Lanterns light on at Hoi An Ancient Town

If you read my itinerary ‘14 Days Travel from North to Central Vietnam‘, you may know our next destinations after Sapa are Hanoi and Ninh Binh. Nevertheless, as I didn’t stay there long enough for a thorough review, I may skip those 2 cities till I have info for superior posts. The place that I come after that is Hoi An Ancient Town, a beautiful and brilliant destination especially at night.

How to Travel to Hoi An Ancient Town..

by Airplane? 🛬

There is no directly flight to Hoi An. The city doesn’t have it own airport. Visitors must take flights to Danang Airport then taking different transportations to travel to Hoi An.

by Taxi from the Airport 🚕

Me and my friends arrived to Danang Airport at around 9 in the morning. We then took a taxi to travel to Hoi An from Danang.

At the airport, there are many taxi willing to take you directly to Hoi An Ancient Town with the price at around 450,000VND. Of course you can deal for a better price, or share it with someone else you meet who have the same destination.

by Bus 🚌

From Danang to Hoi An, tourists can take the bus number 1 with 25,000VND for the ticket. The trip may take 70 – 80 minutes.

by Motorbike 🏍

This is also an option chosen by many backpackers. You can easily visit a lot of destinations across the route from Danang to Hoi An by riding motorbike. However, it is better to find a trusted motorbike rental agency.

Hoi An Weather

HOIAN WEATHER

The weather was extremely hot at the time I came, in the end of October. And I’m grilled under the sunlight. I didn’t know what was happened with Hoi An weather at that period. Even though many people said it is one of the best times to visit Hoi An.

Suggested from different sources on ‘when is the best time to travel to Hoi An’, there are some in a year:

  • Days 14th in lunar calendar every months – it would be awesome if you can come to Hoi An Ancient Town at this moment. There are a lot of events at this time. Also, the locals will turn off all the electric light, and use the lanterns instead. You can enjoy a very beautiful, and mystery environment.
  • From Feb to Apr is the best time for relaxing. The weather is good-tempered, and cool.
  • May to Jul is also a good period for outdoor activities, especially for beach lovers.
  • Some people recommend the time from Oct to Dec when Hoi An comes to its raining season. The Ancient Town is usually flooded so people have to use ships as the main transportation. Make sure rain is included in your travel plan. (And I still don’t know why it was super hot at the moment I came).

Things to Do in Hoi An Ancient Town

Prior to enter the Ancient Town, visitors have to buy a ticket priced 80,000VND. The entrance ticket goes with 3 additional tickets allow you to visit 3/21 points inside the town. There are many activities can be found within the town include events, cuisine, shopping, sightseeing, etc…, and some time there are festivals in different times over the year.

Sightseeing Spots

There are 21 points for visiting at Hoi An Ancient Town. Those all have their own stories. The spots are varied in different types so you may want to choose which one to visit if you don’t stay there for long:

  • Cultural construction: Japanese Covered Bridge, Cam Pho Communal House, Minh Huong Communal House , Guan Yu Temple.
  • Museum: Hoi An Museum of Folk Culture, Museum of Trade Ceramics, Sa Huynh Culture Museum, Museum of History and Culture.
  • Ancient houses: Quan Thang Ancient House, Duc An Old House, The Old House of Phung Hung, Old House of Tan Ky, The Tran Family Home and Chapel, Nguyen Tuong Family Chapel.
  • Assembly Hall: Fukian Assembly Hall, Cantonese Assembly Hall, Chaozhou Assembly Hall.
  • Cochinchina and the traditional art performance (at 10:15 and 15:15 every day).
  • Tomb of the Japanese Business Men: Gu Sokukun, Tani Yajirobei, Banjiro.

Shopping

Tourists can find a lot of products at the town such as clothes, silk, handicrafts, paintings, etc. I especially love the souvenir shops, they have so many cool stuffs.

There is also an old market located in the central of the ancient town. Visitors can come there for specialties of the local. Some products which tourist may prefer are Hoi An green bean cake, Hoi An chili sauce, dumpling, ‘Cao Lầu’.

Hoi An center market at the ancient town
Hoi An center market at the ancient town.

There is a leather-craft workshop located at 51/5b Phan Chau Trinh. If you want to learn skills of making leather products, you should visit there.

Leather-craft workshop located at 51/5b Phan Chau Trinh, Hoi An Ancient Town, Vietnam
Leather-craft workshop located at 51/5b Phan Chau Trinh, Hoi An Ancient Town, Vietnam.

The Café

Anytime I travel, coffee shops to me are interest spots that I usually come. I love sitting in a beautiful cafe enjoying different drinks and having a chat with my friends.

When I came to Hoi An Ancient Town on Oct 2015, that day was super-duper hot. I just wanted to run out of my homestay and looked for a coffee shop. That moment when I realized the town didn’t have a cafe with A/C. Luckily I found one after all, the Hoi An Rostery. Not for commercial purpose but I have to thank you the coffee shop had saved me from that hot noon. Later I found out some other Hoi An Rostery, but those ones didn’t have A/C too. Overall they are all nice ones.

