Hoi An located on the coastal plain of Quang Nam Province, about 35 km south of Danang. Set in a quiet environment, Hoi An is surrounded by peaceful villages, beautiful Thu Bon River and Cua Dai Beach. A former international trading port with its heyday in the 17th to 19th centuries, the cultural influences of the Japanese and Chinese merchants are still evident today in the town's architecture and the distinctly Chinese atmosphere of the Old Quarter. December in 1999, Hoi An Ancient Town was officially listed as a World Heritage Site.
What to expect
Walking tour along old streets bordered with ancient houses, assembly halls, its pagodas, temples, ancient wells and tombs is a highlight of any visit to this charming ancient town. It also can be a half day or a full day on bicycle, motorbike or boat to nearby villages and Cua Dai Beach.
Other popular activities include taking a Vietnamese cooking class, enjoy a wide selection of restaurants, cafes and bars, wander around the tailor's shops and order a new set of wardrobe or joining a day tour to My Son Holly Land. For a fun experience, you might like hoping on a bike to rural village to work as a farmer at Tra Que village before trying your own hands fishing on Thu Bon River.
Hoi An is a shoppers heaven where you can find tailor shops everywhere on the streets. In fact, the tailors are almost similar and most of them should be fine. However, please keep in mind that most recommendations that you get from hotels and restaurants are based on relationships rather than on the quality of the tailor. And the highest success rates come from playing it safe - copying clothes that you really like or customizing clothes found as a sample in the shop windows. With a new design or more expensive items, try with more reputable and often more expensive tailors.
The best time to visit Hoi An is between February and April, when rainfall is low and temperatures are comfortable. During summer, the temperatures can get hot; during the rainy season, particularly during October and November, it can rain constantly and there is a high probability of flood and typhoons. Plan to visit Hoi An on the 14th day of the Lunar Calendar each month when Hoi An celebrate the Full Moon Festivals and becomes the stage for traditional perfomances (songs, dancing, games and food,) with lanterns lining all of the streets.
The most convenient way to get to Hoi An is firstly to travel by air from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City to the Danang International Airport in the centre of Vietnam. From there, a 30km drive (~40 minutes) will take you to the city of Hoi An.
Hoi An does not have its own railway station so if you are planning to visit to Hoi An by train then your destination is Danang that is well connected by rail network to other cities of Vietnam. Some likes to experience a short train ride from Hue which include a scenic portion passing the Hai Van Pass. From Danang railway station, you can travel by bus or can take a taxi to Hoi An.
There are regular bus services from Da Nang, Hue and Nha Trang to the ancient town of Hoi An. Tickets can be purchased easily at a local travel desks in one of the cities.