24 Wonderful Ways to Experience Hoi An, Vietnam

by Mike Still
24 Wonderful Ways to Experience Hoi An, Vietnam

Welcome to Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An is one of the most visited places in Vietnam and for good reason too.  This magical town is one of my favorite places in the world and most backpackers who travel through Vietnam stop in Hoi An for a few days but end up staying a week or more.  Three years ago when I first visited Hoi An I planned to stay just three days but ended up extending to seven.  On our current trip we’ve met a half dozen travelers who did the exact same thing.  The good news is now I’ve been to Hoi An twice now and done all the research so you don’t have to!

There is so much to see and do in Hoi An that its hard to pick exactly what you want to do on your visit.  This list is by no means everything you can do in Hoi An and even with a full week you might not have enough time to check out all 24 of them so I’ve tried to give you enough information to help you choose the best things for your trip to Hoi An.  There are a few suggested itineraries and places to stay at the bottom of this page so after you’re done scrolling through make sure you check them out too!

The Best Sightseeing in Hoi An

1) Visit the UNESCO Ancient Town – Hoi An is famous for its Ancient Town and it was declared a UNESCO world heritage site back in 1999.  The old town follows a life-giving river and is full of French Colonial architecture with ancient Vietnamese buildings spattered in.  This is one of Hoi An’s most popular places to see and should be at the top of your list for things to do in Hoi An.

You’ll find the yellow french colonial buildings full of shops selling everything from souvenirs to coffee.  Restaurants and tailors also line the streets here making the old town the perfect destination if you only have a day or two to visit Hoi An.

The ancient town is a great place for street photography since there are so many beautiful buildings and unique storefronts.  Lanterns hang between colorful flowers giving this hot spot even more charm.  It will cost you 120,000 VND ($6) to get a ticket for the old town which allows you to roam freely for your entire stay.  You’ll also get 5 tickets to go inside different buildings in the old town.  Our favorite two were the Phuc Kien and Quang Trieu Assembly halls.  We found these buildings to be more unique and larger than many of the other places to see in the old town.


Budget Travel Tip – If you aren’t interested in entering the old town’s buildings but simply strolling the street or the river you can make your way past the ticket booths by telling them you are just shopping or eating at the restaurants.  If this doesn’t work follow one of the parallel streets and enter at a different point further down.  The shops are happy to have your business and there are sections that tickets aren’t required.

2) Light a floating lantern for good luck – When the sun goes down locals come to Hoi An’s river with lanterns to sell to tourists for a paltry 10,000VND ($.50).  These good luck charms have a candle inside and float down the river giving a colorful glow to the water.  Locals and tourists light hundreds of these every night and those numbers skyrocket on the full or half moon.  Normally I don’t like to add extra pollution to places like this but they seem to use paper not plastic and with the apparent lack of old lanterns floating around I think someone might even collect the used lanterns.

3) Eat cheap local foods in the night market – The night market is just across the river and should be one of the first places you visit during your stay in Hoi An.  You can buy street kabobs, pancakes, bbq meat, fruit and more for as low as 5,000 VND ($.25).  The more expensive dishes like Cao Lau or other noodle soups are still quite cheap at 35,000 VND ($1.75)  Local beer can be bought for as little as 5,000 VND per glass too making the restaurants near the street market a popular spot for backpackers to relax while they stay in Hoi An.

4) Take a boat ride down the Hoi An River – The perfect romantic thing to do in Hoi An is rent a private boat to watch the floating lanterns and stars.  Couples traveling to Hoi An can get a short ride in their own boat for as low as 100,000 VND ($5) making it one of the cheapest dates you can have on the road!  Be careful bringing electronics on one of these rides since you’ll be in the water.  Best to leave the camera in your hotel room and enjoy a romantic evening just the two of you.

Family Travel Tip – Boat rides are also great for a family traveling to Hoi An

Looking for some more ideas?  Check out this top 5 guide for things to do in  Hoi An!

Day Trips from Hoi An

Hoi An Motorbike Tours

Hoi An is centrally located between many different places to visit making it a great place to rent a motorbike! You can go on countless day trips from Hoi An and explore so much of Vietnam!  We actually bought our own motorcycle in Ho Chi Min City a few weeks before arriving in Hoi An but even if you aren’t driving across the country you can find a rental for 100,000 VND($5) per day.  Check out some of these ideas for places to visit by motorbike from Hoi An.

5) Bike Ride to the rice fields and vegetable farms – In between Hoi An’s old town and the coastal beaches a mere 15 minute drive away you’ll find lush green farmland.  Much of the land is devoted to rice but you’ll find other vegetables growing here too.  Some corners of these rice fields even have duck farms on them.  At sunset you might get lucky and see a beautiful pink sky from this location right near Hoi An.  When you visit these pastures be on the lookout for water buffalo!  Locals will ask for a few VND to take a photo with them or even go for a ride!

