11 Best Things to Do in Hoi An Vietnam to Plan Your Trip

11 Best Places in Hoi An Vietnam to Plan Your Trip | Budget Itinerary 2023

The ancient city of Hoi An is a wonder in itself because, unlike other places in Vietnam, it is effortlessly stunning. It is dubbed as one of the most beautiful cities in the world and the name ‘Hoi An’ literally translates to “peaceful meeting place”.

This coastal city offers a lot in terms of historical relics. If Hanoi shows us the life of the Imperials hundreds of years ago, Hoi An brings us back to the ancient times of the common folk of Vietnam!

Hoi An was an ancient city with strong spice trading in the 10th century. It was a direct trading port with China due to its location which is by the Thu Bon River. It was hailed as the prime merchant destination in Asia in the 18th century.

But what makes Hoi An a beauty is the continuous efforts of the people to preserve the culture and traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. You will still find the same buildings that stood there 300 years ago.

So, if you’re looking to visit Hoi An, here are 11 things you can do!

Attractions inside Hoi An’s Ancient Town

1. Hoi An Ancient Town

Undoubtedly, Hoi An’s ancient town is one of the most popular places in Vietnam for tourists!

The Ancient Town of Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage Site measuring up to 30 hectares of beautiful buildings and structures that have been well-preserved through time. It is the melting pot of cultures and a showcase of amazing architecture that is scarcely seen in other places in Vietnam.

Ancient town in Hoi An over the sunset
Ancient town over the sunset, credit: Vinpearl

When you take a walk through the old town, you’ll find scenes that bring you back in time. The houses in this area date back to the 15th century and most of them are built with wood and bricks. The charm that this town holds definitely comes from the people but also from the mix of Japanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese architectural styles that can be seen all throughout the area.

One of the most popular sites here is the astonishing Japanese bridge which was built 400 years ago. It’s one of the most visited sites in this area. Make sure to get a glimpse of the Guan Cong Temple which is a wonder to look at!

The vibrant street of Ancient Town
The vibrant street of Ancient Town, credit: National Geographic

The area is easy to navigate since you can simply take a walk around. You do have to pay an entrance fee of about $5 or VND120,000 but it allows you access to all the places in the ancient town.

After taking a walk, you can have some breaks at the restaurants in the area and you might bump into the folk music performers!

Location: Hoi An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam

Entrance Fee: $5 or VND120,000 per person

Open Hours: Always open.

2. Japanese Covered Bridge

Found inside Hoi An’s Ancient Town, the Japanese Covered Bridge is one of the most popular, most visited, and most photographed structures in Vietnam!

This bridge connects Tran Phu St to Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St and made it easier for the Japanese sector of the area to get in and out of the Chinese neighborhoods. It resembles a Japanese pagoda but some of the details are in the Chinese style.

The magnificent Japanese Covered Bridge in Ancient Town
The magnificent Japanese Covered Bridge in Ancient Town

A small temple dedicated to the Taoist god of weather, Tran Vo Bac De, can be accessed through the bridge. The temple was dedicated to the god since the are is prone to floods.

The Japanese bridge is about 400 years old and measures about 18 meters long. It was hailed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999!

The bridge is quite small in size compared to the buildings around it so you better watch out or you’ll miss it! However, once you get to see it, there will be no denying that the bridge is quite special. Come along at night and you’ll see the bridge get illuminated by the lights around it and it’s amazing!

This 18-meter-long bridge dates back almost four centuries, and it’s one of Hoi An’s most famous landmarks–even though it’s small enough that you could easily miss it if you weren’t looking for it.

Location: Hoi An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam

Entrance Fee: Included in the Ancient Town Entrance Ticket.

Open Hours: Always open

3. Fujian Assembly Hall

The next on our list dates back to 1690 and was originally built as a pagoda and later became a gathering place for the Fujian ethnic group that originates from China.

The Assembly Hall of the Fujian Chinese Congregation which also goes by the names ‘Fujian Assembly Hall’, ‘Phuc Kien Assembly Hall’, or ‘Hoi Quan Phuc Kien’ in Vietnamese is also a temple dedicated to the goddess of the heavens and the seas, Thien Hau (or Mazu).

