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Hoi An travel guide – A completely handbook

Hoi An Travel Guide

About Hoi An

Hoi An ancient town is outstanding in the Central tourism as a rustic, simple and poetic picture. Whether day or night, Hoi An tourism still carries in itself various attractive charms. This is one of the best places to visit in Vietnam that you can’t miss.

In addition to cultural values through diverse architecture, Hoi An also preserves a fairly intangible cultural foundation. Daily life of residents with customs, religious activities, folk art, cultural festivals together with poetic natural landscapes, specialty dishes … makes Hoi An increasingly attractive. Here are details of Hoi An travel guide may you need to know before the visit here.

hoi an travel guide 2020

Best time to travel

The best time to travel to Hoi An is from February to April when it rains a little and the climate is pleasant. You should avoid going in summer because of the high temperature. The rainy season starting from October to November also has the disadvantage of wet space due to heavy rain.

It is highly recommended to visit Hoi An on the 14th, full moon of the lunar month to attend the old town night. On this occasion, you will have the opportunity to see the red lanterns spread across the street, a typical setting of Hoi An on the occasion of the festival.

Hoi An Travel Guide – How to get there

Moving from Ho Chi Minh/Ha Noi to Da Nang

By airplane

Hoi An is located in Quang Nam but the nearest airport is in Danang (Hoi An is 30 km from Danang). Currently airlines such as Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar, Vietjetair all operate routes from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi to Da Nang. If you want to buy cheap tickets, you should book about 3 to 6 months in advance.

By Train

From Hanoi or Saigon, there are train routes to Da Nang (North – South route), fares range from VND 400,000 to VND 1,200,000 depending on the train type and seat type. It takes 14 to 20 hours to travel from these two cities to Danang by train.

By Coach

Fares range from 400,000 – 500,000 VND. There are many service providers like Hoang Long, Hlink, Mai Linh, and Thuan Thao. It will take 18 to 20 hours from Hanoi / Saigon to Da Nang by coach.

Moving from Da Nang to Hoi An

From Da Nang city to Hoi An there are two ways:

  • You can follow Highway 1 south about 27 km to Vinh Dien and then turn left for another 10 km to Hoi An.
  • The second road is closer and more deserted, going from the center of Da Nang to the Han river bridge, to the provincial road of Da Nang – Hoi An, to Hoi An about 30km.

Hoi An Travel Guide – Where to stay

As a tourist city, Hoi An does not lack of comfortable hotels. In the city center, the price is quite high, but it is difficult to have a vacant room. Guests should book at least 2 months in advance to get a good price. In the high season, if you book late, you can find rooms far from the center such as Huynh Thuc Khang street, Thai Phien street.

Some luxury hotels and resorts in Hoi An you can try include Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai Hoi An, Vinpearl Resort & Golf Nam Hoi An, Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort & Spa, Almanity Hoi An Wellness, etc.

However, I would like to recommend some beautiful home-stays as a Hoi An Backpackers guide:

An Bang Seaside Village

Located on a very favorable position, with the sea view, the entrance is the starting gate of the residential area, An Bang Seaside Village is a lovely home-stay with youthful, fresh, and energetic colors. 

This home-stay has 8 rooms with different views of the garden, sea, or beachfront villas. The design of the rooms is very rustic and simple but full of all amenities like a luxury resort in the sea.

Although the homestay area is not too large, here you will feel the cohesion of the design space and green nature. Therefore, the atmosphere of the house is always cool, fresh and extremely comfortable.

Red Flower Cottage Homestay

Red Flower Cottage impressed visitors by the lush garden that is cleverly arranged by the owner. In the blazing sunshine of the Central region, you will still feel cool, soft and sunny under the green trees in the small garden. Rooms are fully equipped, helping you to rest and relax after enjoying the beach or walking on the white sand.

Although only 5 lovely bedrooms, but with the advantage of just a 2-minute walk from the beach, this small homestay will surely satisfy even the most demanding guests. The rooms at Red Flower are thatched roofs, creating architecture closer to nature but are very modern and sophisticated.

Maison De Tau

Located on Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, Hoi An City, Maison de Tau brings a vintage space with gentle green corners that make anyone come here to love at first sight.

