Hoi An, with its charming ancient town, stunning beaches, and rich cultural heritage, has long been a popular destination for travelers visiting Vietnam. Whether you’re interested in exploring the historic streets, indulging in the local cuisine, or immersing yourself in the serene countryside, a well-planned Hoi An tour can provide an unforgettable experience. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the essential details you need to know before embarking on your Hoi An travel.

Planning Your Hoi An Tour

Researching tour options

When it comes to planning your Hoi An tour, there’s an abundance of options to choose from. From guided walking tours of the ancient town to multi-day excursions that venture beyond the city limits, the possibilities are endless. It’s important to research thoroughly and select a tour that aligns with your interests and budget. Consider factors such as the tour’s duration, the activities included, and the reputation of the tour company.

Choosing the right tour company

Selecting a reputable Vietnam tour company is crucial for ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience. Look for companies with a strong track record of positive reviews, experienced guides, and a commitment to sustainability and responsible tourism. Compare the services and prices offered by various providers to find the best fit for your needs. It’s also a good idea to inquire about the company’s policies regarding cancellations, refunds, and customer support.

Considering your preferences and budget

When planning your Hoi An tour, it’s essential to consider your personal preferences and budget. Do you prefer a private tour for a more personalized experience, or would you enjoy the camaraderie of a group tour? Are you seeking a budget-friendly option or are you willing to splurge on a more luxurious experience? Reflect on the activities and sights that are most important to you, and use this information to narrow down your tour options.

Best things to do in Hoi An

Hoi An, Vietnam

Explore Hoi An Ancient Town

The heart of Hoi An’s charm lies in its beautifully preserved ancient town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wander through the narrow streets, admiring the well-maintained historic buildings, family-owned shops, and vibrant street life. Discover the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge, the colorful Lantern Market, and the 400-year-old Quan Cong Temple. Immerse yourself in the past as you explore the quaint alleys and soak in the tranquil atmosphere.

Visit the Japanese Covered Bridge

One of Hoi An’s most iconic landmarks, the Japanese Covered Bridge, dates back to the 16th century. This picturesque bridge, with its distinctive curved roof and intricate architectural details, is a must-visit during your Hoi An tour. Admire the bridge’s unique design, which reflects the influence of Japanese and Vietnamese styles, and learn about its fascinating history from your tour guide.

Visit the My Son Sanctuary

Venture outside the ancient town to explore the My Son Sanctuary, a UNESCO-listed archaeological site that was once the spiritual and political center of the Champa Kingdom. Wander among the crumbling brick towers and temples, marveling at the intricate carvings and the impressive scale of this ancient religious complex. Your tour guide will provide valuable insights into the history and significance of this remarkable site.

Cycling through the countryside

Hoi An’s surrounding countryside offers a peaceful escape from the bustling ancient town. Join a cycling tour to explore the lush green fields, tranquil villages, and traditional craft workshops. Pedal past rice paddies, water buffaloes, and charming local homes, immersing yourself in the serene rural landscapes. This is an excellent way to connect with the local way of life and appreciate the natural beauty of the region.

Have Coffee or Tea at the Reaching Out Tea House

For a unique and meaningful experience, visit the Reaching Out Tea House, a social enterprise that employs individuals with disabilities. Savor a delicate cup of Vietnamese tea or coffee in the serene and beautifully decorated space, and learn about the organization’s mission to empower and provide opportunities for the local community.

Shop for souvenirs

Hoi An is renowned for its vibrant artisanal scene, making it an excellent destination for shopping. Explore the bustling Central Market, where you can haggle with local vendors for a wide range of handicrafts, textiles, and traditional Vietnamese souvenirs. Don’t miss the opportunity to have a custom-made garment or accessory tailored to your specifications at one of the many skilled local tailors.

Visit the Central Market

The Central Market in Hoi An is a bustling hub of activity, where you can immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and aromas of local life. Wander through the maze of stalls, where vendors sell an array of fresh produce, seafood, spices, and handmade crafts. Engage with the friendly locals and try your hand at bargaining for the best deals on unique souvenirs and local delicacies.

Eat Hoi An specialty dishes

Hoi An is renowned for its exceptional cuisine, with a rich culinary heritage that blends Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese influences. Indulge in the town’s signature dishes, such as the fragrant Cao Lau noodles, the flavorful Banh Mi sandwiches, and the delectable White Rose dumplings. Join a food tour or cooking class to delve deeper into the local food culture and learn the secrets behind these delectable specialties.

