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Top Things to See and Do in Hoi An

Hoi An is travel favorite destination in Vietnam. Traveler loved spending time by the river, watching the sunset, strolling through the old town, and drinking inexpensive beer. The town is packed with picturesque historical homes, pagodas and street-side cafes. It’s extremely popular for buying hand-made clothing. Traveler can get anything made here – from custom-made suits to gowns to sundresses to leather boots to sneakers. But even if you don’t want to shop, Hoi An makes for a relaxing destination, in an otherwise frenetic country.

Shop at the Central Market

Hoi An’s Central Market is probably one of the best in Vietnam. The market sits on the riverside and is packed full of excellent food at rock-bottom prices. This is the place to pick up spices, souvenirs, try local food and have your tailoring done. There is also a great fish market worth visiting!

Explore Quan Cong Temple

The temple was built in the early 17th century to honor the Chin Dynasty but nowadays it serves as one of Hoi An’s most spectacular architectural accomplishments and a thriving tourist attraction. Inside there are two huge wooden statues, one of Quan Kong’s protector, Chau Xuong and one of his adopted son and of course the gilt statue of Quan Cong himself.

Take a cooking lesson

If tasting local food isn’t enough for you and you’d like to bring a like bit of Vietnamese cuisine home with you then consider enrolling yourself in cooking lessons. Many restaurants offer lessons where you’ll first start off picking the raw ingredients then learn how to prepare the food. If you want a more full-day experience, you can even tack on a 5am fishing trip in a bowl-shaped fishing boat. Prices vary, but most cost between 350,000-550,000 VND for a 4-6 hour market tour and cooking class.

Take a bicycle tour around the city

Get guided around the city by a local who will answer any of your questions, teach you about history, the local economy, and take you out for some Vietnamese coffee. This is a great way to get your bearings since it’s a small, but relatively sprawling, city. You’ll go through the rice fields and into neighborhoods that you wouldn’t normally venture through. A morning of bicycling around in a small group starts at around 300,000 VND. You can book this through any hostel or hotel.

Attend the Full Moon Festival

Hoi An’s Full Moon Festival is held on the 14th day of the lunar cycle each month and is probably the best time to visit the city. The streets are shut down to all traffic and are lined with brightly colored lanterns. This is a great time to party with locals as the streets come alive with folk music, plays, and dancing!

Explore My Son

My Son (meaning "beautiful mountain”) is one of the most important sites relating to the ancient Kingdom of Champa and is said to have been Vietnam’s religious and intellectual center. Even in their ruined state, the remaining structures are impressive. The My Son ruins were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. Admission is 150,000 VND per person.

See the Fukian Assembly Hall

Built in 1697, Fukian is the grandest of the Chinese assembly halls and is a fine example of Chinese architecture. The main colorful temple is dedicated to the goddess of the sea, Thien Hau, while the statues of Thuan Phong Nhi and Thien Ly Nhan are said to protect sailors in distress. There is a scale model of a sailboat inside too. Entrance to this site and 4 others (on the same day) are 140,000 VND.

Boat along the river

A great way to relax for a bit and to see Hoi An from a different perspective is to hop on one of the boats that leaves from Bach Dang Street. Admire the town from the water and overlook the colorful views of the waterfront. Don’t just go with the first boat you find; there are a lot of different options and prices there.

Enter the Old Houses

Some of the houses in Hoi An have had their interiors turned into museums, giving tourists a glimpse at what life was life for wealthy merchants in the colonial and pre-colonial period. Going into homes, old and modern, will give you a glimpse into how locals live their life day-to-day. I highly suggest checking it out. The Tan Ky and the Duc An homes are two of the more popular ones to visit.

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