TRAVEL GUIDE: 3 DAYS IN HOI AN, VIETNAM

“TRAVEL IS FATAL TO PREJUDICE, BIGOTRY, AND NARROW-MINDEDNESS” – MARK TWAIN

Known for its well preserved Ancient town and canals, Hoi An is the little hidden wonder of Vietnam. Blending Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and European influences, this former port town is an unusual mix of architectural styles.

I’ve compiled a list of places worth adding to your itinerary whilst you’re in Hoi An.


HOI AN ANCIENT TOWN

I definitely recommend hiring a bike to explore Hoi An. It’s a reasonably flat city and riding bikes is very common among the locals, and no where near as busy as Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi.

If you’re interested in learning about the history of this 19th century South-East Asian trading port, a bike tour is the way to go. They’re generally offered of a morning or afternoon and last a couple of hours. Nothing strenuous as there is a lot of stopping, dismounting and exploring on foot as well.

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PHUNG HUNG OLD HOUSE

This ancient home is one of the most famous architectural buildings in Hoi An. It represents a combination of Vietnamese, Japanese and Chinese styles decorated with exquisite lanterns, wall hangings and embroidery.

JAPANESE COVERED BRIDGE

If opted for a bike tour, you will most likely make a visit to this famous 18th century wooden bridge. Featuring elaborate carvings and a pedestrian passageway, this bridge is both a beautiful piece of Japanese architecture and one of the most iconic attractions in Hoi An.

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MUSEUMS

For museum lovers, there’s a great variety in Hoi An. The Museum of Sa Huỳnh Culture showcases terracotta work that has been found in the surrounding area and displays a unique collection of artifacts from Sa Huynh culture.

The Museum of Trade Ceramics showcases the origins and history of the town and its relationships with foreign nations and historic trade. The museum is housed in a beautifully restored traditional wooden house which is a sight on it’s own.

The Museum of Folk Culture displays the local life of the past in a 150-year-old Chinese trading house. The exhibition is quite unique as it is the first of its kind to have a collection of original objects on display.

NIGHT MARKETS

At night, the entire city of Hoi An turns into a sea of lanterns. It is absolutely breathtaking. The markets stay open late so be sure to swing by and pick up some great souvenirs and gifts for friends and family back home. I found their starting prices to be incredibly reasonable. It was refreshing not having to negotiate every transaction for a change.

For a tiny price, we made a wish and sent lanterns down the river – because why not? It was a cute little gesture and a great way to finish off a perfect day in Hoi An.

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AN BANG BEACH

One of the few beaches in the area that is unspoiled by development making it quite the popular destination for catching some sunshine and enjoying water sports and activities.

It is also home to a great variety of resorts and restaurants to make for a perfect day out. Sunbeds are also available for hire along the beach-side. Only 7KM out of Hoi An Ancient Town, you can easily get here by bike.

MY SON

Mỹ Sơn is a collection of abandoned and partially ruined Hindu Temples of the Champa Empire. Constructed somewhere between the 4th and 14th century, this remarkable UNESCO World Heritage site was great to have explored. I definitely recommend hiring a local guide to take you through the site to fully appreciate the experience; though the temples themselves are enthralling.

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PHUOC KIEN ASSEMBLY HALL

Founded in 1690, the Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall served the largest Chinese ethnic group in Hoi An. The pagoda is also a place of gathering for the natives of Phuoc Kien. The Assembly Hall is considered a heritage of historical significance and an excellent work of architecture.


DRESS-MAKING

Hoi An is famous for it’s low cost but high quality dress making. I had business suits made in YalyCouture and it was an awesome experience! The whole process including choosing styles, being measured, fittings, and delivery to my hotel took less than 24 hours – perfect for those who are only visiting for a couple of days.

If you’re questioning whether or not they can make what you’re after, chances are they can. Take a photo of what you want with you to show them, and their tailors can make almost exact copies. Everything from clothes, shoes, handbags and jewellery – your options are endless and the prices are unbeatable!

