Hoi An is one of the most popular destinations in all of Vietnam.
There are many things to do in Hoi An such as exploring the pristine beaches, taking a self-guided walking tour in the historic old town and visiting the UNESCO site in the majestic mountain ranges.
I strongly recommend adding Hoi An in your top 10 places to see in Vietnam.
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WHERE IS HOI AN VIETNAM & HOW TO GET THERE
Hoi An is 900km north of Ho Chi Minh and 800km south of Hanoi, basically the halfway point on the east coast of Vietnam.
Most people plan their trip throughout Vietnam by traveling from the north to the south or vice versa. There is no shortage of sleeper buses available from every main town or city costing you no more than $15.
If you are planning to fly to Hoi An, the closest airport is in Da Nang City, 45 minutes north of Hoi An. Flights are approximately $50 one way from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.
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You can then take a taxi directly from Da Nang Airport to Hoi An which will cost you anywhere between $15 – $30. Alternatively, take a taxi to the central bus station in Da Nang and jump on a local bus to Hoi An that costs only $1.50. Buses run every 20 minutes between 6 am and 9 pm.
Drone shot of Old Town Hoi An Vietnam
TOP 4 THINGS TO DO IN HOI AN
HOI AN OLD TOWN
Exploring Old Town is one of the top things to do in Hoi An. The architecture in Old Town is influenced by the French, Chinese and Japenese cultures.
There are colorful buildings around every corner, the streets are decorated with stringing lanterns and beautiful canals cut through the center of the Old Town Hoi An.
There are many shrines, temples and pagodas dotted throughout the streets of the Ancient Town Hoi An and a Japanese inspired wooden bridge that can be found on the northern end. Most of the Hoi An attractions are free of charge, and some others require a small fee of around $2 to enter.
For food and drinks, you will be spoilt for choice with countless restaurants and bars or you can head to the central market for cheap and easy local cuisine and a refreshing fruit juice. My favorite local food is Bahn Mi, (similar to a subway) or a bowl of Pho (pork noodle soup).
Also in the list of top things to do in Hoi An Old Town is to get some clothing tailor-made from one of the dozens of tailors throughout the town. I recommend choosing a tailor off the main street and down one of the smaller alleyways for a much better price on custom made clothing.
Must Read → 4 Week Vietnam Itinerary
Old Town – Things to do in Hoi An
Central Market in Old Town – Hoi An Attractions
The Japanese bridge – Things to do in Hoi An
Temple in Hoi An Old Town – Hoi An Things To Do
MY SON SANCTUARY IN HOI AN VIETNAM
Next on this list of things to do in Hoi An is a visit to My Son Sanctuary which is a cluster of ancient Hindu temples that were constructed in the emerald hills in the Duy Xuyen District between the 4th and the 14th century.
The abandoned temples of My Son Sanctuary is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is the most popular attraction in the region that draws in thousands of visitors every year.
The My Son Sanctuary is located 40km west of Hoi An, Vietnam. The journey time is approximately one hour from Hoi An to My Son Sanctuary.
The My Son Sanctuary is open Monday to Sunday from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm and the entrance fee is 150,000 VND.
As you enter the gates to My Son Sanctuary there is a courtesy buggy that will transport you from the main gate of the park to the start of the walking trail.
The trail at My Son Sanctuary is very easy to navigate and it will lead you through the abandoned complex of the magnificent Hindu ruins. There are a total of 71 temple structures that are impressively older than the Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia.
Full Blog Post ∼ My Son Sanctuary Temples
My Son Sanctuary – Things to do in Hoi An
My Son Sanctuary – What to do in Hoi An
My Son Sanctuary – Things to do in Hoi An
HOI AN BEACH
The best cure after a long day exploring the Old Town and My Son Sanctuary is to head down to Hoi An beach to cool off and enjoy the shade underneath the cluster of coconut palms that line the beachfront.
As busy as Hoi An can get with locals and tourists combined, you will be sure to find your own little private beach spot along the pristine stretch of white sand coastline, making it one of the top things to do in Hoi An.
Hoi An Beach – Things to do in Hoi An
Sunrise at Hoi An Beach – Things to do in Hoi An
BAMBOO BASKET BOAT RIVER CRUISE
Last but not least on this list of top things to do in Hoi An is a Bamboo Basket River Cruise.
Never have I ever seen anything like these hand-crafted bamboo baskets that are used as fishing boats by the local fisherman in Hoi An.
Take an hour-long cruise down the river and canals in one of these uniquely constructed, bamboo basket boats.
Book Now ∼ Bamboo Basket Cruise
Bamboo Boat Cruise
WHERE TO STAY IN HOI AN
Hoi An has hundreds of accommodations to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Hoi An to suit budget backpackers, luxury travelers. and everyone in between.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
LUXURY: ANANTARA RESORT
MID RANGE: HA AN HOTEL
BUDGET: HAPPY MONKEY HOSTEL
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN HOI AN, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
HOI AN – THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
The best time to visit Hoi An is in the dry season, February – September.
The best mode of transport around Hoi An is on a bicycle or by scooter. The majority of the accommodations will rent out bicycles for free when you book a stay with them.
Alternatively, you can rent a scooter for $5 a day from one of the many scooter rental shops dotted throughout the town of Hoi An.
There plenty of ATMs around town, so if you need to take cash out the option is there.
MAP OF HOI AN VIETNAM
BEST VIETNAM TOURS
Another option for accommodation in Hoi An is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals.