Take a cooking class

Hoi An’s rich culinary traditions make it an ideal destination for a hands-on cooking class. Explore the local markets, learn about the region’s produce and spices, and then put your newfound skills to the test by preparing authentic Vietnamese dishes under the guidance of an experienced chef. This interactive experience not only allows you to savor the flavors of Hoi An but also provides a deeper understanding of the local food culture.

Relax on the beach

After exploring the historic town and cultural attractions, take some time to unwind on the picturesque beaches of Hoi An. The nearby An Bang Beach and Cua Dai Beach offer tranquil stretches of golden sand, crystal-clear waters, and a laid-back atmosphere. Soak up the sun, go for a swim, or simply relax and enjoy the serene coastal ambiance.

Ride a Basket Boat

Cam Thanh Village, Hoi An
Cam Thanh Village, Hoi An

Embark on a unique and scenic journey by hopping aboard a traditional Vietnamese basket boat. These woven vessels, resembling giant woven eggs, offer a peaceful and eco-friendly way to explore the tranquil waterways and mangrove forests surrounding Hoi An. Glide along the serene Thu Bon River or venture to the nearby Cham Islands, witnessing the local way of life from a different perspective.

Sea Walk and Snorkeling in Cham Island

Cu Lao Cham Seatrek

Just a short boat ride from Hoi An, the Cham Islands offer a breathtaking natural setting for a day trip. Explore the island’s marine life and coral reefs through a unique sea walking experience, where you’ll don a special diving helmet and walk along the seafloor. Alternatively, opt for a snorkeling excursion to marvel at the vibrant underwater world teeming with tropical fish and vibrant corals.

Get a Custom-Tailored Suit or Dress

Hoi An is renowned for its thriving tailoring industry, with countless skilled artisans offering custom-made clothing and accessories. Indulge in the opportunity to have a suit, dress, or any other garment tailored to your exact specifications. From the initial measurements to the final fittings, the process is both efficient and enjoyable, allowing you to bring home a one-of-a-kind piece that reflects your personal style.

Visit craft villages

Venture beyond the ancient town to explore the traditional craft villages surrounding Hoi An. Witness the intricate processes behind the creation of pottery, silk, embroidery, and other local handicrafts. Interact with the skilled artisans, learn about their techniques, and even try your hand at creating your own unique souvenirs to take home.

Best Time to Visit Hoi An for a Tour

Weather considerations

Hoi An enjoys a tropical climate, with distinct wet and dry seasons. The best time to visit for a tour largely depends on your weather preferences and the activities you plan to undertake. The dry season, which spans from February to August, typically offers sunny skies, lower humidity, and more comfortable temperatures, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities and exploring the ancient town. The wet season, from September to January, brings more rainfall but also fewer crowds and lower prices.

Avoiding peak tourist seasons

Hoi An, like many popular tourist destinations, experiences peaks in visitor numbers during certain times of the year. The shoulder seasons, such as April-May and September-November, can be excellent times to visit, as you’ll encounter fewer crowds and potentially lower prices on accommodations and tours. Avoid the high season around the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday, when the town can become extremely crowded and prices tend to spike.

Hoi An Tour Itinerary Ideas

Full-day walking tour of Hoi An

Immerse yourself in the rich history and charming ambiance of Hoi An’s ancient town with a comprehensive walking tour. Explore the historic landmarks, browse the local shops and markets, and learn about the town’s diverse cultural influences from a knowledgeable guide.

Hoi An Evening Walking Food Tour

Embark on a culinary adventure through the streets of Hoi An at night. Sample a variety of local delicacies, from fragrant Banh Mi sandwiches to steaming bowls of Cao Lau noodles, while discovering the town’s vibrant food scene.

Ba Na Hills and Golden Bridge Day Tour

Venture beyond Hoi An to the stunning Ba Na Hills, which are home to the iconic Golden Bridge, a breathtaking pedestrian walkway suspended high above the mountains. This tour offers a chance to explore the French-influenced colonial architecture, scenic vistas, and unique attractions of this enchanting destination.

Cycling tour to Tra Que Vegetable Village

Immerse yourself in the tranquility of Hoi An’s countryside by embarking on a cycling tour to the picturesque Tra Que Vegetable Village. Learn about the region’s organic farming practices, visit local homes, and gain a deeper understanding of the local way of life.