The impressive Fujian Assembly Hall
The impressive Fujian Assembly Hall, credit: BestPrice Travel

The complex is designed after the oriental style of architecture with dragons, fish, turtles, and other mythical creatures adorning the roofs, doors, and walls. The Fujian Assembly Hall now serves as both a temple and a cultural center, hosting some colorful events and festivals in the premise.

You can also walk around the complex and wonder at the intricate details of the grand gates as well as walk through the gardens. The Fujian Assembly Hall is UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a perfectly preserved relic of ancient Hoi An that you can never miss!

Location: 46 Trần Phú, Cẩm Châu, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam

Entrance Fee: $7 or VND150,000 per person.

Open Hours: 7 AM to 6 PM.

4. Phung Hung House

Want to do something different on your next trip to Hoi An? Why not take a trip inside a house? That’s right, a HOUSE! The House of Phung Hung to be exact.

But what is so special about the House of Phung Hung? The house’s design is influenced by Japanese and Chinese architectural elements as seen through the Japanese-style roof, red lanterns, and Chinese inscriptions. However, these are not just the reasons why this house is popular!

The ancient House of Phung Hung
The ancient House of Phung Hung, credit: Authentik Travel

The house was strategically engineered with 80 columns that have kept it upright for over 200 years. These columns lay upon special lotus-shaped bases that protect them from unnecessary moisture and termites.

At the rear side of the house, you’ll find a balcony that leads to the canal. The balcony makes it possible to fetch goods as soon as any boat arrives. In some cases, the river overflows due to heavy rains but the balcony can be closed off to protect the house from the damaging waters of the flood.

Chinese-influenced interiors of the House of Phung Hung
Chinese-influenced interiors of the House of Phung Hung, credit: danangprivatecar.com

The House of Phung Hung was owned by a Vietnamese merchant. It was used to sell spices, silk, and chinaware, but unfortunately, you won’t find these products in the house anymore. However, you can still find remnants of its past in the details of the house.

The house is quaint but it truly is a glimpse of Vietnam’s past!

Location: 4 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, Phường Minh An, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam

Entrance Fee: $3 or VND90,000 but is already part of a tour that covers historic houses.

Open Hours: 8 AM to 6 PM, daily.

5. Tan Ky Old House

Another historic house that you can visit in Hoi An is the House of Tan Ky. Yes, it’s different from the House of Phung Hung although the architectural style looks quite similar.

The house is the best way to reminisce about the old trading ways of Vietnam since this house was built in 1741 to accommodate merchants who needed a place to dock. Although, today, it no longer serves as a merchant house but descendants of the original owner still reside here.

The House of Tan Ky, credit: Vietnam Times

Due to the flood-prone area, you’ll also find some interesting designs that keep the house protected from the damaging effects of floods like the pulley that was used to raise furniture to keep them away from floodwater.

Tan Ky House drew inspiration from Japanese and Chinese architectural designs. The structure is well-preserved that even the original homeware from 200 years ago is still in the house!

The House of Tan Ky seems quite simple but it holds little easter eggs that might be fun for you to find like the carved poems on the columns!

Location: 101 Nguyễn Thái Học, Phường Minh An, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam

Entrance Fee: $3 or VND90,000 but is already part of a tour that covers historic houses.

Open Hours: 8 AM to 11:30 AM, then 1:30 PM to 5:45 PM, daily.

6. Quan Cong Temple (Guan Di Temple)

The Quan Cong Temple is found inside the premises of the Ancient Town in Hoi An as mentioned in number 1.

Unlike other temples, the Quan Cong Temple is dedicated to a General rather than a deity. General Quan Van Truong was a military leader who helped Chinese people during famines and protected them from danger during the Eastern Han dynasty. The temple was built in 1653 and has been an architectural marvel ever since then.

