Top 10 activities in Hoi An for first-time visitors

The Ancient Town of Hoi An is definitely a must-see destination when travelers come to Viet Nam! Situated roughly halfway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, therefore it is believed to mingle culture between two regions.  Colorful lanterns and small ancient yellow-painted houses are characteristics of this town. Nevertheless, don’t let the word “small“fool you! There are many photogenic spots and fantastic places to make you busy all hours. Here are 10 activities you might want to try out while exploring in Hoi An.

1. Crossing Chua Cau Hoi An

“Chua” literally means pagoda, “Cau” is understood as a bridge so it comes to the name of this attraction. It is considered to be the “heart” of the ancient town of Hoi An in Quang Nam Province. What makes this bridge quite different from the others? It won my heart since I learned interesting stories about the existence of the bridge from my parents. It is all about the rich history of the ancient trading port, the trade between merchants from different countries, the cultural integration of Asian and Western, etc.

Chua Cau Hoi An – “The Japanese Bridge”

2. Enjoying famous Vietnamese sandwiches.

When exploring Viet Nam, don’t skip Vietnamese sandwiches – one of the most famous Vietnamese traditional food. Interestingly, the baguette made in Hoi An is rated as the most delicious one around the world – claimed by the US Masterchef Anthony. The typical Vietnamese sandwich consists of slices of pork, fresh home-made pate, cucumber, herbs, and a special sauce. “I wish I knew their recipes!”. Personally, this is always my go-to healthy snack that I am craving for.

Vietnamese sandwiches

3. Sipping a hot cup of tea at Reaching Out Tea House

Are you looking for a nice place to escape the crowd? There you go! Reaching Out Tea House is a must! Enjoying hot tea or coffee with biscuits in a cozy and tranquil place will help you relax in your own comfort zone and get away from the hustle and bustle of big cities, I usually visit this place with my clients and no one ever complains about this place. Why? Well, this is the special Tea House where you can support the community of young disabled people. The staff here are hearing impaired or deaf, the simple communication is by gentle smiles, body languages, wooden-block with words or small papers. And they make amazing tea and biscuits. Everything is made with love and peace. I am not going to reveal too much about this place because you need to come and check it out on your own.

Enjoying a hot cup of tea with our clients.

4. Walking around the ancient town at night

Hoi an is no doubt to be a city of lanterns. At night the streets of the ancient town are lit up with dancing colorful lights. You will somehow be in awe with the magical views of the lanterns! You can stroll through the streets of lanterns and I am sure you will go home with many nice pictures of those unforgettable moments.

A night in Hoi An

5. Releasing flower lanterns to make a wish

It is a tradition that our locals release flower lantern with candles to make a wish on the full-moon day. You will be the one who releases sparkling small lights into the river with the hope that the lights will bring good luck to your family and loved ones. Besides lanterns, the lotus-shaped paper flower is gradually becoming a signature of Hoi An.

A memorable moment when our visitors release flower lanterns.

6. Enjoying a boat cruise along the Hoai River in the evening

A boat cruise along the Hoai river could be the highlight of your night! Floating slowly down as all the candles twinkles in the background feels quite like a scene out of a movie. All your worries seem to go far away since it’s just a really pleasant experience all around.

Enjoying nightlife in Hoi An on a boat cruise along Hoai River

7. Shopping at Hoi An Market

Hoi An Market is one of the popular shopping places in Hoi An since it sells a variety of outlets. You can find many specialties, fine arts, and crafts as well as enjoy many tasty local cuisines here. You can also exchange and chat with local people to enhance your knowledge about the daily life of the people here.

Hoi An market

8. Visiting Hoi An Handicraft Factory

Hoi An handicraft factory is located right on Nguyen Thai Hoc Street and was established with the aim of preserving and maintaining traditional crafts.

Hoi An Handicraft Workshop gathered many talented and skillful craftsmen in most traditional crafts of Hoi An and Quang Nam such as pottery, lacquer, fabric weaving and so on. You will admire the way artisans meticulously create sophisticated artworks and choose to buy products as a souvenir.

Your visit to the handicraft workshop not only gives you a deep insight into the traditional jobs but also gives you the chance to observe how talented workers passionately make their own products.

Hong Kong family learn how to make lanterns.

9. Visiting Tra Que Vegetable Village

Only 4km far away from Hoi An ancient town, Tra Que Vegetable Village is a herb and vegetable village that attracts many travelers to visit and experience. You are welcomed to help our lovely farmers with planting vegetables like a real farmer and to get a better understanding of our traditional farming. This will definitely be a real experience that you can’t forget!

Tra Que Vegetable Village

10. My Son Sanctuary

You ever find yourself in Hoi An, don’t give My Son Sanctuary a miss. First and foremost it is recognized as one of the World Cultural Heritages. Secondly, you will be surprised that we had Hinduism in Hoi An, you can visit My Son for a half-day tour. You will a sense of wonders and peace at this holly land. It’s recommended to have a guided tour because an excellent Tourguide will make the visit worth-while.

A day in My Son Sanctuary with Xuan Tu.