Discovering Hoi An: Its Outstanding Universal Value and Rich History City

When it comes to Hoi An, people often reminisce about a time of prosperous trading, bustling markets, and cultural fusion. The city holds immense historical and cultural value, encompassing the tumultuous periods of its growth. In 1999, Hoi An Ancient Town of Hoi An City was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site based on two significant criteria: Hoi An is an excellent example of a well-preserved traditional Asian trading port town, and Hoi An embodies a remarkable combination of various cultural influences across different periods in an international trading port.


Hoi An is a city located in Quang Nam Province, Central Vietnam. The city is situated on the North bank of the Thu Bon River and borders the East Sea. Hoi An is around 30 km South of Da Nang City (approximately a 45-minute drive by car).

The History of Hoi An City

Hoi An Ancient Town - hoi an city

Hoi An Ancient Town in Vietnam's Central was once a bustling international trading port in its prime, thriving and prosperous

Before the 2nd century, Hoi An had many ancient relics and artifacts that were over 2000 years old, dating back to the Sa Huynh period. During this time, people cultivated rice, harvested aquatic products, engaged in various handicrafts, and established cultural exchanges, resulting in the creation of a rudimentary port town.

Hoi An was the primary trading hub of the Champa Kingdom between the 2nd and 15th centuries, which saw a notable rise in international trade between countries such as China, Arabia, India, and Persia. From the 15th century to the 19th century, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese settlers arrived in Hoi An, adding to the city's diverse cultural tapestry. The town's prosperity as an international trade center endured for many centuries.

Until the 18th century, the historical vicissitudes of war, turmoil, isolationist policies, and alluvial deposits of the river made it impossible for large ships to enter Hoi An, the prosperity of Hoi An as an international trading port had entered a decline. However, local trade activities remained robust. From the late 1980s, conservation and tourism initiatives helped Hoi An’s fame to recover, leading it to become a highly sought-after destination in Vietnam and worldwide.

How to get to Hoi An City

Hoi An Ancient Town

Visitors walk on ancient and nostalgic roads of Hoi An Ancient Town

One of the most popular and convenient ways to reach the charming city of Hoi An is by taking a flight to Da Nang Airport and then proceeding to Hoi An. Typically, the price for a round-trip ticket, for an individual, from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang can range between 1,900,000 and 2,100,000 VND (which is about 81-89.4 USD).

From Da Nang, there are several ways to get to Hoi An City Center:

  • Taking bus 01 Da Nang - Hoi An: 25,000 VND/ticket (about 1 USD).

  • Taxi/ long bus: 250,000 VND/trip (about 10 USD).

Choosing the Best Time to Visit Hoi An City 

Hoi An street

Hoi An street in the rainy season

Best time to visit Hoi An City based on weather conditions: 

  • From February to April: The weather in Hoi An City during this time is particularly pleasant and cool, with less rain, making it ideal for tourists who want to relax and unwind. March is perhaps the most beautiful time to visit Hoi An.

  • For beach lovers: The period from May to July is great, as it marks the end of the dry season in Hoi An. This is an excellent time to combine a trip to the Cham Islands with a visit to beaches such as Cua Dai or other beaches.

  • From October to December: This is the rainy season. Visitors can also experience a flood in Hoi An City.  When the rivers overflow and water inundate the roads, the locals resort to voyaging by boat, navigating through the flooded thoroughfares streets of Hoi An Ancient Town.

Hoi An city at night

The resplendent beauty of Hoi An at night, painted with vibrant colors

Visit Hoi An based on Festivals and Events:





Night festival in the old town of Hoi An

14th day of each lunar month

From 6 to 10 pm,  all houses, restaurants, and shops turn off their electric lights, and the ancient town is immersed in the light of lanterns and the full moon.

Releasing floating lanterns, folk singing and dancing, lion dances, and more

Thien Hau Temple Festival

23rd March (Lunar Calendar)

The festival is organized at Phuc Kien Assembly Hall to commemorate and express gratitude to Thien Hau, who has brought favorable weather for fishermen to conduct their businesses peacefully and for people to stay healthy.

Speech, lion dances, cultural performances, fortune-telling, etc.

Thu Bon Festival

12th Feb (Lunar Calendar)

Commemorating the contributions of Ms. Thu Bon - a Cham woman who introduced agricultural and fishing work and brought prosperity to the people.

Call-and-response singing, cake-making competitions, tug of war, human chess, etc

Mid-Autumn Festival

15th Aug (Lunar Calendar)

Celebrate as a time of family reunions, gratitude, and abundance. It is believed that on this day the moon is at its fullest and brightest.

