Nestled along the banks of the Thu Bon River, Hoi An’s Old Town is one of Vietnam’s most charming tourist destinations. Today visitors are attracted by the yellowed walls and the unique architecture of the Old Town. To learn more about the history of Hoi An, check out our About Hoi An page!
To see some of Hoi An Old Town’s ancient buildings and heritage sites, buy a ticket for 120,000 VND. The ticket is valid for the duration of your stay so you do not have to do it all in one day. There are ticket booths in many areas of the Old Town; two of the most visible are on:
78 Le Loi Street (Hoi An Office of Tourist Services)
Lantern Bridge (An Hoi Side)
Choose 5 sites from 22 options (including old houses, museums, assembly halls, and performances centers). For more information, see: www.hoianworldheritage.org.vn
I do not want to see the heritage sights but I have been told I still need to buy a ticket to enter the Old Town. Is this true?
Yes but the situation is not constantly enforced which has resulted in many tourists becoming angry and confused.
Here’s the update: A law to this effect was passed several years ago but has only recently started to be implemented. It is not always enforced and there are no signs informing people as yet. However, the official line given to Hoi An Now is that visitors are required to purchase a ticket for 120,000vnd to enter the Old Town – not only to see 5 heritage sights but to actually enter the Old Town itself. The ticket is valid for the duration of your stay – which could be three months or longer. So, if you are approached to buy a ticket – always keep it with you thereafter. Unfortunately due to the lack of signage and implementation, there have been some nasty exchanges with tourists and ticketing officials as well as some overcharging! For clarity, the cost is 120,000vnd for one person.
When visiting pagodas, temples and tombs cover your arms, avoid mini-skirts and men should wear shirts.
Traffic Free Times
Motorbikes and electric bikes are not permitted to enter the Old Town and Nguyen Phuc Chu Street, An Hoi at certain times of the day. Bicycles are allowed to enter at all times and cars are never permitted. Motorbike free times every day are: 8.30am – 11am; 3pm – 9pm (winter) & 3pm – 9.30pm (summer).
The Legendary Hoi An Full Moon Lantern Festival
Try to organize your trip to coincide with the legendary Hoi An Full Moon Lantern Festival which occurs every month on the 14th day of the Lunar calendar. For the Vietnamese this is a time to pay respects to ancestors by burning fake money and making offerings of fruit and flowers in return for good luck, health and wealth. For tourists it’s a trip back in time, a night when Hoi An Old Town shuts down the lights and lanterns and shimmering candlelight takes over. Motorised vehicles and bicycles are banned, so you can wander around freely to enjoy the many cultural activities and performances without fear of being flattened by an errant driver. For a truly magical experience head down to the river to see a myriad of floating, candlelit paper flowers twinkling and bobbing on the water and, if you’re after a little bit of good luck, release one yourself for the mammoth sum of 5,000 VND.
See the Events Calendar for dates.
Hoi An Office of Tourist Services
Add: 47 Phan Chau Trinh Street
Tel: +84 (0) 124 342 8888 – Emergency Hotline
Tel: +84 (0) 235 366 6333 – Tourist Information Centre
Whether you want to boogie the night away to live tunes at a beach bar or simply relax and enjoy the rhythm of the waves, Hoi An’s beaches have it all. There are two major beaches: Cua Dai and An Bang. In recent days Cua Dai Beach has suffered significant erosion but there are still some wonderful spots. In between the ‘Big Two’ is Hidden Beach; popular with Hoi An locals as one of the few remaining unspoiled beaches in Hoi An. Further afield are some equally beautiful beaches. For more information check out our comprehensive guide to all things beach as well as our Quick Guide to An Bang.
With literally hundreds of options, picking the right cooking class can be overwhelming. Lucky for you, we’ve sacrificed our waistlines to find the best cooking classes in Hoi An! Many also include market or countryside tours and are a great way to see the town.
The best way to see Hoi An is from a bicycle, but navigating the busy streets can be intimidating. There is, as they say, safety in numbers, so we recommend booking a tour to get a lay of the land and to see some of the lesser visited areas of Hoi An. Check out our list of some of the best bicycle tours in Hoi An.
Alternatively a bike ride through the rice paddies and other fields offers a different view from the tourist center. The paddies offer lush green fields speckled with water buffalo and ducks; definitely worth a visit. There are tours that will take you, or you can rent a bike and wander at your own pace.
Only 20 minutes from Hoi An by bus, Marble Mountain’s religious significance and amazing views make it one of Hoi An’s most famous and popular destinations. Nearly every tour company in town has a day trip to Marble Mountain offered, however, if you’d rather go at your own pace you can hire a car to take you for about 350,000 VND return.
As they say here in Hoi An, “No Massage, No Vacation”! A visit to the spa is a great way to unwind after a morning of shopping, and the inexpensive costs of services- you can visit the spa daily! No need to worry about where to go, just check out the reviews of some of our favorite spas in Hoi An!
Looking for some help putting your days together effectively? Here is a 2-day itinerary bristling with ideas that is a great start. Pick and choose or take it all on. It’s up to you. Watch this space … more itineraries will be added down the track.