I fell in love with Hoi An pretty much as soon as we arrived. It is such a beautiful and cute old town. I loved it so much that we ended up coming back down to Hoi An again after visiting Hanoi. Here are 6 of my favourite things to do, while in this seaside town:
1. Relax on one of many beaches
One of the reasons I love Hoi An so much is its proximity to the ocean. I am a sucker for seaside towns, they always seem to become my favourites. Maybe it has to do with growing up close to the ocean, I’m not sure but it’s definitely a noticeable pattern. Hoi An has some beautiful coastline, with a number of beaches to choose from. Be sure to check out An Bang and Cua Dai.
2. Bargain at the Night Markets
Do not miss the Hoi An night markets. I know many places through out Asia have their own night markets and you may be sick of them by the time you reach Hoi An, but there is something different about this one. The glowing lanterns everywhere make it truly magical and some of the handmade craft on sale are pretty damn cute!
3. Explore the streets of Hoi An at night when its lit up by lanterns
As I mentioned above, Hoi An is famous for its many hanging lanterns. This makes a night time stroll down the old streets of Hoi An a must, whether it is to explore the night markets or not. There will be many stunning photo opportunities, although a photo still can’t quite seem to capture the true beauty.
4. Try some of the delicious Vietnamese food
Hoi An is also well known for its delicious food. Trying a Banh Mi at Phi Banh Mi is a must! Maybe the best you’ll have and its super cheap too. I would also suggest having dinner at Ba Le Well Restaurant one night. Be sure to try their Banh Xeo (Savory Crepes), Tom Cha Gio (Spring Rolls) and Thit Nuong (Grilled Pork). Our Couchsurfing host had also recently opened a cafe by the beach called Cà Phê (its Vietnamese for Coffee) and of course, don’t forget to try the local street food at the markets! If you are on a tight budget, this is your best option, just go to a stall that is filled with locals, and it’s sure to have delicious food. Chicken Rice is a popular dish with the locals!
5. Take a day trip to Marble Mountain and check out Da Nang with its fire breathing dragon bridge
Da Nang is pretty close to Hoi An, so it can be a separate stop on your itinerary but it can also be done visited in a day trip. We did a day trip to Marble Mountain but then also ended up spending some time in a great Da Nang hostel, right by the beach. Marble Mountain is an interesting site to check out, explore the caves within as well as get a great view from the top of the mountain. If you are still in Da Nang after dark you can check out the dragon bridge which both breathes fire and sprays water. Not the most amazing attraction but worth seeing, just for the novelty of it.
6. Get some tailored clothes for great prices
Hoi An is well known as a cheap place to get tailored clothes. There are shops all over Hoi An old town offering this service. You can get many things tailor made from dresses to shoes. I even had a watch strap remade after it broke to look pretty much exactly the same as before. These tailored clothes aren’t always the greatest quality and may not last as long as some of your clothes back home, but for that price, can you really complain?
In total I spent just over a week in Hoi An and I could have easily stayed for longer, I even talked about wanting to move there. Maybe I wouldn’t be such a huge fan during the wet season though… Aside of the above tips I also enjoyed cycling around the town, enjoying cheap cocktails and relaxing in cute cafes. Would love to hear your Hoi An recommendations!