If I had to choose only one destination in Vietnam, it would be Hoi An Ancient Town. I am in love with this place! Because of its picturesque historical homes, intricate colorful lanterns, ferry quay, market scenes, buzzing cafes, sumptuous food, pagodas, and historical places, it is indeed a fusion of indigenous and foreign cultures.
Here are 5 Reasons Why you Should Visit Hoi An:
1. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The town was inscribed into the list in 1999, categorized as one of the exceptionally well-preserved examples of the Southeast Asian trading ports from the 16th and 17th centuries. It’s buildings and it’s street plan reflect the beautiful blend of Chinese and Japanese architectural styles, as well as European. A combination that produces this unique heritage site.
2. It is the heart of the tropical center in Vietnam.
Contrast that to the North, which can be cold sometimes, Hoi An is a city of two seasons with warm weather averaging 29°C dominating for most of the year. The wet monsoon season spans the months from September through to January with a dry season for the rest of the year. Most days temperatures average between 25°C and 30°C with the hottest months being June and July. So, if you like basking in the sun all day, this is just the right city for you! Visit Hoi An Weather for a complete guide to the weather in Hoi An.
3. It is every clothes addict’s dream come true.
Hoi An is an extremely popular place for buying handmade clothing, there are plenty of unique stores that make anything from custom-made suits to gowns to sundresses both traditional and modern, to leather boots and sneakers. You can even visit a silk village where they showcase the silk manufacturing process. Visit Hoi An Silk Village to schedule a tour.
Aside from Haute haunting, Shopping at Hoi An Central Market is truly an experience, you’ll find a range of stalls selling handcrafted jewellery and souvenirs. While strolling the streets, I met two wonderful Vietnamese moms who make trinkets out of yarn and strings. If you fancy your color pattern and design, they can do it on the spot for you.
4. It is easy to explore.
Although, you can pretty much walk within the old town area, to take a glimpse of the rice paddies and explore the beaches. you can rent a bicycle for about 30,000 VND (USD 1.30) or a motorbike for 80,000 VND (USD 3.45) per day.
You may also want to try Cyclos, it can hold up to two people at a time. Since the drivers know where the landmarks are, you can save lots of time navigating. Cyclos is a fixed hourly rate, you can negotiate the price depends on where you want to go. You can also sign up for a full or half-day tour to visit the historical places and the neighboring city Danang by hiring metered taxis. They start on average at 12,000 VND (USD 0.52) for the first km and 10,000 VND (USD 0.43) per km after that.
5. It has the best attractions.
Aside from the Hoi An Ancient Town and the Riverside, here are some of the following attractions in Hoi An.
- Enter the old houses. Some of the houses in Hoi An have had their interiors turned into museums, giving travelers a sight at what life was for affluent merchants in the colonial and pre-colonial periods. The Tan Ky and the Duc An homes are two of the more popular ones to visit.
- Cross the Japanese Covered Bridge – this beautiful bridge was first constructed in the 1590s by the Japanese community to link it with the Chinese quarters.
- See the Fujian Assembly Hall. Built-in 1697, Fukian is the grandest of the Chinese assembly halls and is a first-rate example of Chinese architecture.
- Visit the Chuc Thanh Pagoda. The oldest Buddhist Pagoda in Hoi An, Founded by Monk Minh Hai of Chine in 1454, The temple houses a marble statue of Guan Yin (Goddess of Mercy), intricate animal carvings, lacquered pillars, and 16 grave towers of eminent monks.
- Relax in Cua Dai Beach. Just 15-minute drive from Hoi An Ancient Town, you will find Cua Dai Beach. It boasts a three-kilometer stretch of white sand and gentle waves, the beach is relatively quiet most of the time.
How to get there: The closest major airport to Hoi An Ancient Town is Da Nang International Airport. It is 29 km from the city center. Currently, at all international airports in Vietnam, there is a service to support all Immigration procedures and fast track service. You can avail of Da Nang Airport Meet and Assist.
For a fuss-free Vietnam immigration fast track in Da Nang Airport visit Vietnam Airport Support for more details. Before your intended arrival, make sure to sort out your visa. Visit Vietnam Immigration to check if you can enter Vietnam without a visa or a visa on arrival for a small fee.
The cheapest travel option to go to Hoi An is via Bus #1 or also knows as a yellow bus, It starts at 5:30 in the morning and stops operating at 6:00 in the evening. with a frequency of 1 bus every 20 minutes that goes directly to Hoi An from Danang. The journey will take about 90 minutes. However, the nearest bus stop from the airport is around 3km away.
You can also easily go to the city center by metered taxis or ask your hotel to arrange airport transfer services.