Hoi An is a destination where life slows down to a more relaxed pace, making it a perfect stop during your trip to Vietnam.
This heritage city was once a bustling trading port, and today, visitors can see the Thu Bon River flowing past old shop houses and ancient pagodas, with sampans docking at the ferry quay. Beyond the Old Town, narrow roads cut through verdant rice fields and lead to a stunning coastline. Spending a few days here, you may find yourself enchanted by Hoi An’s charming beauty, especially at night when the town is lit up with lanterns.
Hoi An weather
The climate in Hoi An blends the weather patterns of the South and the North, with distinct rainy and dry seasons. Each season in the old town has its own unique beauty.
First three months of the year: Best time to visit Hoi An when the sun is not too intense, cool weather with occasional light rain.
From April to June: The peak of the dry season (also the peak tourist season), but the weather is still pleasant due to its location in the southern Truong Son range.
During the rainy season: Many tourists still come to Hoian for unique experiences. July is still part of the dry season. August and September mark the transition period. The weather is still slightly sunny, with occasional light rain and coolness at night.
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How to get to Hoi An from India
The most common way to get to Hoi An from India is to take a flight to Da Nang International Airport, which is located about 30 kilometers away from Hoi An. Several airlines, including Air India, Vietnam Airlines, and VietJet Air, operate direct flights between major Indian cities like Delhi and Mumbai and Da Nang.
From Da Nang Airport, visitors can take a taxi, private car or shuttle bus to Hoi An. The journey takes about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic conditions. Another option is to take a train to Da Nang and then continue the journey to Hoi An by taxi or shuttle bus. The train journey takes longer but offers scenic views of the Vietnamese countryside.
Getting around Hoi An
Arriving at Da Nang airport, visitors can choose to take a shuttle bus or a taxi, private car, or even hire their own car to travel to the center of Hoi An. For those who prefer to have more flexibility in their transportation, they can rent a motorbike from Da Nang city to enjoy Hoi An, with prices around 150,000 VND per day. To get around Hoi An, visitors can use bicycles or rented motorbikes from the hotels or homestays they are staying in. Bicycle rentals cost around 30,000 VND per day, while motorbike rentals cost around 120,000 VND per day.
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Where to stay
In Hoi An, summer is the most popular season for tourists, so it’s best to book accommodation early. There are many new resorts in beautiful locations like Cam Chau, An Bang Beach, and Cua Dai. Homestays have also become popular and offer unique architecture, beautiful gardens, and affordable prices, starting at around 200,000 VND per night. Some popular homestays include Maison de Tau, Under The Coconut Tree, An Bang Beach Hideaway, Heron House, and Le Bleu.
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Top things to do in Hoi An
- Get lost in the Old Town: Explore the unique architectural fusion of Hoi An’s Old Town, with influences from China, Japan, and Europe. Visit iconic landmarks like the Japanese Bridge, Tan Ky ancestral house, and Phuc Kien Assembly Hall.
- Treat your taste buds: Experience the delightful cuisine of Hoi An, with fresh ingredients sourced from local farms and fishing boats. Savor the flavors of Cao Lau, Hoanh Thanh, and white rose dumplings.
- Cycle in the countryside: Rent a bike and explore the countryside during the peaceful hours of sunrise. Enjoy the scenic views of green paddy fields, frond-fringed ponds, and water buffaloes in Cam Thanh and Tra Que.
- Have a beach day: Relax on the sandy stretches of An Bang Beach, which is just a 10-minute drive from the Ancient Town. Enjoy fresh seafood lunches and the cool waves, or venture out to the Cham Islands for pristine shores.
- Marvel at My Son Sanctuary: Visit the My Son Sanctuary, a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site located 40 kilometers from Hoi An. These temples, built by the Cham people, date back to the 7th to 13th century, and are nestled in a valley near a shaded stream.
- Have tailor-made clothing: Hoi An is definitely the go-to place when it comes to custom tailoring. Tailored clothes in Hoi An are just a fraction of the price. The prices are not only cheaper but the products are also of good quality. There is a good balance of high-end tailor shops and there are other tailor shops that are cheap and can perfectly make basic clothes.
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Top local food to try
When visiting Hoi An, you never have to worry about going hungry or lacking food choices. From early morning until late at night, the streets of Hoi An are always bustling with food vendors and restaurants. Prices are also very affordable, with street-side desserts like sweet soup ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 VND per cup, banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich) priced between 15,000 to 25,000 VND per loaf, and signature dishes like cao lau and mi Quang only costing 25,000 VND.
Some of the most famous dining spots that both local and foreign tourists cannot miss include Ba Buoi’s chicken rice, Phuong’s banh mi, Madam Khanh’s banh mi, Gieng Ba Le’s banh xeo, vegetarian food at Hoi An market, Mot Hoi An herbal drink, and Thanh’s cao lau.
Hoi An’s street food scene is also renowned for its sweet treats, including ice cream rolls, various sweet soups, lotus seed sweet soup, mung bean sweet soup, tofu pudding, mango cakes, and pigskin cakes…
What to buy as a gift
- Lanterns are a popular gift in Hoi An. You should look for large shops that both make and sell lanterns, to have a diverse selection of designs, sizes, and materials.
- Bronze statues are sold all over the old town, priced from 130,000 to 350,000 VND depending on the size. These are all products of the famous Phuoc Kieu bronze casting village in Hoi An.
- Clay figurines are a souvenir product from Thanh Ha pottery village in Hoi An. While not diverse in design, they are still popular due to their low price, around 5,000 VND.
- Hoi An’s woodworking village, Kim Bong, is famous for its carved wooden items. Artisans all come from this village, and some have opened their own workshops in the old town. The price of a wooden item ranges from 120,000 to 300,000 VND.
- Hoi An silk is known for its cool, light, and soft texture. In addition to clothing, bags, and scarves that are readily available, you can also have a tailor make a custom design for you and receive it within a day. The average price for a silk scarf is 150,000 VND.
If you want to buy food as a gift from Hoi An, suggested options are green bean cakes, banh thuan cakes, phu the cakes, and chili sauce.
Hoi An Travel Guide & Recommendations
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FAQs about Hoi An
The most common way to travel from India to Hoi An, Vietnam is by air. There are direct flights available from major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore to Da Nang, which is the closest airport to Hoi An. From Da Nang, you can take a taxi or bus to Hoi An.
You may want to avoid visiting Hoi An during the rainy season from September to January when there can be flooding and heavy rains. The peak tourist season from June to August can also be crowded and expensive. Consider visiting during the shoulder season (February to May) or the low season (September to January) for lower prices and fewer tourists.
Hoi An has a tropical climate, so it’s best to pack light, breathable clothing made of natural fibers. Don’t forget to pack comfortable shoes for walking, a hat or sunscreen for protection from the sun, and insect repellent.
Hoi An is known for its well-preserved Ancient Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other popular attractions include the Japanese Covered Bridge, the Hoi An Night Market, and the nearby Marble Mountains.
Yes, having clothes tailored in Hoi An is a popular activity for tourists, and the town has many skilled tailors who can make clothes for people of all sizes and shapes, including Indians. In fact, some tailors in Hoi An specialize in making traditional Indian clothing, such as saris and kurta pajamas, and can help you find the right fabrics and designs to suit your preferences. Just be sure to allow enough time for the tailoring process, as it typically takes a few days to a week to complete a garment.