We would almost say that the best way of spending 36hrs in Hoi An, would be to find a way to extend your time in this quaint and quiet ancient city. Here you will find the perfect balance between Vietnamese culture and tourism. No wonder as there is so much to offer – from the lovely beach just a stone’s throw away, to the ancient – UNESCO World Heritage site – city where you’ll find little shops, skilled tailors and some of the best Vietnamese food in the country!
With so much to do in such little time, we want to help you out with finding the nicest things to do to use your time wisely! So here we go:
Day 1: Arrival in late afternoon
There are plenty places to stay during your visit in Hoi An, and there’s something for every budget. Check out some of our favourite hotels here. Once you’ve checked in head into the old town. There are many tailor shops to be found here especially on Le Loi Street. If you’re interested in having a suit or any other clothes made, make sure you do this right away, as it will take a while, and a fitting before it is ready.
When all set, walk around town and enjoy the wonderful quiet streets (many of the streets here are motorbike free!), people and the beautiful lanterns that will now start to light up. Continue your walk to the river, where you’ll find loads of different restaurants. Cross the bridge to the other side of the river, where you’ll find one of our favourite restaurants: Mango Mango. Head up to the balcony that watches out over the river and the Japanese bridge. It’s a great place to watch people pass by!
Turn back to the other side of the river and enjoy a river stroll where you can enjoy stalls filled with colourful lanterns, and other street side stalls along the way; the perfect way to get to know this beautiful city.
As said, Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Did you know that there are 18 UNESCO treasures hidden within the ancient town of Hoi An? This is a great reason to join this day trip in and around town. At 8 o’clock in the morning, you’ll take a short boat ride across the river to visit, amongst others, a boat builder’s yard and woodcarvers. After this, you’ll return to town for a discovery tour on foot through Hanoi’s ancient town. You’ll visit some of the beautiful UNESCO treasures, such as historic merchant and community houses, places of worship, but also the famous Japanese covered bridge.
After this busy morning, you’re probably starving! No worries, as there are so many amazing restaurants in town that will quench your thirst and satisfy your hunger. Walk to Nguyen Thai Hoc and find Cargo Club. This great restaurant serves a great menu of western and Vietnamese dishes (and some lovely pastries too!). Ask whether you can sit upstairs on the balcony, to have a great view over the river!
Once you’re full jump on a bicycle and get to know the real Hoi An. Or better yet, join our Cycling and lantern making tour, a great activity especially when you’re travelling with kids! On this tour, you’ll explore the back-roads of Hoi An and its surrounding. You’ll drive through the amazing rice paddies and picturesque landscapes (so don’t forget your camera) before you arrive at a famous lantern-making village. Here you’ll visit a local family, where you will learn the handicraft of lantern making, which you can take home after!
Following this busy schedule, you’ll head back to the hotel and freshen up, as there are more delicious places to explore. Such as the amazing Ms. Ly Cafeteria (reservations recommended!). Here you’ll find authentic Vietnamese specialities on the menu. Make sure to try the deep fried wontons and the White Rose dumplings, or better yet, just ask for recommendations from the staff!
To make the most out of your trip, get up early and have a sunrise cruise, which will bring you down to Cua Dai. Here you’ll witness the local fishing boat fleet returning back to harbour after a hard night of work at sea. If you want you can even join in by helping the fishermen removing the fish from the net. And you’ll learn how to manoeuvre a Vietnamese basket boat. After which you’ll return to the boat for coffee and a real fisherman’s breakfast!
And like that, your time in Hoi An is up… If after reading you decide to stay a little longer in Hoi An, consider joining our 3 days Hoi An and surroundings tour, where you will discover the other side of Hoi An. Or join our 5 days Hoi An and Hue Tour for even more history and culture!
We hope you’ll enjoy – however long you’ll stay!
Your experience on BeenInAsia?
Send us your travel experience in Asia today!