6) Rent a motorbike and drive to Marble Mountain – Marble Mountain is another great place to see in Hoi An.  Its technically in Danang City but only a 40 minute motor bike ride from the old town.  The marble mountain is popular among tourists for its unique caves and beautiful view from the top.  The mountains were once full of marble and limestone but have now been extensively mined.  Good thing for you those mines created beautiful caves and tunnels that you can explore when you visit.  Plus there are cool temples here too!

Entrance fee at Marble Mountain – 15,000 VND

7) Explore My Son (by motorbike or with a guided tour) –  My Son is often referred to as the “Holy Land” for its historic temples of the Champa Empire.  The Champa began in the early years of AD and ruled over much of present day Vietnam.  They had a powerful kingdom that traded with the Khmer and adopted some Hindu symbolism from early India.  The temples are now a protected site and great for a day trip out of Hoi An.  The drive will take you about an hour each way and you can explore all of the temples in an hour or two.  Many visitors who have already been to Angkor Wat or Borobodur complain that My Son isn’t worth seeing but you are interested in ancient temples, culture and history than I think you’ll enjoy My Son just like we did.

Entrance fee at My Son – 150,000 VND

8) Take an Easy Rider ride to the Hai Van Pass – Ask people their favorite thing to do in Vietnam and its likely they’ll say the Hai Van pass.  If they don’t they probably didn’t drive it by motorbike or got awful weather.  The ride is incredibly scenic with views of the ocean & Danang City on the south side and Lap An Lagoon to the north.  The roads are well paved with green landscapes all around you.  You’ll even see sandy beaches below!  The Hai Van pass was easily a highlight of our trip and should be at the top of your list of things to do in Vietnam!

The ride will take you about 2 hours from Hoi An and can easily be done on your own motorbike or by hiring a local Easy Rider to drive you there and back.  Better yet take the Hai Van Pass on your way to or from Hue!

9) Drive around the Son Tra Peninsula – My friend Ross from the Rickshaw Run told me that the Son Tra Peninsula was a must do when motorbiking across Vietnam so I looked it up and and quickly added it to our list of things to do in Hoi An!  The drive around this peninsula is full of small winding roads with lush greenery on either side.  You get magnificent ocean views interspersed with dense forest but the best part is you’ll barely see any people!  There is a temple that sees a lot of tourism but outside of that we only ran into a handful of other people in this wonderful 3 hour journey.  It will take you about an hour each way to drive here from Hoi An so plan accordingly.

What to do on Hoi An Beaches

10) Sunbathe on An Bang beach – You’re on the beach.  What better to do than sunbathe!  An Bang beach is the best beach in Hoi An and even if you don’t want to sunbathe you can enjoy a long walk on the beach or check out some of my other suggestions for things to do below.

Budget Travel Tip – Bring  your own towel/blanket to An Bang Beach to avoid paying 100,000 VND ($5) for a beach chair.

11) Snorkel at Cham Island – Cham Island is one of the best spots near Hoi An for snorkeling (or diving).  I went 3 years ago when I visited Hoi An and absolutely loved the boat ride and 2 dive spots.  Fair warning that these dives/snorkel spots are good but not great.  You’ll see some coral and amazing fish; I saw a HUGE anemone that blew my mind near Cham Island but I’ve since been diving on the Gili Islands in Indonesia and in Thailand where the coral was far superior.

You get a short stop on an island beach and a meal but make sure you trust the tour company you book this excursion with.  Better yet talk to your hotel and have them book it for you so you know you have a reputable company.  I heard a few horror stories of itineraries that were completely different from what people signed up for on Cham Island.  Don’t let that scare you away from adding this to your list in Hoi An just make sure you do some research.

12) Parasail at An Bang Beach – Chalk this one up to another “if we had more time in Hoi An” and we’ll have to add parasailing to our list of thigns to do next time.  Parasailing is quite popular in Hoi An and you’ll see people floating along everyday you are on the beach.  It seemed like the costs were about 700,000 VND ($30) for a 15 minute ride but prices are subject to change seasonally and with negotiation so ask around a bit for the best prices.

13) Wave surf at An Bang beach – Wave surfing is always a must do for me when I go swimming in the ocean.  I grew up visiting the Jersey Shore and Virginia Beach most summers and simply can’t get enough of body surfing down the waves.  The best part about doing it in Hoi An is that the waters are a wonderful tropical temperature unlike the freezing waters of the Atlantic that I grew up with.  Maybe that’s the best part for me but somehow I think for you the best part might be that its FREE!  Just remember that all Hitchiker’s in Vietnam should bring a towel for budget friendly travel in Hoi An.