Streets adorned by countless colorful lanterns in different shapes and sizes, watch lion dance and play traditional games.

Nguyen Tieu Festival

15th Jan (Lunar Calendar)

Wishing for a peaceful, healthy, and happy new year.

People will hold ceremonies to pray for safety, peace, and engage in exciting folk games such as tug of war, jumping rope, blindfolded drumming, and O An Quan (a Vietnamese traditional board game)

Parent's Day of Gratitude

15th Jul (Lunar Calendar)

The festival is deeply rooted in Buddhism, celebrated to honor and show gratitude towards one's parents.

Blackout and the release of lanterns at 7 pm.

Ca Ong Festival

15th Marl (Lunar Calendar)

The festival is held to honor and show gratitude to the Whale God, who is believed to protect fishermen and bring them good luck and bountiful catches.

Locals offer non-seafood offerings and beautifully decorate their boats with glowing lanterns. The ceremony is held at night with the boats gathering at sea for a ritual, and the next morning they parade back to shore.

hoi an city night view

Rowing a boat on the river and releasing floating lanterns in Hoi An

Hoi An City Attractions & Best Experiences to Explore

Hoi An is an enchanting and unspoiled location that boasts an abundance of activities waiting to be discovered. From the vibrant markets and historic Old Town to the serene stretches of beaches and traditional villages, your journey is sure to be filled with exciting adventures. Here are the best Hoi An City attractions and things to do in Hoi An City New Asia Tour recommend for you:

For the Essence of Hoi An

Hoi An Memories performance

Hoi An Memories outdoor performance at night 

Hoi An Ancient Town: The UNESCO heritage site is revered for its picturesque winding lanes, charming designs, and unique cultural fusion of Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese influences. Walking along the curved paths, wandering through wooden shops and ancient residences, and visiting landmarks such as the Chinese Assembly Halls, the Japanese Covered Bridge, and renowned galleries, creates a nostalgic and intriguing experience that fully captures the essence of Hoi An's historical significance.

Hoi An Memories Show in Hoi An Memories Island: Hoi An Memories Show is a spectacular outdoor live show that tells the story of Hoi An's history and culture through music, dance, stunning visuals, and impressive special effects. The show features hundreds of cast members dressed in traditional costumes, performing on a massive stage with water, fire, and light effects. By watching this show, you will be able to experience and learn about the rich cultural heritage of Hoi An and witness the fusion of traditional and contemporary art performances. The show has received rave reviews for its high production values and unique storytelling approach.

For Local Experience

Hoi An Folklore Museum

Some exhibited items in Hoi An Folklore Museum

Hoi An Walking Street: This is an expanded street in the ancient town area, located on Phan Chau Trinh Street, starting from May 15, 2023. This street is known as a pedestrian and non-motorized vehicle-only street, where the space is a combination of shopping and hosting art programs. 

Hoi An night markets: The Hoi An night markets offer a lively and bustling atmosphere where you can fully immerse yourself in vibrant local culture. One of the most famous night markets is Nguyen Hoang, located across from the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge. This market has a wide range of handcrafted products that you can purchase. If you are a food enthusiast, make sure to visit the Cong Nu Ngoc Hoa night market, where you can indulge in various culinary delights. Additionally, there are several market routes in Bach Dang, Tran Quy Cap, Tieu La, and Hoang Van Thu.

Hoi An Folklore Museum: The museum showcases traditional artifacts, exhibits, and displays that highlight the folklore, customs, and traditions of the region from Hoi An City’s early beginnings to its present cultural identity. There are also traditional handicrafts to give you a glimpse into the remarkable skills and craftsmanship of local artisans.

The Tran Family Chapel: This 200-year-old ancestral house showcases numerous valuable artifacts from the feudal era of Vietnam. Its architecture is meticulously crafted, vibrant, and adheres strictly to Feng Shui principles.

Unwind in Hoi An

hoi an city guide

Relaxing in An Bang Beach of Hoi An City

Visit Hoi An beaches: The beaches in Hoi An such as An Bang and Cua Dai offer a peaceful and serene environment, perfect for relaxation and escaping the bustling city life. Surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and snorkeling are just a few options available to explore the vibrant underwater world of Hoi An. There are also beachfront restaurants and cafes that offer a wide array of seafood dishes and drinks to enjoy near the beach.

