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Hoi An is ancient town located in the downstream of Thu Bon River, Quang Nam Province, Central Vietnam. This is one of the most famous tourists destinations in the Central Vietnam that attracts not only domestic tourists but also tourists all over the continents. In 1999, Hoi An was event recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Site. Besides, Hoi An also known as a heaven of street food and famous for many beautiful sites such as Japanese Covered Bridge, Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, Ong pagoda, Tan Ky old house, Phung Hung ancient house,...

Travel Guide

1. Do's and Don't in Hoi An?

Do's in Hoi An
  • Dress modestly, Vietnam is still quite conservative and we do not highly appreciate revealing too much skin in public, Hoi An is nostaglic, so it's better to dress properly, especially when visiting temples and historical sites.
  • Bring along bottled water. As you will need to walk a lot, you had better bring along some bottles of water. There is almost no tap water in Hoi An. If there are some, it is still not advisable to drink it because it is not clean enough. 
  • Bargain the prices. Even when the overall prices are quite affordable here, it is better to try bargaining to get a better deal. Who knows when someone intent to overcharge, right? But it's not the case with foods. Hoi An street foods are cheap actually and the prices are almost fixed. 
Don't in Hoi An
  • Wear too much jewlery. Hoi An in particular and Vietnam, in general, is quite safe, but it is still better to be aware.
  • Keep all valuable properties inside the safety box. Same reasons as above.
  • Wear shorts of dresses when visiting sacred places. Cultural respect is important whenever you go.
  • Show of physical affection (kissing, for example). The East is quite conservative, so don't know show off much affection if you don't want to be the focus of other's attention.

2. How to get to Hoi An?

Travel to Hoi An by air
The major port of air entry for Hoi An is Da Nang International Airport. There are daily flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and without delay, it is one-hour flight. From the airport, it takes about 45 minutes by car to Hoi An center.
Travel to Hoi An by private car
If you are going on a leisure trip and do not want to put so much time and effort in finding transportation, a private car is for you. You can request a private car with a tour operator to pick up from Da Nang airport or hotel. In this case, you will get a private space and don't need to share it with any strangers. The car is exceptionally comfortable to sit in, also. 
Travel to Hoi An by public bus 
Public bus is a popular choice for people with a limited budget. There are buses coming from Da Nang to Hoi An Ancient Town and back within the day, and it costs only some dollars. However, as it is a public means of transportation, you will need to share spaces with strangers all the way long. And even though Da Nang is famous for its security, robbery and theft are unavoidable.
Travel to Hoi An by motorbike
Riding the motorbike would be a fascinating experience for adventurous travelers when taking Hoi An tours from Da Nang. You will be able to witness the landscapes along the way while breathing the fresh air of the countryside. However, this could be a nightmare to some people, as the traffic rules are Vietnam is quite loose and the locals tend to drive freely. 

3. Top foods to try in Hoi An?

Banh Mi Hoi An
Renowned as the world's best sandwich, "banh mi" is a Vietnamese variant of bread that has an incredible taste. Interestingly, there is no fixed recipe for "banh mi". Different parts of Vietnam would have their own ways to diversify this food. And Hoi An is said to be one of the best stops to try "banh mi" in Vietnam.
Cao Lau
"Pho" is famous worldwide, but in Hoi An, "Cao Lau" is a more popular name. The main ingredients for  "Cao Lau" are rice noodles, char siu pork and herbs. Interestingly, the rice must be soaked in the ash water to reach a distinctive texture and color, while the water to make broth must be taken from a thousand-year-old well inside the Old Quarter. These are what make the dish different from other kinds of noodle soups.
Mi Quang 
A food tour to Hoi An, Quang Nam will never be complete if you forget to eat "Mi Quang". It is another type of rice noodles with meat and lots of herbs. Bowls of "Mi Quang" that you will eat would never be the same due to the toppings that you want to add. You might choose pork, chicken, shrimp, egg, beef, fish, etc. Herbs are abudant, too. Peanuts and sesame rice crackers are also included in the dishes to add more flavor.