Cooking class and boat trip on Thu Bon River

Combine a hands-on cooking class with a serene boat ride on the Thu Bon River. Explore the local markets, learn traditional recipes from an expert chef, and then enjoy your culinary creations while taking in the stunning riverside scenery.

Coconut Forest Tour by Bicycle and Basket Boat in Hoi An

Discover the natural wonders of Hoi An’s Coconut Forest by bicycle and traditional basket boat. Pedal through the lush greenery, then hop aboard a woven vessel to glide along the tranquil waterways, immersing yourself in the serene rural landscapes.

Take a day trip to Cham Island: Sea Walk and Snorkeling Experience

Escape the mainland and venture out to the Cham Islands, a stunning archipelago just off the coast of Hoi An. Embark on a sea walking adventure, where you’ll don a specialized diving helmet and explore the vibrant underwater world, or opt for a snorkeling excursion to marvel at the marine life.

Take a day trip to Marble Mountain and My Son Sanctuary

Combine two of Hoi An’s most significant cultural attractions in a day trip to Marble Mountain and the My Son Sanctuary. Explore the intricate cave temples and Buddhist shrines of Marble Mountain, then venture to the ancient Champa ruins of My Son, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Take a day trip to the Hue Ancient Imperial City

Delve into the rich history and imperial heritage of Vietnam by taking a day trip from Hoi An to the city of Hue. Tour the Forbidden City, the Imperial Citadel, and other architectural wonders that showcase the grandeur of the former imperial capital.

Hoi An Accommodation Options

Staying in a traditional homestay

Immerse yourself in the local culture by staying in a traditional Vietnamese homestay. These family-run accommodations offer a unique opportunity to interact with the locals, learn about their daily lives, and experience Hoi An’s heritage firsthand.

Boutique hotels in Hoi An

For a more elevated experience, consider booking a stay at one of Hoi An’s charming boutique hotels. These intimate properties often feature thoughtful design, impeccable service, and amenities that cater to the needs of discerning travelers.

Luxury resorts near the beach

If you’re seeking a more indulgent vacation, Hoi An offers a selection of luxurious resorts situated along the picturesque coastline. Enjoy the convenience of being near the beach, along with access to world-class spa facilities, gourmet dining, and high-end leisure amenities.

Transportation Tips for Hoi An Tours

Getting to Hoi An from Da Nang

The nearest major airport to Hoi An is located in Da Nang, approximately 30 kilometers away. Travelers can easily reach Hoi An by taxi, private transfer, or public transportation, such as buses or shuttle services.

Renting a bicycle or motorbike in Hoi An

Exploring Hoi An and its surrounding areas by bicycle or motorbike is a popular and convenient option. Rental shops can be found throughout the town, offering well-maintained vehicles and the opportunity to navigate the roads at your own pace.

Using local taxis and Grab or Xanh SM services

For short trips within Hoi An or to nearby attractions, relying on local taxis or ride-hailing services like Grab or Xanh SM can be a hassle-free and affordable choice. Be sure to agree on the fare upfront and consider using a reputable service to ensure a positive experience.

Hoi An Tour Guide Recommendations

Importance of having a knowledgeable guide

Hiring a knowledgeable and experienced tour guide can greatly enhance your Hoi An experience. These local experts can provide insightful commentary, share hidden gems, and offer a deeper understanding of the town’s history, culture, and traditions.

Hiring a private guide vs. joining group tours

When it comes to Hoi An tours, you can choose between hiring a private guide or joining a group tour. Private guides offer a more personalized and flexible experience, while group tours can be more budget-friendly and allow you to meet fellow travelers. Consider your preferences, budget, and the type of experience you’re seeking to determine the best option for your Hoi An tour.

Packing Essentials for Hoi An Tours

Lightweight clothing and comfortable shoes

Given Hoi An’s warm and humid climate, it’s essential to pack lightweight, breathable clothing that will keep you cool and comfortable throughout your tour. Opt for moisture-wicking fabrics and comfortable walking shoes to navigate the town’s cobblestone streets and uneven terrain with ease.

Sunscreen and insect repellent

Protecting yourself from the sun and mosquitoes is crucial when exploring Hoi An, especially during outdoor activities. Be sure to pack high-SPF sunscreen and an effective insect repellent to ensure a pleasant and safe tour experience.