The entrance of Quan Cong Temple
The entrance of Quan Cong Temple, credit: VinWonders

The Quan Cong Temple follows a Chinese architectural style, with two dragons on a cloud at the entrance, and arched roofs that are prominent in Chinese styles. Inside, you’ll find the 3-meter-tall paper mache with red skin and gold eyes made to preserve his honor and memory.

Access to this temple is easy especially when you come to Hoi An’s Ancient Town. It’s one of the sites you can visit apart from the Japanese Covered Bridge.

Location: 24 Trần Phú, Cẩm Châu, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam

Entrance Fee: Included in the Ancient Town Entrance Ticket.

Open Hours: 5 AM to 5 PM, daily.

7. Hoi An’s Central Market

There is an endless supply of markets in Vietnam and each of them represents the culture of an area.

With that being said, Hoi An’s Central Market is a must-go for visitors who want to see the local shopping life in the city. People come here to buy products that are sold at cheap prices. You can come to the Central Market at the break of dawn as vendors already set up their stalls for the day during that time.

Vendors at the Central Market selling various goods
Vendors at the Central Market selling various goods, credit: planetofhotels.com

Of course, like every other market out there, Hoi An Central Market sells different products like jewelry, clothes, bags, shoes, and other special items. A section is also dedicated to fresh produce like meat, vegetables, and fruits.

However, you must try eating at some of the stalls that sell Vietnamese food since most of them are very cheap but are as authentic as they can be. Don’t be surprised to find a lot of visitors at the food hall. They’re there because of the popular favorite, Cao Lau! You should definitely try it!

Location: 19 Trần Phú, Cẩm Châu, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam

Entrance Fee: FREE

Open Hours: 6 AM to 8 PM.

8. Hoi An Night Market

After visiting the Central Market during the day, why not head on to the Night Market in Hoi An too? You can easily come here after you’ve visited the Ancient Town’s Japanese Covered Bridge!

The colorful Night Market in Hoi An
The colorful Night Market in Hoi An, credit: Asia Paradise Travel

There’s just something about exploring markets at night! The ambiance is just quite different, and honestly, I think it’s even more lively than the regular day market. I believe it’s because people who come to night markets are finally able to relax after a full day of work, so it’s quite nice to be able to enjoy it with them.

The Hoi An Night Market is located on Nguyen Hoang Street overlooking the famous Thu Bon River and opens at 5 in the evening. Over 50 stalls and vendors open up during this time. They sell a lot of great souvenirs that you can bring back home, clothes, and most especially, food!

The famous lantern boat ride at the night market
The famous lantern boat ride at the night market, credit: Central Vietnam Guide

However, among all the many products sold at the night market, the most sought-after is probably the paper lanterns which have become a tourist must-buy! The lanterns come in all sizes and colors and you can even light one as you explore the night market!

Speaking of lanterns, a popular activity here is the lighting of small paper lanterns and having them float away in the Thu Bon River. The site is very beautiful at night and that in itself makes the night market worth a visit!

Just make sure that you bring your best negotiating skills, these might come in handy when you visit the night market in Hoi An!

Location: Nguyễn Hoàng, Phường Minh An, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam

Entrance Fee: FREE

Open Hours: 4-4:30 PM to 10 PM

Things to do outside Hoi An’s Historical District!

9. Tra Que Vegetable Village

Heaven on Earth for people who adore veggies, the Tra Que Vegetable Village is the place to be!

Tra Que is located three kilometers away from Hoi An and is believed to be 300 years old. The village grows all sorts of fresh produce like various vegetables and even culinary and medicinal herbs! The place is quite peaceful too, that’s why it’s is one of the best places to get some quiet time away from the craziness of modern life!

Farmer working on the plants at Tra Que Vegetable Village
Farmer working on the plants at Tra Que Vegetable Village, credit: Backpackers Wanderlust

You can walk around the vegetable gardens and see how the farmers tend to their plants. But the best thing about Tra Que that you probably won’t ever experience in most farms is the cooking class they offer!

In the cooking class, you will be taught how to cook dishes using the vegetables that you harvested while you get serenaded by performers playing traditional music. It’s a perfect way to learn how to cook vegetarian dishes if you’re not sure how to do it yourself. That’s not even the best part because you can also get a therapeutic massage!

