Hoi An – exploring this incredible town in 4 days
Hoi An, probably one of the most beautiful cities in Vietnam and it isn’t difficult to work out why. Listed as a World Heritage Site in 1999 by UNESCO, Hoi An is a quaint old town and at night-time is lit up with these amazing lanterns. Whether it be the pastel shades of yellow on all of the buildings, the lanterns lining the streets or the cobbled streets – there is something that everyone will fall in love with.
Getting to Hoi An
If you’re searching for Hoi An Airport, you won’t come across one. You need to fly into Da Nang and then take a taxi or hotel car to Hoi An. The journey time is around 45 minutes. Remember my piece of advice in the Ho Chi Minh City blog post about taxis?
Take the Vinasun or Mailinh Taxi service and make sure they turn the meter on!
Have you got a Visa?
Check out our post which goes into detail on how to get a Vietnam visa. Click here to read more.
How long to spend in Hoi An
We stayed 3 nights in Hoi An and it was perfect. It gave us two days to explore the old town and relax by the pool and one day to join a bicycle tour and explore the countryside.
Entrance Fee to Hoi An old town
You do need to pay a small fee to get into the old town, and this is to simply keep the town as gorgeous as it is, so just visit the hut at the entry and get your ticket (which you will have to show each time you walk into the old town).
What to do in Hoi An
Visit the old quarter: It is such a beautiful old quarter, you could spend hours walking around.
Visit the old quarter at night: We arrived in the evening and went straight out. I am glad we did because the old quarter is even more beautiful at night than during the day. The streets are lit up with traditional paper lanterns in all different colour and it is really beautiful.
As you walk along the river, you’ll notice countless floating lanterns and I can guarantee you that you will be asked by many locals if you want to buy a lantern and candle to put into the river – it is meant to be a symbol of good luck!
Bamboo Bicycle Tour: The best way to see the countryside in Hoi An is by bicycle. If you’re looking for a unique tour, then look no further than this one! Click here to read the full story, get the info and see some cool pictures and a video.
Get a suit or something made: You can get just about anything made to measure in Hoi An. I got some linen shorts made and I simply took a pair of my favourite shorts in and asked her to copy them – simple as that. Jenna also got some sorts made as well as a dress. They’re fast so don’t worry if you only have a short amount of time in town.
It was our second last day, at around 5.30pm and we were walking around and I saw a leather laptop bag. I didn’t like the colour they had on display so they offered to make one for me. We told them we were leaving the very next day at around 2.30pm – they said – that’s ok, we’ll make it for you and deliver it to your hotel! And they did, well they were a bit late, so if you are needing to go to the airport, give them a deadline of about 1 hour before you actually need to leave to allow for them to be running late!
We also picked up a few pairs of leather shoes and sandals – they can also make these for you and anything else such as boots, work shoes – anything!
Enjoy a drink or a meal overlooking the streets in the old quarter: It is nice to just sit down and enjoy what’s happening around you.
Where to stay in Hoi An:
We stayed at the Hotel Royal Hoi An MGallery by Sofitel. We chose the MGallery as we are Accor Plus as well as Le Club Platinum members of the group so normally choose to stay at the Accor group hotels. We were not disappointed.
The staff were exceptionally friendly and each of them went out of their way to greet us and welcome us to their hotel. We honestly felt like royalty. A drink on arrival, cold washers to wipe our hands and face down with. We were shown to our room and it was incredible, I am sure it must have been the best room in the hotel.
We were upgraded due to our platinum status and the room was absolutely incredible. Breakfast was added to our booking complimentary due to our platinum status and with our Accor Plus card we got 50% off food and 15% off drinks from the hotel restaurant. Needless to say, we ate at the hotel, next to the pool quite a bit, it was too good not to!
There are also several Airbnb listings right in Hoi An old town if you prefer to go down that path.
Where to eat in Hoi An
We spent a lot of time by the pool as it was so hot. Because we are Accor Plus members, we were entitled to 50% off dining at the hotel, so we decided to sit by the pool and make the most of the perks of our membership!
Do you have travel insurance?
Before travelling, make sure you get a travel insurance policy – you never know when you might need it! Click here for information on travel insurance, what company we recommend and a link to get an instant quote.
If you’re looking for alternative accommodation to either save some money or share with friends or family, click here for information on Air B&B ($50 discount on your first booking), hotel price comparison websites etc.
More on Vietnam?
Click here to see all of our posts on Vietnam.
In case that wasn’t enough to get you to Hoi An, check out these photos.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller