Ranked number 1 on Travel & Leisure’s World’s Best Cities list in 2019, Hoi An in Vietnam is no stranger to avid travelers from around the world.
I even know a Japanese girl who had been to Hoi An 4 times and was still awaiting her next trip there by the time we last spoke. Absolutely incredible!
To be honest, having been to this charming town thrice, I still want to come back. There are dozens of useful Hoi An travel guides out there with just a click on Google, so perhaps I don’t need to elaborate more on where to stay or things to do in Hoi An. There’s even a list of things you can get in Hoi An for just $10, which you can check out to plan a fun and affordable trip here.
However, after concluding my third Hoi An trip with a picturesque photo of this old town from above, I thought I’d really need to share these 6 tips to enjoy Hoi An at its best for first-time (or even x-time) travelers to Hoi An. Yes, that’s you! Read on to find out.
1. Wake up early and enjoy a tranquil morning in Hoi An
As more and more people know about Hoi An, the city has recently become quite packed with tourists and visitors from all over the world. Isn’t it annoying that every Instagramable corner in Hoi An is now full of people?
Nonetheless, there is still one secret to help you enjoy Hoi An in peace. You’re going to hate this if you’re not a morning person, but trust me, this town looks best in the early morning.
During our recent trip to Hoi An, the five of us got up at 5 am. As we were staying in an Airbnb apartment in Da Nang, we had to take a one-hour bus to Hoi An and arrived at around 6:30.
(If your accommodation is somewhere near Hoi An’s old town, there’s certainly no need to wake up as early as we did).
After breakfast, we took a stroll around Hoi An and surprisingly had this beautiful old town all to ourselves. It was not until 8 am that the tourists started arriving in large crowds. We looked at them and felt like the champions!
2. Don’t miss Hoi An Memories Show
While watching the trailer of Hoi An Memories gave me an overwhelming urge to see more of it, sitting right there on the show was an extraordinary experience that no word could describe. For the whole time, Hoi An Memories appealed to all my senses and gently let me immerse into its captivating story.
You can book tickets to the show via Klook. They will send the e-ticket to your email.
The Hoi An Memories show is performed inside Hoi An Impression Theme Park, where you can play some traditional games and watch mini martial arts shows as well. To be honest, the park was kinda lame when I visited it at the beginning of this year. Perhaps because part of it was still under construction. I hope it has improved much more now.
Hoi An Memories Show | Operating hours: Mondays, Wednesday-Sunday: 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm
3. Experience peace and tranquility at Reaching Out Tea House
I had to pause for a second the moment we stepped into Reaching Out Tea House. How pleasantly silent it was!
✔ Described as “a tranquil oasis in the center of bustling Hoi An”, this special Tea House employs speech and hearing-impaired staff who serve you delectable locally-made tea, coffee, and snacks. You can communicate with the staff through those small cubes as shown in the photo below.
✔ The ambiance at Reaching Out is peaceful beyond words. Their place is an ancient house with a lush garden at the back. Such a hidden gem in a timeless charming town.
4. Take a photo of Hoi An from above
Faifo Coffee on Tran Phu Street is the place to go for that charming photo of Hoi An from above. Get your camera ready!
Sitting inside this coffee shop, or actually, most coffee shops in Hoi An, is also a nice experience. They all seem like places where you can either have a memorable conversation or ponder over big questions in your life.
5. Eat as much as you can
The more you eat in Hoi An, the more you’ll realize there’s still so much to savor. In fact, some of Hoi An’s famous Banh mi street counters can see long queues of hungry tourists all day.
Hoi An’s chicken rice is also not to be missed. Some popular names are Ba Bui and Ba Nga, whose secret recipes for those mouth-watering chicken dishes have won thousands of people’s hearts from around the world. Besides, dozens of vegetarian and vegan options are also widely available, featuring fresh vegetables and unique local recipes.
Check out a list of Hoi An street food and experiences here.
6. Explore award-winning beaches in Hoi An
After wandering around Hoi An Ancient Old Town, I’d highly recommend visiting one or more of these beaches in Hoi An for a totally different experience. There are beach activities galore ideal for the whole family or groups of friends. You can also get to taste the freshest and yummiest local seafood dishes, some of which can only be found in this region.
Summary: How to enjoy Hoi An at its best
Have you been to Hoi An? If yes, how many times have you visited this lovely town? 😀
Do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions or if you want to share other tips to enjoy Hoi An at its best. Happy traveling!
Discover other lovely towns in Central Vietnam:
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