Camera and reusable water bottle

Hoi An is a photographer’s dream, with its picturesque streets, colorful buildings, and stunning natural landscapes. Don’t forget to bring your camera, along with a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated throughout your tour.

Capturing Memories: Photography Tips for Hoi An Tours

Travellers in Tra Que Village, Hoi An
Travellers in Tra Que Village, Hoi An

Best photo spots in Hoi An

Hoi An offers numerous Instagram-worthy locations for capturing memorable photos. Some of the most popular spots include the Japanese Covered Bridge, the Lantern Market, the colorful Old Town streets, and the serene beaches and countryside.

Lighting and composition tips for photography enthusiasts

To make the most of your photography during your Hoi An tour, consider the best times of day for optimal lighting, such as the golden hour at sunrise and sunset. Pay attention to composition, using techniques like the rule of thirds and leading lines to create visually compelling images.

Interacting with Locals during Hoi An Tours

Learning basic Vietnamese phrases

Engaging with the friendly locals in Hoi An can be greatly enhanced by learning a few basic Vietnamese phrases, such as “xin chào” (hello), “cảm ơn” (thank you), and “bạn có thể giúp tôi được không?” (can you help me?). These simple gestures can go a long way in fostering meaningful connections and cultural exchange.

Participating in cultural activities with locals

Seek out opportunities to actively participate in local cultural activities during your Hoi An tour. This could include joining a cooking class, witnessing a traditional performance, or engaging in a craft workshop alongside the friendly residents.

Safety Precautions for Hoi An Tours

Avoiding scams and tourist traps

While Hoi An is generally a safe destination, it’s essential to be aware of potential scams and tourist traps that may target visitors. Research reputable tour providers, be cautious of unsolicited offers, and keep a close eye on your belongings to ensure a worry-free experience.

Staying hydrated and practicing sun safety

Hoi An’s tropical climate can be intense, especially during the summer months. Remember to stay hydrated by bringing a reusable water bottle and drinking plenty of fluids throughout your tour. Additionally, protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to prevent sunburn and heat-related illnesses.

Mistakes to Avoid

Overpacking for the tour

One common mistake that travelers make when preparing for a Hoi An tour is overpacking. Keep in mind that Hoi An has a casual and laid-back atmosphere, so there’s no need to bring an excessive amount of clothing or accessories. Stick to essentials and pack light to make your tour more comfortable and enjoyable.

Ignoring weather forecasts when planning activities

Another mistake to avoid is disregarding the weather forecast when planning your activities in Hoi An. The region experiences distinct wet and dry seasons, so be sure to check the weather conditions beforehand and prepare accordingly. Bring rain gear if needed and plan indoor activities in case of inclement weather.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a Vietnam visa?

Yes, most visitors to Vietnam, including Hoi An, are required to have a valid visa. Check with the Vietnamese embassy or consulate in your country for specific visa requirements and application procedures before your trip.

Is it safe to drink tap water in Hoi An?

It is generally not recommended to drink tap water in Hoi An or anywhere else in Vietnam. Stick to bottled water, which is widely available and affordable, to stay hydrated and avoid potential health risks.

What are some must-try dishes in Hoi An?

Hoi An is renowned for its delicious cuisine, with must-try dishes including Cao Lau (noodles with pork and greens), White Rose (shrimp dumplings), and Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich). Don’t miss the opportunity to sample these local specialties during your tour.

How far is Hoi An from the nearest airport?

Hoi An is located approximately 30 kilometers from Da Nang International Airport, the nearest major airport serving the region. Travelers can easily reach Hoi An from the airport by taxi, shuttle, or private transfer for a convenient and hassle-free journey.


Planning a tour of Hoi An offers a wealth of opportunities to explore this enchanting destination, from its ancient town and cultural landmarks to its culinary delights and natural beauty. By researching tour options, choosing the right itinerary, and considering your preferences and budget, you can create a memorable and rewarding experience in Hoi An.

Whether you’re strolling through the historic streets, indulging in local delicacies, or embarking on exciting excursions, Hoi An promises to captivate and inspire visitors with its charm and authenticity. Remember to pack wisely, interact with locals respectfully, and prioritize safety during your tour to make the most of your time in this captivating Vietnamese gem. With careful planning and a spirit of adventure, your Hoi An tour is sure to be a journey filled with unforgettable moments and enriching discoveries.