25 Things To Do In Hoi An, Vietnam, Over The Weekend - Updated 2021

{{trip101_paragraph_count}}  Things To Do In Hoi An, Vietnam, Over The Weekend
Hridya
Hridya
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The city of Hoi An in Vietnam was formerly known as Fai-Fo / Faifoo. It is situated in the Quang Nam province of the country. Located south of Da Nang, on the coast of the South China Sea, Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This city has a varied history, starting from the Cham era, through to times of Dutch / Portuguese influences, and also with trading relations with Japan, China, India, and various countries in Europe. The weather is best during May and June when the seas and winds are calm so schedule your trip during this time if you can. You can get around Hoi An using motorbikes; taxis are a little expensive. You can charter motorbike taxis/boats for specific time periods. You must purchase a ticket for entry to the Old Town for 120,000 VND (approximately 6 USD), which provides a self-guided tour and entry to 5 selected places in the heritage area. It is technically valid for 24 hours, though time periods are often quite flexible. You can choose to see heritage houses, the Japanese Covered Bridge, museums, etc (details are on the ticket). These are some of the best things to do in Hoi An, Vietnam, over the weekend.

1. Try out Hoi An's street food through a walking tour (from USD 23.0)

Think of this tour as a sightseeing and food tour rolled in one. This activity will not only give you the opportunity to try out the authentic dishes of Vietnam like cao lau, but you will also be brought to scenic locations throughout the city. Make sure to eat a light breakfast before you join this tour as you will be needing enough belly space for other food items. Make sure to inform the host beforehand if you have any allergies or dietary preferences so that the tour can be adjusted accordingly.

Hoi An Street Food Walking Tour

Duration: 2 Hrs 30 Min Duration

22 reviews

2. Experience riding a basket boat and a buffalo (from USD 39.0)

Have you ever experienced riding a water buffalo? How about a basket? If you haven’t but want to try it out, this is the tour for you. This activity starts with a bike tour through farming villages, where you will get the opportunity to witness what life is like in Hoi An’s countryside. Once you reach Cam Thanh, you will get the chance to ride a water buffalo through rice fields. From there, you will get on a basket boat through a coconut palm jungle. Lunch is already included in the menu, but be sure to inform your host if you have allergies or food preferences so that the meal can be adjusted accordingly.

Buffalo and Basket Boat Ride with Lunch

Duration: 4 hours

28 reviews

3. Treat yourself to a relaxing massage (from USD 13.0)

Want to pamper yourself while you’re spending a holiday in Hoi An? Book a spa session at Ylang Ylang Massage and experience having an expert masseuse ease the tension from your muscles. There is a variety of packages that you can choose from, including a simple foot massage, Vietnamese-style traditional massage, Swedish massage, Thai massage, fusion massage, and hot stone massage. Tea and snacks are served as part of the service. Hotel pick-up and drop-off services can be arranged.

Ylang Ylang Spa Massage Experience in Hoi An

463 reviews

4. Go on a walking food tour at night (from USD 32.0)

Looking for an activity that you can do at night while in Hoi An? Bring your appetite with you as you go on an evening walking food tour. The activity starts with sampling local dishes and street food from some food stalls and a local market. You will then be brought to a cafe to wash down what you ate with some Vietnamese coffee. From there, you will go to a local house to try some more local dishes and learn about life in Hoi An. Once you have your fill of food and stories, get on a boat to release some floral garlands on the river. Cap the day off with some traditional Vietnamese games. The tour runs for four hours.

Hoi An Evening Walking Food Tour

Duration: 4 Hrs Duration

39 reviews

5. Enjoy a romantic sunset dinner cruise (from USD 39.0)

enjoy a romantic sunset dinner cruise

Hoi An is a city of romance, and the best way to experience its romantic atmosphere is through a sunset dinner cruise along Bon and Hoai Rivers. Guests will be given a cocktail and a snack while on board. As the boat gently runs on the river, guests can witness the sky change in multiple hues as the sun sets. Dinner consists of fresh seafood and wine. Tropical fruit is also served as dessert.

