Hoi An Travel Guide

In Hoi An, you can experience ancient Vietnam. The relaxed and authentic atmosphere of the small town of Hoi An has not been ruined by even the ever-growing crowds of tourists.

Old-fashioned exotics

For those looking for ancient Vietnam, stunning handicrafts, good food and a peaceful atmosphere, Hoi An is a great holiday destination. The narrow streets of the old town get lost for hours and when walking along the river you can’t help but deviate from the more attractive small restaurants and cafes.

Hoi An is located in central Vietnam, about 30 kilometers from Da Nang and less than 150 kilometers from the city of Hue. The old part of the small town of about 120,000 inhabitants is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The old town is very well preserved and its streets are dedicated to pedestrians and bicycles.

Hoi An is a peaceful and relaxed holiday destination compared to many other cities in Vietnam. The rhythm of life is slow and traditions are strongly reflected in the street scene. For the photographer, Hoi An is the right dream destination with colors shining bright everywhere.

The street scene in Hoi An is colorful and green

The street scene in Hoi An is colorful and green.

Photographic old town charms

The main attraction is the old town with its beautiful buildings. The traditional markets along the river are an experience and those looking for beach life will find white sandy beaches about five kilometers from the center. The city’s restaurant offerings are also one of the best in Vietnam. Hoi An is also one of the best places in Vietnam to have quality clothing.

The weather in Vietnam is variable. Due to the length of the country, the differences in weather conditions can be large depending on the location. At Hoi An altitude, however, the temperature almost always remains twenty degrees to the right. Rainfall comes throughout the year and typhoons are common in the summer and fall. Remember good sun protection as well as insect repellent.

Beware of scams and traffic

Vietnam is generally a fairly safe country. However, moped drivers robbing handbags should be wary of and various tourist scams are common. Hoi An is for the most part a very safe destination, but at night you should not move alone on poorly lit streets.

Perhaps the biggest risk here is traffic. It is worth being vigilant in Vietnamese traffic, as accidents are common, especially at night due to poor road conditions, lack of lighting and careless driving. Cars are not allowed in the city center, so it is easy to walk there.


Through the bends to your destination

Through the bends to your destination

Traveling from Finland to Hoi An requires a bit of effort, but it is worth it. The nearest airport is in Da Nang, which also has the nearest train station. The easiest way to travel from Finland to Hoi An is to first fly to Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi and continue from there by plane or train to Da Nang, where you can get there by bus.

Connections to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi are offered by Finnair, among others. Vietnam Airlines’ flights to Paris are also a good solution: you can fly with the new Airbus 350.

Hoi An is also on the route of popular “open buses” in Vietnam, so you can also get there directly by bus from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh. However, the journey takes about a day and sometimes you may have to stop in other cities.

Easy to get around and lots of hotels

Hoi An offers a wide range of accommodation options and prices. The prices are mostly affordable, so you can live very comfortably on the cheap. Most of the accommodation is medium and usually in hotels. However, there are also hostels. Especially in high season, accommodation should be booked in advance.

In Hoi An, the most convenient way to move is with your own feet. The town is so small that you can easily walk around the whole center. Another convenient and popular way to get around is a bicycle, which is rented at several hotels. Further afield and to the beaches options include a bike in addition to a taxi or moped. Nearby cities can be reached by bus.

Renting a scooter is also a popular way to move from place to place. Always wear a helmet and be careful in heavy traffic.


Vietnamese street food takes the language as it goes

Vietnamese street food takes the language as it goes.

Hoi An Old Town

Hoi An’s superbly preserved Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is eye-catching in its color saturation. The old town is full of small boutiques, inviting cafés and attractive restaurants.

You should also visit Hoi An Market Square along the river. The place is like the world of the past. Everything from tourist crisps to fresh fruits and vegetables and live chickens is on sale. The currency is both the Vietnamese dong and the dollar.

A small entrance fee for the maintenance of the area is charged at the gate to the Old Town. For the same fee, you can also visit the museum buildings of the Old Town.

Souvenirs for arts and crafts

Arts and crafts can be found everywhere in Hoi An. The city is especially famous for its tailors and it is inexpensive to have clothes. However, it is worth asking for recommendations about tailors, as not everyone is of the same quality.

In addition to clothing and shoes, Hoi An is also full of leather goods, fine art, Chinese lanterns and wood carvings. For those looking for souvenirs, the problem is mainly the lack of abundance. Hoi An has been an important trading city for hundreds of years and the trading tradition is still strong.

The price level is very affordable and by negotiating it is possible to get a good extra slice out of the sign prices.

Cua Da beach

Cua Da beach starts about five kilometers north of Hoi An and continues all the way to Da Nang. The beach offers fine white sand and gentle waves.

Swimming is only recommended between April and October, as otherwise the winds can be surprisingly strong. There are also hotels, restaurants and bars on the beach. Cua Da can also be made for a day trip to the popular Cham Islands.

Day trips from Hoi An

Holidaymakers in Hoi An are also worth a visit to neighboring Da Nang, a city with a more modern character. Da Nang’s long sandy beaches also attract beach lions and sun worshipers.

Less than a 2-hour drive away is the UNESCO-listed My Son Temple District. These ancient temples have stood still for over a thousand years. At times, they were forgotten and overwhelmed by the jungle. During the Vietnam War, the area served as a base for Vietnam and suffered badly from American bombing. Now the area is being renovated again and is a popular place to visit where it is also easy to pop in from Hoi An on a day trip.