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VIETNAMESE COOKING CLASS

There’s a great variety of Vietnamese cooking classes available and I would definitely recommend taking part in one. I was shown how to make a few different Vietnamese dishes and everyone received a cook book to take home with all the recipes we’d just made and more. The best part is getting to eat and enjoy everything you made for yourself!

 

Be sure to follow my adventures on Instagram & Twitter!

34 Comments Add yours

  1. getalifelist says:

    I’ve never heard of it, but now I want to go!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hadn’t heard much about it either until I went there. It was such a beautiful surprise 😊😊

      Like

  2. getalifelist says:

    I love it when that happens! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The same thing happened in Laos. I was completely blown away. South East Asia does not get the attention it deserves!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. getalifelist says:

        I haven’t been to South East Asia yet, but I really want to go! I might have an opportunity to go to Laos next year on a volunteering trip, teaching English to young monks 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow! That would be an amazing experience! VolunteerIng would be so rewarding.

        Like

      3. getalifelist says:

        I think so too, it wouldn’t just be a holiday it would be travelling to give back 🙂 It costs money, but there are ways to get volunteering trips funded, so I’ll probably look into that!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Sounds unreal! Good luck with it all. If the opportunity presents itself, I’d definitely recommend it 😊😊

        Liked by 1 person

      5. getalifelist says:

        Fantastic, thank you!

        Like

  3. iroirofu says:

    Hey, thanks for liking my post!
    Nice to know you are from Sydney, I went there last year, awesome place, i like it very much.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy that you enjoyed Sydney 🙂 All the best for your future travels!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I would love to visit Vietnam!! Really enjoying reading your blog. Cheers, Beth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Beth! Glad you’re liking it 🙂

      Like

  5. Lola says:

    This sounds exactly like a trip I just took. I have to say that Hoi An was really a highlight. Loved your post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lola! Loved Hoi An! I’ll definitely visit again 🙂

      Like

  6. Thanks, this is now on our own bucket list for when we get to Vietnam.

    I agree, Southeast Asia doesn’t get enough Publicity other than the well known resorts and locations. There are some real hidden gems in Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines which are just jaw dropping when you see them! And life is about collecting as many of those moments as possible 🙂

    Happy travels!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Couldn’t agree more! Well said 🙂

      Like

  7. Beautiful pictures and very useful information. Thanks for sharing! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  8. wow! you have great blogs. Also, the photographs are awesomeeeee 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you for your kind words, Huller 🙂

      Like

      1. I really hope that you’ll visit around Philippines too 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m hoping to visit next year Huller! Would you recommend visiting in April?

        Like

      3. woooowww!!! REALLY!!!! Amazing!!!! so happy to hear that! There are many places to visit in the Philippines, while reading your blogs i think really think that you are so adventurous… I want to recommend Sumaguing Cave In Sagada, or Palaui Islands. We have many islands beaches and mountains… There are also many fun festival. Though I really don’t know which place you really like. 🙂 🙂 🙂 I am just so glad you’d come visit my country

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I’m really excited to visit! 🙂

        Like

  9. From experience I know you can run yourself ragged running between tailors if you are not careful. But i Love love Hoi An. Louise

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow! Definitely something to keep in mind then. Thank you Louise. I must have had a good experience. The first tailor I went to measured me up then and there and I only went back later in the day for one fitting – which worked out because it was on our way to dinner! Then it was at my hotel when I woke up the next morning! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Raj says:

    Great info! and lovely pictures… but that temple ..marvelous.. Hope there was some history on them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great history Raj! Definitely recommend hiring local guides when visiting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Raj says:

        Thats true.. and thanks for the tip!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. abdillah221 says:

    Love it so much. Wish that you had a chance to come visit Indonesia, you’ll even be more surprised like you never before.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve visited Bali on two occasions, but I know there is so much more of Indonesia to explore. One day soon hopefully! 🙂

      Like

  12. lynelleg says:

    Thanks for checking out my blog! Loved reading this post, reminded me of my own adventure in Hoi An a few years ago. Definitely one of my favourite spots in Vietnam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mine too! Such a beautiful place 🙂 Thank you for stopping by. Safe travels!

      Like

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