Top 10 most unique things to do in Hoi An

Nestled in Central Vietnam, Hoi An shines as one of Vietnam’s premier destinations. This charming town was a bustling trading port during the 15th-19th century, earning UNESCO World Heritage status in 1985. Its allure lies in vivid colonial Japanese, Chinese and French influences in architecture, a picturesque riverfront, pedestrian-friendly streets, and the enchanting display of countless lanterns that adorn the evenings.

Hoi An’s universal appeal graces every Vietnam travel plan. Delve into our blog post, where we unveil the top 10 distinctive things to do in Hoi An, making your visit to this enchanting locale truly memorable. Embark on a journey through Hoi An’s finest attractions and discover the unique encounters that solidify its place in your Vietnam adventure.

Top 10 things to do in Hoi An – Vietnam’s Ancient town

Hoi An, a gem in Vietnam, boasts top-tier tailors, picturesque beaches, historic marvels, and an UNESCO World Heritage-listed ancient town center. Only a short plane ride from Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi, it offers all the allure of a big city without the chaos, and it’s brimming with charm. 

Your options for fun in Hoi An are nearly limitless, and we’ve curated a list of some of the finest things to do in Hoi An for you to savor.

1, Explore the old houses in Hoi An ancient town

Tan Ky Old House

Hoi An, often dubbed the “Yellow City,” truly lives up to its name with its profusion of yellow-hued buildings that grace the town. As you explore this charming locale, you’ll encounter numerous time-honored houses, each exuding its unique soul and authenticity.

A leisurely walk through these historic dwellings is a must during your visit, allowing you to appreciate their simple yet profound beauty. Make sure to include Tan Ky Old House on your itinerary. This architectural gem has been meticulously preserved by seven generations, offering a glimpse into the life of an 18th-century merchant. With its original Bat Trang brick flooring and architectural features that bear the influence of Chinese and Japanese craftsmanship, Tan Ky stands as one of Hoi An’s oldest houses.

Another notable attraction is the Duc An Old House, replete with intricately carved furniture. This site also boasts a shop filled with exquisite jewelry and souvenirs, along with a charming cafe, making it a delightful stop on your journey.

2, Take a day trip to My Son Sanctuary

My Son Sanctuary
My Son Sanctuary

My Son Sanctuary in Hoi An is a captivating journey through time for architecture enthusiasts. This UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site showcases the remarkable temples built by the Champa civilization, spanning from the 4th to the 14th centuries. The Champa’s unique construction method involves intricate carvings of Hindu deities directly onto red bricks, setting these temples apart. 

As you explore the ruins, you’ll be transported back to an era of artistic mastery and spiritual significance. My Son Sanctuary is not only a historical gem but also an architectural marvel, a testament to the rich cultural heritage of this region, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking to delve into Vietnam’s past.

3, Indulge in the local life at Cam Thanh Village

Hoi An Cam Thanh Village fisherman
Hoi An Cam Thanh Village fisherman

Nestled near Hoi An, Cam Thanh Village is a tranquil oasis offering a glimpse into the authentic Vietnamese way of life. While visiting this charming village, you can explore lush coconut groves, paddle along picturesque waterways in traditional basket boats, and learn about the age-old fishing and farming techniques that locals have preserved for generations. 

Cam Thanh Village invites you to engage in hands-on experiences, such as net fishing and crab trapping, which are not only entertaining but also educational. By immersing yourself in the serene beauty of this rural setting and the warmth of its people, you’ll create cherished memories of genuine Vietnamese culture and hospitality.

4, Witness the Japanese covered bridge

Hoi An Japanese Covered Bridge Pagoda
Hoi An Japanese Covered Bridge Pagoda

Japanese Covered Bridge, a testament to the 18th century, stands as a symbolic connection between the Japanese and Chinese quarters. Its historical importance is rivaled only by its intricate architectural details and religious significance, as it shelters shrines dedicated to various deities.

Most visitors are drawn to the bridge during the daytime, eager to capture its beauty in photos. However, its true enchantment emerges after dark. When the sun sets, the bridge comes alive, adorned with mesmerizing lanterns that cast a magical and captivating glow. This transformation takes the bridge to a whole new level of allure, inviting you to witness its evening spectacle, where history and beauty converge under the soft, radiant lantern light.

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5, Check out Hoi An Traditional Art Performance Theatre

Hoi An Traditional Art Performance Theatre offers a delightful immersion into the world of Vietnamese folk culture. This quaint venue showcases a rich tapestry of artistic expressions, from captivating folk dances to the melodies of ethnic instrumental ensembles. Visitors can savor the unique musical traditions of Quang Nam folk and the captivating Bai Choi singing.

A highlight of the experience is the enchanting performance of the Vietnamese instrument known as the “Dan Bau,” which demonstrates the incredible range of sounds produced with a single string. The intimacy of the theater adds to the charm, but due to its popularity, arriving early is advisable for those seeking a comfortable seat. This cultural gem in Hoi An provides an authentic glimpse into the vibrant and diverse traditions of Vietnam.