Hoi An: Romantic Sunset Dinner Cruise

Duration: 2 hour

1 review

6. Admire the superb piece of architecture at Assembly Hall Of Fujian Chinese

Assembly Hall of the Fujian Chinese
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Arian Zwegers used under CC BY 2.0

Assembly Hall Of Fujian Chinese is a UNESCO Heritage Site and features ornate decor associated with Chinese structures. As the name suggests, it serves as a gathering place of Fujian Chinese who migrated to or are visiting Hoi An. Much of the structure is devoted to Mazu (known by her Cantonese name, Thien Hau), the goddess of the sea and protector of sailors and fishermen. If possible, try to schedule your visit to Hoi An in time for the Chinese festival so you can see the temple in its full glory. The assembly hall is also decorated with figures from Chinese mythology.

Assembly Hall Of Fujian Chinese

Address: 46 Tran Phu, Cam Chau, Hoi An, Quang Nam, Vietnam

Opening hours: 7am - 5pm (daily)

7. Visit the historical Tan Ky Old House

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Built during the 18th century, Tan Ky Old House is one of the most well-preserved homes in the Old Quarter of Hoi An Ancient Town. It has been maintained by several generations of the family whose members still live on the second floor of the house. What makes this house a standout is its distinctive design featuring influences from Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese culture. Aside from that, this beautiful house also serves as a reminder of when these three ethnicities used to live together in the same community.

Tan Ky Old House

Address: 101 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Minh An Ward, Hoi An, Quang Nam, Vietnam

Website: Tan Ky Old House

Opening hours: 8:30am - 5:45pm (daily)

8. Learn the art of pottery making at Thanh Ha Pottery Village

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Thanh Ha Pottery Village is a small village just outside the Old Quarter of Hoi An. Visiting here will make you feel as though you were transported back in time with its slow-paced life to that of Hoi An. Since most of the households produce pottery, guests can get first-hand experience of how to make pots and dishes. Although you will not be able to take it home, you can buy one or more of the different pieces being sold by the shops in the village. You can either reach the village by bike or on foot if you have the strength to walk for a few hours.

Thanh Ha Pottery Village

Address: Pham Phan, Thanh Ha, Hoi An, Quang Nam, Vietnam

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

9. Learn more about life in Hoi An at Museum of Folk Culture

Museum of Folk Culture
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Gary Todd used under CC0

Museum of Folk Culture aims to give visitors insights into what life is like for the locals of Hoi An. The museum features different facets of their culture: one section of the museum highlights farming and fishing techniques and traditions; another portion showcases the various handicrafts and arts produced by the artisans in and outside the city. Souvenirs are sold here if you want some authentic products of Hoi An to bring home. Do be aware that the steps going up the museum are somewhat steep, so getting to and from there may be challenging for those who have mobility issues.

Museum of Folk Culture

Address: 3 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Minh An Ward, Hoi An, Quang Nam, Vietnam

Opening hours: 7am - 9:30pm (daily)

10. Discover Vietnam's ethnic tribes at Precious Heritage Art Gallery Museum

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Precious Heritage Art Gallery Museum was a labor-of-love project of Réhahn Croquevielle, a French photographer who took pictures of the recognized ethnic groups of Vietnam years ago. To date, he has photographed 49 and still in the process of gaining the necessary permissions to visit and photograph the remaining tribes. The results of his efforts are exhibited in this museum. While most of the items on display are his photographs, there are also costumes and other cultural artifacts donated by some tribe members. Visiting this place is a must if you want to learn more about the different ethnic groups of Vietnam.

Precious Heritage Art Gallery Museum

Address: 26 Phan Boi Chau Street, Cam Chau, Hoi An, Quang Nam, Vietnam

Website: Precious Heritage Art Gallery Museum

Opening hours: 8am - 8pm (daily)

Price: Free

11. Attend a traditional painting class (from USD 20.0)

This activity is perfect for art lovers, regardless of whether or not you have had experience in painting. The instructor will teach guests how to paint and do calligraphy using traditional Vietnamese techniques. Part of the lesson will cover how the Vietnamese watercolor painting style differs from the Western approach. Guests will be able to bring home their outputs. Tea is included in the package. The lesson takes approximately two hours.

Traditional Painting Class

Duration: 2 hours

12. Participate in authentic yoga classes (from USD 7.0)

This is the perfect activity for those who want to take the first step to improve their physical and mental health. The teacher, who hails from India, teaches traditional hatha and ashtanga yoga. The instructor is focused on teaching his students the importance of health, so you don’t need to worry about following certain poses. In fact, he customizes classes to fit the fitness and health level of his students so you can have fun stretching and doing other exercises. Mats, towels, and even water are provided by the host.