4. Best traditional villages to visit in Hoi An?

Thanh Ha Pottery Village
Dating back to the 16th century, Thanh Ha Pottery Village is one of the most ceramic villages in Vietnam. The village is famous for its top-notch ceramic products, ranging from household items to high-end furniture and decorations. The reputation of the village started to bloom during the Nguyen Dynasty when its ceramics are used in the royal places. A Hoi An tour to Thanh Ha Pottery Village will allow you to learn to make pottery yourself. There's an impressive souvenirs to bring home, too. 
Kim Bong Wood-Carving Village 
The village gains a huge reputation for its carpentary craft, which has been around since the 15th century. Wood products from Kim Bong Village have been used in several important sites, including the buildings inside the Forbidden City, Hue. After centuries, the wood-making tradition is still well preserved and developed. Taking the very first steps into the village, you could easily feel the fragant smell of the woods. Tourists can take a bike tour around the village to visit the woodshop and factory, too. 

5. What are the best beaches in Hoi An?

An Bang Beach
An Bang is the most famous beach to visit in Hoi An tours. It possesses sugar-white sand surrounded by palm trees and transparent blue water. This is an ideal place to swim and bask in the sunshine,
Tourists can also participate is several fascinating watersports in An Bang such as jet-skiing, parasailing, surfing, etc. 
Cua Dai Beach
Before the coastal erosion has narrowed down the coastline, Cua Dai Beach used to be the best beach destination for Hoi An tours. This is where 3 big rivers (Thu Bon, Truong Giang, De Vong) unify before merging into the ocean. The sorf streching coastline of Cua Dai Beach is perfect for you to stroll along.
Cham Islands
The beaches on Cham Islands are irresistibly beautiful. It boasts clean seashores with streching golden sand, turquoise water and cool weather. As it is far from the mainland, the beach is less crowded with tourists, thus being ideal for a luxury getaway.
It is also a great place for scuba diving and snorkeling with irresistibly beautiful coral reefs under the water surface. 

6. Must-try activities in Hoi An?

Walking Around Hoi An Ancient Town 
The ancient town is a mus-stop for any tailor-made Hoi An Tours. Having been around for centuries, this old quarter still remains its ancient look, driving people into a nostalgia that can rarely be seen anywhere else. 
Walking around the town, travelers could easily feel the influences of different cultures in Hoi An architecture. Some highlighted attractions are Chinese Assembly Halls of Chinese community, Japanese Bridge, Tran Family Chapel representing the typical Vietnam architecture. 
Visit Tan Ky Old House - the cluster of all these systems
A notable appeal of Hoi An Tours is the paper lanterns, which appear in every single corner of the town. Especially, at full-moon night, the locals would float the laterns on Thu Bon River, creating an exceptionally poetic scenery for visitors to enjoy.
Go diving to watch coral reefs 
For nature lovers, don't forget to pay a visit to Cu Lao Cham (Cham Islands) - a jaw-dropping archipelago that is only 15km far from Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An. It is a UNESCO-designated World Nature Reserves thanks to its rich biodiversity and spectacular seascapes.
Experience the basket boat dance in Hoi An Tour
If the mangrove palm forest is in your list of traveling, then don't miss the basket boat dance! Basket boat is the traditional means that the local fishermen use to glide on the waters. Aside from taking Hoi An tours through the forest, it is also extraodinary fancy to watch the boat dance. The rider will use their forces to make the boat madly spin around. 
Enjoy Hoi An specialties 
Together with the yellow-walled houses with Confetti flowers, superb cuisine is a huge appeal of Hoi An. It is a perfect combination of different culinary systems with an incredible taste that could whet everyone’s appetite.
Do not expect for fine dining on Michelin-star restaurants, as a Hoi An food tour is for street foods. You will stop by the small vendors and food stalls on the streets to sample the mouth-watering specialties of this land. Some must-try dishes to never miss are Banh Mi – the Vietnamese variants of French baguette, “Mi Quang” – the noodle soup of Quang people, and “Cao Lau”. The savory tastes of these dishes would definitely amaze you.