WANT TO SAVE $$$ ON AIRBNB? GET MY AIRBNB MONEY SAVING GUIDE
LONELY PLANET – VIETNAM
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Vietnam Travel Guide!
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MORE VIETNAM TRAVEL GUIDES
Vietnam Travel Guide: 4 Week Vietnam Itinerary
Ho Chi Minh City Guide: 7 Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh
Nha Trang Travel Guide: 3 Things To Do In Nha Trang
Hoi An Travel Guide: 4 Things To Do In Hoi An
Ninh Binh Travel Guide: 3 Things To Do In Ninh Binh
Da Nang Travel Guide: Golden Bridge Ba Na Hills
Cam Ranh Travel Guide: Things To Do In Cam Ranh
Ha Giang Travel Guide: 3 Day Ha Giang Loop Adventure
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WHAT TO PACK FOR HOI AN
Everyday Backpack: One of the best backpacks on the market! The Nomatic 20L Backpack is perfect for on the go adventures. Featuring multiple storage spaces for valuables, drink bottles, chargers, notebooks and more. This sleek backpack was designed for you.
Universal Power Adapter: Don’t leave home without one! I highly recommend getting this Universal Power Adapter so that you are able to charge all of your electronics when you’re on the road. Compatible in Asia, UK, Europe, Africa, USA, SA and Australia.
Hidden Money Belt: I never go on a trip without one! The best thing is they are always out of sight, hidden beneath your clothing. With RFID blocking, they are perfectly designed to keep your credit cards, cash and other valuables safe when you’re out adventuring!
Waterproof Phone Case: A waterproof phone case is a must-have item! This universal case will keep your phone safe from water damage, sand and scratches during your adventures. Suitable for all smartphone models.
Portable Charger: One of the best portable chargers on the market! The Anker Power Bank keeps your phone and accessories charged on those longer adventures. Featuring 2 USB charging ports, rechargeable battery, works with iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Oppo and Android.
Microfibre Travel Towel: To pack a towel or not to pack a towel? A standard bathroom towel can take up a lot of space in your travel bag. Get your hands on a quick-dry Microfibre Travel Towel which is perfect for the beach, backpacking, camping and general traveling.
Rain Jacket: A light-weight rain jacket is an absolute must when traveling! North Face waterproof rain jackets come in both men and women sizes, featuring a breathable mesh lining and adjustable hood that can be tucked away inside the collar.
Kindle: The best alternative for books! Kindle e-readers are perfect for long haul flights, reading on the beach or a quiet evening away from the bars. Kindle’s are waterproof with rechargeable batteries and adjustable light settings to suit indoor/outdoor conditions.
Packing Cubes: My favorite item in my backpack! Perfect for organizing your shirts, pants, jackets, socks, underwear and more. This 5 Set Packing Cubes makes packing easier and more efficient, adding extra space in your bag for your next trip.
Activated Charcoal Tablets: Want to avoid food poisoning? Most of us have been a victim of travelers diarrhea from eating street food. Organic Activated Charcoal Tablets are fast-acting and will rid your system of the bad bacteria that causes stomach upset.
MY CAMERA GEAR
Everyday Camera: The most affordable mirrorless camera on the market! I personally use the Sony A7ii Mirrorless Camera on all of my adventures. It’s compact, lightweight and super easy to use for all levels of photography. A 28-70mm Sony lens is also included.
Drone Camera: Take your photography to new heights! The DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone is at the top of the game when it comes to high-quality images and video, easy to control functions and traveler-friendly capabilities. I guarantee you won’t regret purchasing one.
GoPro Hero 8: One of the most popular cameras on the planet! I love using the GoPro Hero 8 for all of my underwater shots and fast-paced adventures. The GoPro Hero 8 captures the best moments with its wide range of functions that are very simple to use!
Camera Bag: My favorite camera bag I have ever owned! The Lowepro Protactic 450 AW II Camera Bag features a waterproof rain cover, drink bottle holder, padded compartments for cameras, drones, lenses, accessories and it also has a laptop pocket.
Selfie Stick: Everyone loves a good selfie, right!? The Sandmarc Metal Edition Selfie Stick is sleek, stylish and can extend to 1.2m. I find it much easier to take photos and videos with the GoPro when it is mounted to the Sandmarc Selfie Stick!
Camera Tripod: The Joby GorillaPod is suitable for all cameras. This tripod is easy to use and perfect for setting up a time-lapse video or even using it as a selfie stick. The legs are flexible so you can wrap it around a tree or a pole to get creative with your shot.
GoPro Dome: Have you ever wanted to capture those under/over water shots with the GoPro? This epic underwater GoPro dome housing is the best camera accessory to have to create the perfect 50/50 shot. I use mine every time I am in the ocean!
Memory Card: The best thing about SanDisk Extreme Pro is that it delivers maximum speed for images and videos. Having 64GB of storage means that you can store hundreds of files on this SD card for 2-3 days and not have to worry about running out of space.
External Hard Drive: As a photographer, my images and video files take up a lot of space on my MacBook so I use the WD Elements External Hard Drive to store everything. With 4TB worth of storage space, this is more than enough for 1 years worth of content.
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Before you go from this things to do in Hoi An post, don’t forget to check out My Online Shop!
I’ve got a wide range of digital products for sale and I’m sure you’ll find something that will come in handy during your travels!
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FINAL THOUGHTS OF THINGS TO DO IN HOI AN
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions about things to do in Hoi An, please drop me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
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