Hoi An is a shopper’s paradise. We spent 3 days in Hoi An and had the best time running between tailors and leather shoe shops while throwing down 20 cent beer, munching on the most delicious sandwiches on earth and relaxing at the beach in the afternoon. Here are out Top 5 picks of the best things to do Hoi An.
1. Get some Tailoring done
One of the best things (if not THE BEST) thing to do in Hoi An is to get some clothing tailored. This is their specialty in Hoi An and especially in the area of men’s suits – they have it down to a T. We hunted the streets of Hoi An for the best and most affordable tailor and ended up settling with Bari Tailor shop based on the quality of the materials and their excellent tripadvisor reviews. We were not disappointed in our decision. Bari Tailor gave us fantastic customer service and only charged us around $80 USD per suit made in cashmere wool. Ask for Vi if you decide to check out Bari tailor, she is fantastic and very patient.
2. Enjoy a 20 cent draft beer
It might just be because I am a beer lover but life doesn’t get much better than 5000 Dong or 20 cent local beer! Surprisingly, this local brew was cold too! What a find indeed. If you want to try Hoi An’s finest, be sure to make a visit to Quan An 19 Restaurant. They also serve a variety of great cheap food to enjoy with your beer.
3. Try the best sandwich in the world
Arguably, the best sandwich in the world or at least the best sandwich in Hoi An can be found at Bánh Mì Phượng Bakery. This sandwich shop is famous in Hoi An for providing the best sandwiches in town and the line out the door really goes to prove it. For only 20,000 Dong ($0.90 USD) you receive a tasty pork & pate sandwich filled with salad. Delicious!
4. Visit the gorgeous An Bang Beach
Rated the best beach in close proximity to Hoi An, An Bang beach is great for a break between hectic shopping. We visited the Lucky Beach restaurant on An Bang Beach and would recommend it. The prices at the restaurant are very reasonable and you are able to lounge on their beach chairs free of charge. An Bang beach is located about a 15 minute drive from Hoi An. You can hire a motorbike to visit the beach or the ride share app Grab is available in Hoi An and cheaper than a taxi.
5. Walk through the Hoi An Ancient Town
Just walking through the quaint streets of the ancient town of Hoi An never ceases to disappoint. Unlike the hustle and bustle of streets in Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh, no cars or motorbikes are permitted to drive through the Ancient Town of Hoi An. This means you are free to stroll up the narrow laneways filled with restaurants, tailor shops & overhanging lanterns without fear of being road-kill. Be sure to check out the town after nightfall as it is magic at night as the overhanging lanterns light up the streets. If your stay in Hoi An lands on a full moon, you will see shop owners offering sacrifices in the form of fruit (and even cigarettes) to honour their ancestors. If possible, avoid visiting in summer as it is extremely hot and hard to appreciate the true beauty of the city.
6. Take a Vietnamese Cooking Class
If you enjoy cooking or fancy yourself as a great amateur chef, Hoi An is a great place to take part in a Vietnamese cooking class. The Goda Hotel offers a ‘Taste of Vietnam’ 3 course cooking class for $25 USD per person.
7. Go shopping! Get some shoes or handbags hand made
If you are a shopper or a bargain hunter, you will simply love Hoi An. This is your best opportunity in Vietnam to buy good quality goods at low prices. Don’t wait, as quite frankly you won’t find better quality elsewhere in Vietnam. Hoi An boasts fantastic quality leather (if you are in the know) and leather shops are dime a dozen. If you don’t know real leather from fake leather or what good quality leather should look like you can be taken for a ride. Shop owners will often tell you that all the items in the shop are ‘the best quality leather’ when quite frankly they are not. Ask for buffalo leather for the highest quality leather. The average time it takes for a leather shop in Hoi An to create a hand crafted bag or shoe is one day. You can also buy some fantastic silk ties, cheap t-shirts among other interesting items in Hoi An – the list of goodies is endless!
8. Take a walk along the waterfront
One of the nicest things about Hoi An is that the city is set on the river. The waterfront is lined with trees filled with colourful lanterns. The nightlife in the city also occurs in the bars along the river. If you are not a night owl, during the day you can sit in one of the many restaurants along the water and just watch the world pass by.
9. Visit the Japanese Covered Bridge
The Japanese Covered Bridge is one of Hoi An’s most iconic attractions. It is called the Japanese Bridge as it was created by the Japanese living in Hoi An in the 18th century as a way to reach the Chinese quarter across the water. It is great for a quick photograph. Other than that, it really isn’t all that special.
10. Visit the Hoi An Market
If you want some chaos and an insight into traditional Vietnamese life, visit the Hoi An Market. The market sells anything from fruits and vegetables to t-shirts, fake handbags and souvenirs.
Do you have any other tips of what to see in Hoi An? Let us know in the comments below!