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Things to Do in Hoi An| Hoi An Attractions

Hoi An is a charming city in Vietnam tour. It is known for its rich cultural heritage, picturesque scenery, and mouth-watering cuisine. The town is a popular tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors each year from all over the world.

Whether you're a history buff, a foodie, or a beach lover, there is something for everyone in Hoi An. This article will explore the best things to do in Hoi An and what the city is known for.

Attend Hoi An Lantern Full Moon Festival

Vietnam lanterns

One of the most popular festivals in Hoi An is the Lantern Full Moon Festival. The traditional Vietnamese celebration is held on the 14th day of every lunar month (5th January 2023) in the historic town of Hoi An.

The Chinese community in Hoi An originally celebrated it to honor their ancestors and pray for good luck and prosperity. Over time, the festival evolved to include Vietnamese customs and traditions. And it became the celebration of the full moon and the town’s natural beauty.

During the festival, the city is abundant with colorful lanterns. The lanterns are made from silk and bamboo and come in various colors. And the streets are filled with music, dance, and food vendors. Visitors can participate in multiple activities, like making lanterns, releasing lanterns on the river, and enjoying traditional performances.

One of the main activities is the release of floating lanterns on the Thu Bon River. People write their wishes and prayers on the lanterns and release them into the river, believing their wishes will come true. The floating lanterns create a beautiful spectacle on the water. They symbolize hope and happiness for the people of Hoi An.

Another popular activity is the traditional lion dance. The lion dance is a traditional Vietnamese dance performed to bring good luck and prosperity. The dancers wear lion costumes and perform intricate dance movements to the beat of drums and cymbals.

Some other Vietnam festivals also deserve to attend.

Ancient Town- Get into the Prosperity Period of Hoi An

Hoi An's Ancient Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It's one of the most well-preserved examples of a Southeast Asian trading port from the 15th to the 19th centuries. The town boasts a unique blend of Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese architecture, with narrow streets, ancient houses, temples, and pagodas.

Visitors can explore the town on foot. And take in the sights and sounds of the bustling markets and the local people going about their daily lives.

Hoi An Trading Port- 100-year Vietnam Trading Port

Hoi An's trading port was once a central hub of international trade. It connects Vietnam with China, Japan, and other parts of Southeast Asia.

Today, the port has been preserved as a cultural landmark. Visitors can explore the old warehouses and wharves along the Thu Bon River. The port is also home to the famous Japanese Covered Bridge, symbolizing Hoi An's multicultural history.

The Japanese Covered Bridge

Japanese Covered Bridge

The Japanese Covered Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in Hoi An. The bridge was built in the 16th century by Japanese traders. It was constructed to connect the Japanese community with the Chinese community on the other side of the river.

The bridge was designed uniquely, combining Japanese and Vietnamese architectural styles. The bridge is adorned with intricate carvings and statues. And it's said that rubbing the head of the monkey statue at the entrance brings good luck.

A history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or looking for a beautiful place to take pictures of you? It fits you all. The Japanese Covered Bridge is one of the best places for what to do in Hoi An Vietnam.

The Old House of Tan Ky- Vietnam’s Top Ancient Houses

Kan Ky

The Old House of Tan Ky is one of Hoi An's top ancient houses. The house is located in the heart of the Ancient Town. It was built over 200 years ago during the Japanese occupation of Hoi An.

The name of the house, "Tan Ky," translates to "progress shop". It reflects the owner's hope for a prosperous business. The house has been passed down through seven generations of the same family. The numerous renovations reflect the region's changing architectural styles and cultural influences.

The house perfectly exemplifies a traditional Hoi An merchant's residence. It features a beautiful courtyard, a Japanese-style reception room, and Chinese-style living quarters. Visitors can learn about the history of the house and the daily life of its former owners.

The Hoi An Museum of History and Culture

Style of old Hoi An

The Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in the city's rich history and cultural heritage. The museum showcases artifacts and exhibits from various periods of Hoi An's history. It includes ancient Cham artifacts, pottery, and clothing from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Try the Ao Dai-A traditional Vietnamese Dress

Ao Dai’s performance in Hoi An

Ao Dai is a traditional Vietnamese dress worn by women in Hoi An and throughout the country. It is a long, form-fitting gown with a high collar and long sleeves. The dress is made from lightweight, flowing fabrics like silk or cotton and often comes in bright colors or intricate patterns.

Women often wear Ao Dai during special occasions like weddings or festivals. It symbolizes elegance and beauty in Vietnamese culture and is widely admired for its timeless design. You can attend Hoi An Lantern Full Moon Festival dressing Ao Dai.

In Hoi An, Ao Dai is particularly popular among tourists. They can visit the city's famous tailor shops to have custom dresses made. These shops offer various fabrics and styles, allowing visitors to create a unique dress that fits their taste and preferences.

Visitors can buy the Ao Dai as a Vietnam gift for their family and friends.

Boat Ride along Thu Bon River- Viewing the Scenery

Thu Bon River

The Thu Bon River is a scenic waterway flowing through Hoi An's heart. It is a popular destination for boat tours and sightseeing. The river stretches for over 120 kilometers. It originates in the central highlands of Vietnam before flowing into the South China Sea.

The river was crucial in Hoi An's development as a trading port. It provided a direct route to the sea for merchants traveling from China, Japan, and Southeast Asia.

Today, the Thu Bon River is a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of Hoi An's streets. Visitors can take a leisurely boat ride along the river, admiring the city's ancient architecture and natural beauty.