VinWonders South Hoi An: This is a unique theme park that offers 5 main zones including Confluence Port, River Safari, Water World, Folk Culture Island, and Adventure Land. It provides a fun-filled environment with exciting rides, water slides, and interactive entertainment suitable for all ages. Visitors can witness traditional Vietnamese performances, explore replicas of ancient structures, and learn about local customs and traditions.

Visit Traditional Villages for the best Rural Life Experiences

hoi an city guide

Experiencing farming life at Tra Que Village

Hoi An Silk Village: Hoi An traditional silk crafting experienced significant growth during the 16th and 17th centuries, producing high-quality silk products for kings, nobles, and for trade with foreign merchants. The distance from the Silk Village to the Ancient Town of Hoi An is only 1.7km. 

Thanh Ha Pottery Village: Thanh Ha pottery is renowned for its distinctive brown clay, which is pliable, malleable, and highly adhesive. When visiting this village, you can witness the fascinating process of creating exquisite pottery pieces by talented craftsmen, who produce exceptional ceramic items.

Join farming life at Tra Que Vegetable Village and cooking class: This remarkable experience offers a hands-on opportunity to engage in planting, watering, and harvesting crops, granting you an authentic taste of rural farming existence at Tra Que Farm. In addition to the enriching farming encounter, the cooking class unveils the secrets of Hoi An cuisine preparation. Local chefs will expertly guide you through the process of crafting genuine dishes using the farm's freshly harvested vegetables. Delve into the realm of traditional recipes, masterful cooking techniques, and the artful application of herbs and spices in Vietnamese cooking.

Hoi An Basket Boat

Hoi An Basket Boat Performance by Cam Thanh villager

Basket boat in Cam Thanh Coconut Village: Cam Thanh fishing village is surrounded by lush coconut groves and tranquil waterways, making it a picturesque setting for a boat ride. Basket boats have been traditionally used by local fishermen for centuries. Riding a basket boat can be an exciting and fun-filled adventure. These circular boats are maneuverable and stable, allowing you to participate in activities like basket boat racing and fishing. 

For a broader perspective, consult our post on Vietnam travel guide!

Must-eat foods and drinks in Hoi An

Hoi An is one of the outstanding culinary destinations in Vietnam, known for its unique and distinctive flavors. When exploring Hoi An City, you should not miss the opportunity to indulge in the following selection of delightful dishes and beverages:

What to eat in Hoi An

What to eat in Hoi An - hoi an city guide

Hoi An Chicken Rice

Cao Lau: a Vietnamese noodle dish characterized by its yellow noodles, typically served with shrimp, pork, various fresh vegetables, and a small amount of broth. The price range for this dish is around 25,000 - 50,000 VND (approximately 1 - 2 USD). You can enjoy Cao Lau at restaurants such as Bon Restaurant, Trung Bac Restaurant, and Thanh Restaurant. 

Banh Beo: Banh Beo is a popular Vietnamese dish that is crafted and served in dainty bowls. The cakes are made from rice flour and are usually filled with shrimp and meat. Banh Beo is an affordable dish, with prices usually around 5,000 VND (about 0,2 USD) per small bowl. There are various places where you can enjoy this delicacy in Hoi An City such as Banh Beo Ms. Bay, Banh Beo Ms. My, Banh Beo Ms. Tu Hem.

Banh Mi Phuong: Banh Mi Phuong is a renowned local establishment in Hoi An for 20 years. It offers more than 20 various fillings, including mixed fillings, beef in red wine sauce, patty, etc. The taste of these sandwiches is exceptional, as the bread remains fragrant and crispy while harmoniously combining with the meat, vegetables, and sauces. Due to its popularity, it is recommendable to arrive early and be prepared to wait in line to enjoy this unique culinary delight. 

Chicken Rice (Com Ga): Hoi An City chicken rice is highly praised among the specialty dishes in Hoi An. This dish features sticky and tender rice, accompanied by fresh chicken and various side dishes, making it a must-try culinary delight. You can indulge in this dish at the following address of Com ga Ms. Buoi, and Com ga Ms. Nga.

What to drink in Hoi An

What to drink in Hoi An

Mot is a famous characteristic beverage of Hoi An City

Mot: This is a type of herbal tea infused with ginger and lemongrass that creates a refreshing and health-boosting beverage. Mot tea is a specialty of Hoi An, loved by many tourists for its simple and rustic appearance, yet delicate fragrance that helps alleviate all tensions.

Egg Coffee: The combination of strong Vietnamese coffee with a creamy, frothy layer of beaten egg yolk and condensed milk creates a smooth and rich flavor that is simply delicious. It is a perfect balance between sweet and bitter. The most famous places to enjoy Egg Coffee in Vietnam are Hanoi and Hoi An.