More things to do in Hoi An

14) Get a massage – There are spas offering cheap massages everywhere in Vietnam and Hoi An is no different.  Walk down any street and you’ll see signs for a massages for as low as $10 an hour.  Massuese’s expect some kind of tip and if they do a good job 100,000 VND is a good tip for a massage.

15) Learn to cook traditional Vietnamese food – Vietnamese food is simply delicious.  We’ve eaten our share of just about EVERYTHING in the last few months and have been talking about taking a cooking class for a while.  Sadly this too goes on our things to do next time in Hoi An or perhaps we’ll find another place to do it in Vietnam.  But I digress.  You’re here to find out what you will do in Hoi An and there are lots of cooking classes teaching you everything from the staples throughout the country to local delicacies like Cao Lau or the White Rose (a rice paper dumpling of sorts).  Prices vary widely based on your teacher, the meal and who you booked it from but I hear that Hoi An’s Cafe 43 offers cooking lessons on their entire menu for a budget friendly $5 plus the cost of food!  We are sad we missed this romantic thing to do in Hoi An and will just have to come back to visit again!

16) Take a selfie with a water buffalo – When I first visited Hoi An I put together this gif of my first encounter with a water buffalo.  Now that I’ve seen them all over I forgot to stop and take another photo but that’s because we were too busy playing around with our drone! But if you don’t have a drone to distract you then you’ll want to add selfie with a water buffalo to your Hoi An to do list.  Locals might ask for a few VND if they are hanging out sleeping on it.  They’ll help you take the photo for that small fee but if you are on a budget simply drive off until you find one all alone and snap away.

Shopping in Hoi An

17) Get some custom tailored clothing – Hoi An is famous throughout the world for its many tailoring shops.  They offer custom tailored suits, dresses, shirts and more at a fraction of the cost you’ll spend back in your home country.  The first time I went Hoi An was my first experience with custom tailored anything and this time I knew I wanted to get more done.

Pro-Tip – Its tempting to get unique styles or super fancy clothes tailor made.  But I was MUCH happier when I got shirts and a jacket that I’ll wear regularly than 2 beautiful suits.  I rarely wear suits but can’t wait to wear my new jacket and shirts everyday!  Try to think of a piece of clothing that you’ll wear at least once every week or 2.

People often ask me how much to budget for tailoring in Hoi An and I tell everyone to “think about how much your tailoring budget will be and then double it.  Get ready to spend that much because once you arrive you’ll want more!”  The tailors here are experts at copying clothing from a photo, whether its an older item you have at home that you want a duplicate of or something you found a photo of on the internet you can get it custom made here.

The tailoring costs always includes multiple fittings and make sure you use them!  I found it quite fun to tell the lady in the shop where I felt my shirts were too tight or how I wanted it to fit my body.  I’ve heard from a few people (especially women) that they hated the way the outfit fit them on the first try but after one or two fittings they loved it.


Where to get tailoring in Hoi An

We loved Lee and Lin from Toan Cau.  They are located just a block away from the entrance to the old town and were super friendly but I don’t see them on Google Maps so feel free to email them at lienhoianvietnam@gmail.com. Don’t forget to say Mike from @LiveTravelTeach sent you!  We visited 3 different tailors (including one recommended by our hotel) and picked Toan Cau because they had the best prices and weren’t pushy about buying something right away or trying to up-sell us.  Sure they asked us if we wanted to order more but they always accepted “no thank you” for an answer.  Even if you don’t get your tailoring done at Toan Cau I would highly recommend adding tailoring to your list of things to do in Hoi An so start thinking about what you want made today!

Tailoring prices in Hoi An

Prices vary by store and fabric and how much you are ordering.  These are the prices that I’ve seen in my 2 visits:

Men’s Tailoring Prices in Hoi An  
Suit – $80-120
Blazer – $40-60
Pants – $30-50
Shirts – $22-40
Winter Coat – $50-80

Women’s Tailoring Prices in Hoi An
Women’s Suit – $80-120
Dress – $60-80
Pants – $40-60
Jumpsuit – $40-60
Winter Coat – $50-80

Haggling warning – Prices in Vietnam are always negotiable but tailors are known to “cut corners” when customers haggle on the prices.  You can get cheaper prices per item by buying in bulk or going to a lower quality fabric.