6, Take a ride in a lantern boat

Hoi An Japanese Covered Bridge Pagoda
Hoi An Japanese Covered Bridge Pagoda

In Hoi An, the enchanting paper lanterns serve as an enduring symbol of the town. Introduced during the 16th century by the Japanese and the Chinese, these lanterns were believed to usher good fortune into homes. Each evening, you can immerse yourself in this vibrant tradition by strolling through the Old City, aglow with these colorful lanterns. To take it a step further and partake in a magical experience, climb aboard a lantern boat and set sail along the Thu Bon river.

For a nominal fee of approximately $12, you can embark on a 20-minute river journey, joining dozens of boats that illuminate the water with their radiant lanterns. As you drift along, you’ll even have the chance to light your very own candle lantern, releasing it onto the river’s surface, becoming a part of this timeless ritual.

7, Get a custom-made clothes at a skilled local tailor

In Hoi An, the allure of custom-made clothing is a siren call for fashion enthusiasts. Whether you have a penchant for impeccably tailored suits or elegant dresses, this charming town boasts a plethora of skilled tailors on nearly every street corner. It’s a must-do for your Hoi An checklist. 

The process is a delightful journey. You get to select the color, style, and fabric of your choice, ensuring a garment that resonates with your unique taste. The fitting experience typically begins with a 24-hour turnaround, allowing ample time for you to explore your options. With an array of tailors offering varied fabrics and techniques, it’s worthwhile to stroll through the city, scrutinize the craftsmanship, and align your preferences with the tailor who captures your imagination. Keep in mind that initial price quotes often come with room for negotiation, so don’t hesitate to seek the perfect balance of quality and cost for your bespoke piece.

8, Visit Tra Que Vegetable Village

Hoi An Tra Que vegetable village
Hoi An Tra Que vegetable village

A short distance from the bustling streets of Hoi An lies the tranquil Tra Que Vegetable Village, offering an idyllic escape from urban life. This charming farming community is renowned for cultivating exceptionally clean and healthy vegetables without the use of artificial fertilizers. Instead, they rely on a unique organic fertilizer derived from algae found in the nearby Tra Que lagoon. 

Visitors to Tra Que can immerse themselves in the agricultural traditions of Vietnam. Gardening and cooking classes provide hands-on experiences, allowing you to learn about the farming techniques and culinary practices of the region. Guided tours are also available, offering an informative exploration of this eco-friendly village. Tra Que Vegetable Village stands as a testament to sustainable and organic farming, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking an authentic and serene Vietnamese experience.

9, Enjoy the tranquility of An Bang Beach

Hoi An An Bang Beach
Hoi An An Bang Beach

An Bang Beach, with its extensive stretch of pristine white sand, offers a serene escape near Da Nang with breathtaking views of Cham Island. Here, an array of delightful activities await. You can choose to embark on paddle-boarding adventures, take to the skies with parasailing, or ride the rolling waves with some invigorating surfing. Alternatively, simply recline under the warm sun, relishing the tranquil atmosphere.

One of the most remarkable aspects of An Bang Beach is the delectable dining options that line the beachfront. While here, you don’t need to pack a picnic, as you’ll find a selection of fantastic restaurants. The culinary scene represents a variety of cuisines. From delightful Italian fare at Luna d’Autunno to mouthwatering seafood dishes, these dining establishments make your beach day complete with flavors that complement the serene coastal setting.

10, Taste Local Delicacies on a food tour

Hoi An street foods
Hoi An street foods

Experience the vibrant and diverse culinary scene of Hoi An with a delightful food tour. Indulge in the finest local street food, including delectable dishes like BBQ pulled pork, white-rose dumplings, and the iconic Banh Mi. The Night Street Food Tasting Tour offers a fantastic opportunity to savor these Hoi An specialties, guiding your taste buds through a maze of flavors.

For an even more exceptional and exhilarating experience, consider embarking on a food tour by motorbike. It’s an adventure that not only tantalizes your palate but also immerses you in the bustling energy of Hoi An’s food culture. With a local guide leading the way, you’ll navigate the winding streets, uncovering hidden culinary gems and savoring the authentic flavors of this enchanting city.

Final thoughts

As you consider the top 10 most unique things to do in Hoi An, remember that this charming town has much more to offer than its well-known attractions. To truly uncover the hidden gems and create unforgettable experiences, consider the advantages of Viland Travel’s customized tours. 

Hoi An, with its rich history and vibrant culture, becomes a treasure trove of unique adventures when explored through personalized journeys. Our tours are meticulously designed to cater to your preferences, ensuring that every moment in this enchanting town is truly special. You can check out some of our most recommended choices such as:

From lantern-lit old streets to traditional workshops and serene countryside, Hoi An will reveal its most unique and authentic self to you. 

Don’t miss the opportunity to elevate your visit with a customized tour from Viland Travel, where every corner of Hoi An is a remarkable story waiting to be discovered.