Maison De Tau is a lovely house with the soul of Hoi An with a quiet, fresh space in the courtyard of the shady trees. At Maison, green is everywhere.

homestay maison de tau

Besides the above three, there are still many awesome and unique home-stays you can try, such as An Bang Garden Homestay, The Hoi An Hippie House, Heron House, An Bang Beach Hideaway Homestay, etc. You can easily find the contact of these home-stays in the internet or book through online booking pages.

Things to do in Hoi An

When people visit Hoi An, they often come to places such as Japanese Covered Bridge, An Bang Beach, Chàm Island, Hoi An Museum of Cultural History, etc… If you are looking for some famous tourist attractions, check our top 8 places to visit in Hoi An Vietnam. However, if you are looking for something new, I would like to recommend some places to visit in Hoi An as below: 

Tran Dynasty Church

The Tran Dynasty church was built in 1802 by a mandarin of the Tran family. It’s in accordance with the traditional Feng Shui principles of Chinese and Vietnamese people. Located on an area of ​​about 1500 m2, there are many items: the churches, ancestors worship houses, relics exhibits… This is an ancient church with the style of Vietnamese church from ancient times intact in ancient architectural form.

Old House of Tan Ky

Built nearly 200 years ago, Tan Ky House is a typical architectural style of Hoi An townhouse with interiors divided into sections, each with its own function. The front of the house is the place to open the shop. The back is connected with the river wharf to be the place for importing and exporting goods.

Hoian travel guide

The house is built by traditional materials and crafted by local carpenters and masonry. Hence, it has its own characteristic, agile, elegant, and cozy, and shows interaction with other architectural styles in the area. On February 17, 1990, the Old House of Tan Ky was granted a National Historic-Cultural Monument.

Thu Bon River View

You can take a boat tour along the Thu Bon River. The two sides of the river have beautiful sand dunes, picturesque fields and mountains. In particular, the sunset on the Thu Bon River can make every visitor disturbed.

Kim Bong Carpentry Village

The artisan of Kim Bong carpentry village was once proud that his father was invited by the Nguyen Dynasty to the capital to build and embellish the tombs. Coming to this village, visitors can admire the stages of manufacturing many fine wood handicraft products.

Location: Located in Cam Kim commune, opposite Hoi An ancient town, across the Thu Bon river. From the old town ferry, it takes only 10 minutes to get there by boat.

Thanh Ha Pottery Village

In the 16th and 17th centuries, Thanh Ha was a very prosperous village. It’s  famous for the ceramic and terracotta items exchanged and wholesale throughout the central provinces of Vietnam. Pottery village originated from Thanh Hoa, after acquiring some technical capital, has formed its village as today. Main products are utensils for daily life such as bowls, jars, vases, pots, shapes of breeds…  with many designs. The colors are very rich and special, lighter than other local similar products.

Location: Located 3 km to the west of Hoi An (by boat about 30 minutes from the old town wharf).

Hoi An Travel Guide – What to eat

Although Hoi An ancient town is small, its culinary culture is extremely rich. Here are some delicious dishes and addresses for you to enjoy when coming to this special place:

Hoi An Chicken Rice

With all the meticulous skills in the way of processing, Hoi An people have created a dish that is enough to impress people. Hoi An chicken rice is served with onions, sour papaya, herbs, cinnamon. It also has a cup of soup mixed heart, liver, kidney served to increase the appeal.

Cao Lau

Many people who have lived for a long time in the old town said that Cao Lau has appeared in Hoi An since the 17th century. Perhaps that is why this dish is heavily influenced by Chinese cuisine as well as Japanese cold udon noodles. However, the Cao Lau of Hoi An still has its own boldness and only Hoi An has the right Cao Lau.

Dumplings, white rose

Dumplings and white rose are two types of bread with similar ingredients, usually eaten on a plate of cakes. The difference is the white rose made from crushed ground shrimp mixed with a little pepper, garlic, onion, lemongrass and esoteric spices. The dumpling is made from pork, mushroom, sliced ​​green onions and then fried with esoteric spices. Perhaps this seasoning is also a reason why dumplings and white rose can only eat well when in Hoi An.

