What to see and do in Hoi An


About Hoi An
Hoi An Old Town is located 30km south of Danang City, and 60km northeast of Tam Ky. Hoi An used to be an international trade center by sea on the east area in the 16th and 17th centuries. It was the busiest trading port in Dang Trong region of Vietnam during the reign of Nguyen as merchants from Japan, China, Portugal, Spain, Holland…often stopped over to exchange and purchase commodities. Hoi An was an important meeting place of many cultures, such as Champa, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Japanese and Chinese, and has been greatly impacted upon by Vietnamese and Chinese civilization.
In 1999, the old town was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO as a well-preserved example of a Southeast Asian trading port of the 15th to 19th centuries, with buildings that display a unique blend of local and foreign influences.Today, the town is a tourist attraction because of its history, traditional architecture and crafts such as textiles and ceramics. Many bars, hotels, and resorts have been constructed both in Hội An and the surrounding area. The port mouth and boats are still used for both fishing and tourism.

When to go? 
The best time to visit Hoi An is between February and April, October to December when rainfall is low and temperatures are comfortable.
From May to July is also good but very hot due to hard summer.

How to get there?
– By Air: The closest airport is in Danang City; from there you take a car drive 30 minutes to Hoian town.
– By Bus: You’ll find every regular bus connection to and from Hue (4 hours drive), Da Nang (1 hour drive) and Nha Trang (12 hours drive).

Sightseeing and Activities

Phung Hung Old house
The house is located at 4 Nguyen Thi Minh Khan Street. It was built in 1780, when Hoi An was prospering, and it is a typical commercial house representative of Vietnam’s urban areas in the 19th century. Conferred the title of “National Historical and Cultural Site” in 1993, the house has kept many documents about the architecture, culture, art and lifestyle of the Hoi An’s business circle from the old days. Phung Hung House bears the popular style of the 19th century – tubular shape, with a wide façade.
The architecture of Phung Hung house represents the combination of Vietnamese, Japanese and Chinese styles. There are a lot of designs carved by carpenters in the Kim Bong Village. The house used to be a shop trading in cinnamon, pepper, salt, silk, chinaware and glassware. Now part of the house is used as a workshop for making commercial embroideries.

Cau Pagoda

Cau Pagoda

The Japanese Covered Bridge or Cau Chua Pagoda (in Vietnamese “Cau Nhat Ban”) is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Hoi An, Vietnam. The original Vietnamese name of this bridge is “Lai Vien Kieu”. It is considered that the Japanese Covered Bridge belongs to the Japanese community in Hoi An, and was built in the early seventeenth century. No trip to Hoi An would be completely without visiting Japanese Covered bridge. The image of Cau pagoda is on a side of 200.000VND.  So it’s not a place to miss!

Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall
Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall, located at 46 Tran Phu Street, was founded in 1690 and served the largest Chinese ethnic group in Hoi An (the Fujian). It contains the Jinshang golden mountain temple and is dedicated to Thien Hau, the goddess of the sea and protector of the sailors. The pagoda is also a place of gathering for the natives of Phuoc Kien. You must visit this assembly hall to discover an excellent work of architecture, also considered a heritage of historical significance.
Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall is religious relic. It is the biggest assembly hall and displays rich architectural and artistic features. Annually, on the 15th of January lunar year, 16th of February lunar year and 23th of March lunar year many activities are organized, attracting a lot of foreign as well as domestic tourists. On 17th of February 1990 Fukien was listed a national historical vestige.

Tra Que Village

Tourists visiting a herb gardern in Tra Que village

Tra Que is a charming little village located just a few kilometers from Northeast of Hoi An. Its location is between De Vong River and Tra Que alga pond (Cam Ha commune – Hoi An town). This village is famous for many kinds of vegetables in a long time: lettuce, salad, houttuynia, flagrant knoutwed, basil and coriander vegetables etc., The village is named after the sweet scented vegetables that spice up the everyday meals of the Hoi An people. Here a new spirit for traditional Hoi An dishes like Cao Lau, Quang noodles, the local ‘Tam huu’ spring roll (made from Tra Que vegetables) and cake with meat (Banh xeo) has been enlivened.

