Hoi An Travel Guide: 10 Attractions to visit in Vietnam’s former port city
The peaceful town of Hoi An in the Quang Nam Province of Vietnam was once a trading pot between the 15th and 19th centuries. Boasting beautiful French colonial homes, well-preserved Ancient Town and its relaxing riverside setting, Hoi An has definitely won the hearts of travellers as it is now one of the places to visit in Vietnam. Read our Hoi An travel guide today and get a good look at Vietnam’s scenic town situated about 800km south of the country’s capital city Hanoi.
Hoi An is a walkable city and among the popular Vietnam tourist places for travellers who are looking for a relaxing holiday in the country. You can take comfort with the fact that the crazy traffic in cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh is not present here so you can peacefully stroll or bike around while enjoying the scenic atmosphere of the city. To start your Vietnam travel adventure, make sure to include these Hoi An attractions on your itinerary!
Places to visit in Hoi An
Hoi An Ancient Town
One of the top tourist destinations and often featured in numerous Hoi An travel guides is the historic Ancient Town. Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999, Hoi An’s well-preserved Ancient Town is a gem that reflects the city’s rich history with an Asian flare. Along with Chinese temples, the iconic Japanese covered bridge and wooden shop-houses, Hoi An Ancient Town is a photogenic beauty. And although old shop-houses have been converted to restaurants, tailor shops and cafes, the culture and history are still very much alive here. A VND 120,000 and VND 80,000 entrance fee are required for foreign and local tourists respectively. The tickets will allow you to visit different heritage attractions in Ancient Town and are valid for 10 days.
Address: Hoi An Town, Quang Nam Province
Japanese Covered Bridge
The Japanese Covered Bridge is one of Hoi An’s most iconic attractions. It is believed that the bridge was built in order for the Japanese to reach the Chinese quarters. If you look closely, you’ll find sculptures of two dogs and two monkeys which represent prominent Japanese Emperors’ birth years. There’s also three Chinese carvings above the entrance of the bridge.
Address: West end of Tran Phu Street, Hoi An Ancient Town
Hoi An Riverside
Hoi An Riverside was once the centre of the foreign trade back in the 15th to 19th centuries. Today, it is lined with bistros, cafes, and restaurants where you can enjoy a cold beer, a warm cup of coffee, some local Vietnam food and famous international favourites. With its riverside venue, one of the popular things to do in Hoi An is hiring a boat to cruise along the river or enjoy a day of fishing.
Address: Hoi An Town, Quang Nam Province
Van Duc Pagoda
With a strong Chinese influence, you can find that there are Buddhist temples in Hoi An. The Van Duc Pagoda is one of the city’s oldest Buddhist temples which dates back to the 17th century. It has three worship halls and its interior is fitted with paintings of deities, animal sculptures and potted plants. Outside, there are plenty of shady trees where people can hangout. It gives off a peaceful atmosphere that invites visitors to either pay their respects, have their fortune told or simply admire the beauty of the pagoda.
Address: Dong Na Village, Cam Ha Commune, Hoi An
Opening Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Cua Dai Beach
Aside from Hoi An’s ancient streets, what most visitors like about this city is that scenic beaches are within reach. So make the most out of your Vietnam holiday in Hoi An and visit the nearby Cua Dai Beach. Just a 15-minute drive from Hoi An Ancient Town, Cua Dai Beach is a 3-kilometre stretch of white sand, coupled with dancing palm trees and gentle waves perfect for a day of swimming. Before heading back to Hoi An, you might want to stay for dinner and enjoy fresh seafood from numerous restaurants around the coast.
Address: Au Co, Cua Dai, Hoi An
An Bang Beach
Another beach destination perfect for a day trip from Hoi An Ancient Town is An Bang Beach. Boasting a wide selection of beachfront restaurants, resorts and bars, this famous beach destination is a mere 10-minute drive away from Hoi An Ancient Town – making it a great stop over after exploring the historic town. Soak up the sun and relax on sun beds or you can also go swimming or paddle-boarding.
Address: 7 Kilometres north of Hoi An
Fujian Assembly Hall
A Hoi An travel guide will not be complete without featuring our next attraction. The Fujian Assembly Hall is an icon of both Hoi An architecture and Fujian artistry. It is a World Heritage Site which was completed in 1690. Fujian residents would choose this assembly hall to meet up and socialise while staying in Hoi An. It is also the place where you can find the Jinshang Golden Mountain Temple dedicated to the goddess of sea and caretaker of sailors which is Thien Hau. Inside the Fujian Assembly Hall is also a fertility shrine where couples with no children pray in hopes of having a child.
Address: 46 Tran Phu Street, Hoi An Ancient Town
Opening Hours:8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Chuc Thanh Pagoda
Founded by Monk Minh Hai in 1454, Chuc Thanh Pagoda is the oldest Buddhist pagoda in Hoi An. Boasting Vietnamese and Chinese architecture, inside you’ll find a marble statue of Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, animal carvings, grave towers of notable monks and lacquered pillars. It’s been said that the Chuc Thanh Pagoda is the birthplace of the “Thiem Tam Te” religion and where pieces like several bells, a 200-yr old stone gong, and a carp-shaped wooden gong are still used until today.
Address: Khu Vuc 7, Phuong Tan An, Hoi An
Opening Hours:8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Hoi An Central Market
Much like any other holiday destinations, a Hoi An travel experience is not complete without making your way to the local market. Get a glimpse of the local Vietnam life at Hoi An Central Market which is located near the Thu Bon River. It’s a great place to buy fresh vegetables, fruits, street snacks and some Asian silk and textiles. You can also find some local tailor shops inside that offer cheap tailoring services.
Address: Nguyen Hue and Tran Phu Streets, Hoi An
Opening Hours:7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Hoi An Night Market
Enjoy an evening stroll at the Hoi An Night Market – a 300-metre long street filled with tourists and locals shopping from over 50 vendors. From accessories to jewellery, local snacks and clothing, you can find it all here in one of the country’s most popular night markets. It is located at Nguyen Hoang Street at the centre of town and it is beautifully illuminated with lanterns.
Address: Nguyen Hoang Street, Hoi An
Opening Hours:5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
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