There are many reasons to visit and love Hoi An, but here are the top seven. When you visit Hoi An, you will discover a picturesque backdrop juxtaposed by a city that screams with sound of scooters fighting to find their way. You will find traces of times past in the form of ancient assembly halls and towns – but also the aspirations of a rising Vietnam.
Hoi An Night Market
The stunning views of Hoi An’s lit-up streets begin at 5 PM. Hundreds come here to sell goods, enjoy the idyllic views of the river, and socialize. Expect beautiful lanterns to dot the sky as you take in the sizzling aromas of freshly cooked cuisine. A stroll down the market will take you through a carnival of handicrafts, textiles, silks, and famous dishes. A lot of tourists enjoy just sitting down and people watching. Interestingly enough, there are so many people of this variety that people watchers end up watching other people watchers. The nightly festivities end around 11 PM.
Thuan Tinh Island
You can get here via a short boat trip from the main city. A lovely market resides here as well – expect the locals to guide you through all the unique herbs and dishes prepared. The island is very famous for the cooking classes offered – sometimes the chefs will even take you back to Hoi An to purchase ingredients. The classes take place in the open air and offer gorgeous views of the water coconut trees and river.
Hoi An Ancient Town
Often mentioned in UNESCO World Heritage Exhibitions, the Ancient Town is a well-preserved icon of the Southeast Asian trade that occurred from the 15th to 19th century. It is a darling of a vibrant era long-gone, but still remembered preciously. As a trade port, the town boasts a poignant fusion of indigenous and foreign cultures. 1,107 timber frame buildings dot the landscape, many of which are spread among architecture monuments and commercial structures. Discover what a traditional townscape felt like.
An Bang Beach
One of Vietnam’s most vivacious escapes. Discover long stretches of white sand complimented by an awe-inspiring horizon. Only the Cham Islands interrupt the ocean symmetry. What is special about this scene is that it is not mainstream – you won’t find a large hustle and bustle of tourists here. Instead, you find calm waves and serenity. At sunset, the bustle of the city really fades away, and the ocean seems to be the only thing breathing – gently inviting you for a calm stroll. Perhaps you would like to visit while donning luxury swimwear from Cacdemode.
Fukian Assembly Hall
Dedicated to Thien Hau, the goddess of the sea and protector of sailors, this monument also houses the Jinshang Golden Temple. Whether you examine it from the outside or inside, the assembly hall is an inspiring cocktail of spiritual devotion and creative ambition. Back in 1690 when it was first founded, it housed the largest Chinese ethnic group in Hoi An. The assembly hall has been redone over the ages and you can now find it resplendent and spacious. Inside, you will discover a panorama of animal symbols and ethnic designs – an artistic masterpiece.
Emerald waters make for spectacular views. The islands have yet to give in to the desperate rush of mainstream tourism, so expect to find a large bounty of unspoiled natural splendor. It is a dreamland for the explorer who cherishes the less-taken, but more rewarding path. The main island is Hon Lao, the largest and only one that is inhabited. Many visitors enjoy renting speed boats here and zipping through the formation as they take in the nautical air and joyous bumps. Once inside the island, you will find snorkeling, diving, seafood, and plenty of scenic drives.
Hoi An boasts a bounty of extreme adventures. One of the more notable ones is the motorbike tour, a high-speed experience through the rice fields, vegetable gardens, and natural formations. For a good touring company, check out Phat Tire Ventures, which boasts a certificate of excellence from TripAdvisors. The guides are respectful and put your safety first – while the experience can only be described by one word: epic. Get off the beaten track and take the world in your own hands.