James Travel

10 Things To Do in Hoi An – Hidden Gems and Insider Tips

Few places in Vietnam have the power to evoke nostalgia and sensory experiences, such as Hoi An.

Hoi An may have gained fame in recent years, but even as I complain about the increasing number of tourists, I cannot deny the romantic charm of this riverside town.

Founded in the 1520s, Hoi An flourished in the early 17th century, becoming one of the most bustling trading ports in Southeast Asia of the time. Through hundreds of years of ups and downs with the withdrawal of the Japanese, the arrival of the Chinese, and the development of Da Nang – a city about 30km away, Hoi An gradually sank into obscurity. But that’s luckily, due to that, Hoi An avoided Vietnam’s robust urbanization in the 20th century. The beautiful ancient architecture that created the town’s soul remains intact. 

Beautiful ancient architectures create the town's soul.

Within this small town, you’ll find a UNESCO World Heritage-listed town, temples, assembly halls, and shophouses showcasing Chinese, Japanese, and European architecture dating back hundreds of years. A charming town drenched in yellow walls and dark brown tiled roofs adorned with colorful silk lanterns, galleries displaying beautiful paintings, and tailor shops where you can get custom-made clothing in a day. In Hoi An, you’ve got rice fields, rivers, and beaches; not far away, you’ve got the countryside and mountains.

Boutique cafes buzz with happy music notes. Restaurants serve delicious Vietnamese dishes such as Cao Lau, Mi Quang, Banh Mi, and Chicken Rice. For me and many others, Hoi An has the best banh mi in Vietnam.

Boutique cafes buzz with happy music notes.

Working in the tourism business for many years, I’ve been to Hoi An at least ten times. These trips have been personal and business-related. I’ve witnessed the transformation of this town since its revival in 1999, when it was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to its current status as a bustling tourist destination with the appearance of hospitality giants. However, Hoi An retains its original charm with vibrant culinary scenes and affordable prices.

Scroll down to discover more intriguing and essential notes about a Hoi An that I guarantee you’ll love at first sight.

How To Enjoy Hoi An At Its Best?

It’s no exaggeration to say that everyone finds something in Hoi An. This town is a harmonious blend of history, architecture, cuisine, nature, and shopping. Everything here is worth your while.

Hoi An is a fantastic place for solo travelers! It’s one of Vietnam’s few towns where I truly feel at ease wandering alone. The town is safe, with spacious walking areas, and the locals are warm and friendly. From the café servers to the street vendors, if you stop to chat, they’ll smile and tell you about life in the town.

Since the Old Town always attracts a large number of tourists, I suggest waking up early to fully enjoy the charm and capture photos without any strangers in your frame. All the dishes are so delicious that I don’t know which one to recommend. I just simply try everything

It's hard not to fall in love with this town.

Hoi An offers a mix of budget-friendly and upscale accommodations. You can opt for hotels near the beach or in the old town without worrying about missing out on the other, as the beach and town are just a few kilometers apart.

Shops that make clothing, leather shoes, and bags are everywhere in the Old Quarter. You don’t need any encouragement to spend money here. Skilled local tailors can make suits or evening gowns in just one or two days at a price of only 1/10th of what you’d pay in your home country for similar quality. 

Easy to find shops that make clothing, leather shoes, and bags. You can have a tailor-made leather bag in just one or two days.

The Old Town is amazing, although it has become much less authentic than it was 15 years ago due to the influx of tourists and locals trying to please Western tastes. If you are okay with the crowds, you’ll always find joy and comfort here with plenty of restaurants, cafes, and galleries. If you prefer peace, many boutique hotels and homestays are just outside the Old Town area.

Hoi An always appeals to me, even though it differs from before. No, it’s not worse; it’s just different.

1. Enjoy The Laidback Atmosphere

Unlike the bustling cities of Hanoi or HCMC, Hoi An offers a slower, gentler pace of life. People still ride bicycles on lovely streets, while older women carry baskets filled with fresh vegetables to the early morning market. Red, pink, and orange bougainvilleas gracefully adorn the sidewalks, standing against the yellow houses.

Shophouses with iconic mustard colors lined up on one side of the Hoai River.

As the sun sets and lanterns light up, casting a magical glow over the streets, the town exudes romance and charm. Tourists take boats along the Hoai River to admire this beautiful time of day. The blue ships moor lazily on one side of the river.

Expect to encounter many tourists in the Old Town area. If you want to see a quieter side of Hoi An, it’s best to start early, before 8 a.m. or 3 p.m. Talk to the people to learn more about the town’s soul. Hoi An has some of the kindest people on earth. 

Every time I visited Hoi An, I saw the old lady sitting at the same place, selling the same pottery souvenir.

To learn more about Hoi An’s architecture, culture, and history, visit the following places:

Fujian Assembly Hall

Built-in 1967, this assembly hall boasts the most beautiful architecture in Hoi An, with intricate decorative details. It used to be a communal gathering and worship place for the Fujian community in Hoi An, where the earliest Chinese settlers were. Like most other Chinese assembly halls in Vietnam, the Fujian Assembly Hall worships the sea goddess, believed to protect the Fujianese people during their sea voyages to new lands.

The Fujian Assembly Hall worships the sea goddess, who protected the Fujianese people during their sea voyages to new lands.

Museum of Folklore

It is located in the longest ancient house in Hoi An, which faces the river—a traditional architectural feature of commercial houses. The collections showcase the town’s historical flow and the craftsmanship of artisans in the area.

Hoi An Market

You can’t miss it, as it’s a large yellow building with prominent red letters “Chợ Hội An” (Hoi An Market). The market is open from early morning until late evening, and hundreds of stalls sell everything to entertain your eyes and stomach. You can also find all the signature dishes of Hoi An at the food court, where you can enjoy the food with locals.

If you search for good food (which Hoi An is famous for), head directly to the Hoi An Market.

Japanese Covered Bridge

This bridge, which spans a small canal in the southwest corner of the Old Town, was built by Japanese merchants in the 16th century. It is 18 meters long and boasts a unique fusion of Japanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese architecture. Thanks to its beauty and cultural significance, the Japanese Covered Bridge is considered the soul of Hoi An’s Old Town. It is currently undergoing renovation and is expected to be completed by the end of 2024. The Japanese Covered Bridge is featured on the 20,000 banknote.

2. Admire Sunrise at Cua Dai Beach And Visit Duy Hai Fish Market

There’s something special about the sunrise at Cua Dai Beach. It’s not as brilliant as the sunrises typically seen at beaches; instead, it has a calm, gentle beauty, much like the atmosphere of Hoi An.

For this experience, you’ll need to rise early and set off around 4:30 a.m. But don’t worry—Cua Dai Bridge is just a short cycle—about 15 minutes from the town center. Once there, lean your bike against the bridge and wait for the sun to rise gradually from the horizon. The first shimmering golden rays appear, illuminate the natural landscape, and reveal a few small boats and fishing nets on the water, still in slumber.

Sunrise on Cua Dai Beach is something you don’t want to miss.

From the bridge, you’ll cycle for another 15 minutes to reach Duy Hai fish market. At that time, the fishing boats return to the dock with the morning catch. Fishermen paddle bamboo baskets to transport fish to the shore. Buyers are already waiting, hastily stepping into the water to come closer to the seller. Money changes hands even before the boats reach shore

On the ground, an array of fresh fish, squids, and shrimp is waiting for early-morning homemakers and chefs from restaurants and eateries to come and buy the freshest catch. The variety and freshness of the seafood are indeed a feast for the eyes. 

Despite being one of the liveliest fish markets in Hoi An, Duy Hai retains the rustic charm of a rural market.

Despite being one of the liveliest fish markets in Hoi An, Duy Hai retains the rustic charm of a rural market. A young woman quickly arranges shrimp on baskets while greeting a shopper. Right next to her is another woman skillfully removing bones from herring. You might find yourself the only tourist here. If you wish, a simple “Hello” will earn you a photo with the bright smiles of the fishmongers.

It’s interesting to notice that all the vendors at the market are women. The men go out on boats at night to catch fish while the women handle the selling. This traditional division of labor within families is still upheld in this part of Vietnam.

3. Find Out How Locals Make Fish Sauce

Fish sauce is always considered the soul of Vietnamese cuisine. No Vietnamese family’s meal is complete without a small bowl of fish sauce. Fish sauce is also the base ingredient to make dipping sauces for other Vietnamese dishes that you’ve probably tried, such as Vietnamese pancake (Bánh Xèo,) fresh spring rolls, deep-fried spring rolls, and grilled pork and noodles (Bún Chả.)

Do you know how Vietnamese people make fish sauce? If not, then luckily, you can find out about it in Hoi An.

I visited a household fish sauce factory near Duy Hai Fishing Market in March. Huge wooden barrels are filled with fish and salt.

Only a few places that produce traditional fish sauce remain in Hoi An. During my trip in March 2024, I visited two fish sauce producers there. Although slightly different in methods, both share the common feature of being located near the sea – a fresh fish supply, the main ingredient for fish sauce production. People mix fish with sea salt at a ratio of 3:1, then put the fish-salt mixture into “Chượp” (wooden barrels or ceramic jars). The fermentation time in Chượp ranges from 6 to 24 months. The longer the time is, the higher the quality of the fish sauce will be. When the fish has cooked thoroughly, and the aroma rises, they will extract the sauce through a tiny spout near the bottom of the Chượp. You can buy fish sauce at the family factory for about 40,000-50,000 VND per liter.

Bottles of Vietnamese fish sauce. It took 6 months for the whole process.

At these small family-run fish sauce productions in Hoi An, you’ll witness the entire process of producing fish sauce in the traditional way. Dozens of large wooden barrels or ceramic jars are neatly arranged. The essence of fish sauce drips out from the spout with its characteristic amber color and salty aroma.

See on your own at these places:

4. Chill at An Bàng

Hội An resembles more of a riverside town than a beach resort, but those who enjoy the sun and sand can easily access the beach. About 3km to the northeast, you will find yourself looking out to the East Sea, with smooth white sandy beaches stretching for miles in both directions.

An Bang Beach is a small, beautiful beach once known only to backpackers. After Cua Dai Beach suffered from erosion (the government is making significant efforts to restore it), An Bang Beach became the hub of Hoi An’s beach life.

My first visit to An Bang was in 2017. Returning in March 2024, I was amazed by its changes. An Bang has become a sanctuary for beach lovers. I stayed on Nguyen Phan Vinh Street – from here, An Bang Beach is just a 5-minute walk away. Small alleys are lined with homestays and boutique hotels – all designed beautifully in lush landscaped gardens. What’s interesting about Nguyen Phan Vinh Street is that the beginning section is a cluster of restaurants, bars, cafes, and spas. Still, the last third of the street remains peaceful, primarily residential. Strangely, you might see more tourists than locals on the street, but An Bang retains its laid-back atmosphere.

It’s not easy to make a decision for my stay. So many nice boutique hotels and homestays in An Bang.

The sun, salt water, and sand here will soothe your soul. After three days, I realized an interesting difference in the time spent using the beach. From 9 AM to 4 PM, mostly tourists lie in the sun under palm leaf umbrellas with a bottle of beer or a book in hand. Early morning and after 4 PM are time for locals to enjoy the beach. The most beloved bar in An Bang is The Deckhouse. You’ll easily recognize it with its soothing emerald green hues.

Beautiful An Bang Beach. The sand is smooth and the sun is perfect.

Food and accommodations in An Bang are very affordable. A bottle of beer costs around 25,000 VND, while I would have to pay 40,000 VND for the same bottle in a restaurant in Hanoi. Seafood is fresh and cheap. Most eateries are locally run, and family members are chefs and waiters. One night, in a local restaurant, a shirtless elderly man wearing shorts brought me a plate of seafood fried rice with a smile. His bright smile surpassed every performance standard for restaurants (Photo An Bang Beach by dronepicr)

5. “Hunt” For The Best Banh Mi in Vietnam

There is more than one cuisine wrapped in a Vietnamese Bánh Mì. The French introduced the baguette in the late 19th century. The Chinese contributed pate and char siu. The Americans brought in hams and mayonnaise. And the Vietnamese? They add fresh herbs and chili sauce to Bánh Mì.

I believe that Bánh Mì in Hoi An is the best in Vietnam. Come to Hoi An to taste it for yourself, and know I’m not exaggerating in the slightest when I say that. Below, I will explain why.

The most important thing to make a delicious banh mi is the bread, of course. The banh mi in Hoi An looks relatively small, about 2/3 the size of those in Hanoi and HCMC. However, the bread is always fresh, with an appealing brownish and crunchy crust, a slightly moist, soft, and tender texture, and a pleasantly roasted aroma.

The vendors make pate from pork liver. They cook it slowly and grill it again after it’s done to enhance the flavor. The char siu is made from pork belly with layers of fat and lean meat intertwined.

The flavor of Banh Mi is further enhanced with fresh herbs from Tra Que village – the place renowned for the best herbs in Hoi An.

The first bite is crispy. A fantastic start, isn’t it? But the second bite is the best when you have the entire filling and flaky crumb. It makes you eager to take the next bite quickly.

Hoi An has the greatest Banh Mi on earth.

If you want to find authentic Bánh Mì, it’s better to venture outside the old town area – where there are only restaurants with lanterns, to reach the neighborhoods inhabited by locals. In addition to Madam Khánh and Phượng – which Anthony Bourdain said is the best banh mi in Vietnam, I would recommend my two favorite Bánh Mì stalls. The price is only 20,000 VND for a traditional Bánh Mì (Photo Banh Mi by ChrisGoldNY)

Phi Bánh Mì: During my 3 days in Hoi An, I had Phi Bánh Mì twice. The owner, Mr. Phi, used to be a professional chef. The most memorable part of his banh mi is the grilled pork, for which he personally goes to the market early in the morning to choose the freshest meat. 

Address: 88 Thai Phien Street, Minh An Ward.

Lành Bánh Mì: This modest stall has been around for about 30 years and is located near Quang Tu Pagoda. The Bánh Mì that Ms. Lành offers has the most authentic taste in Hoi An, making it a favorite spot for many locals. 

Address: 430 Cua Dai Street, Cam Chau Ward.

6. See How To Make Cao Lau and Eat Cao Lau

From the 15th to the 19th century, Hoi An was a bustling trading port connecting the East with the West. Like its architecture, its cuisine reflects fascinating cultural interplays.

Hoi An is one of Vietnam’s top food destinations. This little town boasts countless delicious dishes, but Cao Lau encapsulates the diverse history of Hoi An in just one bowl of noodles.

Looking at the ingredients, you’ll see that clearly: The noodles are chewy like Japanese udon. The char siu is steeped in Chinese flavors. The fresh, crunchy greens are quintessentially Vietnamese. You can still discern Vietnam’s distinct culinary features in this blend of culinary cultures.

The most crucial element in making a delicious bowl of Cao Lau is noodles. Today, only two families in Hoi An still make fresh Cao Lau noodles using traditional manual methods. Both families are willing to welcome you to come and see. The question is: Could you wake up early enough to make it there?

A bowl of Cao Lau includes noodles, char siu, pork cracking, bean spouts, and herbs.

The family members typically start their work at 1 a.m. By 5 a.m., the hard work is nearly complete. So, to see the work, you need to be there around this time.

To make Cao Lầu, rice is soaked in ash water the day before to create a characteristic smoky color. Then, it is ground with water to prepare for the noodle-making process.

I arrived at Mr. Trai’s family at 3 a.m. In the small kitchen with smoke-stained walls, Mr. Trai held two large bamboo sticks in both hands, using all his strength to stir the rice flour cooking on the blazing stove. It takes an hour for the dough to become thick. Then, he placed the dough on bamboo trays and steamed it for another hour until it was cooked. Mr. Trai’s son rolled out the cooked dough thinly and then fed it into a machine to cut it into noodles. I thought that was it, but I was wrong. The noodles continued to be steamed for another hour before they became the final product.

Mr Trai, his humble kitchen, and his Cao Lau noodles after all the hard work. He will deliver them to Hoi An Market for his daughter’s morning sale.

Mr. Trai neatly stacked the noodles into baskets and took them to the Hoi An market, where his daughter was waiting to sell them. He is the fourth generation in the family making Cao Lau. Every day, Mr. Trai’s family produces about 200kg of Cao Lau noodles, which are sold to restaurants and families in Hoi An, but the income does not justify the effort made. 

The bowl of Cao Lau you’ll have next time in Hoi An might have the smoky kitchen flavor from Mr. Trai’s house late at night.

7. Have Lunch in The Idyllic Countryside

Hoi An is renowned not only as a UNESCO Heritage Site but also for its’ village within town’ character. A few minutes bike ride from the ancient town is the serene landscape along the Thu Bon River, shrimp farms, alluring water coconut-lined canals, and peaceful rice paddies. This scenery offers a unique travel experience in Hoi An.

The narrow roads, paved with concrete or red dirt and suitable for cycling, lead through rice fields and into small hamlets where locals water vegetables in their gardens.

Interestingly, the names of the villages I cycled to in Hoi An all start with the word “Cam”: Cam Ha, Cam Kim, Cam Thanh, and Cam Chau. Cam means “brilliant” in English. That’s why each village has its appeal and is brilliant in its own way. The roads are smooth, making your cycling comfortable and relatively effortless. Roadside cafes are easy to find to quench your thirst. If you’re luckier, you might stumble upon a cafe with hammocks, where you can lean back for a moment and enjoy the fresh rural breeze.

The peaceful scenery in the countryside offers a unique travel experience in Hoi An.

From my hotel in An Bang, just a short 15-minute bike ride, I arrived at Tra Que village in Cam Ha. Tra Que is already very famous among tourists as it grows the best herbs in Hoi An. I’ve gotten to know Mr. Tu, the owner of Tra Que Organic Cooking Class, and often drop by to visit him and have lunch whenever I’m in Hoi An. Tu is friendly, cheerful, enthusiastic, and always welcomes me like a close friend from the North. I’m in love with the crispy pancake and banana flambé he makes. Tu also remembers my fondness for fermented fish, so my lunch always includes this simple dish from Central Vietnam. He picks fresh herbs from the garden to flavor the meal. His garden may not be the most beautiful or largest in Tra Que, but it’s undoubtedly one of the most aromatic and organic.

Tu’s lovely garden in Tra Que, Cam Ha Village has all kinds of aromatic herbs.

Mr. Tu’s restaurant is simple and rustic. It is an open space overlooking the garden. A lush, fruitful trellis of bottle gourds acts as the curtains. Regardless of the summer heat outside, the restaurant is always breezy. There’s something simple yet beautiful and refreshing about his restaurant. Having lunch here is a testament to Hoi An’s laid-back atmosphere and human warmth.

8. Admire The Remnants of The Once-mighty Champa Kingdom

Speaking of Central Vietnam, one cannot overlook the Champa kingdom—a kingdom that spanned 17 centuries, once mighty but now fallen. Born before Vietnam, Champa today is only left with remnants of temples scattered across the old land, and Cham people have become an ethnic minority in Vietnam.