Corn sweet soup

Corn sweet soup – a rustic dish became very famous because it is made from the famous Cam Nam corn of Hoi An. It has a sweet, elegant and natural aroma of freshly broken corn. Unlike the Southern, Hoi An corn sweet soup does not cook with coconut water, so it has the original taste of corn. 

Hoi An Savory Steamed Rice Cake (Banh Beo)

To make banh beo, people choose a good type of rice. At the restaurant, the owners arranged many cups on the tray. After that, they poured fillings, added grease, chutney, scallions and then presented on the table. Eating banh beo has to use “bamboo knife”, which is a sharp stick shaped bamboo knife. Such cuisine also evokes curiosity for guests and is the difference in cuisine between banh beo and other dishes made with rice.

Quang noodles

From the outside, Quang noodles are almost like Cao Lau. However, if you just taste it once, you will see these are two completely different dishes. Quang noodles are often eaten with shrimp, meat, quail eggs … Everything is infused with spices. When eating, it is served with crispy rice paper and vegetables.

Hoi An Pancake

Hoi An Pancake is a genuine specialty of Hoi An town. The main raw material for making pancakes besides rice is also shrimp and meat. In order to make a pancake, a person must sit by the fire constantly hot. Therefore, the rainy season of the year from October to December is the most suitable season for making pancakes in Hoi An.

Hoi An Gifts and Souvenirs

Lantern shop

Hoi An lanterns are made pretty nice, light, and retractable so they are suitable for tourists to buy as souvenirs. You can find products on Tran Phu street from Tuoi Ngoc and Ngoc Thu lantern shops or shops on Le Loi street. Price is not too expensive, only a few tens of thousands of a unit.

Cheap but high quality clothes

Making clothes in Hoi An is both cheap and beautiful and fast. In just a few hours, the worker will finish sewing for you. If you can’t wait, just leave your measurements and address, the store will send the product to your place.

hoi an travel guide

Reputable stores: Thu Thuy shop (60 Le Loi), Yaly (358 Nguyen Duy Hieu), A Dong silk (40 Le Loi), Bao Khanh (101 Tran Hung Dao).

Hoi An footwear is also quite various in design and beautiful. Many stores receive quick shoemaking similar to clothing stores.

Cakes

The cakes you can buy as gifts:  green bean cakes, sweet sticky rice leaf cakes, etc. Hoi An chili sauce is a special dish, spicy and aromatic again.

Other things: Silk, woodcarving, embroidery, souvenirs, stoneware …

Beautiful shooting locations in Hoi An

The beautiful beaches of Hoi An

Cua Dai has long been known as the gateway to a busy trading port and the most beautiful scenery. If the ancient town of Hoi An is ancient and quiet, Cua Dai Beach or An Bang Beach is youthful and lively. It has been attracting tourists and couples to take wedding photos, because of the wild beauty in healthy and open space.

hoi an travel guide an bang beach

Take photos in the ancient streets

Hoi An ancient town still preserves almost the status quo a complex of ancient architectural relics. This includes many housing constructions, temples, shrines, wells, bridges, ethnic churches, etc. The narrow street that runs along the horizontal lines creates chessboard squares. It is covered with an ancient moss color that will make your photo look truly impressive.

Photographed at the foot of Japanese Covered Bridge

Japanese Covered Bridge – The symbol of Hoi An was built in the late 16th century. In the middle of the bridge is a small temple to worship Huyen Thien Dai De. The bridge has a quite unique roof with decorative structures and patterns. This is a harmonious combination between Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, and Western architectural styles. Due to its unique architecture, many visitors to Hoi An want to preserve the beautiful images of this attractive destination.

Photographed on the Hoai River

Hoai River is a branch of Thu Bon River flowing through Hoi An. For the people here and tourists in particular, this river is an inseparable symbol of the old town. Besides taking photos with the Hoai River, you can also go on a boat to drop a flower and save the image of the whole river wharf as shimmering like fairy tales on the full moon days.

Take photos with Hoi An lanterns

Lanterns are also a very distinctive feature of Hoi An. Hoi An Silk has been beautiful, now used to form colorful lanterns making the city more sparkling at night. In the evening, along the banks of the Hoai River, you will see many young people taking pictures of the lanterns shimmering colors.

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