18) Find a cobbler to make you the perfect pair of shoes – Although we didn’t go to a cobbler this time I had 3 pairs of shoes made last time I was in Hoi An and I still love those things (hence why I didn’t get new ones made).  Tailors are usually associated with a cobbler and often they are right next door run by a brother or sister.  They take custom measurements and form leather, suede or other materials into a shoe of your choice.  Just like the tailors they can copy any photo that you show them and it will be a fraction of the price of custom made shoes you’ll find anywhere else.  I have a pair of blue suede loafers ($35), fancy brown dress shoes ($70) and fake Burkenstocks ($20) made on my first visit back in 2014.  The main reason I suggest getting shoes made is that your feet are unlikely to change size or shape (unlike my belly) so investing in a pair of custom shoes while you are in Hoi An will give you the perfect shoes for a lifetime!

19) Shop for cheap clothes (no tailored) – Hoi An is a shopping paradise and its no just about custom clothing.  You can find great travel clothes for a few bucks on every corner.  You’ll find the standard Thai pants that pop up all over south east Asia, plenty of sleeveless and t-shirts with catchy slogans and cool prints.  Vietnamese puns, flags and more adorn just about everything you can buy too.  Walking around there seemed to be a new fad of banana clothing going on but perhaps fruit prints are today’s new Hawaiian shirt and are here to stay.

Budget Travel Tip – Don’t forget to haggle at these vendors unlike tailors and cobblers!  We were often quoted 30-50% higher prices than we paid.  I like to haggle but price checking a few stores, when you walk out they are likely to shout a lower price back at you.  The most important thing when haggling in Vietnam and around Asia is to make sure you are happy with the price you are paying.  If you are happy you can be sure the vendor is happy too and then the world is a happier place.  Plus you get some new stuff!

What to Eat in Hoi An

Hoi An has 3 traditional foods that are delicious and very hard to find outside of this cultural city.  Cao lau, white rose and plenty of other traditional Vietnamese foods can be found all over Hoi An.  We loved walking down little alleys and finding hole in the wall restaurants, stopping at a street vendor or eating in the markets.  The further you get from the old town and the beach the lower the prices will be.  We spent everything from 30,000-50,000 VND ($1.30-$2.20) for a standard Vietnamese meal.

20) Eat local Cao Lau – Cao lau is Hoi An’s version of your standard noodle bowl, aka phở.  It comes with less soup than phở and thicker noodles topped with thinly sliced pork, green vegetables and crunchy croutons sprinkled on top.  A bowl of Cao Lau will run you about 35,000 VND ($1.50) can be found on the street, in the market and in just about every restaurant in Hoi An.  Make sure you eat it while in Hoi An though because it is supposedly exclusive to this region and was one of the favorite noodle bowls out of everything I tried throughout Vietnam.

21) Eat White Roses – You probably think I’m crazy for telling you to eat a white rose and I thought the same thing when I first heard of white roses.  They are another Hoi An specialty that is basically a rice paper dumpling.  Their special way of cooking these dumplings makes the rice paper curl and form a beautiful rose-like pocket of deliciousness.

22) Make your own Spring Rolls at Bale Well – Bale Well is famous in Hoi An for its pork satay, mixed greens and fried Vietnamese rice pancakes that you roll onto rice paper to make a spring roll.  They have a set menu that costs 120,000 VND ($5.30) per person and is well worth it.  Eat in their garden patio for the best experience and don’ be afraid to ask the lady to show you how to roll the spring roll (we had to ask her twice).

23) Eat delicious local fruit – You are in the tropics and there are  SO many amazing fruits to try.  You can eat them all in Hoi An so go ahead and add “eat everything” to your Hoi An to do list.  Our favorites were dragonfruit, rambutan and mango but you can also find jackfruit, durian, guava and countless more.

24) Indulge in a good western meal – Hoi An is known for affordably priced western food because they cook it perfectly here!  You can easily find a good meal to cure your homesickness for about $4.  We picked burgers for our good western meal and Burgers+ (google Burgers Plus) was exactly what our bodies craved after almost 3 weeks of eating Vietnamese food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  The burgers are juicy and you can add everything your heart desires.  I doubled down and got the biggest thing on the menu with 2 patties, 2 slices of cheese and bacon all for a grand total of 130,000 VND ($5.70)  You can get a classic burger for much cheaper at 69,000 VND ($3) and it will still be juicy & delicious!

Well I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this list as much as I enjoyed going to Hoi An and doing it all!  The city really is amazing and if it isn’t already on your bucketlist than now’s the perfect time to add it.  I’ve put 3 suggested itineraries below and hope they help you plan you trip!

Hoi An Itineraries

I came up with these itineraries as rough guides for you to get the most out of your stay.  They are self-guided but you can certainly find a local Vietnamese guide to help you experience Hoi An too.  Feel free to mix and match these itineraries or substitute any of the awesome things to do from above.

