DestinationsAsiaHow to Travel the Brilliant Hoi An Ancient Town
How to Travel the Brilliant Hoi An Ancient Town

How to Travel the Brilliant 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 until 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 direct flight to Hoi An. The city doesn’t have an airport. Visitors must take flights to Da Nang Airport and then take different transportation to travel to Hoi An.

By Taxi from the Airport 🚕

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

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

By Bus 🚌

From Da Nang to Hoi An, tourists can take bus number 1, which goes through the Marble Mountains, 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 Da Nang to Hoi An by riding a motorbike. However, it is better to find a trusted motorbike rental agency.

Read more: 3 Days Da Nang Itinerary

Hoi An Weather


The weather was extremely hot at the time I came, at the end of October. And I’m grilled under the sunlight. I didn’t know what was happening with Hoi An weather at that period. Even though many people say 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 the lunar calendar every month – it would be awesome if you could 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 lights, and use lanterns instead. You can enjoy a very beautiful, and mysterious environment.
  • From Feb to Apr is the best time for relaxing. The weather is good-tempered and cool.
  • May to July 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 rainy 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

Hoi An is definitely a special place in Vietnam to explore. The Ancient Town itself is like a charming picture all of its corners are a beautiful background for anyone who loves taking pictures. Some people especially love Hoi An and choose it as their favorite Vietnam honeymoon destination.

Before entering the Ancient Town, visitors have to buy a ticket priced at 80,000VND. The entrance ticket goes with 3 additional tickets that allow you to visit 3/21 points inside the town. Upon the entrances, there are many things to do in Hoi An Ancient Town including events, cuisine, shopping, sightseeing, etc., and sometimes there are festivals on different occasions over the year.

Sightseeing Spots

There are 21 points in the list of what to see in 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.


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

There is also an old market located in the center of the ancient town. Visitors can come there for the specialties of the locals. Some products that tourists may prefer are Hoi An green bean cake, Hoi An chili sauce, dumplings, and ‘Cao Lầu’.

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

There is a leather-craft workshop located at 51/5b Phan Chau Trinh. If you want to learn the 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 are interesting spots that I usually come to. 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 in Oct 2015, that day was super-duper hot. I just wanted to run out of my homestay and look 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 Roastery. Not for commercial purposes but I have to thank you the coffee shop saved me from that hot noon. Later I found out some other Hoi An Roastery, but those didn’t have A/C either. Overall they are all nice ones.

Hoi An Roastery Cafe
The coffee shop that has AC, +10 points for Hoi An Roastery.
A coffee shop at Hoi An at night
A coffee shop at night.

Hoi An Lanterns

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

Rowing Boat

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

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

The Bars

This surprised me a lot when I sat on the boat and saw the bars on the other side. Initially, I could not believe there were such vibrant things in the ancient town. Those are located in the right area of the town so may not affect much to other points. Anyway, it is now a part of 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 are 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 them here but will jump directly to the main points:

Where to Stay at Hoi An Ancient Town?


  • Heron House is designed with Vietnam-styled architecture. The homestay is located in a very quiet area, suitable for anyone who is looking for 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 who come to the homestay can always feel cool, even under the sun of central Vietnam, with a lot of flowers and trees in the area. Furthermore, you can buy fresh seafood at the nearby market and cook at the homestay.


  • 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 convenient 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 what to say about Hotel Royal MGallery, it could be the top of Hoi An hotels. Maybe looking at its customers’ comments will say everything. And the price is high at around $150< for the top.
  • Hoi An Pho Library Hotel could be an old one among Hoi An hotels. However, after the upgrade in 2014, the hotel with its vintage appearance could be a good place for anyone who loves the style and loves photography. There is a small bookstore in each room for selfie purposes (maybe). The price is at ~$70 for a night.

If you are looking for more hotels in Hoi An Old Town, you may want to get the best hotel rates here:

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Travel Hoi An Ancient Town by The Broad Life
How to Travel Hoi An Ancient Town

Hoi An Ancient Town is one of the destinations in my 14 days trip traveling around Vietnam. Here are other posts of places on the trip that I believe you will love reading too:

Khoi Nguyen builds The Broad Life with a desire to inspire people go exploring the world and live a more interesting, experience, and adventurous life. This blog shares the stories, pictures, and experiences at destinations where he has traveled to.


  • Claire

    The lanterns are gorgeous! Seems like there are quite a bit of things to do in Hoi An 🙂

    • Khoi Nguyen

      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! 🙂

  • The Girl Next Door

    Thank you for bringing Hoi An to life through your pictures and words!
    I’ve always been fascinated by such old towns, and can’t wait to visit now. 🙂

    • Khoi Nguyen

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

  • Sandy N Vyjay

    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.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      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 😀

  • SindhuMurthy

    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?

    • Khoi Nguyen

      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.

  • Denny George

    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.

  • Kavita Favelle

    Having never been to Hanoi, you really brought to life for me through your beautiful photos, the lanterns are particularly beautiful and sundown along the river.

  • Dallas Prevost, MD with Glam Vacays, LLC

    I absolutely enjoyed your post, Khoi! For my purposes, it had some very helpful information I can share as a cruisetour planner/experience maker.

    The city of Da Nang is located midway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in Central Vietnam at the mouth of the Han River on the South China Sea. Da Nang Port is the third largest in Vietnam (after Saigon Port in Ho Chi Minh and the port of Hai Phong). It lies at one end of the East–West Economic Corridor that connects Vietnam with Laos, Thailand, and Burma. The city is best known for its role in the Vietnam War when it was the site of a major U.S. air base, and it is featured prominently in both the TV show “China Beach” and movie “Good Morning Vietnam.” Much of this area was hard hit by the Vietnam War, and rebuilding continues. Since the end of the “American War,” as residents call it, in 1975, Da Nang has prospered as a commercial center, its downtown bustling with markets and motorbike traffic.

    Located about a 45-minute drive south of Da Nang is the charming historic town of Hoi An, with its cobblestone lanes. Some call this UNESCO World Heritage Site touristy, but that’s because visitors love its mix of galleries, upscale shops and cafes. As you’ve pointed out, Hoi An offers visitors a wealth of culture, great food, friendly people and some of the best shopping in Vietnam. Basically untouched during the Vietnam War, the face of the Old Town has preserved its incredible legacy of tottering Japanese merchant houses, ornate Chinese temples and ancient tea warehouses strewn with colorful lanterns.

    Unfortunately, Da Nang is not a port of departure where you can begin and/or end your cruise vacation, but it is a popular port of call on several cruise itineraries of Southeast Asia. Still, any reputable local tour operator vetted by the cruise line can pick you up at the cruise terminal and take you by air-conditioned private car, minibus or coach to Hoi An, where you’ll have a guided tour of a series of historical sites, including the Japanese Bridge, Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, Sa Huynh Museum, and the 17th-century Ong Pagoda, followed by free time to explore the historic city center by yourself before returning to port to departure time.

    I’ve already pinned your post to share with clients considering a cruise in the region. I’ll also share it in my Facebook travel group, which particularly enjoys travel blogs. Thanks for making my job easier! Best wishes and happy travels.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Happy to know that you enjoy my post, and thank you for your comment!
      If you need any info of cities in Vietnam to plan your cruisetour just let me know, I will try to help 🙂

    • Khoi Nguyen

      I’m so happy to know that you enjoy my post, and thank you for your comment!
      If you need any info of cities in Vietnam to plan your cruisetour just let me know, I will try to help 🙂

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Thank you for your comment! I’m so happy knowing that you enjoy my post.
      If you need any info of cities in Vietnam to plan your cruisetour just let me know, I will try to help 🙂

  • Ryan Biddulph

    Awesome breakdown Khoi. We visited in 2012. Loved the place. Stayed for 2 months, renting an entire house not far from the rice fields. This is the most hot, humid place I ever visited. The heat index hit 117 F on some days. Sweat dripped off of your elbows after 5 minutes of being in a room without air conditioning or a fan.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      yeah the heat there is crazy. The last time I went to I had to change the room because it doesn’t have AC. Only fan is hard to live there haha

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