Cooking class and restaurant at Tra Que Vegetable Village
Cooking class and restaurant at Tra Que Vegetable Village, credit: Asianway Travel

This relaxing massage will surely relax your nerves and will make you forget about the problems you’ve been thinking. You’ll be massaged using the special herbs that the Vietnamese used hundreds of years ago!

It’s fair to believe that this is one of the most unique experiences you’ll ever have on any trip!

Location: Nguyễn Hoàng, Phường Minh An, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam

Entrance Fee: $5 or VND120,000 per person (Part of Ancient Town)

Open Hours: 4-4:30 PM to 10 PM

10. An Bang Beach

If you thought that the beach in Nha Trang is the only beach worth visiting in Vietnam, then you thought wrong because Hoi An’s An Bang Beach is a must for all beach lovers out there!

The coastline in An Bang is phenomenal because of its super soft white sand and the amazing view that it offers. The water is clear and cool, and is perfect for a day swim on a hot sunny day!

The beautiful white beach of An Bang
The beautiful white beach of An Bang, credit: BestPrice Travel

There are plenty of resorts you can check in to, restaurants are all over the place, and we think you’ll get to enjoy the fun activities as well as the entertainment at this beach too! Local visitors or foreign tourists come here when the sun sets because the beach becomes alive around this time so if you want to visit An Bang without encountering a lot of people, come during the daytime!

Location: W87R+C7R, Đ. Hai Bà Trưng, Tp. Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam

Entrance Fee: FREE

Open Hours: Always open.

11. Cua Dai Beach

People say that Vietnam is not known for its beaches. Well, the world needs to start associating Vietnam with beautiful beaches because the beaches here are phenomenal! Cua Dau Beach is NOT an exemption!

This 3-kilometer tropical wonderland is located five kilometers away from Hoi An and is one of the most popular beaches in the city. It’s the perfect place for swimming because of the calm waves and the clear waters!

The stunning sunset over Cua Dai Beach
The stunning sunset over Cua Dai Beach, credit: WNFDiary

The beach is not quite busy so you’ll still be able to enjoy some peace as you hang out or sunbathe! The palm trees are perfect for some snaps for your Instagram especially during the sunset when the golden orange rays of the sun illuminate the sands at the beach.

On a warm sunny day, you can go to restaurants and grab a drink or two. You’ll probably see people riding bikes around the area. It’s one of the popular activities to do here and you might even be able to ride bikes too if you’re up for it!

Unfortunately, a devastating tsunami hit Cua Dai Beach back in 2004which caused erosion to happen on the beach. But since this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, efforts to restore its former glory are surely in place. So, don’t get too surprised when you see some heavy machinery and workers in some parts of the beach.

Location: Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam

Entrance Fee: FREE

Open Hours: Always Open.

Map of the Sites and Attractions

Here is a map of all the places mentioned in this article! They are marked in black to make it easier to spot!

Best way to tour Hoi An!

Hoi An is a beautiful city that offers a lot of attractions and sites to see and discover. But knowing which places to prioritize can be very difficult. It was even difficult to narrow down the best places in Hoi An!

However, exploring Hoi An shouldn’t be difficult especially if you know how to do it!

D.I.Y Tours

As the title says, touring around Hoi An can be done on your own! This is best for people who want to have their own pace. You can decide when and where to go on your trip and also you can determine whether or not you want to visit an attraction.

Of course, all entrance fees and transportation fees will be shouldered by you but the freedom you’ll get to plan out your trip is what makes this tour a great one.

Group tours

Group tours are fun ways to tour a place. It is cost-efficient and secure because you don’t have to think about how much you’re going to pay since the travel agency will already arrange everything for you.

This option is also great if you’re traveling alone because you can get mixed into a group of tourists and still be able to pay a low price and tour an area. You might not know the people you’re touring with but it’s a great opportunity to get to know others.

Group tours usually cover a general route, so you’re probably going to book a tour that will go around the whole city of Hoi An. Upon further research, some tours don’t offer access to some attractions and you might need to pay additional to be able to do so.