Throughout Champa’s history, the kings built their roles and territories on theocratic elements,  which Hinduism and Islam deeply influence. Gods protect every religious structure and connect to Cham people through the temples.

Currently, 21 Cham towers persist in Vietnam, either intact or partly destroyed, scattered across the Central and Central Highlands regions. The Cham people produced tower-building bricks with a unique technique that remains a mystery to scientists. After thousands of years, the Cham towers have remained moss-free, and the bricks retain their beautiful red color.

In 1999, the world recognized Champa’s culture and architecture when UNESCO listed My Son Sanctuary as a World Heritage Site.

Po Rome Tower in Ninh Thuan is the last Cham tower, while My Son Sanctuary, located 70km from Hoi An, is the most famous and most beautiful Cham architectural complex.

My Son Sanctuary, nestled in a valley, has over 70 towers built from the 4th to the 13th century. The towers all have architectural styles and sculptures that bear profound influences from Hinduism and worship linga – the symbol of Shiva, the protective deity of the Champa kings.

Most of the structures have deteriorated, but you can still see the typical marks of the glorious time in the history of the Champa kingdom: A time of greatness and prosperity. 

Through the great upheavals of history and the devastation of time, from the original 70 structures, My Son Sanctuary has only 32 towers left, of which only 20 retain their original forms. 1999, the world recognized Champa’s culture and architecture when UNESCO listed My Son Sanctuary as a World Heritage Site. Although the Cham towers are no longer guarded and protected by the Cham people, they always believe that their deities and ancestral spirits still reside within the architecture.

9. Find The Creative Art Scenes

It’s easy to understand why Hoi An has become a creative hub for many artists. The slow pace of life here spares you plenty of time to think. The charming colors of the old town, the tranquility of small streets surrounded by a lazy river, and the fresh air provide much inspiration for creativity.

The fate of Hoi An’s artisans and artists has fluctuated along with the ups and downs of this ancient town. Artists from all over Vietnam began coming to Hoi An in the 15th century when it was bustling with merchants from Japan, China, Portugal, and the Netherlands. When Hoi An lost its important seaport status, artistic activities began to decline, and artisans fled elsewhere.

In 1999, Hoi An was revitalized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today, It is packed with exhibitions showcasing artworks by Vietnamese and foreign artists. Tourists can find everything here, from budget handicraft shops and mass-produced painting copies and valuable original artworks.

Today, Hoi An is packed with galleries showcasing artworks by Vietnamese and foreign artists.

Réhahn, a French photographer, made Hoi An his home in 2011. He pioneered the transformation of the area around Phan Boi Chau Street—a shaded street in Hoi An—into an art street, Rue des Arts. This is a creative space where art enthusiasts and artists can meet.

Talented artists and quality galleries choose to exhibit their works at Rue des Arts. Here, you can find Réhahn’s Precious Heritage Museum, March’s Gallery by Bridget —a British landscape painter, Hart Hoi An—a group of 9 people valuing the artistry of craftsmanship, Art Space—a restaurant cum art gallery of Anantara Hoi An Resort—on the east side of Phan Boi Chau Street. Tourists visiting Rue Des Arts will find some of the best artworks in town.

At Driftwood Village, Le Ngoc Thuan (in the photo) has brought life to rotten wood.

About 4km from the old town is Le Ngoc Thuan’s Driftwood Village. In this airy space amidst the rice fields of Cam Ha Village, Le Ngoc Thuan and carpenters from Kim Bong Village have revived pieces of rotten wood drifting onto the sand, bringing new life to seemingly discarded materials.

10. Attend Teh Dar Show

As I mentioned in the article “10 Things to do in HCMC“,” Teh Dar Show is a production by Lune Production, which followed the success of À Ố Show.

