Hoi An Attractions: Top 15 Best Things to do in Hoi An, Vietnam
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Hoi An is a city located in Quang Nam Province in Vietnam. It has a population of about 120,000 and used to be called Fai-Fo or Faifoo. The attractions of Hoi An range from pagodas to temples to colonial shop houses to a few beaches. There are alleyways that travelers can visit to find local shops and villages to immerse in the local way of Hoi An life. The nightlife in the area is also something to check out as well as some hands-on workshops and historical museums. Here are some of the Amazing and Unique Things to Do in Hoi An City:
Old Town of Hoi An
The Old Town of Hoi An is a well-preserved historic district which used to be a trading port that dates back to the 15th to 19th century. The village is where many of the notable attractions of the city are located. It’s a place where tourists can see different structures from different countries like French-colonial houses. It’s easy to go on a walking tour of the Old Town.
Hoi An Riverside
You have to go to the Riverside to see where the merchants used to trade their goods. The river flows directly to the East China Sea which makes it a good spot for trading back in the day. Tourists today will see the finest architectural areas of the Riverside which didn’t experience any renovations yet. The attractions of the Riverside include different boats and hanging lanterns throughout the vicinity on special nights.
Japanese Covered Bridge
The Japanese Covered Bridge of Hoi An is one of the most iconic attractions of the city. There’s a temple at the north of the bridge made in honor of the Taoist God of weather, Tran Vo Bac De. Visitors are most likely to see locals offering prayers at the temple to ask for protection from nature’s wrath. The bridge is guarded by monkey and dog statues on both ends.
Cua Dai Beach
The ancient streets of Hoi An is only a few kilometers away from Cua Dai Beach. The UNESCO World Heritage Site offers a 3 km stretch of white sands and calm waters perfect for floating. Some seafood restaurants can be found in the area and tourists can also buy some refreshments from hawkers in the vicinity. There are sun loungers in the area too in case it gets hot and tiring.
Van Duc Pagoda
This pagoda is where the locals utter their prayers to Buddhist deities like Amitabha Buddha, Dia Tang Bodhisattva, and Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. Travelers can find three worship halls, animal sculptures, paintings of deities, plants, and trees when they go to one of Hoi An’s oldest Buddhist temples. Paying respects, fortune telling and exploring are the best activities when visiting this well-preserved structure. It’s open daily from 8:00am to 6:00pm.
Hoi An Museum of History and Culture
This museum by the river houses ancient artworks like ceramics, historical photos, and drawings. It also protects the history and development of Hoi An. There are also exhibits in the museum which features bronze temple bells and gongs. Some very old coffins are on display depicting the traditional burial rites of Hoi An.
Fujian Assembly Hall
The Assembly Hall was built to accommodate the people from Fujian, China when they’re visiting Hoi An. It served as a meet-up place for them. The hall was created in 1690 but its main gate was built later on. It’s considered a World Cultural Heritage site and one of the main attractions of Hoi An. The hall is where the Jinshang Golden Mountain temple, dedicated to the goddess of the sea, is located.
Trade Ceramics Museum
A restored timber house is the location of the museum. Visitors can find Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese ceramics found when they excavated the area of Hoi An. These ceramics were made during the 8th to 18th century. The diverse selection of the ceramics offers a glimpse into the trading business of the city of Hoi An. Visitors can also see some drawings of the architectural structure of Hoi An.
An Bang Beach
Another tropical retreat found in Hoi An is this beach which is less developed than Cua Dai Beach. Some restaurants offer free-of-charge sunbeds when visitors dine at their premises. There are water activities like paddle boarding and surfing. Visitors who wish to surf can go from September to March. Casual beach bumming can also be done at this beach. The best way to go to this beach is to ride a bicycle or motorcycle.
Chuc Thanh Pagoda
Built by Monk Minh Hai of Chine in 1454, the Chuch Thanh Pagoda is the oldest Buddhist pagoda in Hoi An. The temple is a combination of Vietnamese and Chinese architectural influences and it features the marble statue of Guan Yin (goddess of mercy). It’s also full of animal carvings, lacquered pillars plus sixteen graves of the famous monks. Antique ritual objects such as several bells, a 200-year old stone gong and a carp-shaped wooden gong can also be found in the pagoda.
Lantern Making in Hoi An
Studying the art of lantern making in Hoi An is an amazing way to get to know the craft. Visitors can embark on a journey of learning how the procedure is made and learning about the history of the craft. Visitors will also learn the special meaning of the lanterns being made for the locals. Some of these symbols may mean luck, happiness and wealth for the whole family.
Food Scene of Hoi An
As always, no travel is complete without a food tour and the restaurants of Hoi An are vibrant enough to stimulate any tourist’s appetite. The foods of Hoi An range from local fares to international cuisines like French and American. Foodies from all walks of life need not be afraid of the food scene as there’s something for everyone from budget to expensive.
Night Life of Hoi An
Hoi An isn’t limited to ancient structures and rituals. It’s also a place to enjoy the nightlife. Hoi An’s nightlife comprise of floating candles by the river, lantern displays, and folk dance performances. There’s action up to 3:00am and everyone can have a taste of some cheap beers. There are also happy hour at the bars and live music.
Hoi An Silk Village
The village consists of old homes featuring Quang Nam architecture. There are mulberry trees, horticulture farms in the area. Learn about the craft by visiting the village where about 12 local artists use the process of weaving to make garments, handicrafts, and tapestries. The village has a museum where costumes of 54 ethnic people from Vietnam are housed. There are tours being offered in the village to learn about the craft.
Hoi An Central Market
The Central Market is considered one of the best in Vietnam. A rich experience can be had by travelers as the wonderful smell of herb and spices dominates the air. Colorful Vietnamese silk can be found and cheaper stalls are located in the farthest part of the market. Leather goods, traditional Vietnamese Conic Hats, clothes and of course, lanterns are some of the epic finds at the markets.
The way Hoi An has preserved its culture, traditions and structures is remarkable. The temples and other attractions they built are a great way to honor their gods and protect their friendships with the countries they did business within the early days. Their old ways combined with some modern approach makes Hoi An a must visit city in Vietnam.
Hoi An Travel and Tour Packages
Hidden Hoi An Walking Tour
- Learn about the rich culture of Hoi An on a walking tour accompanied by your English speaking tour guide.
- Visit the important landmarks of the town including the Chua Ong Pagoda, Jinshang Temple, and Tan Ky House.
- Unwind at the end of the day with a boat ride along the Thu Bon River, the ancient trading hub of Hoi An.
- Enjoy air-conditioned transport including hotel pick up and drop off.
Find Hotels in Hoi An, Vietnam according to your budget via Agoda.
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