Quick Tailoring and Relaxation Getaway (3 days 2 nights)

Day 1 – After you check into your hotel find your tailor first thing.  This will let you stroll through the ancient town too.  Ask your tailor for a cobbler recommendation and a place to get Cao Lau for lunch.  You probably had a long bus or plane to get here so take a massage in the evening.

Day 2 – Go back to your tailor (and cobbler) in the morning for your fitting.  Its nice to get them out of the way early in the day.  Head to the beach (or pool if you’re staying at Koi Resort & SpaHoi An Estuary Villa, or Hoi An Odyssey Hotel) Spend the rest of your day soaking in the sun and sipping on coconuts.  Make sure you go to the river in the old city in the evening to see all the lanterns and take a romantic boat ride too!

Day 3 – Time to pick up your new clothes and shoes!  If you head there early in the morning they can even squeeze in a 2nd fitting before you leave this evening.  Check out Bale Well for lunch and you can even get another massage!


Hoi An’s Cultural Adventure (5 days 4 nights)

Day 1 – After you check into your hotel go buy the ticket for the old town.  Get the map from the ticket vendor and Google the ancient hot spots so you can pick 5 to see.  (We loved the assembly halls the most).  If you are big into culture, history and architecture can spend 3-4 hours walking around the old town.  Double that if you like to shop too!  Eat some cao lau for lunch and then watch one of the cultural shows in the evening (this will take up one of your 5 tickets)

Optional ~ If you’re thinking about getting tailoring done then find you tailor today and budget enough time for 2 fittings.

Day 2Rent a motorbike from your hostel and head to My Son.  The drive is lovely and will take you past rice fields and villages on windy but well paved roads.  It takes about 1 hour to reach the entrance and is easily found on Google Maps or Maps.Me.  When you first arrive in My Son you’ll want to spend an hour in the museum near the entrance.   There are just 2 small rooms but they are FULL of information, photos and sculptures teaching you about the Champa people.   It’ll take you another hour or two to take the shuttle to the temple ruins and explore them.  When you get back to Hoi An you might want to treat yourself to a massage.

Day 3 – Get up early today and take a bikeride to the farmland between the old town and the beach.  If you’re lucky you’ll see fisherman in the river and farmers tilling their fields!  Don’t forget to take a selfie with a water buffalo while there!  You might as well spend some time on the beach today to recover from yesterdays long ride.

Day 4 – Rent a motorbike again but this time head for Marble Mountain!  Its only about 30-45 minutes away from Hoi An and offers beautiful views of the surrounding area as well as cool caves.  You’ll have enough time tonight to enjoy the river at night.  Have a few beers and meet some other backpackers or enjoy a romantic dinner tonight.  Don’t forget to light a floating lantern!

Optional ~ treat yourself to another massage tonight

Day 5 – You’re on an adventure so the best way to live it up is with the Hai Van Pass!  Talk to the hostels in the area for the best deals; they’ll put your bag on a bus and rent you a motorbike in one package plus you’ll be able to find a biking buddy that way.  If you don’t want to drive it yourself you can always hire an Easy Rider!

Optional ~ skip the last day on the motorbike and head to the beach instead!

The Ultimate Hoi An Experience (8 days 7 nights)

Day 1 – Find your tailor and explore the old town today.  You’ll want to try some new foods like Cao Lau or White Rose too.  If you want to get shoes or a leather bag made then find a cobbler today too.  Have a relaxing dinner by the river or in one of Hoi An’s amazing restaurants.

Day 2Rent a bike (or take a FREE one from Ivy Hotel) You’ve got a week so no rush to get your first fitting in but if there’s a chance you’ll want to order more then you should go back to them today but do it in the morning because you’re going to take the bike through the vegetable farms.  Stop and ride a water buffalo or pose for a selfie.  Look for the duck farm and get lost in the rice paddies!  If you get back to town in time then go see the beautiful lanterns lit up at night.

Day 3Rent a motorbike and head to either My Son or Marble Mountain.  These half day trips offer beautiful cultural experiences and are a fun way to see Vietnam.  Make sure you get a massage when you are back in town.

Day 4 –  Make sure you’ve got time to go back to your tailor today.  This should be your final fitting since you are going to check out of the Old Town and head to the beach soon.  Use up the rest of your old town tickets and take a cooking class for your evening meal.  Say farewell to the old town with a floating lantern for good luck!

Day 5 – Lets move to the beach.  You probably want to stay at An Bang Memory Homestay because the rooms are the best for the price and its a 3 minute walk to the beach.  By the time you check out and check in you’re gonna be exhausted so lets keep the afternoon free for beach time and a nap.  Enjoy a delicious western meal at An Bang Memory Bistro since you might be tired of the Vietnamese food by now.