The farmers use neither nature nor chemical fertilizers but a kind of algae found only in a lagoon in Tra Que. As a result, the vegetables both look beautiful in their fields as well as possessing outstanding taste and flavor. Products sell well and are highly appreciated due to the freshness, good quality and safety. Everyday all the year round, 8 tons of Tra  Que vegetables are sold and people in Quang Nam-Danang area are addicted to having them in their meals. That is why many eaters, even the easiest ones said that they feel tasteless if their meals lack in Tra Que vegetables.
Come here, visitors can try to become a Vietnamese famer, a fun and interesting experience all of visitors love.

Hoi An Silk Village

Tourist trying to weaving silk

 The Hoi An Silk Village, officially opened in August 2012, is based on the ancient silk weaving traditions of Quang Nam province that used Hoi An as a commercial seaport for over 300 years. Located down the street from Hoi An’s town center, the Silk Village offers an experience like no other. During the tour you’ll learn about the entire production of silk from silkworm to dress.
Leisurely stroll through the lush garden of mulberry trees as our expert guides teach you about the history of Quang Nam and the silk making process. Additionally, visitors will be shown the life cycle of silkworms in action!  Visitors can help harvest mulberry leaves, feed silkworms and even watch as silkworms weave their cocoons. Guests will then be shown how cocoons are transformed into silk thread and how the silk is treated and refined to become ready for clothing.  And of course, visitors will end the tour in our silk showroom where they’ll receive a hands-on tutorial on deciphering between true and synthetic silk.

Cua Dai Beach

Hoi An’s main beach is Cua Dai, located at the end of predictably named Cua Dai Road. Some of the beach is given over to high-end resorts, but the public section is the first part you see where the road meets the beach.
Coastal erosion has become a huge problem along the Cua Dai coast and many resorts are left protecting their ever-diminishing beaches with huge and unattractive sandbags, so if you are staying at a beach resort for the beach, it’s worth checking it still has one. The public area of Cua Dai is a stunning stretch of palm-fringed whitesand with views out to the nearby Cham Islands. It’d be an idyllic spot to relax if it weren’t for the hardcore beach traders — on a quiet day they’ll almost be queuing up to sell you tiger balm and tell you how they struggle to make a living. For some this is true, but on average these vendors pull in a very good daily profit, so if you don’t want anything, politely make it clear you are not buying and they will quickly leave.
There are plenty of seafood places so you can eat and drink yourself silly in between swimming and basking in the sun. Avoid the places off the beach, which offer lower prices but lacklustre food, and try the places on the sand — Mama Ly’s and Sen to the end of the line of restaurants come highly recommended.
Don’t neglect Hoi An’s “other” beach, An Bang, which is to the north at the end of Hai Ba Trung Street, about six kilometres from Tran Hung Dao. It’s one of the few stretches of public beach left so it gets busy with local Vietnamese at sunrise and sunset, when whole families flock to the beach setting up little barbecue picnics. It’s a more Vietnamese scene, a bit more laidback, and is becoming the preferred option over Cua Dai for its more family-friendly dining options and lack of hawkers. The two beaches are only six kilometres apart via the new beach road. It’s possible to walk the stretch of beach between An Bang and Cua Dai, which is pretty much deserted save for a few fishermen. It’s a beautiful walk and if you keep your eyes peeled there are even some old war bunkers left over from the American war.

Sa Huynh Culture Museum
The museum supplies plenty of information on the ancient people of Sa Huynh civilization, who were the first owners of the Hoi An trading port, having trading relationships with the people of China, India, and South East Asia.
There are a total of 216 exhibits in the museum. They were all acquired from the Hau Xa, Thanh Chiem, An Bang and Xuan Lam villages. The artifacts at the museum are considered the most unique collection of the Sa Huynh civilization in Viet Nam.
Come here, visitors can learn about the Sa Huynh culture in Vietnam.

Cooking class

Hoi An is one of the best places in Vietnam to take a cooking class. With fresh ingredients from lively local markets, great instructions, simple recipes but delicious tastes. Your family will have great time to work together.
Let’s challenge your cooking talent, explore authentic Vietnam cuisine and enjoy your results right in class. But please, don’t forget to discover the charm of Hoi An ancient town. If you want to join in cooking class, “Hoi An cooking class tour” of Mercury Travel is good chose for you.

One thought on “What to see and do in Hoi An

  • July 4, 2016 at 7:18 am

    This forum needed shankig up and you’ve just done that. Great post!


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