Things to do in the UNESCO World Heritage Town of Hoi An, Vietnam

The heritage town of Hoi-An in Vietnam possess an olden vibe dating back to the 15th century. Highlighted by its well-preserved structures that have shaped a storied past of a former Southeast Asian trading hub, it has become a major tourism draw in Central Vietnam.  Going back in time doesn’t need to come in the form of a capsule machine, a walk through the old streets of Hoi An might just do the trick. As I boarded my bus from Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An, I already pictured a lovely age-old town awaiting for me. 

To make your journey back in time more worthwhile, here are other things to do in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Hoi An.

Stroll the Old Streets of Hoi An

During daytime you will be instantly enchanted by the quaint ambiance thanks to its fusion of classic architecture enriched with local and foreign influences. Small two-story homes are now transformed into souvenir shops, cafes, bars and restaurants – sandwiching a few original houses and museums. 

Come nighttime, your stroll at the old town’s streets takes into notches more romantic, as colorful lanterns of various shapes and designs come to light up the already quixotic streets. A walk through time peppered with visual feasts at every turn will make your Hoi-An experience a truly memorable one.

And Cross the Japanese Bridge of Hoi An

Way back in the 1950s, as a symbol of inclusiveness, the Japanese community reached out to old Chinese quarters by connecting the two communities with a bridge. Since then, the bridge not only created a better relationship between the two, it also became one of the most photographed spot in Hoi An. 

Daytrip to another UNESCO site of My Son Sanctuary

Ruins from a cluster of Hindu Temples built from the 4th century until the 14th century can be found at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of My Son Ancient Sanctuary. Although US carpet bombings during the Vietnam War damaged most of the remaining temples, it is still a sight to behold and made fascinating as you listen to the history as told by the local tourist guide. 

A little over an hour away from Hoi An, My Son is a worthy day trip destination as it will add more layers to your knowledge about Vietnam’s history.

Food Tripping in Hoi An

What is a trip to Vietnam without gorging on local food? In Hoi-An, choices are aplenty as rows of hip cafes and restaurants dots both sides of the old streets and even across the river. From fine dining to food markets, enjoy the varying dining experience one will find here. 

In the land of Pho, you will discover other Vietnamese dishes that will leave a lingering good taste in your mouth.

Shop, Shop, Shopping in Hoi An

The streets of Hoi An old town beats any strip malls by a mile. Colorful shops housed inside old buildings add an extra stratum of allure and coupled by interesting stuff to buy such as; souvenir items, lanterns, artworks, vibrant textiles and other creative crafts, one will definitely have a grand time shopping at Hoi-an.

Have a Drink (Coffee, Tea or Beer), and Have a Good Time

When you get tired of walking, take a rest by having a cup of coffee, tea or a bottle of beer on a second-floor balcony of the many cafes located along the old streets. 

Having a drink and people watching will give you a front row seat view on the hustles and bristles of life in the olden town of Hoi An. Don't forget to have a cup of tea at Reaching Out Tea House

Daytrip to the beaches of Da Nang

Had enough of cultural immersion at Hoi An’s old town? Have a break under the sun at the long beaches of Da Nang. Located an hour away, it is a bustling modern city totally opposite from the throwback atmosphere of Hoi An. In Da Nang, you can also visit the Marble Mountains or hire a motorcycle to pass through the scenic Hai Van Pass.

Make new Friends

What is the point of traveling to a new place without making new friends along the way? The atmosphere prevailing in Hoi-An creates a beautiful harmony among both travelers and locals alike.

A simple nod of the head or a smile will easily introduce you to a new friend. It is always a great thing to have someone share that mouth watering plate of tasty Vietnamese food and a cup of brewed coffee, with someone - over a fascinating conversation.


Cebu Pacific Air flies direct from Manila to both Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi Cities in Vietnam. Hoi-An is an hour and a half from the nearest domestic airport in Da Nang. You can either take another short flight from HCM or Hanoi to Da Nang or take a sleeper bus from Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An