Asia,  During the World Tour,  TDM,  Tips,  Vietnam

Hoi An Travel Guide (Vietnam): What to visit, When, Budget, Transportation, Money…

After a month spent in Hoi An, we discovered the best addresses of this pretty and small town. We will share them with you in this guide (long but complete). Let’s get started!

How to get there?

  • By train: there are trains that stop in Da Nang, a seaside town 25km from Hoi An. Then you can take an Uber/Grab (more info about Grab here) to Hoi An (for about 270,000VND). Use our code GRABTOURDUMONDE for a 1st free ride
  • By plane: the nearest airport is also in Da Nang. If you take the plane, sit near the window, the landscapes are breathtaking

    • From the airport, there are shuttles to Hoi An which cost 110,000VND/person (book here in advance)
    • From the airport, 4-seater cabs can take you to Hoi An for 300,000VND

  • By bus : long distance buses with bunks like Hung Thanh, Phuong Trang… will drop you off 5mn away from the old town of Hoi An
  • By scooter: From Da Nang, it is very easy to get to Hoi An by scooter (about 45 minutes). The road is good, but there isn’t much shade, please bring sunscreen

Hoi An Old Town

Hoi An is a Unesco classified city, its old town guarantees you a return to the past (several centuries) in a few seconds. The beautiful, old houses of Hoi An will seduce you

The nice thing is that most of the time, the downtown area is only accessible to pedestrians and cyclists

As soon as you enter the old town, you will see ticket sales points: 120,000VND/person. The purchase of tickets is mandatory, they will not miss you!

The purchase of the tickets allows the renovation of the old quarter in general. It also gives you access to 5 of the paying places (out of the 22 – a map is provided): which are generally very nice old houses, temples etc. Each time you enter, you will be cut off a piece of the ticket. This ticket is valid for the duration of your stay, always carry this ticket with you, you may be asked to show it

Hoi An is a museum city, everything is beautiful, everything deserves your attention. The cafes, restaurants and stores are very well decorated

I advise you to visit the 5 paying places during the day. You are spoilt for choice (there are about twenty in all). The 12 below are the must-sees

When to visit Hoi An?

Ideally, during the Full Moon. During the Full Moon, all the traders burn incense, the fake coins in front of their homes. From 6pm, only lanterns are left in the street, even cyclists are forbidden, and the river is lit by small candle lanterns, it’s really very pretty. There are also some activities (Vietnamese opera, calligraphy…). It’s prettier than a normal day, but it doesn’t matter if you miss the full moon, because Hoi An is always pretty

Here are the dates of the full moon 2018

  • January 30th
  • March 1st
  • March 30th
  • April 29th
  • May 28th
  • June 27th
  • July 26th
  • August 24th
  • September 23rd
  • October 22nd
  • November 21st
  • December 20th

However, avoid the month of December/early January when the downtown area is at risk of being completely flooded

5 places to visit in Hoi An with the ticket

And personally I recommend the following 5

  1. Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall: 46 Tran Phu
  2. Tan Ky Old House: 101 Nguyen Thai Hoc
  3. Museum of Trade Ceramics: 80 Tran Phu
  4. Phung Hung Old House: 4 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai
  5. Duc An Old House : 120 Tran Phu

The Japanese bridge is a must to visit, but only the access to its small pagoda (without much interest) requires a ticket, if you just cross the bridge, you don’t need a ticket

Where to stay in Hoi An?

The ultimate luxury would be to stay in the middle of the old town but this requires organization because there is only one hotel in the old town Vinh Hung 1 Heritage Hoteland it is full months in advance

Vinh Hung 1 Heritage Hotel

Most hotels and homestays are located one or two blocks from the city center. I advise you to choose a hotel on Tran Cao Van or Thai Phien street, where there is a lot to eat from morning to evening, and it isn’t very far from the city center. Avoid the homestays on Cua Dai street, it’s quite far from the city center and the road from Cua Dai to the city center is dusty (lots of trucks)

One point to note is the (free) availability of bicycles. This is important because the bike will allow you, in only 10 minutes, to go to the beach, to the silk, coconut, pottery villages etc

For the ultimate comfort and extraordinary service, we recommend the hotel where we spent a month Green Apple with all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, swimming pool, free shuttles to the city center and the beach, free bicycles, and laundry service (by weight, 40,000VND/kg). It’s only 5-10 minutes by bike from the old town. For the digital nomads, it is the perfect location with adapted services (long work table in the room, fiber optics, discount for long stays)

If you prefer to be next to the beach, choose this nice homestay – which belongs to an acquaintance of mine: An Bang Flower House, only 10 meters from the beach. There is a janitor, two cooks, and lots of local and cheap restaurants just 2 meters away

Transportation to hoi An

If you have listened to my advice, normally your hotel will lend you a bike for free. If you want to visit several points of interest in the same day and the total distance exceeds 6km, be nice to yourself and rent a bike

At number 40 Tran Cao Van, you can rent an automatic scooter for 100,000VND (from morning until 6pm), the owner is very kind. You have to fill up the gas yourself (50,000VND will be enough for the day). If you have a scooter, I recommend the following route for one day

  • Tra Que Village: organic vegetable village (possibility to pay a ride to play the apprentice farmers)
  • An Bang Beach and lunch there (look for An Bang flower house then go to the beach by this path, restaurants here will cost 3-4 times less than the restaurants on the main path)
  • Silk Village
  • Coconut Village, Cua Dai Bridge
  • Terracotta Park and the Pottery Village

To know more about these destinations 2-3km from Hoi an, check my travel diary here

Made to measure clothing

It is the flagship activity of this city. You can have custom-made clothes made in 24 hours. Our advices and addresses to consult here

Travel Guide to Custom Clothing and Tailoring in Hoi An (Vietnam)


What to eat in Hoi An?

