10 Best Things to Do in Hoi An, Vietnam
The ancient town on Hoi An lies in the southern part of Vietnam and is a perfect place to spend the vacation. The town is an excellent mix of culture, delicious foods, fascinating architecture, and gorgeous surrounding landscapes, including pristine beaches. This town is an excellent place to get some authentic Vietnamese experience. Here are the ten best things you can do on your trip to Hoi An.
Source: Hidden Hoi An
Hoi An is renowned for its delicious and diverse food. The town contains legacies of various cuisine, including Chinese, Portuguese, and Japanese, that used to live and trade here. Almost all of the restaurants in Hoi An offers cooking classes that will teach you techniques to prepare your own delicious Vietnamese and many other dishes. The class begins with a visit to the local market where you will collect ingredients then continue the personalized lessons by one of the best chefs. You will be making dishes like spring rolls, pho noodles, Banh xeo, etc. But you can choose anything you want to make, and your chef will teach you. After the class ends, your chef will provide you a recipe book so that you can use your new skills to use when you return home.
Source: Lonely Planet
Cars and motorbikes are not allowed in the center of Hoi An, so the major transportation is the bike. Many hotels, guesthouses, and homestay has bikes to offer to guests. You can also rent some of them at any bike renting shops. While exploring the town on cycle, you will meet many fellow cyclists, both tourists, and locals. There are also many agencies in Hoi An that offer cycling tours. One of the best tours runs from a peaceful street in An Hoi Island, across the river from the old town. The trip takes you into the countryside and islands nearby the city. The tour ranges from easy few hours’ tours that will take around only ten kilometers, or more challenging and adventurous, fifty kilometers. However, with all the tours, you will get to enjoy gorgeous Vietnamese countryside, traditional handicrafts, and many more.
Source: The Rolling Pack
Hoi An has many gorgeous beaches that you can chill out on. Cira Dai is the nearest beach from the town. Further north, there is An Bang beach which is much less developed, and you can enjoy your time peacefully, with very tourist visiting. Hop on a bike and head out to the beaches near Hoi An and enjoy relaxing time on powdery sand. If you go straight to the beach with a bike, then you might have to pay to park the bike. However, if you enter a café or restaurant and buy a few drinks, you can park your bike for free. With lunch, they will give you a free umbrella and a pair of sunbeds.
Source: Vietnam Online
Almost every meal you have in Hoi An includes fresh vegetables and herbs that make the Vietnamese dishes a delight to eat. Most of these fresh produce comes from Tra Que, the fresh-veg village between town and An Bang beach. Here, you will see farmers growing almost everything from spring onions to taro root. Some of the enterprises here also offer cooking classes, foot massages, and any more. However, if you don’t want any activities, then you can simply wander around the farms, interact with farmers, and learn more about the local lifestyle.
Source: Hanoi Local Tour
Over the central footbridge to An Hoi islet, you will see a riverfront lined with bars. These bars offer ice-cold glasses of the daily-brewed refreshing lager called bia hơi at low prices. This drink is quite light (only 3% alcohol), so you can easily sip away for a couple of hours in the evening while enjoying the sunset and watch the boats pass by, without getting drunk. This drink is also very delicious and goes well with a packet of little, salty, locally grown peanuts.
Source: Everywhere Once
Cau Lao is Hoi An noodle specialty, and the locals has loved this since the 17th century. These noodles are brown and has a unique flavor that comes with from being mixed with lye water. They use wood of the Cham islands to make ash for the lye, and the water comes from a particular secret well outside the town. It is not sure if this is true, but you won’t be thinking where these come from while eating this and relishing the taste. The hand-cut noodles are mixed with crunchy rice crackers, sliced pork, spices, a handful of fresh herbs, and super-tasty broth. You will also get a variety of this noodle in various stalls around the town.
Source: Hidden Land Travel
Vietnamese merchant clan built the Progress Shop in the 18th century and is still a private home with a family living upstairs. It is one of the most important historical buildings in Hoi An’s old town. Japanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese building styles inspired the architect. You can get a private guide and tour this beautifully decorated house and see antique-filled rooms, and learn about the lifestyles of Hoi An merchants. Here, you can get insight into the life of Hoi An’s merchants of about seven generations. See the columns ornamented with mother-of-pearl Chinese poems and artifacts under the attics.
Source: Nội trợ nấu ăn ngon
Head to the north bank of Thu Bon River in the evening to get a really cheap dinner on the hoof. Here, dozens of little charcoal braziers are set up with skewers of thịt nướng: grilled pork, chicken or prawns that come with some herbs and greens, and a few rice paper wrappers to roll it up in. Then, the whole thing is dipped in a spicy peanut tomato sauce, with a few toasted sesame seeds. This delicious skewer costs around 30p each. You will see vendors in their regular spots on the waterfront, and ladies are walking around with a barbecue and the food in their bamboo pole.
Source: Nội trợ nấu ăn ngon
An Hoi, the island across the river from central Hoi An hosts one of the most attractive night markets in Vietnam. Here, you will find lanterns of all sizes, shapes, and hues made from the renowned Hoi An silk. The sight of these lanterns is just worth to make the trip across the river. However, these are not the only thing you will see here; you will also find clothes, trinkets, jewelry, and many other stalls selling accessories and local snacks.
Source: Time Travel Turtle
West of Hoi An lies the remains of 4th to 13th-century Hindu temples. More than 140 hectares of ruins are preserved that testifies the influence of Hinduism on early Vietnamese culture.