to Explore: On foot or by bicycle, to truly immerse in the town’s historic charm. Guided tours are also available for a more in-depth understanding of the town’s history and culture.

Hoi An’s Ancient Town is lit by lanterns at night © James Pham / Lonely Planet

Japanese Covered Bridge

Built in the 16th century, this iconic bridge was constructed by the Japanese community in Hoi An as a way to reach the Chinese quarter across the water. The bridge is a symbol of Hoi An and famous for its unique architectural style that combines Japanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese elements.

The bridge’s stunning architectural blend of Japanese and Vietnamese styles is a major draw. Inside, you’ll find a small temple dedicated to the Taoist god of weather. Currently, the bridge is undergoing renovations, but it still holds immense historical and cultural significance.

Tips to Visit:

Best time is evening when the bridge is beautifully illuminated, though daytime visits offer the chance to see its intricate details more clearly.

Best Way to Explore: On foot, ensuring you capture the intricate details and the serene views. Despite the ongoing renovations, the surrounding area offers plenty of photographic opportunities.

Japanese Covered Bridge in Day Time

Hoi An Night Market

This vibrant market comes alive every evening along the Thu Bon River, showcasing Hoi An’s lively nightlife. It’s a hub of activity where locals and tourists come together to enjoy the bustling atmosphere.

A myriad of stalls selling souvenirs, street food, and traditional lanterns. The market is a sensory delight with its colorful displays and enticing aromas. Popular items include handmade jewelry, clothing, and Hoi An’s signature silk lanterns. Street food stalls offer a variety of local delicacies such as banh mi, pho, and sweet desserts.

Tips to Visit:

Best time to explore is after sunset, around 6 PM, when the market is in full swing and it is free to explore.

Best Way to Explore: Leisurely stroll to soak in the atmosphere and enjoy the food. Prepare to haggle for the best prices on souvenirs.

Walking inside The Old Town Night Market

Tra Que Vegetable Village

This organic vegetable farm has been a crucial part of Hoi An’s culture for centuries, known for its fresh produce. The village provides a glimpse into traditional Vietnamese farming practices that have been passed down through generations.

Engage in hands-on farming activities, cooking classes, and enjoy a therapeutic herbal massage. Learn about the various herbs and vegetables grown here, and how they are used in Vietnamese cuisine. The village is also known for its peaceful ambiance and picturesque scenery.

Tips to Visit:

Morning is the best time to participate in farming activities and enjoy the cool weather. Prices for activities vary and guided tours are available.

Best Way to Explore: By bicycle, allowing you to enjoy the scenic countryside and visit the farms at your own pace.

A view inside Tra Que vegetable village

An Bang Beach

A popular beach destination located just a few kilometers from Hoi An’s ancient town, An Bang Beach offers a serene escape from the bustling town center.

Pristine sandy beaches, clear waters, and a relaxed atmosphere. Ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying fresh seafood at the beachfront restaurants. Water sports such as paddle boarding and jet skiing are also available. The beach is in line with numerous cafes and bars, offering a variety of dining options.

Tips to Visit:

Early morning or late afternoon is ideal for the beach to avoid the midday sun and enjoy the cooler temperatures.

Best Way to Explore: By bicycle, motorbike or car. It’s a short and scenic ride from the town center, and parking is usually available near the beach.

An Bang Beach in Hoi An

Thanh Ha Pottery Village

Established in the 15th century, this village’s attraction is its traditional pottery techniques. The village has been producing high-quality ceramics for centuries and is an integral part of Hoi An’s cultural heritage.

Watch artisans at work and try your hand at pottery. The village offers a unique glimpse into the craft that has been passed down through generations. You can also visit the Terracotta Park, which showcases miniature versions of famous structures from around the world.

Tips to Visit:

Morning is the time when the workshops are most active. Entry fee varies as pottery classes have additional costs.

Best Way to Explore: By bicycle, providing a relaxed journey through the village and allowing you to stop and explore at your leisure.

A Pottery in Thanh Ha

Cam Kim Island

Known for its traditional carpentry and boat building, Cam Kim Island is a tranquil escape from the main town, offering insights into rural Vietnamese life.

Explore local workshops, experience bamboo boat rides, and interact with local craftsmen. The island is also home to beautiful countryside landscapes and traditional Vietnamese homes. Cycling around the island is a popular activity, offering scenic views and opportunities to engage with the local community.

Tips to Visit:

Morning or late afternoon is recommended to avoid the heat and enjoy the peaceful ambiance. Depending on activities and tours; bamboo boat rides and carpentry workshops typically have fees.

Best Way to Explore: Bicycle or guided tour. The island is easily accessible by ferry, and a guided tour can provide deeper insights into its history and culture.

A Boat Builder in Cam Kim

Hoi An Museum

Also known as the Museum of History and Culture, it offers insights into Hoi An’s rich history. The museum’s exhibits span several centuries, covering various aspects of Hoi An’s development and cultural heritage.

Exhibits include ancient ceramics, historical artifacts, and traditional costumes. The museum is in an old colonial building, adding to its charm. It provides a comprehensive overview of Hoi An’s history, from its early days as a trading port to its modern status as a tourist destination.

Tips to Visit:

Anytime during opening hours, though mornings are preferable to avoid the afternoon heat. Entrance fees is included in the Hoi An Ancient Town ticket.

Best Way to Explore: On foot, allowing time to absorb the historical exhibits and learn about the town’s rich cultural heritage.

Hoi An Museum

Hoi An is a treasure trove of historical and cultural attractions, offering a unique blend of ancient charm and vibrant local life. Plan your visit to coincide with local festivals and events, such as the Full Moon Lantern Festival, to witness the town at its most magical. For more insights on the local cuisine and weather, check out our other articles like “Vietnam Nowadays” and “Annual Weather in Hoi An”.

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