So, there are plenty of internationally renowned addresses in Hoi An. However, fame does not maintain quality. Tourists continue to go there, but the locals have not visited these addresses for a long time. I will give you here the list of my favorite boui boui and restaurants, classified by dish

White Rose : Banh vac, banh Bao

It is a specialty of the city of Hoi An, and there is only one address to taste these ravioli properly, it is the White Rose Restaurant. A plate of Banh bao and Banh Vac costs 100,000VND. The making of these ravioli is visible at the back of the restaurant

Chicken Rice

I love it! The rice is cooked in chicken stock and then fried. It isn’t expensive: 20,000VND to 35,000VND/ plate. Carnivores may ask for a plate of rice with a big thigh (70,000VND to 90,000VND/ plate) or a chicken salad (80,000VND) full of flavor

Tourists will go to Com Ga Ba Buoi
The locals go to Com Ga Xi Hoi An (search on Google Maps) – go preferably at noon because at 6pm there isn’thing left to eat

Or at Com Ga Ba Dung (search on Google Maps)

There is no menu there, but here are the indications to give to the salesmen

  • Đĩa cơm gà => plate of chicken rice (20,000VND to 35,000VND)
  • Cơm gà đùi => plate of rice with a big thigh (70,000VND to 90,000VND)
  • Gỏi gà => chicken salad (about 90,000VND)

For any order, you will be given a small soup (with giblets in it)

Cao lâù

Personally, I don’t like this dish but it is a specialty of Hoi An. If you like the salty-sweet taste of this dish, go to Thanh Cao Lau (google maps is your friend)

My Quang

I don’t like it either. But it is also a specialty. I don’t know where you can eat good and wholesome. If you have an address, I’ll take it

Vietnamese Sandwich

The sandwich at Banh mi Phuong does not deserve the 15 minutes of queue. Despite the attractive price (25,000VND only), I don’t like this sandwich declared “the best banh mi in the world” by Anthony Bourdain. Mrs Khanh’s sandwich on Tran Cao Van street isn’t bad, but it isn’t the best in the city

I prefer to go to Phi Banh Mi (type on Google Maps), 15,000VND the traditional ban h mi or Bread Break Hoi An (35,000VND the banh mi Hoi An, yum yum yum)

The locals all gave me another address (not far from the number 128 Tran Hung Dao), but I haven’t tested it yet

Barbecue Pork

You will see many of them along the river and the smell will seduce you, but you MUST NOT eat them there, it isn’t good at all

You have to cross the bridge and eat some at the Night Market (in the evening). Or between 6:00 pm and 7:30 pm at the intersection of Nguyen Hue Street with Phan Chau Trinh. This isn’t a restaurant, it’s just a saleswoman sitting on the sidewalk with her pork skewers. She sells by 10, each skewer costs 10,000VND. You have to roll the meat and herbs in the white cake and then in the transparent one. Then you have to dip the whole in the sauce that is provided (delicious!!)

Restaurants not too touristy

These restaurants are reserved for tourists but they are still little known. Here, they sell several dishes (while the other addresses I gave you only sell one dish)

There’s Com Linh, which I find not bad at all

There is also Dua Viet, which makes good dishes for those who like white rice

And for those who are desperate to find a restaurant that offers northern dishes, I recommend Thanh Nam Quan (where I had lunch almost every day) with my eyes closed. It is a very small restaurant run by a couple of North Vietnamese. Their bun cha, and especially the homemade egg rolls, are to die for!

Don’t forget to test the different fruits at the night market. Mangoes are sold ripe or green, pay attention to the color of the mango. In this picture, the cut mangoes are yellow chick => still green


Hoi An is one of the best cities for its value for money. You can easily get by for 12€/person (accommodation + good food)

Consult my detailed budget at the end of my travel diary here

Coffee addresses

Since Hoi An is also well known for its beautiful cafes, we recommend the following addresses

Mót Hội An at 150 Tran Phu, he was a street vendor at the base. Now, his stand is so successful that he has a real small store. To test absolutely: his lemon and lemongrass drink, at only 10,000VND

The Chef – Coffee On Roof at 166 Tran Phu, you have to go up to the top and admire Hoi An from the terrace (there aren’t many like this in Hoi An). Go there before sunset, otherwise you won’t see much

Cocobana Cafe at 16 Nguyen Thai Hoc. This cafe is really nice, with swings upstairs and a nice balcony overlooking the museum across the street. Perfect for your Instagram pictures

Sunday at 25 Nguyen ThaiHoc: at the back of this decoration store is a small café. Go upstairs, you will be able to instagrammer for a long time 😀



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