You’ll know from the other articles I have written that I absolutely love Hoi An. I have visited the place twice, and I have always had a brilliant time there. Hoi An is a top-rated destination with most travellers that visit Vietnam, and therefore it’s no surprise you’ll meet some great people here! I hope you enjoy this fantastic Hoi An itinerary.
Hoi An Itinerary – How long to Spend in Hoi An
Obviously, you can always spend a very long time in most places around the world. However, in the real world, we are usually restricted by tight schedules and budgets. Therefore, your Hoi An itinerary should take around 3-4 days exploring the city including My Son Hindu temple complex and the surrounding areas.
Exploring the Old Town
This is one of my favourite things to do in Hoi An – visit the old town. When you first arrive, decide how you’re going to get around and explore. There are multiple different options, such as walking, taking a bicycle or commuting in style in a tuk-tuk. Personally, taking a bike or a tuk-tuk makes for a much better experience than walking. And who doesn’t like to travel in a tuk-tuk?
The ancient town has many photogenic streets and pretty houses dotted around the whole area. When you’re there, don’t forget to go and check out the Japanese covered bridge – the bridge is actually one of the most photographed bridges in Asia. You can imagine how cool it is!
The houses themselves host an array of coffee houses (coffee culture is vast in Vietnam, and Hoi An is no exception), from trendy hipster joints to creaky old works of art. There’s also a range of silversmiths, designer boutiques and speciality tea shops plus more art galleries and tailors than you can shake a stick at.
Street Food in Hoi An
Like Vietnam as a whole, Hoi An is famous for its diverse food options. In particular, it’s local specialities such as it’s white rose dumplings and chicken rice. Take a Street Food Tour during your Hoi An itinerary, and you’ll be able to experience all the local cuisine that Hoi An has to offer.
Immerse yourself in a vibrant maze of bustling markets and narrow alleyways while a knowledgeable guide offers insight into Vietnam’s fascinating food culture. Savour the explosive flavours of local delicacies at market stalls through the Old Town.
An Bang Beach
With fast development of the city over the last decade, most of Hoi Ans beaches have been tainted with development. However, An Bang Beach is one of the very few that’s relatively unspoiled by this. This makes it a trendy destination for most travellers who wish to explore the beach.
The beach, as is typical of Vietnam, has golden sandy beaches and turquoise water. Yes, I know, very typical of Vietnam. What makes this beach really cool is that it has a variety of beachfront resorts, seafood restaurants and hippy bars dotted around the beach strip. There are also stunning views on offer of the neighbouring Marble Mountains (which was spoken about in the Da Nang article), Da Nang Bay as well as Cham Island.
If you’re thinking you’re going to want to sunbathe on the beach, most of the resorts and restaurants allow you to hire a sunbed off them. As an example, most of the restaurants offer sunbed rentals between 15000 – 40000 VND, but if you eat there, they are free of charge!
The beach has a lot of different activities for travellers to immerse themselves in. The most popular ones are swimming, paddle-boarding and surfing. If you’re looking to learn how to surf during your visit, there are plenty of board rentals, surf and stand-up paddling classes offered by An Bang Beach’s ex-pat surfing community.
If you are also interested in spending some time surfing in Hoi An, then it’s probably good if you know when the surf season is! The surf season is between September-March, and it’s well known to offer excellent wave conditions due to its climate.
My Son Sanctuary
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, My Son Hindu Sanctuary is an incredible sample of the ancient Champa civilisation. Remarkably the site is still standing and in good condition to say the Champa civilisation dated back to the 2nd century. The impressive Hindu-themed ruins feature many beautiful stone sculptures, temples and towers in tropical jungle surroundings.
Although a lot of the site is still in good condition, it is interesting to know that in the Vietnam War, the United States bombed the area heavily due to the Viet Cong using the site as a base.
If you do get to visit the place, the lushes tropical jungles and the stunning sculptures and temples make for a fascinating day. You can spend most of the day just walking around the site and the surrounding areas.
Day Trip: Cham Islands
Ah, Cham Islands… What a stunning place! The place brings back so many good memories and views that I got to experience. The most popular things as you can imagine on the islands do centre around the beach. These are swimming, sunbathing, snorkelling and diving! The most popular beaches are situated on an islet called Hon Lao, these are Bai Cong Beach, Bai Ong Beach, Bai Bac Beach, and Bai Xep. Located 2 km south of the main jetty, Bai Cong mainly caters to tourists, and here you can find a spacious beachfront bedecked with sunbeds and parasols. There’s also plenty of shops that offer equipment rentals for kayaking, jet skiing, and snorkelling.
Hoi An has been and will be one of my favourite places to visit. I love the calm atmosphere the city holds, probably because of its ancient roots. The city is full of culture and is really proud of showing it off to travellers. The Old Town allows you to experience a lot in Hoi An. There is excellent food on offer as well as a chance to really experience the locality of Hoi An first hand.
If you enjoyed this Hoi An itinerary you might also like to read some of my lengthier Vietnam itineraries…