A boat ride along the Thu Bon River is a relaxing way to take in the scenery of Hoi An. Visitors can hire a traditional wooden boat and cruise along the river. They can admire the lush greenery, quaint fishing villages, and floating lanterns.

Vietnam Beach Resort- Relaxing on Islands and Beaches

Hoi An is also known for its beautiful islands and beach resorts. It is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.

There are many Vietnam Islands in Vietnam. You will be introduced to some in Hoi An below.

The Cham Islands

Cham Islands

The Cham Islands are about 15 km off the coast of Hoi An. It is part of the Cu Lao Cham Marine Park. The Islands are a group of eight small islands located off the coast of Hoi An in central Vietnam.

The Cham islands are a popular tourist destination. It’s known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and diverse marine life.

The islands have several beautiful beaches, including Bai Chong Beach and Bai Ong Beach. They are both known for their soft white sand and clear waters.

Visitors can rent sun loungers and umbrellas and enjoy a day of swimming, sunbathing, and relaxation.

Cua Dai Beach

Stunnig sunset on Cua Dai Beach

Cua Dai Beach is the most famous beach in Hoi An. It is located about 5 km from the ancient town of Hoi An in central Vietnam. And it is easily accessible by car or motorbike. The stunning sunsets there are lovely.

Cua Dai Beach offers something for everyone with its crystal-clear waters, white sand, stunning sunsets, and cultural heritage. Whether you want to swim or relax, Cua Dai Beach will highlight your trip to Vietnam.

Day Trip to My Son – An UNESCO World Heritage Site

My Son

My Son is an ancient temple complex located near the town of Hoi An in central Vietnam. It’s another UNESCO World Heritage site.

The site features a complex of Hindu temples and towers. The Champa Kingdom ruled central Vietnam from the 4th to the 13th centuries. The site is a testament to India's architectural and cultural influence on Southeast Asia.

Visiting My Son is a fascinating glimpse into Vietnam's rich cultural heritage. And it's also an experience of the enduring legacy of the Cham people. It is an hour's drive from Hoi An.

Recommended My Son tour:

8 Days Hanoi, Hoi An, and Saigon Tour

Enjoy the Cuisine Paradise- Must things to Do in Hoi An

Hoi An is also known as a food lover's paradise, with fresh seafood and diverse dishes reflecting the city's multicultural heritage. Some of the must-try dishes include:

Cao Lau- A traditional dish in Hoi An Vietnam

Cao Lau

Cao Lau is a traditional dish. It's widely regarded as one of the most iconic dishes of the central Vietnamese town of Hoi An. It is made with thick rice noodles that are stir-fried with pork slices, crispy rice crackers, and fresh herbs. Its unique blend of locally sourced ingredients, including the alkaline water used to cook the noodles.

Recommended Places:

Ba Be Cao Lau: a family-run restaurant in the heart of the ancient town (over 30 years)

Ms. Vy's Market Restaurant: in the Hoi An Market

Banh Mi- Find the Best Banh Mi in Hoi An

The crusty Banh Mi in Hoi An

Banh Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich that has gained worldwide fame for its unique flavor and texture. This delicious sandwich can be found throughout Vietnam. But it is widely believed that the best Banh Mi can be found in the central Vietnamese town of Hoi An. Banh Mi is made with a crusty baguette filled with various meats, vegetables, and herbs.

Recommended Places

Madam Khanh– The Banh Mi Queen: the best place to try this iconic sandwich in Hoi An (over 25 years)

Banh Mi Phuong: named the best Banh Mi by celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain

Recommended Hoi An Tour

Ancient Town Hoi An Tour

12 Days Vietnam Nature and Culture Tour

Beach Relaxing Tour in Hoi An

20 Days Vietnam Beach Relaxing Tour

Various tours can take visitors to some of the most famous attractions in Hoi An. And here is one route below:

Day 1:

Begin your day by exploring the ancient town of Hoi An. Stroll along the charming streets and admire the Japanese Covered Bridge and the Old House of Tan Ky.

Then, visit the Hoi An Museum of History and Culture. Stop by a local tailor or shoemaker for custom clothes or shoes. Experience Hoi An’ famous skilled tailors and shoemakers. They can create high-quality pieces at a fraction of the cost of similar items in the Western world.

In the evening, attend a cooking class to learn how to make traditional Vietnamese dishes, like pho or spring rolls. Enjoy your creations for dinner.

Day 2:

Take a boat ride along the Thu Bon River around Hoi An. Lush rice paddies, coconut groves, and traditional fishing villages will be seen.

Then visit Tra Que Village. It’s known for its fresh produce and aromatic herbs. Take a guided tour of the farm.

Head to the beach in the afternoon for relaxation in the sun. Cua Dai Beach and An Bang Beach are both popular options.

In the evening, head to the Lantern Full Moon Festival.

Day 3:

Take a day trip to the nearby My Son Sanctuary. End your day with a sunset river cruise along the Thu Bon River. Enjoy the serene scenery and watch the sun dip below the horizon.


Hoi An is a city that offers a rich and diverse cultural experience. You can experience from its ancient history and architecture to its stunning beaches and mouth-watering cuisine. Whether you're interested in history, nature, or food, there is something for everyone in Hoi An.

What’s more, contact us at Indochina Tour. We will tailor your perfect Hoi An tour and realize all things to do in Hoi An that you have planned.

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