Day 6 – Wake up early to watch the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean!  Since you’re up early you can either spend another whole day on the beach with some water sports or rent a motorbike and take the trip you missed on day 3.  Whichever you pick why not head back to the vegetable farm for a beautiful sunset!

Day 7 – Sign up for a Cham Island tour to see some underwater anemones.  The crystal clear water makes for perfect snorkeling or diving and you can see some truly beautiful marine life.  This will take all day and be exhausting so maybe you’ll want another massage tonight.

Day 8 – If you haven’t already picked up your tailoring this is your last chance!  You leave today but that doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze in some last minute souvenir shopping or beach time!  If you’re like me you might just devour one more portion of Cao Lau too.

 Where to stay in Hoi An

Want to stay near Hoi An’s old town?  Check out these great hostels, hotels and homestays in Hoi An!

Budget accommodation in Hoi An

Anh Nhung Guesthouse – $10 and up – The Anh Nhung Guesthouse is a great budget hotel in Hoi An and they are pet friendly too!  You will be a bit farther from the bustle of Hoi An but within walking distance to the old town and right near the river delta.

Sao Khue Guesthouse – $8 and up – The Sao Khue Guesthouse is away from the bustle of the touristy Old Town and the beach but still just a short bike ride to see anything your heart desires.  Check them out if you are traveling to Hoi An on a budget!

Midrange hotels in Hoi An

Ivy Hotel – Rooms from $31 – We absolutely loved staying at the Ivy Hotel near Hoi An’s river and old town.  The rooms were spacious and comfortable and all come with a delicious FREE breakfast and FREE bikes!

Hoi An Odyssey Hotel – $58 and up – This 4 star hotel is perfect for travelers in Hoi An with a midrange budget.  You’ll have a beautiful pool to relax in when the city gets too busy and its perfect for couples traveling in Vietnam!

Luxury hotels in Hoi An

La Siesta Hoi An Resort & Spa – Rooms are usually over $300 but check Booking for discounts as big as 60% on this fantastic 5 star resort.  Its a perfect location in Hoi An’s old town just down the road from the Japanese covered bridge.  Its also worth noting that it has a 9.7 out of 10 rating and should be at the top of your list for where to stay in Hoi An!

Hotel Royal Hoi An – MGallery by Sofitel – Another amazing 5 star resort right near Hoi An’s old town.  This place is perfect for couples with rooms as low as $158 and plenty of amentities to keep you pampered while you travel to Hoi An!

Travel Tip – Sign in on Booking for secret deals on top of the huge discounts they already offer!

Hotels by the Beach

Want to stay near Hoi An’s An Bang Beach?  Check out these great beach hostels, hotels and homestays

Budget accommodation at the beach

Rice Flower Homestay – $14 and up – Rice Flower Homestay is perfect for couples traveling on a budget.  Its a short walk to the beach has clean rooms and a beautiful garden.

Midrange hotels at the beach

Hoi An Estuary Villa  – $25 and up – The Hoi An Estuary Villa is an exceptionally high rated hotel with FREE breakfast.  They are only 600m from Hidden Beach and a quick bike ride to An Bang.  Make sure you check out their beautiful pool too!

Luxury Hotels at the beach

An Bang Memory Homestay – Rooms start at $60 – An Bang Memory Homestay is the best luxury room on a budget and just 3 minutes from An Bang beach and perfect for a couple traveling to Hoi An.  Their rooms are cosy with super comfy beds and a wonderful shower.  This is the perfect place to stay for a romantic getaway and if the weather turns south you can relax in their garden on your private patio or head to their delicious restaurant!

Koi Resort & Spa – Rooms starting at $100 – This beautiful 5 star resort is a minute from Cua Dai beach and a short drive to either An Bang or the Hoi An Ancient town.  Their rooms have everything you could ask for and you’ll be able to enjoy an outdoor pool in addition to all their other amenities.

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Mike Still
Mike is a travel enthusiast, photographer and teacher. He loves adventure travel, meeting the locals and exploring new culture. As an outdoor enthusiast you can often find him hiking mountains or exploring forests trying to capture the beauty of mother nature. In 2013 he founded www.LiveTravelTeach.com as he left his home in America and has been teaching or traveling around the world ever since!

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Daniela Fries September 10, 2017 - 11:02 am

I’ve never been to Vietnam but I have Vietnamese students (I teach German online) who have already told me a lot about their home country. Love your pictures and the very informative article on Hoi An which seems to be a really awesome place.

Mike Still September 10, 2017 - 11:50 pm

Thanks Daniela, your students are so right. There is so much to see and do in Vietnam. I hope you can visit one day!