Group tour prices in Hoi An depend on the route it will be taking but they usually range from $17 to $60.

Walking Tours

Walking tours are quite popular in Hoi An. These walking tours are guided by locals who will bring you around to specific areas that you won’t be able to go to when on a group tour.

One example of this is the street food walking tour which lets you explore the different places while being able to enjoy the food of the locals. Some walking tours give you exclusive access to attractions too.

Though, since it is a walking tour, you’ll be walking around a certain area. However, there’s nothing to worry about since it usually covers a small area of the city.

Walking tour prices usually range from $17 to $50. the classic walking tour will be at a low price but walking tours that feature other offers like cooking classes tend to cost more.

Private Tours

Private tours are also great ways to tour around Hoi An. This is because these kinds of tours give you the privacy that you’d want on your tour.

However, for budget travelers, this might not be the best option as this could cost a lot more. Prices for Private Tours range from $30 to $100 or more. But for this price, you get a private car, your own tour guide, space, and less worry about other people. It’s still quite worth it since some Private Tours are more exclusive so there might be special offers that you won’t get from the other tour options.

For the most part, these tours are great for Hoi An. Apart from the D.I.Y Tour, the other tours will not have you worried about paying entrance fees since the tour prices are inclusive of these things.

You can book tours with local travel agencies and they will probably be more than happy to accommodate you. If you are a first-time traveler to Vietnam or Hoi An, finding a trustworthy travel agency might be difficult and you’ll end up spending a lot of time contacting different sources. That is why we recommend you book online.

Budget Itinerary has a list of all the best booking websites when it comes to booking tours online. You can use these websites to check out the best time to travel to Hoi An too. The websites will also show you the best time for all the exclusive deals so that you can save more and worry less!

If you haven’t found a place to stay in Vietnam, you can also check out our article where we talked about the best booking websites for accommodations. These websites offer the cheapest deals on hostels, hotels, budget resorts, and even fancier ones!

Final Thoughts on Hoi An

Hoi An is the most beautiful city in Vietnam, not just because of the sites located there but also because of the ancient traditions and cultures that remain among its people. The understanding that the people of Hoi An have of how important their history is simply leaves us in awe.

One of the reasons why we recommend the city is because of how inexpensive it is to travel to. There simply are a lot of things to do that won’t jeopardize your budget! So, we hope you enjoy exploring all the places we’ve included in this article!

If you want to know more, don’t forget to check out the other articles we have on Vietnam!

Follow us on our social media pages @budgetitinerary for updates about budget travel!

Budget Itinerary Logo

Budget Itinerary Blog

We aim to bring you the best content for travel in Asia. We provide tips on how to travel cheaper and better. Our team is made up of budget travellers with years of travel experience. We write the best content for you to plan your trip. Follow us now and happy travelling!

Follow Us


budget itinerary accommodation booking

Related Posts

Best Luxury Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City

Best Luxury Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City

The largest city of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, is filled with luxurious 5-star hotels that will change your opinion of Vietnam being a developing country. It has transformed itself from the colonial era to the current urban metropolis and some of these luxury hotels...

Best Place to Stay in Ho Chi Minh For Families 2023

In this article, we are going to share with you the best places to stay in Ho Chi Minh City when travelling as a family. We will also introduce to you some of the best family hotels to stay at with kids that come with facilities that accommodate families. You will...

Best Place to Stay in Ho Chi Minh For Nightlife 2023

Best Place to Stay in Ho Chi Minh For Nightlife 2023

Photo by Vinpearl Heading to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) soon and thinking of where to stay for a vibrant nightlife scene? The most well-known place that you will hear is Bui Vien Street or Pham Ngu Lao, however, is it the only area with nightlife? What other area can you...

Where to Stay in Ho Chi Minh First Time 2023

Where to Stay in Ho Chi Minh First Time 2023

This might be your first time in Saigon and you're deciding on where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City as a first-timer here. It might be confusing as to where you should stay to get the best experience in terms of nightlife or attractions and this article is meant to show...



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest