Published By: Sanjukta

HOI AN – Vietnam’s Riverside Jewel

Narrow lanes flanked by golden-hued buildings adorned with colorful lanterns, creating a scene straight out of a fairy tale. That's Hoi An's ancient town for you, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that's been charming visitors for centuries.

Here, you'll find a blend of Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, and European influences at every turn. Temples, pagodas, and assembly halls stand as testaments to Hoi An's multicultural past. Don't miss the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge or the tranquil courtyards of ancient merchant houses.

From lanterns galore to tantalizing street food stalls, Hoi An is a special treat to witness. This riverside jewel not only offers the tranquil waterside charm but also the cultural introspection at every turn. Here’s all you can do in Hoi An.

Marvel at the Beauty of the Lantern Festival

Held on the 14th day of every lunar month, this magical event transports visitors back in time with its enchanting ambiance and candle-lit lanterns adrift on the river. Don't miss the opportunity to make a wish of your own as you release a lantern into the night sky, surrounded by the soft glow of flickering candles.

Take a Boat Tour

Embark on a tranquil journey along the Thu Bon River aboard a traditional boat, where you'll witness the timeless beauty of Hoi An from a unique perspective. Opt for a sunset cruise on a sampan to witness the town bathed in golden light, or rise early for a sunrise tour of the bustling fish market, where fishermen unload their catch of the day. For a truly unforgettable experience, hop into one of Vietnam's distinctive circular bamboo boats and float down the river currents.

Stroll Around the Old Town

Explore the narrow streets and historical landmarks of Hoi An's Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site brimming with architectural marvels and cultural treasures. Wander through the meticulously preserved streetscape, where European and Asian influences converge in a harmonious blend of styles. Take your time to admire the intricate details of the town's 1107 heritage-listed buildings and indulge in a leisurely stroll past charming shop-houses and bustling market stalls.

Visit the Japanese Covered Bridge

Step back in time as you cross the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge, a symbol of Hoi An's multicultural heritage and architectural splendor. Built in the 15th century to connect the Japanese and Chinese quarters of the town, this historic landmark is steeped in legend and folklore. Admire the bridge's elegant design and intricate carvings as you stroll across its weathered timbers, and don't forget to explore the interior temple, where centuries of history come to life.

Explore the Museums

Delve into Hoi An's rich history and cultural heritage with a visit to its fascinating museums and heritage sites. Discover artifacts spanning over 2,000 years at the Museum of History and Culture, or immerse yourself in the traditions of Vietnamese folklore at the Museum of Folklore. Explore the Museum of Trade Ceramics to learn about the town's legacy as a major trading port, or wander through Tan Ky Old House, a beautifully preserved example of 18th-century Vietnamese architecture.

Head to the Beach

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city with a relaxing day at one of Hoi An's pristine beaches, where sun, sand, and surf await. Lounge on the golden shores of An Bang Beach, known for its laid-back atmosphere and crystal-clear waters, or explore the tranquil shores of Cua Dai Beach, dotted with charming beachfront resorts. For a quieter retreat, venture to Hidden Beach and unwind amidst the natural beauty of this secluded paradise.

Visit the Cham Islands

Embark on a journey to the enchanting Cham Islands, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve located just off the coast of Hoi An. Explore the pristine beaches and vibrant coral reefs of this idyllic archipelago, where snorkeling, diving, and island-hopping adventures await. Spend a day exploring the sleepy fishing villages and ancient monuments of the Cham Islands, or extend your stay for an overnight getaway and immerse yourself in the serenity of island life.