What to shop for in Hoi An City

Things to buy in Hoi An City

Things to buy in Hoi An City

Lantern: This is the iconic symbol of Hoi An City in Vietnam, known for its vibrant colors, intricate designs, and aesthetic appeal. 

Hoi An silk and traditional clothes: Hoi An has a long history of silk production, and the artisans have mastered the art of creating silk fabrics and garments. The talented tailors in the city can create tailor-made garments according to your preferences and precise measurements. This enables you to own a unique clothing piece that fits flawlessly, presenting a personalized touch.

Artwork: You can find unique paintings, woodblock prints, lacquers, carved wooden furniture, and other forms of traditional art in Hoi An.

Ceramics and Pottery: Hoi An City also has a long history of pottery making, so you can find beautifully handcrafted ceramics and pottery items such as teapots and tea cups, bowls, spoons, dishes, etc from Thanh Ha village.

Local Foods and Spices: Vietnamese cuisine offers a diverse and wonderful array of local foods and spices that you can purchase to bring back and savor the flavors. You can find various types of tea, coffee, fragrances, cooking spices, or even pre-packaged traditional cakes such as baked coconut cake or mung bean cake.

Where to shop in Hoi An: You can consider visiting places that offer a convenient combination of shopping and sightseeing, such as night markets, art markets, traditional craft villages, lantern streets, and souvenir shops in the Hoi An Ancient Town, or the main streets.

Best Accommodation for Your Hoi An Stay

where to stay in hoi an city

La Siesta Hoi An Resort & Spa

Allegro Hoi An: This hotel is situated a mere 10-minute stroll away from the enchanting Hoi An Ancient Town, and it has garnered rave reviews from its patrons for its tastefully designed interiors and array of convenient amenities such as bicycles using, bus service available to transport guests to An Bang Beach, as well as a private beach area. The staff is also well-regarded for their friendliness and professionalism. It comes as no surprise that a significant number of guests choose to return time and again, making Allegro their preferred choice in accommodation when visiting Hoi An City. 

La Siesta Hoi An: The hotel is located 1.6 km away from the Ancient Town, offering a cool and friendly atmosphere reminiscent of peaceful countryside. La Siesta Hoi An is highly acclaimed by customers for its lush greenery, convenient swimming pool, and exceptional staff support.

RiverTown Hoi An: The hotel is also located 1.6 km away from the Old Quarter. It offers excellent services in a tranquil and harmonious environment. Moreover, the hotel pays great attention to customer experience.

Anio Boutique Hotel Hoi An: The Anio Boutique hotel offers a stunning swimming pool and is conveniently located approximately 1 km from the Old Town. The hotel's diverse dining options have received high praise from numerous guests. With outstanding service, the customers are universally satisfied with the Anio Boutique's services.

Little Hoi An: The hotel is located 1.4 km away from the Ancient Town. It is an impressive and meticulous hotel, paying attention to every detail. The hotel staff are highly praised for their dedication and professionalism. Customers have reviewed the rooms at Little Hoi An as clean and comfortably soft, providing a soothing ambiance for their trip.

Useful Information and Insider Tips for Your Trip to Hoi An City

Cycling to explore Hoi An rural parts

Cycling to explore Hoi An rural parts

To enhance your travel experience and ensure a more meaningful journey, New Asia Tour has several recommendations for you:

  • If you choose to rent a private vehicle, it is recommended to start your sightseeing early to avoid crowds and improve your chances of finding parking spots.

  • Booking your hotel room in advance is also advised to guarantee availability, as Hoi An is presently recognized as one of Vietnam's most sought-after tourist destinations.

  • Don't miss the opportunity to wander through the enchanting streets of Hoi An after dark, where you can immerse yourself in the captivating allure of the historic town, adorned with the radiant glow of countless lanterns.

  • Renting a bicycle is another great option for discovering the ancient town, coastal roads, and surrounding rural areas of Hoi An. 

Overall, Hoi An is a city that is easy to explore with its beautiful natural landscapes, clean and green environment, good tourism policies, and plenty of travel options. This region, which has experienced many ups and downs in history, seems to never lose its charm and appeal to visitors from all over the world. From its days as an international port to becoming one of Vietnam's top-quality tourist destinations, Hoi An has always been attractive. If you need any further assistance with Vietnam package tour or you need companionship and advice when traveling to Hoi An, contact New Asia Tours to receive support from us! We specialize in providing exceptional services and guidance for your memorable trip.