7. Must-see attractions in Hoi An?

Hoi An Ancient Town
Absolutely, Hoi An Tours will never be complete without a trip around the ancient town - its most famous touristic spots. Hoi An Ancient Town is the evidence of the once-properous trading port with spectacular ancient buildings and distinctive culture. As people from different parts of the world came there to do business, they brought along their cultures. The customs and norms of Hoi An people nowdays are the cluster of all those cultures. You can feel this convergence in the buildings and cuisine of this land. 
Cham Island
Cu Lao Cham (Cham Islands) is an archipelago consiting of 8 small islands on Hoi An sea. It is a World Biosphere Reserve, which is home to a rich bio-ecologial system.
Cham Island is a great place for scuba diving and snorkeling in Hoi An with transparent blue seawater and exceptionally majestic marine life. 
During Hoi An Island trip, you can also pay a visit to the fishing villages to get an exposure to the local life or cycle around the island to enjoy the fresh atmosphere there. 
Mangrove Palm Forest 
The mangrove palm forest is nestled in the convergence of Truong Giang and Thu Bon Rivers, which is only about 3km from the old town. The natural scenery here is extraodinary, which could easily capture your hearts at the very first look. 
Tra Que Village
Located around 3 km to the Northeast of Hoi An Ancient Town, Tra Que Village is a wonderful place for a bicycle or cooking tour. This 300-year-old village is the main source of veggies for Hoi An and adjacent areas.
My Son Holyland
If Angkor Wat is the symbol of the once-glorious Angkor Kingdom in Cambodia, My Son Holy Land, or My Son Sanctuary, is the evidence that reminds people of Champa Kingdom, which ruled the southern part of Vietnam and parts of Laos and Cambodia between the 4th and 13th century. First looking at the ruins inside the Holy Land, you might feel some similarity to the temples in Angkor Wat, simply because Champa culture is Hinduism-based. 
Japanese Covered Bridge
One of Vietnam’s most iconic attractions, Hoi An’s Japanese Covered Bridge dates back to the 16th century and is a beautiful historical piece symbolized with a Japanese style pagoda.
Hoi An Riverside
From the early 16th to the 18th century, Hoi An attracted international traders because of its location on the banks of the Thu Bon River, conveniently flowing into the East China Sea. There is plenty of activity by the river with restaurants, bars, small shops and street markets. The night market is particularly attractive with colorful lanterns.

8. Weather in Hoi An & Best time to visit Hoi An?

Generally, it is warm all year round in Hoi An. Similar to other places to the South of Bach Ma Mountain Range almost no winter in this town. The hottest months are reported to be between June and August when the temperature could reach 38℃. 
Rather than temperature, Hoi An weather is divided into two main seasons based on the rainfall: the dry season from March to September and the wet season for the rest period of time.
From October to February, the sea is rough and it starts to rain non-stop. Consequently, the town of Hoi An is prone to flooding then. If you are about to plan Hoi An tours at this time, it is better to check the weather carefully before going, as when the streets are flooded, many destinations as well as shops and restaurants would shut their doors.
In contrast, between March and September, the weather is quite pleasant. Apart from the peak days when the tempature goes high, Hoi An weather tends to be very mild. There are a lots of sunshine and low humidity, also. 
Considering both the temperature and rainfall, between February and early May is considered the best time to take private Hoi An tours. 

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Ms. Helen
Ms. Helen
I’m proud to represent GrandViet Tour and to help you find your perfect vacation. Before you book elsewhere, check with me please! You will receive added benefit of booking with GrandViet Tour as well.
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