10 Best Things To Do In Hoi An

Hoi An has a reputation for being one of the prettiest cities in all of Vietnam and the Old Town here has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its 800 historic buildings. There is a definite ‘old town’ feeling here which is like stepping back into the Vietnam of ancient times, and the city is also famous as it was never bombed during the Vietnam War.

Hoi An is also located on the Thu Bon River which is flanked by bars, cafes and local markets and you can walk along the banks at night and take in the views across the rippling water. When you walk around the city, you can take in spots such as museums, ancient homes and pretty temples, and Hoi An also has a delicious local food scene. As if that wasn’t enough, the surrounding countryside of Hoi An is equally scenic and you can easily take a day trip out to glorious beaches or ruined cities.

 

1.Get a suit made

Hoi An is famous across Vietnam for its textile industry and one of the reasons many people come here is to get clothes tailor made for them.

To that end, you will find amazing tailors all over town and you can choose from a plethora of silks, others textiles and patterns to make your own personalized creations.

Note however that you will probably need to leave around three days to get your clothes made if the design is simple and up to a week for more complicated pieces so plan accordingly to avoid disappointed.

The tailoring industry here is also highly competitive so you will be expected to bargain hard and it pays to shop around so that you get the best deal.

 

2.Walk around the Old Town

Hoi An is something of a rarity in Vietnam as it managed to escape most of the bombing that razed many other cities to the ground during the Vietnam War.

This means that the beautiful buildings here were spared, and so you will still find some gorgeous architecture here in the Old Town which makes the perfect place to go for a walk and take in all the sights.

The Old Town has now been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is said to date back some 2,000 years.

3.Shop for local handicrafts

If you like local arts and handicrafts then you will be spoilt for choice on a visit to Vietnam.

Hoi An is known across Vietnam for being a hub for beautiful locally made products and you will be able to shop for these in places like the main centralmarket.

There are also a number of handicraft villages dotted on the outskirts of the town and you can usually take a tour to these where you can learn about the historical and cultural background behind the making of these items.

Many of these are made by local minorities and make excellent gifts or souvenirs.

In the handicraft villages you can also take classes such as ancient weaving or calligraphy.

If you like local arts and handicrafts then you will be spoilt for choice on a visit to Vietnam.

Hoi An is known across Vietnam for being a hub for beautiful locally made products and you will be able to shop for these in places like the main central market.

There are also a number of handicraft villages dotted on the outskirts of the town and you can usually take a tour to these where you can learn about the historical and cultural background behind the making of these items.

Many of these are made by local minorities and make excellent gifts or souvenirs.

In the handicraft villages you can also take classes such as ancient weaving or calligraphy.

 

4.Learn to cook Vietnamese food

Hoi An is known for having a number of cooking classes where you can get stuck in and learn all about how to make some local dishes.

One of the more famous schools is the Gioan Restaurant and Cooking School and you can choose between either ordering something to eat here in the restaurant or you can sign up for a class.

These usually include a trip to the local market where you will learn all about the ingredients used in Vietnamese cooking and some of the dishes that you will get to prepare include pho noodles as well as spring rolls and banh xeo which is a kind of Vietnamese pancake.

 

5.Admire the Japanese Covered Bridge

The Japanese Covered Bridge is located in the centre of the city and is also one of its focal points.

The bridge spans some 12 meters and is famous for its ornate carvings, many of which are in the shape of monkeys and dogs.

This is also a very popular place for amorous Vietnamese couples who come here to take photographs as the bridge is considered a top romantic spot in Hoi An.

 

6.Visit Hoi An Museum

If you want to know more about the history of Hoi An then you need to come to its main museum.

Here you will find a huge range of pieces that tell the story of the area including antiques that date from the Cham period as well as the colonial period.

There are a number of galleries here that are filled with drawings, ceramics, paintings and photographs and you can also check out signature pieces like large bronze temple bells.

7.Visit Hoi An Silk Village

The Hoi An Silk Village is the place to come if you want to get outside the city and check out the ancient weaving techniques for which this part of Vietnam is known.

The village is located in Quang Nam Province which is around one kilometer from the centre of the city and you will find a quaint village with homes built in the traditional style.

The village is filled with artisans who will teach you how to make beautiful silk pieces and you can even feed the silkworms here and help to unravel their cocoons.

This is also a great place to buy some traditional silk pieces which make great gifts and souvenirs.

 

8.Tour the Tan Ky Family House

The Tan Ky Family House is one of the most historically significant buildings in Hoi An and is located in the Old Town section of the city.

The family home was built in the 18th century and would have belonged to a family of merchants.

The architecture here is a mix of Japanese, Chinese and traditional Vietnamese design motifs and you can now take a tour of this amazing property.

Some seven generations of merchants lived in the home and you will still find their original furniture and memorabilia here which will give you an idea of how people would have lived in Hoi An in the days of old.

9.Take a day trip to the My Son Ruins

If you want to take a day trip out of Hoi An then head for the My Son Ruins which consist of a collection of Hindu temples that were built from the 4th to the 13th century.

The temples are located to the west of Hoi An and it is possible to come here for the day from the city.

My Son is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it has been preserved and restored after the temples were abandoned for centuries.

The site sprawls over 140 hectares and you can learn all about how Hinduism would have been a key part of Vietnamese culture in the days of old.

 

10.Shop at the Lantern Market

The pretty Lantern Market is located in An Hoi which is across the river from central Hoi An.

This is one of the most scenic markets in Vietnam and, as the name suggests, you can buy traditional lanterns here which come in all different shapes and sizes.

Many of these are made of gorgeous Hoi An silk and you can walk around at night and take in all the amazing illuminated lanterns which come in a range of different hues.

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