Holidays to Hoi An, Vietnam

Once a major trading port, the heritage town of Hoi An is one of few in Vietnam to retain its old-world charm and appearance. You’ll still find souvenir shops here catering for tourists, but these are overshadowed by the Chinese temples, Dutch colonial houses and mustard-yellow merchant houses.

The Ancient Quarter is car-free, a welcome relief from the congested streets of Hanoi and Saigon, and strolling round the streets, stopping for a coffee in the teahouses, is a lovely way to while away the day. Once an important trading point on the famous Silk Road, Hoi An is renowned for its tailors who can whip up a custom-made suit in no time, and you’ll find them on pretty much every street corner. Cross the 16th century covered bridge, one of Hoi An’s most iconic attractions, into the Japanese section where you’ll find various museums and stalls selling ‘white roses’, dumplings made with spiced minced pork. On the fourteenth day of each month, all businesses in the old town switch off their electricity and rely instead on hundreds of candles and lanterns. Locals pay tribute to their ancestors by burning (fake) money to bring prosperity, and in the temples you'll find monks holding candlelit ceremonies. In the evening, the banks of the Thu Bon River are transformed with happy hour bars, boat rides and spectacular sunsets.

An hour inland from Hoi An are the ruins of My Son Hindu Sanctuary. Built between the 4th and 13th century, although they were only discovered in 1885, they were once the crowning glory of the Cham dynasty who ruled southern Vietnam. 27 of the original 70 brick temples are all that survived American bombing attacks in the 1960s, and bomb craters are still visible throughout the grounds, along with bullet holes in the masonry. Early morning is the best time to visit to avoid the heat and crowds; stop by the museum first to get an overview of its history.

Not content with being famed for its history and architecture, Hoi An also boasts some great beaches. Cua Dai is the most popular, just a short distance from town, but An Bang is the better choice, frequented by locals. You can rent sun loungers and hammocks, and pick up delicious Vietnamese food at the beach shacks.


  • Visit the UNESCO Ancient Quarter, stopping in the teahouses

  • Pick up custom-made suits and dresses

  • Relax on great beaches out of town

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Hoi An trip ideas

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Places to stay in Hoi An

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Things to do in Hoi An

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Map of Hoi An

When to go to Hoi An

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