The only coffee shop Hoi An Rostery that has A/C at Hoi An ancient town
the coffee shop that has AC, +10 point for Hoi An Rostery 😀
Coffee shop at night, another Hoi An Rostery.
Coffee shop at night, another Hoi An Rostery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hoi An Lanterns

There is a river which divides the ancient town into 2 areas, the left area (as I called) is where you enter the town and the right area (also as I called) is where you cross a bridge with some red lanterns. In the other side of the bridge, or in the right area, there is a night market that the locals sell a lot of beautiful lantern. I don’t know how to describe the moment I looked at those lantern but I can only say it’s gorgeous.

Rowing Boat

Me and my friends spent our afternoon on the river at the ancient town. That was sudden when we walked along the river and a guy approached us asking if we want to use the boat. The price was 30,000VND for a person and 5,000VND more if we want to drop the paper lanterns on the river.

paper lantern dropped on Hoi An ancient town's river
dropped the paper lantern and wished
sundown on river at Hoi An Ancient Town
sundown on river at Hoi An Ancient Town

 

 

 

 

 

The Bars

This surprised me a lot when I sat on the boat, and saw the bars on the other side. Initially I cannot believe there are such vibrant things at the ancient town. Actually those are located on the right area of the town so may not affect much to other points. Anyway it is now a part in the area and it’s decorated well.

the bars on the other sides of Hoi An ancient town
the bars on the other sides of Hoi An Ancient Town, well decorated with red lanterns.

What to Eat in Hoi An Ancient Town?

Of course there are many delicious foods around Hoi An Ancient Town, and I don’t know how to describe it here but will jump directly to the main points:

Where to Stay at Hoi An Ancient Town?

Homestay

Old Yellow House, the best at the area, located right at the central of Hoi An Ancient Town. The leather-craft workshop is also a part at the homestay. The owner is cute and she has many activities for visitors.

Heron House is designed with Vietnam-styled architecture. The homestay located in a very quiet area, suitable for anyone who is looking for a deep rest. Heron House provides full amenities with a special outdoor pool to spend the whole day relaxing.

Red Flower Cottages Homestay is impressive with its greenery. Visitors come to the homestay can always feel cool, even under the sun of the central Vietnam, with a lot of flowers and trees in area. Furthermore, you can buy fresh seafoods at the nearby market and cook at the homestay.

Hotel

Maison Vy Hotel is one of the best choices for a stay in Hoi An. Located in the area of the ancient town, the hotel is convenience to wander around. The hotel is also perfect in its decoration and design. With full amenities and a swimming pool included, the hotel is a good choice with more than 2,000,000VND a night (around $90).

I don’t know how to say about Hotel Royal Mgallery, it could be the top. Maybe looking at its customers’ comments will say everything. And price is high at around $150< for the top.

La Residencia Luxury Boutique Hotel is designed following the European-classical architecture. The specialty here is the hotel’s room are decorated differently. Of course, the service is good. And if you love the design, the price at ~$60 a night is not so expensive.

Vĩnh Hưng Library Hotel could be an old one among the hotel at Hoi An Ancient Town. However, after the upgrade on 2014, the hotel with its vintage appearance could be a good place for anyone who love the style and love photography. There is a small book store in each room for selfie purpose (maybe). Price is at ~$70 for a night.

12 COMMENTS

    • Hi Claire,
      Agree with you, the lanterns are very beautiful.
      About Hoi An, there are beaches and islands you can go. The article I focus only on the ancient town of Hoi An so it may be not many things to do. I will write about places around the city soon. If you need info now for your trip just tell me I will give you some 😉
      Thanks for you comment and nice to e-know you! 🙂

    • Thank you for your comment 🙂
      Yes this oldtown is definitely a place you should come when visiting Vietnam 😀

  1. Hoi An is identifiable with its colourful lanterns. But I can see that there is so much more to the city. There are so many sights and experiences which it seems to offer.This is a very informative guide which will stand the first time visitor in good stead.

    • yeah around Hoi An there are beautiful beaches and islands which you can visit. The last time I just go around the oldtown so I focus on it in this article. But if you need info to go to the beaches or islands just tell me I will share with you 😀

  2. The paper lanterns looks so beautiful and the city looks so comforting and intriguing at the same time. It is weird that you had to pay to leave lantern boats in the river. Was it the cost of the paper boats?

    • Sorry I’m not so good in English so may confuse you 😀
      The boat riders will charge you to sit on their boats and they will ride you around the river. And they charge you extra for the paper lanterns if you want to buy, make a wish, and leave it to the river.

  3. This is a really detailed guide to Hoi An. I’m sure anyone visiting the city would find it very useful. Those lanterns remind me of Luang Prabang night market in Laos, they looked very similar there as well. The street food also sounds enticing.

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