Renowned throughout Asia for its traditional charm, Hoi An is a town untouched by modernization. The pedestrian-only streets of Hoi An Ancient Town lend themselves well to walking tours, making it an easy place to explore in just a few hours. Here’s how to make the most out of even the shortest stint in Hoi An.
Morning: Explore the Ancient Town
Rise early and devote your morning to exploring Hoi An Ancient Town, an open-air museum characterized by colorful heritage houses. Orient yourself on a walking tour, which typically only takes two hours to cover highlights such as the Japanese Covered Bridge (Chua Cau) and sometimes includes a cruise on the Thu Bon River. Some tours focus on the history and cuisine of Hoi An, while others take you to relatively undiscovered parts of town. To enter any of the 18 heritage houses that are open to visitors, you’ll need to purchase an Old Town ticket, valid for 10 days.
Afternoon: The Taste of Hoi An
No visit to Hoi An would be complete without taking part in a cooking class. In all of Vietnam, Hoi An offers the widest range of cooking classes, which last anywhere from a few hours to a full day. Express classes tend to include a tour of a local market and a couple of hours making classic dishes such as pho (Vietnamese noodle soup), while others include a bicycle tour of Tra Que Village and a ride on a traditional basket boat.
Evening: Lanterns Light Up the Night
After sunset, Hoi An Ancient Town becomes even more magical, with lanterns lighting up the streets and the river. Although you can expect the Old Town to become crowded, it doesn’t diminish the enchanting atmosphere. Experience the best of Hoi An’s food scene on a food tour, on foot or on the back of a moped, that reveals street-food stalls favored by locals. Alternatively, you can see the Ancient Town from a new perspective during a Thu Bon River cruise by wooden riverboat. Book a cruise that includes a candlelit Vietnamese dinner for a romantic end to your day in Hoi An.