Hoi An is a unique heritage site loved by backpackers, who wish to explore the preserved cultural heritage of this small bustling town. This small town with a population of mere 88000 people has an infectious energy and contentment. The only way to get here is by road as it has no station and airport. Reaching the town by road is a rewarding experience and the picturesque sights make for an interesting trip. Although small, the town is filled with cafes, restaurants, bars and numerous art and craft shops. There’s a lot to do in this interesting town of Hoi An.
Here’s a list of best things to do in Hoi An, Vietnam.
Visit the Cam Kim Island
After taking just a short ferry ride from the centre market of Hoi An, you can reach to Cam Kim Island. A great place for morning and afternoon visit, preferably on a bicycle, Cam Kim roads are traffic free and safe to ride. Don’t miss the wood carving huts on your way. A trip to the Cam Kim Island boasts of rice paddies, stunningly beautiful views, quiet roads, cozy villages and warm villagers.
Relax at the Cua Dai and An Bang Beach
Hardly 6 kms off the main town of Hoi An is this pristine Cua Dai and An Bang beach. An ideal getaway during the hot months of summer when temperatures soar, Cua Dai and An Bang beach are two beaches where in Cua Dai is largely washed away due to severe erosion , thus forcing the visitors to stretch to the An Bang beach. But nonetheless, both beaches offer great relaxation.
A trip to the Tan Ky House
The Tan Ky house was built over 2 centuries ago and preserved through 7 long generations with an aim to show people of today the rich architecture of Vietnam. The house has Chinese poems, characters along with Japanese architectural technique used in various parts of the house, thus offering a distinct influence of both Chinese and Japanese architecture.
See the GAM- Gem Art Museum
A private museum aka jewelry store aka bar and lounge beautifully placed in a spectacular villa, GAM offers tourists a rare collection of the rich minerals, cut stones and gem sculptures in the whole of Vietnam. Have a drink at the museum’s bar section (it’s opened into the night) and you can have your museum entrance fee waived off.
Learn at hoi An Cooking Classes
There’s no better place to explore the fresh and delicious flavors of the Vietnamese cuisine than Hoi An. One of the most famous cookery classes in Vietnam- the Hoi An cooking classes will be a perfect place to learn the sumptuous cuisine of Vietnam. Great tutors, cool setting, tasty recipes and a complete value for money make it worth an experience.
Walk through the Japanese Bridge
Built in the late 16th century by the Japanese community of Hoi An, the Japanese bridge was constructed across a small canal. A lot of renovation has happened since its construction but the original architectural essence is kept alive. A small Taoist temple was also built inside the temple during construction which is still in use.
Visit the Handicraft Workshop
This 200 year old trading house of the Chinese has many skilled artisans and offers a variety of exceptional handicraft work of silk lanterns and embroidery. At the entry you can enjoy traditional music and dance show as well. Not only does this place offers a peek into the skilled talent of the locals but also provides a much needed break with its dance and music show.
Van Duc Pagoda
This sacred temple where all the Buddhist celebrations take place is illuminated with lanterns in the evening and the view right from the entry gate to the temple is breathtaking. Special celebrations are held here on full moons and big occasions like the Birthday of Lord Buddha. The temple looks amazingly beautiful and calm and should definitely be in your bucket list.
Hoi An night market
Hoi An night market is arguably one of the best night markets you will ever visit. The beautiful silk lanterns illuminate the whole market and are definitely the mainstay of the place. Exceptional variety of styles are available for silk lanterns and they are a must buy as a souvenir. From jewellery to cheese graters, the market has just about everything to empty your pocket.
Visit the Tran Family Chapel
Dating back to the early 18th century, the chapel is a famous place of worship. The architecture of the building clearly reflects the Chinese and Japanese influence. It also accommodates vernacular style of construction and has an antique room that has rare coins and souvenirs for collection of artifact lovers.
Vietnam has always been a destination that attracted various tourists from all over the world with its cultural heritage, beautiful places and cheap cost of travel. For travelers looking for a unique place to travel in Vietnam that has beautifully preserved its trading port look of the 15th to 19th century, to great extent even now, Hoi An is the answer.