Hoi An in Vietnam: sights and our tips

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Hoi An is probably the most wonderful antipole to the otherwise hectic Vietnam. Strolling through the streets, watching people, letting your soul dangle – heart, what more could you want? In this blog article we will introduce you to the most important sights in Hoi An and give you our tips.

1. Arrival in Hoi An: Our impressions and experiences The good news: The colonial town Hoi An is certainly one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam from an architectural point of view – if not the most beautiful. The picturesque ancient town of Hoi An counts since 1999 UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here a pretty colonial house is lined up next to the next and colorful lantern chains characterize the streetscape. Hoi An is really magically beautiful. You’ll find postcard motifs par excellence on every corner.

The bad news: Hoi An is incredibly touristy. There are tons of restaurants, cafes and bars , who compete for the cheapest beer in town. In addition, the streets of Hoi An and the most important sights are besieged by tour groups. You can’t sugarcoat it: Hoi An is simply overcrowded.

But to be honest: We are not surprised that Hoi An attracts so many visitors. In Hoi An you can perfect the “in the day life” that we love so much when travelling. The place is made for strolling through the streets and simply letting yourself be carried away.

2. Tourist Attractions in Hoi An Hoi An Ancient Town The most important sight in Hoi An is undoubtedly the old town itself. The center of Hoi An is a sympathetic mix of historical buildings, nice cafes, pretty alleys and souvenir shops. Hoi An is located on a river and is traversed by several water channels . This gives the city its very special flair.

In the core zone there is a driving ban for motor-driven vehicles for many hours a day (morning and afternoon to evening). This is what makes the city so attractive. You can move around the old town without any worries: either on foot or – as we did – by bike. It’s best to just make your own way through downtown.

Important information about visiting Hoi An Ancient Town: Entrance ticket You may have already read about the ominous entry ticket you need to visit Hoi An Ancient Town. You only need a ticket to enter individual sights, but not to visit the historic center itself. (The official version says that the ticket is also mandatory for the old town itself, but we were never checked and would never have read about it.)

The ticket costs 25. VND per person and entitles you to entry to a total of five attractions ) your choice. You can buy the entry ticket at one of the 1200 Buy Ticket Offices. You can find these in small, yellow wooden huts that are scattered throughout the city.

With the purchase of your ticket you will also receive a brochure with information about which sights your ticket is valid for.

The Japanese Bridge (“Chua Cau„) The unofficial landmark of Hoi An, the Japanese bridge is directly in the old City. The historic bridge was once the connection between the Japanese and Chinese residential areas. Today the covered bridge is a pretty photo opportunity, although to be honest we would have imagined it to be bigger.

Warning: you won’t be alone. The Japanese bridge is probably the most visited sight of Hoi An. During the day the crowds make a pilgrimage here.

You can see the bridge from the outside without a ticket. However, if you want to go across the Japanese bridge, one of the five tickets on your Hoi An entrance pass will be required.

Old Houses in Hoi An: The Tan Ky House Distributed throughout the center of Hoi An are numerous historical houses of former merchant families, referred to as “Old Houses”. You can visit them with your entrance ticket.

We chose the wooden Tan Ky house. It is very gloomy, but offers quite exciting insights into traditional Vietnamese life. The scary thing about it: The Tan Ky house looks abandoned, but is inhabited. The families allow strangers to enter their house and receive financial support in return. So pretty bizarre.

All in all, a visit to one of the Old Houses is definitely worthwhile, although you have to reckon with the fact that this sight is also quite touristy and commercialized. Our tip: Just politely decline the offer to buy souvenirs.

Walk along the river & night market In the evening it is worth taking a walk along the river (“Thu Bon”). Vendors offer handmade paper boats with candles for sale on the shore. Tourists place these on the water and hand them over to the river together with their wishes. A sea of ​​a hundred lights. Yes, Hoi An is overcrowded, but nevertheless we have to emphasize it again and again: Hoi An is picturesque like no other city in Vietnam.

If you cross the bridge, you will get directly to the every evening night market of Hoi An, which always starts around 18/06 Clock starts. Located on the street called “Nguyen Hoang”, the night market is hard to miss as it is quite big now. In this tourist-oriented market you will find a lot of souvenirs. Don’t forget to negotiate!

3. Tips for activities in and around Hoi An Tailor-made clothing: A Visit to a tailor shop Hoi An is the town of tailor shops. Everyone (really everyone! ) corner you will find a “Tailor”. Tourists flock to Hoi An to have pretty dresses and suits made to measure. And yes – admittedly – even Romeo couldn’t resist and is now the proud owner of a tailor-made suit.

Trip to the beach from Hoi An (An Bang and Cua Dai Beach) Not only downtown Hoi An, but also the surrounding countryside is worth seeing. Very close to Hoi An there is a stretch of coast with two beaches: An Bang Beach and Cua Dai Beach.

By bicycle we made our way to the beach. The path leads you through green rice fields and idyllic villages. We were totally surprised and would not have imagined the surrounding area of ​​Hoi An to be so picturesque.

The beach itself was deserted when we arrived. However, that was probably due to the off-season: when we visited in December, swimming was out of the question given the high waves. The raging waves and the gray sky gave this place a very special, magical atmosphere. But we imagine an idyllic beach holiday differently.

4. Hotel tips for Hoi An The hotel offer in Hoi An is now hardly more to survey, since there is a lot of choice. Many hotels are located near the city center. Gradually, however, more and more accommodations are being opened in the surrounding area of ​​Hoi An. Of these, you can usually get to the old town fairly quickly by bike.

Another option is to on the beach (An Bang or Cua Dai ) to stay overnight. Although we personally believe that there are more beautiful beaches in Southeast Asia, it is of course much more relaxing to spend the night on the beach.

In town: The Quin Riverside Villa In Hoi An itself we can recommend the excellently rated hotel called The Quin Riverside Villa. With the hotel’s own bicycles you can reach the center in about 5 minutes. The family-run hotel is in a very quiet location, has a pool and is great value for money.

You can book the hotel here: The Quin Riverside Villa

Beachfront: Life Beach Villa If you prefer to spend the night on the beach, we can recommend the accommodation called Life Beach Villa. It is furnished very tastefully and with great attention to detail. You can reach the center of Hoi An in about 25 Minutes by bike or alternatively a lot faster by taxi.

You can book accommodation here: Life Beach Villa

5. More travel tips for Hoi An The best travel time for Hoi An We were in Hoi An at the end of December and were quite surprised by the cool temperatures when we arrived. We didn’t think that we would really need a sweater and thick socks, but we were unlucky with the weather in the first few days.

In general, it can often rain between September and January. During this time, the daytime temperatures are only around 20 Centigrade. If you want classic tropical temperatures, you have to come in spring or summer. Between March and August the temperature is around 25 until 30 degrees Celsius and it rains less often.

How much time should I plan for Hoi An ? We ourselves stayed three nights in Hoi An and found this period to be ideal. In three nights you can explore the old town of Hoi An as well as take a trip to the surrounding area. If you are short on time, two nights will do if necessary.

Tip: Our travel guide for Vietnam We used the Stefan Loose Vietnam travel guide for our 2-week trip to Vietnam and were very satisfied. In Asia we mostly trust in the Loose travel guides. You are really well researched. As expected, the guide is quite detailed, but not too extensive. We can only recommend!

Transparency: Affiliate Links This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!1999

Have you ever been in Hoi An and do you have any other tips for sights or great restaurants? We look forward to your comment!2014