Emma McKay September 10, 2017 - 1:27 pm

What a wonderful resource for Hoi An! I’ll be visiting Vietnam in the new year and hadn’t really started planning yet but now know I need to bargain for more time in Hoi An. Looks really wonderful. I’d love to get some clothing made! What a unique experienced. Pinned it for later!

Mike Still September 10, 2017 - 11:49 pm

Emma, I’m so happy to hear this post will help you plan your trip! Let me know if you have any questions when you are getting ready to go!

Sreekar Harinatha September 10, 2017 - 4:18 pm

No wonder you had to write such a long post. Hoi An has that many things frankly speaking! It kinds gets on the list of must see cultural cities in Asia alongside Kyoto, Kolkata, Siem Reap! Personal opinion though!

Mike Still September 10, 2017 - 11:46 pm

Hoi An is definitely up there with Kyoto and Siem Reap. But now you’re making me wish I’d visited Kolkata when I went to India. Next time I guess 🙂

Christina September 10, 2017 - 8:49 pm

Hoi An is one of my favourite cities in Asia. The old town is so charming and authentically Vietnamese. Last time I was there I ended up getting a bunch of clothes made.

Mike Still September 10, 2017 - 11:48 pm

We had so many clothes made too. Visiting the tailor was one of our favorite things to do in that charming little city

20 Visual Reasons to Visit Hoi An, Vietnam - Short Holidays and Getaways September 11, 2017 - 6:56 am

[…] with its visual beauty, the Old Town, the very good food, and the easy lifestyle. To find out the best things to do in Hoi An, click the […]

Anna @ shenANNAgans September 11, 2017 - 9:21 am

My best friend is from Hoi An, she makes some of the most incredible foods in the world and raves about how the street food is restaurant quality food in Australia. Seriously amazing that you can get kabobs, pancakes, bbq meat, fruit and a beer for like .50c #mindblown I cant wait to visit, you’ll def find me going from one street eat to the next. 🙂

Mike Still September 19, 2017 - 8:38 pm

You should take a cooking lesson from your friend because the food in Hoi An was some of the best we ate in all of Vietnam! I’m excited for you to visit Hoi An too!

Meg Jerrard September 11, 2017 - 4:37 pm

It’s definitely high praise to Hoi An if you went expecting to spend 3 days and ended up staying 7! Thankyou for this incredible guide to spending a week there. Between the UNESCO Ancient Town, temples, renting a motorbike to explore, and the boat, I’m blown away by how much there is to do and explore. The beaches look beautiful, I would love to organize a snorkel at Cham Island or parasail at An Bang Beach, and a selfie with a water buffalo is now at the top of my list! Might need to stay actually longer than a week!

Mike Still September 19, 2017 - 8:37 pm

Thanks for reading Meg! With all those things you can do its easy to spend even more than a week. I just heard a great idea from Ryan about spending 2 months in Hoi An. It really is a wonderful place to relax for a while.

Jenna Kvidt September 12, 2017 - 4:57 pm

Ahh, we’ve been dying to visit Vietnam, and this really makes me want to head to Hot An right away! Hopefully we can make it there soon. Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions! I’d love to get custom tailored clothing–would be such a unique experience! The make your own Spring Rolls at Bale Well looks amazing too. I’d love to check out all of your suggestions and itineraries, thanks for sharing!

Mike Still September 19, 2017 - 8:35 pm


I’m so glad this post is helping you plan your trip to Vietnam! You’ll love getting tailoring done and making your own spring rolls.


Ryan Biddulph September 12, 2017 - 11:37 pm

Hi Mike,

Anybody fancy a tailor? LOL. I didn’t see enough selection in tailors there only like 200 shops 😉

We visited Hoi An for 2 months in 2013. You could spot me peddling through those very rice fields. We rented a home by the edge of two, 2 minutes from the rice fields. Awesome spot. We also biked to CD beach almost daily, getting some serious cardio but also lazing under the natural palm tree canopy during afternoon hours.

Fave eats there: The Dingo Deli. Brilliant.

Thanks for the fab breakdown dude.


Mike Still September 19, 2017 - 8:32 pm


2 months in Hoi An would be brilliant! I might even get all the things to do on this list finished if I could stay that long. I’ll have to come back a 3rd time and visit The Dingo Deli, we missed it this time. I always appreciate your kind words about my posts 🙂


Juliette | Snorkels to Snow September 14, 2017 - 9:34 am

Would absolutely love to visit Hoi An! Great list of things to do – I’d be definitely keen to light a floating candle! What a neat idea. I’ve heard so many awesome things about getting things tailored over there so I think I would like to get my entire year’s wardrobe sorted on a trip there too! Very comprehensive post.

