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10x what to do in Hoi An, the coziest city in Vietnam

During your travel route through Vietnam, you simply cannot skip Hoi An. It is not for nothing that Hoi An is known as one of the best destinations in Vietnam. During my travel itinerary through Vietnam I planned to stay here for 3 days and it ended up being 6! Hoi An has nice hostels, 2 beaches nearby, a super cozy city center, fancy cafes and restaurants. colorful streets and a very nice vibe!

Cars and trucks are no longer allowed in the old city center since it was on the UNESCO world heritage list. That is of course chill when you are dreaming through the streets. Furthermore, Hoi An has a special architecture (a mix of Chinese, Vietnamese and European influences) and remained untouched during the Vietnam War.

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10x things to do in Hoi An

There is plenty to do in Hoi An and it is a wonderful destination to relax. Unfortunately, the city is a mega popular destination in Vietnam and therefore it is not really quiet. But despite the many tourists, the town remains very charming, cozy and atmospheric.

1. Explore the streets in the old city center

The old town center in Hoi An is the part where you are most likely to spend the most time. Here you will find the nicest shops, restaurants, the nightmarket and the Japanse bridge (more on this later). The town is super atmospheric both during the day and in the evening. On every centimeter you will find the typical Vietnamese lanterns and you can also score one yourself at the night market. In addition to the 'main streets', there are also plenty of beautiful alleys that take you to another part of the old city center in Hoi An. You can spend a whole day just wandering around. Delicious!

2. Meet locals

A connect with locals is the most beautiful thing to do during your travel route through Vietnam. It will give your trip something extra and who knows where it will take you! Talk to them, help them or buy a nice item that you can use or a nice memory. If you open up, they will often open up too.

Meet locals in Hoi An, talk to them or buy a nice item to use
Meet locals in Hoi An, talk to them or buy a nice item to use

Also read: Exploring Halong Bay from Cat Ba Island | cheaper alternative
Also read: Things to Do in Hanoi | 9x must sees and fun day tours
Also read: The Abandoned Water Park in Hue – How to Get There + TIPS

3. Buy a souvenir

Do you know the feeling? That you are looking for the perfect souvenir when you are in a new country? Something that typifies the country and that you will also enjoy? When I arrived in Hoi An during my tour of Vietnam, I knew immediately. I have a Lampion I brought it from the Hoi An Nightmarket and it has been hanging in my bedroom ever since. love it! you got them in all colors and sizes† And if it doesn't fit in your suitcase or backpack, you can also have it sent home.

4. Go to the Hoi An Night Market

Speaking of the Hoi An Nightmarket (twice already).. so you really can't miss this one. Fortunately, you can't really miss this market. In the evening, the entire old city center is transformed into a cozy, atmospheric market† Besides the fact that you can buy everything here, there is also a street where you delicious street food can try.

The night market in Hoi An is an experience in itself
The night market in Hoi An is an experience in itself
Night market, Hoi An
Night market, Hoi An

5. Take a cooking class

A cooking course is a lot of fun to do when you are in Vietnam! For example, do this when you don't feel like going to temples or a day at the beach. Or do it when the weather is not so good, taking a cooking course is the perfect activity. During such a cooking course you often go to the local market to buy ingredients and then you get to work preparing the most delicious food. And the best part: you can of course eat it all yourself.

Herbs and spices during a Vietnamese cooking course in Hoi An
Herbs and spices during a Vietnamese cooking course in Hoi An
All that cooking, baking and roasting is of course quite exhausting. In Hoi An many take a nice nap during the day
All that cooking, baking and roasting is of course quite exhausting. In Hoi An many take a nice nap during the day

6. Walk across the Japanese bridge

The Japanese Bridge (in Vietnamese: Chùa Cầu) is a covered pedestrian bridge in the ancient city center of Hoi An. The bridge is sacred and connects the Chinese and Japanese Quarter† The bridge is almost impossible to miss when you walk around in the center because it is really an eye-catcher!

The Japanese Bridge in Hoi An
The Japanese Bridge in Hoi An
The real Vietnam in Hoi An
The real Vietnam in Hoi An

7. An Bang Beach

An additional plus of Hoi An is that there are even two beaches nearby! An Bang Beach and Cua Dai Beach† An Bang Beach has a nicer beach so we recommend this one. The beach is about 5 km away and is a wonderful route to riding a bike† As soon as you are out of the center, you cycle along the most extensive rice fields of Vietnam and traffic is becoming less crowded. The beach itself is not one of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam, but hey, it is wonderful to chill out for a day.

An Bang Beach, Hoi An
An Bang Beach, Hoi An

8. Have clothes made

It only takes a few seconds when you arrive in Hoi An until you realize that this city is the place to get clothes made. On every street corner you will find a tailor which makes it quite difficult to make a choice. If you would like to have clothes made, I advise you to make a choice for a tailor on your first day in Hoi An and to submit the assignment. You discuss the design with the tailor, you are measured, choose fabrics and a day later you can already fit† A few things will be added during this pass session and most likely you will be able to pick up your new item the next day! It's a super fun experience and certainly not expensive† For a dress you pay about 30 euros.

Have clothes made in Hoi An
Have clothes made in Hoi An

9. My Son Sanctuary

Near Hoi An you will find the temple city My Son Sanctuary which is a bit like Angkor in Cambodia. You will find beautiful ruins and ancient temples here, nice to do as a day trip as there is quite a lot to see! The My Son Sanctuary temple complex is located on the UNESCO World Heritage List and shows many traces of the Vietnam War.

My Son Sanctuary, Hoi An
My Son Sanctuary, Hoi An

10. Eat a Banh Mi

During my tour of Asia I was so happy that I could finally eat a decent sandwich that I didn't even think about the speciality of this one. Banh Mi is a special vietnamese bread† The baguette was introduced by the French during the colonial period, but the Vietnamese people naturally made their own version of it. The Banh Mi is namely much fluffier and has a thinner crust† The toppings are also delicious! Also useful if you have a long bus journey ahead of you during your travel route through Vietnam. You can just have them packed.

Also read: Top 10 | What are the best backpacking destinations in Asia?
Also read: The 12 Most Beautiful National Parks in Vietnam | From Jungle to Beach

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Ilse & Nick

ILSE & NICK - OUR TRAVEL LIFE
♥️ Travel addicts from #netherlands
? Chasing adventures & creating memories
? Home, dreaming where to go next
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