In the language of the K’ho people, Teh Dar means “going in a circle.” The circle is a symbol associated with important community activities of the Central Highlands people, such as the buffalo stabbing festival, harvest praying ceremony, worshiping gods, etc. Despite the long-lasting conflicts between the Central Highlands people and Vietnamese people (due to the massive migration of Vietnamese people to the Central Highlands and turning the indigenous people into ethnic minorities in their ancestral land,) Teh Dar is like a powerful declaration from the Highlanders: As long as we continue to walk, the circle of our life, heritage, and culture will still exist.

The show recreates the culture of ethnic minorities in the highland region.

Like À Ố Show, Teh Dar is a perfect combination of movement and stillness, yin and yang, with contemporary dance, juggling, acrobatics, and balance. In addition, the audience is treated to a feast for the eyes. The lighting creates a mysterious, enchanting space that takes viewers deep into the rainforest, to elephant hunts, festivals, and romantic rendezvous under the moonlight. 

The soul of the performance is the wild yet mysterious music of the Central Highlands, played by over 20 ethnic musical instruments. K’ho, Ê-đê, J’rai, and Banar artists play drums, blow bamboo flutes, and pluck Chapi, and gong chimes on stage. Through music, the spirit of the mountains and forests goes all the way to the city.

How To Get Around

Hoi An is small and charming. In the Old Quarter, about 2 square kilometers of short, narrow, historical roads intersecting in a checkerboard pattern, you don’t see cars or motorbikes. Hoi An is a great place to slow down: walk, explore, try the food.

As I said above, the sea and countryside are only about 4km from the center. Cycling is the best way to get to these spots. Almost every hotel offers free bikes, and the roads are quiet, so cycling is easy and relaxing. 

Hoi An is a quiet town. It’s safe to travel by bike or scooter.

Grab and Xanh SM are two popular transportation companies that provide ride-hailing services in Hoi An. Because of the number of tourists, be patient when booking a car in the evening.

Cruising on the Hoai River and Thu Bon River is also a leisurely way to explore Hoi An. Plus, you can watch the sunset from the river.

Day Trips from Hoi An

A UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve is 22km from Hoi An, Cu Lao Cham (Cham Islands). Daily boat trips allow nature lovers and diving enthusiasts to explore marine life and coral reefs or sunbathe on the beautiful beaches on the island. Local food, especially seafood, is fresh, delicious, and inexpensive.

Cu Lao Cham is the first place in Vietnam to successfully ban plastic bags. The locals have not used plastic bags for over ten years, so plastic waste on the island is rare. Tourists are also required to leave plastic bags on the shore before boarding.


What Is The Best Way To Get To Hoi An?

Hoi An has no airport or train station. The only way to get there is by road. You’ll fly or take a train to Da Nang, then drive another hour to Hoi An.

How Long Would I Spend in Hoi An?

Hoi An is a small town, so two nights there is enough. If you want to visit Cu Lao Cham, stay one more night. Of course, if you have time, there is no reason not to stay longer. 

The charming of Hoi An will allure you to stay longer than you might think.

What Is The Best Time To Visit?

The best time to visit Hoi An is during the dry season, from February to August. However, February, March, and April usually have more pleasant weather and lower humidity. May, June, and July are hotter and more crowded with domestic tourists as it is the summer vacation time for children.

Is Hoi An safe?

Definitely! Hoi An is a safe town. Theft and pickpocketing are almost unheard of. I have traveled to Hoi An alone twice and have never felt unsafe. Take the usual precautions, and you should have no problems.

Where Can I Find The Best Local Food in Hoi An?

Not far from the old town are Tran Cao Van and Thai Phien streets – where I often go to enjoy local dishes. Local specialties such as Cao Lau, Mi Quang, Com Ga, and Banh Mi are all available there. Try as many dishes as possible because you will find different flavors in other parts of Vietnam.

The eateries are usually open from morning to evening, so you can visit several times during your stay.

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