Things To Do In Hoi An Vietnam

Escape the chaos of Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi and head south to Hoi An, Vietnam. Hoi An in English translates to “peaceful meeting place” and we’d have to agree with that. Hoi An is an oasis in Vietnam and our personal favorite city in Vietnam. We’d suggest spending at least two nights in Hoi An or many more if your time allows. We spent a week in Hoi An and could have easily stayed in Hoi An Vietnam for a month. You can get a 4-star Hoi An hotel for as low as $25 so why to stay a few nights?  When you visit this beautiful city, here are the top things to do in Hoi An Vietnam.

Related Article: Top 13 Vietnam Destination


Things To Do In Hoi An Vietnam

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1.  Take A Hoi An Cooking Class

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It’s hard not to fall in love with the Vietnamese food in Hoi An. Why not take a cooking class in Hoi An to learn how to cook your favorite Vietnamese food? There are tons of cooking schools in Hoi An, Vietnam but they are charging $50+ per cooking class. We took our class at our favorite Hoi An restaurant instead of a 10th of the price. At Cafe 43 we paid just $5 per person plus the menu price for whatever we learned how to cook. In our Hoi An cooking class, we learned how to cook papaya salad, fresh spring rolls, chicken chili lemongrass. Our cooking class was just the two us and cost less than $20 USD for a private cooking class in which we made 3 of our favorite Vietnamese dishes.

Related Article: Getting Fat For $5 A Day In Vietnam

2. Explore Hoi An Ancient Town

Hoi An’s ancient town became a UNESCO heritage site in 1999 as a well preserved Southeast Asia trading port. One of our favorite things to do in Hoi An Vietnam is just wondering down the streets in Ancient Town, don’t forget your camera!

There are several Airbnb listings right in Hoi An old town that are much cheaper than hotels and you’ll have a ton more space renting an apartment vs a hotel room.

Airbnb first-timers, if you sign up through my referral link you get $40 credit when you book your first trip! –>> sign up here! If you already have an account register a second account for your travel partner to get $40 off your next trip. 

3. Try Hoi An’s Famous White Rose Dish

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Try the local specialty in Hoi An called white rose. White rose is similar to a dumpling that is filled with shrimp or pork, topped with fried garlic and served with sweet dipping sauce. It’s super tasty and a must eat when traveling to Hoi An.

4. Get A Suit Or Dress Made At A Hoi An Tailor

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Walking around Hoi An Vietnam you’ll be asked consistently if you want a suit or dress made. The number of tailors in Hoi An is insane! The tailors are super cheap and can make custom garments within a day. I had 2 custom dresses made within 24 hours. Hannah got two dresses made at Hana tailor and a leather purse.

Related Article: Hoi An Tailors 

5. Visit The Banh Mi Queen

Bahn Mi Battle Vietnam Hoi an

Vietnamese’s famous sandwich the banh mi, the word which simply translates to bread, but your mouth will translate it to the best sandwich you’ve ever had.  The best banh mi in Hoi An is from the banh mi queen, she lives up to the name. This cute little old Vietnamese grandma is serving up one the tastiest sandwiches in Hoi An. She has one thing on the menu, you don’t really even order you just sit down in her house and she brings you a banh mi sandwich. I suggest stopping by the banh mi queen and having a $1 sandwich to fuel your day of things to do in Hoi An.

6. Drink 15 Cent Beers

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Who can pass up 15 cent beers? Our favorite restaurant Cafe 43 had 15 cent beers of their special homemade Vietnamese beer, it was pretty tasty for 15 cents. Homemade Vietnamese beer is easily found in the city, so make a day of day drinking your way around Hoi An Vietnam.

Related Article: Must Do Things in Hanoi 

7. Relax On Cua Dai Beach

Just 5km outside of the Hoi An Vietnam is Cua Dai beach located on the South China Sea. We suggest riding a bike from Ancient Town Hoi An, as its a relaxing bike ride passing by rice paddies and the Thu Bon riverbank. Go for a walk along the 3km sandy beach or rent a beach chair for the day and enjoy the sunshine. There are tons of bike rentals in Hoi An, our hotel Hoi An Prince hotel (we paid $15 a night) rented bikes for $1 a day.

There are several hotels right on the beach, check specials on Agoda.com we’ve seen some as low as $15 a night.

8.  Take the Hoi An Free Bike Tour

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Another fun and one of the free things to do in Hoi An is the Hoi An free tour by bike. Every Sunday students volunteer and offer a free Hoi An tour. The Vietnamese students want to practice their English and this is a perfect way to do that. The tour is limited to 20 people, we emailed in advance to save our spot. Just show up at the meeting point with a bike or they have bikes for rent for a reasonable press. Click here for more information. If you enjoyed the tour the guides would appreciate any tips, we tipped 100,000 dong ($5 USD).

9. Visit The Full Moon Lantern Festival

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Try and time your visit to Hoi An during the Hoi An full moon lantern festival. On the full moon of every month the streets in Hoi An’s ancient town off their lights, and the streets are shut down (no traffic) and the light is replaced with colorful lanterns floating down the river. The streets are packed with locals and tourists lighting lanterns and sending them down the river, we chose not to light a lantern in Hoi An.

Related Article: Hoi An Lantern Festival 

10. Slurp A Bowl Of Cao Lau

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Cao Lau is another dish only found in Hoi An Vietnam that is definitely worth the try. Cao Lau is a soup with chewy thick noodles, mint, basil, peppers, bean sprouts, pork, lime, and some deep fried croutons for some crunch on the top. All these flavors together make this dish amazing.

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Have you been to Hoi An? What are your favorite things to do in Hoi An Vietnam?

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14 thoughts on “Things To Do In Hoi An Vietnam”

  1. Your article is amazing…. Been to Hoi An last month and it’s such an amazing and lovely town. Also released a candle-lit lantern into the river at night. I’d like to suggest a day trip to Cu Lao Cham Island. The beach there is so beautiful and the water is so blue and crystal clear 🙂

  2. This is amazing! I love all of your articles. I’m planning a trip to Hoi An next month. Good to know a lot of information from you. Thank you

  3. Interesting post and a very helpful one indeed. Going to be a big help as I plan my Aug trip to Vietnam.

  4. Hello! Great post! I’m headed to Hoi An this April! May I ask how you made arrangements for the cooking class at Cafe 43? Thanks!

    • I hope you love Hoi An like we did. To book the class just go into the restaurant and book it on the spot. We saw the sign while dining there. I would suggest having a meal there so you know which dish you want to learn to cook. Let us know if you have any other Hoi An questions.

  5. Thanks for the suggestions. I’m currently planning a trip to Vietnam and just working out the best way to get there either from Siem Reap, Bangkok or Hanoi (Not sure which direction I’m coming from yet lol). Also great to know good hotels are cheap. Can’t wait to visit, it looks beautiful.

  6. It is a very interesting and complete article! Vietnam seems to be an amazing country 🙂
    If you are agree, we would like to use this article on our travel bloggers community to guide future travelers to find the best destination.

    Thank you for your work!

  7. Great… now I’m drooling over food that I haven’t even tried yet haha. I haven’t visited Vietnam yet but I always reckoned that Hoi An would be my favourite city. There seems to be all the charm without the hustle and bustle and I reckon I’d enjoy it a lot. Hopefully I’ll get to Vietnam soon and use many of your recommendations when in Hoi An. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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