Mike Still September 19, 2017 - 8:30 pm

Everything you’ve heard about the tailors in Hoi An is true! They can make ANYTHING and can even do it from a photo. One of the shirts I had tailored was from an old Facebook photo haha. I wish I’d saved money more for tailoring
so I could get a whole year’s wardrobe. That’s such a great idea!

abcdefghizzy September 14, 2017 - 11:37 am

As I lived in HCMC for a year and a half, this post makes me so nostalgic. I loved loved loved Hoi An, it’s my favorite city in all of Vietnam! Everything you stated (and more) is all on point. I don’t think someone could achieve a better post than this one! I had no idea about the Bale Well spring rolls. Guess I have to go back one day 😛

Mike Still September 19, 2017 - 8:29 pm

Thank you so much for your kind words! I hope you make it back to Vietnam and Hoi An one day. Its easy to see how it would be your favorite city in Vietnam!

FamilyTravelEscapades September 17, 2017 - 4:16 am

I would love to visit Hoi An and all of Vietnam. The floating lanterns seem dreamlike (like the movie “Tangled”). I had no idea that there would be so much to do there.

Mike Still September 19, 2017 - 8:28 pm

The whole place seems like it could be a great Disney movie! It really is surprising how much there is to see and do in Hoi An

trevorthorpetravels September 17, 2017 - 6:00 am

This is a super-comprehensive overview of Hoi An! It’s funny, one of the things that stood out most to my $ brain was that the combination of $0.25 beers and $5 motorbike rentals just have to have resulted in at least a few tourist epic-fail moments!

Mike Still September 19, 2017 - 8:27 pm

Oh man I’m sure there have been a few epic fails from that combo. We loved driving the bikes and drinking beers separately haha.

therainbowroute September 17, 2017 - 10:55 am

I keep hearing wonderful things about Hoi An and this article really sums it all up in one place. I love walking around night markets. The energy is so unique.

Mike Still September 19, 2017 - 8:27 pm

All the wonderful things you’re hearing about Hoi An are true!

Miranda Knudtson September 19, 2017 - 6:25 am

Seeing the beautiful temples are a must in Vietnam, but I was happily surprised that there was kayaking available! Not something I would’ve guessed.

Mike Still September 19, 2017 - 8:25 pm

You’re absolutely right, the temples are so great in Vietnam! My Son and Marble Mountain are really interesting to visit from Hoi An and boating in the river is so much fun!

Claire September 22, 2017 - 1:43 am

I loved my visit to Hoi An. One of the highlights for me was taking a bike your around and getting to meet some locals. Wish I’d known there was a beach close by. Looks lovely

Sandy N Vyjay September 22, 2017 - 11:13 am

What a wonderful perspective of Hoi An. The place leaps to life in your post in vivid colour. Love the look of the UNESCO heritage old town. The bike tour too looks really inviting, a great opportunity to get lost in the beautiful countryside.

Carmen Edelson September 22, 2017 - 6:14 pm

I’d love a guided tour! This is such a fantastic guide, I’m going to bookmark it for my future travels. Thanks for sharing 🙂

Mike Still September 27, 2017 - 12:53 pm

The guided tours are really great. I loved when I took the tour to Cham Island

arsenalnic September 23, 2017 - 7:08 pm

There is a lot to do in Hoi An that’s for sure, though personally I preferred the outer more remote / rural areas around the city and over in Da Nang as you mentioned.

Mike Still September 27, 2017 - 12:53 pm

If you like the rural areas you would love visiting My Son!

James October 14, 2017 - 9:55 pm

Great informative post. Love the drone shots. We’ve been here now for 6 weeks with another 3 to go. A beautiful part of the world. I also love the white rose although Cao Lau is still my favourite food in Hoi An.

Mike Still October 17, 2017 - 2:07 pm

I’m so glad you like the drone shots here! It was one of my first times flying and I can’t wait to share more. Cao Lau just might have been my favorite dish in all of Vietnam!

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WILLIAM MARTIN June 12, 2018 - 3:30 am

I travel to and stay in Hoi An every UK winter for 6 months have done for last four years returning again in December 2018 Beautiful people in a beautiful country have stayed in most countries but give me Hoi An every time I just love it.

Mike Still June 13, 2018 - 6:42 am

I hope you have fun when you go back in December! Thank you for reading 🙂

Kate Le August 7, 2019 - 2:19 am

I read this article. Thank you for sharing information about Vietnam. If you come to Vietnam next time, I hope I have chance to see you

Mike Still August 8, 2019 - 8:41 pm

I hope that I can come to Vietnam again soon. Maybe we can take a trip together 🙂


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