There is more than just the old town to explore in Hoi An, Vietnam. Here's the 9 things to do to discover the ancient town like locals. Save & share now!
How to make your stay truly worthwhile
Visit the Old Town
No visitor of Hoi An skips this part, which is the reason why Hoi An is now a UNESCO Heritage site. Admire the ancient houses that line the streets while rickshaw riders ride past. You might even see older women in their traditional form – balancing a variety of baskets over their shoulders. Here you will also see the Japanese covered bridge, one of the most photographed bridges in Asia. Spot silversmiths, coffee shops and a touch of modernity – designer boutiques, art galleries and cafes.
Have an outfit tailored
Tailors are aplenty in Hoi An, and they do it for very competitive prices. You can choose to make yourself a work suit or even a wedding dress! They can produce a fine piece of clothing for you in a matter of hours.
Learn new cooking skills
Hoi An has many names and one of them is ‘the food capital of Vietnam’. Many visitors enrol in cooking classes to bring home priceless recipes of Vietnamese food. The day-long ones include a local market tour, a rice paddy cycle or a boat trip and culminate with a hands-on cooking lesson. If you can’t afford the time, 1-2 hour evening classes are also available.
Tour the rice fields
Hoi An is surrounded by beauty – the vegetable gardens of Tra Que, the ancient sites and shipbuilding yards at Cam Kim and the friendly villages all around. The best way to discover them is to grab a bicycle and cycle aimlessly through fields of brilliant green while you spot local farmers collecting their harvest. You can also join bike tours for this adventure to get some company.
Chill at the beach
Take it easy and savour moments with sand under your toes. It’s not a bad idea to spend a lazy afternoon at one of Hoi An's beaches. Cua Dai is popular (read crowded) so you might want to wander off elsewhere for a more tranquil time. Travel to An Bang and Hidden Beach which also offer food, drinks and massage.
Go on a street food tour
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Treat yourself to Vietnam’s scrumptious delights right there on the streets. A good place to start would be at the Central Market. Cao lao, mi quang, banh xeo, Banh vac Com ga and Bahn Mi are just a few to start with!
Head to the markets
Shop like the locals do at Ba Le and Tiger Market, which are best for fresh food. Hoi An has a night market that is good for souvenir-shopping. There are plenty of bars and restaurants nearby that are good places to end your night.
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Take a boat to Cham Island and you won’t regret it. You can explore the pretty markets and pagodas, hang out with local fishermen and sample amazing Vietnamese dishes with the welcoming family of a homestay. You can even go on snorkelling trips to see the coral reef around the Island. There are diving tours available that include BBQ lunches on the beach. Time to soak in the sun!
Visit Nipa Palms
A magical journey through the dense foliage on a kayak awaits you at the Thu Bon River, where the mystical Nipa (coconut) Palms emerge. Along the way, you are likely to pass fishermen hauling their catch and cattle grazing peacefully at the side.