The must-have experiences in Hoi An

Coming to Hoi An, you will either be immersed in a special atmosphere of hundreds-year-old old busy streets by Thu Bon river bank or relax on white sandy beaches of Cua Dai, An Bang. Hoi An is also known as a town rich of local specialities and peaceful villages. Handspan would take this chance to recommend you 10 experiences that you should try when exploring to Hoi An.

1. Wandering along small streets.

The most interesting thing when coming to the Ancient town is wandering along small roads, looking at old tiled houses, enjoying a glass of scented lotus water. The well-known places that you should visit are Tran Phu street, Japanese bridge, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai street, Bach Dang road along Hoai river, Cantonese Assembly Hall… Lying among the streets are small alleys that are worth visiting to see daily local life.

Contemplating lantern street at night

Talking about Hoi An is talking about glistening streets of lantern at night. Being created by skillful artisans, Hoi An lanterns show their diversity in colors and sizes. Lanterns seen on any of the town’s streets, in any of local shops are made catchy and light so that they are ideal for souvenirs.

Staying in Hoi An without boating along Hoai river for candle flowers is such a big regret. The local people usually put candle flowers on river on full moon nights and wish for good health and happiness for their families. You are recommended to book a small boat and do the same for your own family.

2. Taking part in traditional games

Another interesting experience when you are in Hoian is to participate
Another interesting experience when coming to Hoi An is to join the “Bai choi” festival. This is a common playground of the locals and tourists. In the evening, after walking around, you should go to the Hoai River Square where you can enjoy folk songs. You may not understand the meaning of these songs but the joyful music and the jubilant environment there will attract you. Especially, you can be one of the winners in some interesting games here and according the conception of the locals, this will bring you luck.

3. Enjoying Hoi An’s special foods

Chicken rice is one of the most famous dishes of Hoi An. Famous restaurants include Ba Buoi Chicken Rice (26 Phan Chau Chinh Street), Ba Huong Chickent Rice – Kiet Sica, Ba Minh Chicken Rice, Nga Chicken rice. Hoi An Chicken rice has a very exclusive taste. Free-range chickens are raised in the countryside gardens and they have a tastily rich flavor.  Rice is cooked in a special chicken broth so it has a very good flavour. The fragrant rice is served with steamed chicken, topping with local herbs and tasty homemade sauce.

4. Walking through the old streets of Hoi An 

You will see many street food vendors serving very good foods with cheap price. Just take a rest and enjoy the special and tasty flavor of the local foods here. Some special foods include Bánh Mi (Bread), Cao Lau or White rose, wonton…. According to David Farley – a BBC reporter who writes about travel and cuisine, Banh Mi Hoi An is the world’s best sandwich.

Hoi An Market is another place that you should visit to buy or enjoy the local fruits which are very fresh and delicious.

5. Superfast tailoring service
Tailoring in Hoi An is famous because of its fast, cheap and good quality service. All you need is to choose the model, the cloth and have your body measured and wait for several hours to get the turnovers which are tailor made with good quality. Forbes Magazine has honored one of the “immediately taken” tailor shops in Hoi An for it unique and professional service. After around 4 hours, you can get you’re your tailored item. Fashion style in Hoi An is extremely unique, trendy and price ranges from 15-100 dollars.

Handspan recommends Faifoo Tailor at 54 Tran Hung Dao Street. This small tailor is one of the first tailors of Hoian. Mr. Tran, 70 year old, opened this shop in the 80s is the most respected tailor among the locals. Although he is not directly run the shop but his daughter, Ms. Suong, his caring to customer service and most of all, his super technique to create high quality products have been transferred to his descendent. Thus Faifoo always please any customers and anyone we recommend come back very happy with the quality.

6. Enjoying a cup of coffee from high view to old tiled roofs.

A lot of people might know about Hoi An town from its one-floore tiled-roof ancient houses. As a result, enjoying a cup of local coffee from high view, watching the sun going down to the ancient town or people walking around brings you an unforgettable feeling.

7. Cycling around the ancient town and sourrouding villages

It is very interesting to explore the ancient town by bikes to small alleys or along Hoai river or even further to green rice fields when you are in Hoian. The ideal time to cycle is early morning and late afternoon when weather is cool enough to do. It costs you just 2 USD per bike per day, which is very reasonable.

For those who are lazy walking or cycling, taking a rishaw is a good option. Rishaw has become a well-known “trade mark” by international visitors. It would be another interesting experience for you.

Hoian is surrounded by many peaceful villages.

Though these villages are not far from the center, bikes are still the best mean of transportation to visit them. From the town’s center, you could take a ferry across Hoai river to Kim Bong capentry village. The peaceful village located by the river bank is famous for its handicraft occupations such as mat weaving or bamboo boat making.

15-minute cycling from the center to its West is the pottery village of Thanh Ha.

This is a good chance for you to explore the village as well as making your own pottery stuffs.

To the North of Hoi An is the vegetable growing village of Tra Que, which is famous for farmer-experiencing tours.

From the centre to the East is Cam Thanh village lying along Thu Bon river, which brings beautiful scenery of a peace and nice experience on rowing bamboo fishing boats.

8. Wandering around the night market in the ancient town 

The Hoian night market, with more than 40 shops spreading along 300 meters street, is a place where you enjoy shopping from colorful traditional lanterns to cute “tò he”, handicraft items, Thanh Ha pottery, farbics, silk… and famous dishes

9.Visiting the Sa Huynh Culture Museum

You will learn more about the culture and history of the Hoian ancient town when visting the Sa Huynh Cuture Museum on 149 Tran Phu Street. This is a places where displays the most deversified and unique collections in Vietnam with 1000 artifacts relating to the ancient people of the Sa Huynh Culture dating back 2000 years old.

10. Beach, Beach and Beach again

As a coastal town, beaches in Hoian are run from the North to the East with some beautiful beaches, such as: An Bang and Cua Dai. It is just about 10 minutes cycling from the centre of the town to the beach. There are many restaurants along the coastal where you can use the lounge chairs for relaxing and fresh water for quick bathing after swimming. You can also find a private beach for yourself somewhere in the South of An Bang beach or in the North of Cua Dai beach. Just relex and enjoy before discovering other wonderful destinations in Vietnam