TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN HOI AN – TOURS
As Chosen by the Hoi An Now Team
What are the top ten things to do in Hoi An? Who has the best tours? The local food, people and countryside – how can you make the most of it in the short time you have.
From historic sites to ethnic minorities, to water adventures to honing your photography skills and much more. Hoi An Now’s Top Ten Things to Do in Hoi An covers a lot of bases.
There are lots of tour operators in this tourist town and we have personally tested all those recommended here. They all delivered exemplary service and a fascinating experience and thereby earned their place. This doesn’t mean of course that these are the only options in town but they’re a great place to start. If you want to check out even more tour options check out our quick guide to tours or explore the tours home page.
Street walking tours allow you to sample the diverse street food of Hoi An and get up close to the locals in the back lanes – great options whether you’re a foodie or not. Hoi An Food Safari takes you on a whirlwind adventure of foods and flavors sure to excite all palettes. It is our pick because the groups are kept small and there’s plenty of individual attention as you sample ten of Hoi An’s signature dishes.
Bicycling is a great way to explore the river delta and its traditional lifestyle. Rice fields, duck farms, fishing villages and glorious beaches are just minutes away. See our DIY tours or for structured bicycle tours we have two great selections. Heaven & Earth’s countryside tour of magnificent Cam Kim provides a sensational taste of local life. For a splendid roving feast try Grasshopper Adventures’ food tour.
Three fabulous photographic tours all deliver no matter your level of expertise. While it’s difficult to split them Hoi An 360 may have the edge with its Old Town tour which starts in the best light at dawn and includes a model in traditional clothing while in the countryside Hoi An Photo Tour & Workshop is possibly your best bet. Check them all out in the photography section of our quick guide to tours.
Spend the day snorkeling and exploring the lovely and unspoiled marine-protected Cham Islands, the least developed islands in Vietnam. Experience the islands as a day trip from Hoi An or an overnight stay in one of the rustic island homestays. Tours abound and can be arranged from all hotels. For something special try SeaTrek – they can lower you to the seafloor even if you can’t swim!
For a quick fix this tour is hard to beat and great fun to boot. You’ll be picked up and dropped home and whisked around Hoi An from rice field, to market to river to Old Town in just over an hour by Hoi An Motorbike Tours. Great snapshots of this beautiful city from the comfort of a motorbike sidecar abound. Also includes a water buffalo ride and a visit to Hoi An’s impressive Tra Que market garden area.
A UNESCO world heritage site under an hour from Hoi An city center, the My Son ruins are some of the only remaining constructions of the ancient Cham Empire in Vietnam. My Son, which is pock-marked by bomb craters, is a popular day trip for tourists wanting to learn more about South East Asian history. This one best done with a local guide organized by your hotel but avoid big groups.
The Co Tu people take you back to life as lived millennia ago. Expert hunter gatherers, musicians, weavers and herbal medics – observe first-hand the old traditions becoming enmeshed with new cash crops and farming techniques in a magnificent mountainous, rainforest wonderland. Hoi An Motorcycle Adventures can take you every inch of the way or book directly with Bho Hoong Village.
Spin yourself around in the tipsy world of Vietnamese basket boats or hire a kayak to explore the magnificent, Jurassic Park-like Coconut (Nipa) Palms. To be sure you get away from the crowds take the kayak option. As for basket boats, avoid group bookings and urge smaller operators into more distant waterways away from the crush and clamor of busloads of Asian tourists.
Below the surface, a complicated system of caves and tunnels interlaced with pagodas, shrines and gigantic statues make it an unforgettable experience. A guide is not essential but will broaden knowledge of Vietnamese culture and history. Marble Mountain is rightly very popular so the best advice is go early to avoid the crowds and the heat. Tours from all hotels and agents.
You can do cooking classes or cooking class tours. The latter include a market visit and river cruise – sometimes buffalo rides and a spin in a basket boat are thrown in! Our favorite cooking class tour is Sabirama. It includes all the above and a foot massage as well! Somehow there’s still time to cook up a storm and you get to do much more than chop and watch.