A trip to Vietnam isn’t complete without a stop in Hoi An 😍 If you’ve never heard of it, imagine a town that takes you back in time. That is truly the best way to describe it to someone that’s never been! Apart from its historic, cultural feel, it’s home to unique and authentic Vietnamese cuisine and some of the friendliest locals you’ll ever meet! It’s safe to say it was one of my favorite places in Vietnam.
Hoi An has many sceneries from its river canals and beaches to its rice paddies and rural villages, but you’ll want to spend the majority of your time doing activities in the old quarter. Right as you step inside this UNESCO-protected sight, you’re immediately transported back into the 17000s, when Hoi An was renowned as one of the most favored and lively stops on the Silk Road trading route. It is that well-preserved! There’s history to be found in every corner of the old quarter, which is why it comes as no surprise that it attracts such sizable crowds of tourists.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the crowds in Hoi An, especially as they flood in around the early evening, but if you follow these 5 recommendations below, you’re bound to have experiences in Hoi An that are authentic, special, and so so fun!!
1. Design Your Outfit of Choice at a Tailor
Hoi An is widely known for its skillful and abundant tailor shops and is probably the best location in Vietnam to pay one a visit. The prices are crazy cheap and the tailors will make you just about anything you want, so feel free to go crazy and be creative!
You’ll notice right away that almost every other store in Hoi An is a tailor, so do your research and don’t settle for steep prices since you can easily find one in your price range if you just walk a couple feet away. I went to Hoang Kim Tailor where I had a dress and skirt made and was super happy with their work! My boyfriend had dress shirts and pants made there as well and he too was very pleased 😊
2. Walk or Bike Through the Historic Streets of the Old Quarter
My best memories of Hoi An came from getting lost in the lantern-lined roads and alleys of the old quarter. It’s unlike anything you’ll ever see since towns and architecture this old are rarely still standing anymore in present day.
If you’re brave, rent a bike and roam around, or just explore by foot to photograph and admire all the historic charm the old quarter has to offer! Some sights you don’t want to miss are: the Japanese Covered Bridge, one of the many preserved “Old Houses,” and the river canals.
3. Take a Cooking Class
There are tons of delicious restaurants to explore in Hoi An, but the most authentic meals I ever ate were in a cooking class I took! Not only was the food incredible, but it was also a great way to learn about Vietnamese produce and their style of cooking/cuisine.
For a more private experience with amazing food and instructors, I recommend Goian Cooking Class! The class was the perfect amount of time with flexible scheduling, it was one of the cheapest prices I found, and one of the few classes that offer private lessons (as long as you have at least 2 people in your party) for the same low price!
4. Take a Boat Ride on the Canals
Hoi An is almost like an Asian Venice in a sense, as they both are rich with culture and historic architecture and both have canals running through the city! Like Venice, but for a MUCH cheaper price, you can have a local sail you around the canals on their boat!
Go in the evening to watch the sunset or at night to watch colorful candle-lit lanterns float up and down the river. For less than a dollar, you can even send your own lantern down the river!
5. Explore Hoi An’s Nightlife through its Night Market & Bars
Although it’s a small town, the old quarter comes alive at night through its daily night market and the string of bars that line the canals!
Even if you’re not in the mood to shop, just strolling through the rows and rows of lantern vendors is a mesmerizing sight to see. When done, head over to the line of little backpacker bars right next to it, where you can almost drink for free all night due to the copious amounts of deals offered at each bar!
Have any must-d0 activities to add to the list? Let me know in the comments below!! ❤️