Authentic yoga classes in Hoi An, Vietnam

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

13. Watch a puppet show under a water pavilion (from USD 8.0)

Water puppetry is one of the traditional art forms associated with Vietnam, and this activity allows guests to witness it themselves. The show usually starts at 6:30 pm and takes between 40 and 60 minutes. While the narration provided is in Vietnamese, the story is simple enough to follow even for those who do not speak the language. Kids and adults alike will enjoy watching various shows on the surface of the water.

Skip the Line: Hoian Water Puppet Show Entrance Ticket

Duration: 45 minutes

14. Visit Hoi An Ancient Town

HOI AN VIETNAM FEB 2012 (6859713268)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user calflier001 used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Old Town has lot of well-preserved timber-framed buildings with brick or wooden walls. There are architectural monuments, pagodas, traditional family houses, and more. The town served as a port in ancient times and Hoi An is a perfect example of a well–preserved Asian trading port. You can relax in the street-side cafes dotting the narrow streets and enjoy amazing Vietnamese food in this part of town. Enjoy the lanterns that come alive with bright lights during the night, spend some time by the Thu Bon River watching the boats, or, even better, hire a paddler and spend the evening paddling down the river.

Bóng nắng #hoian #quangnam #oldtown #hoianancienttown

A photo posted by T o a n D u o n g A ♻️ (@toanduonga) on

15. Take a bike tour around the city (44 USD)

take a bike tour around the city

As mentioned above, the best way to see the entire town of Hoi An is on a bike. Book this whole day combo boat and bicycle tour in Hoi An. From an hour boat trip on the Song Thu river to the 23 km (15 miles) cycling across the countryside, feel the adrenaline rush and turn your stress into mist as you delight your senses with fresh cool breeze and verdant surroundings. Have a relaxing encounter with nature, walk over unusual floating bridges and visit local crafts and workshops. It’s the perfect location to have lunch with a local family. The activity is joined by a French or English-speaking guide (based on your preference). It does not cover for drinks and insurance so please make your own arrangements.

There is also the Hoi An Free Tour, which is primarily provided by local university students. You can check out the villages and rice fields and learn more about the area through experience, enjoying something that no guidebook will be able to give you. It is totally free; the volunteer students only want to practice some English in exchange for showing you around the beautiful place. You only just have to pay for the ferry (20,000 VND / 1 USD) and a small donation to support the local community (approximately 30,000 VND / 1.5 USD).

Take a bike tour around the city

Price: 44 USD

Duration: 9 Hours

16. Cook with a local and visit the market by boat (25 USD)

cook with a local and visit the market by boat

Experience what it’s like to be local in Vietnam. Dive into the life, culture, and food passions of a local host as she provides you with practical hands-on lessons on how to cook like a real Vietnamese! Begin by visiting the market by boat to buy the ingredients. You will surely appreciate the fresh produce bringing local flavours to the dish. Then, head back to her home where she will share with you not only her step-by-step cooking techniques but also an insight into the life of a local. Most importantly, you will never go hungry as you cherish the moment eating together surrounded by gorgeous riverside scenery. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn the secrets to cooking authentic Vietnamese food.

Cook with a local and visit the market by boat

Price: 25 USD

Duration: 4 hours

냠🍽 #베트남 #hoian #호이안 #조식 #브런치 #먹스타그램 #에그베네딕트

A photo posted by 👀 (@ujzzz) on

17. Shop at Hoi An Night Market

Buy some amazing handicraft and silk scarves at the night market
Source: Pixabay

Hoi An has some scope for those who love picking up locally-made handicrafts from whichever place they travel. So, if you are looking to buy a signature silk lantern of Hoi An, head to the night market, open every day from 5 pm until 11 pm at the An Hoi Peninsula. Apart from lanterns, you can buy handmade jewelry, traditional clothes, and ethnic handicraft items, to name just a few.

Hoi An Ancient Town - Vietnam #hoian #hoianancienttown #travel #vietnam #photooftheday

A photo posted by V õ H o à n g C á t T i ê n (@cattien_vo) on

18. Relax at An Bang Beach

An Bang
Source: Photo by user sweet_redbird used under CC BY-SA 2.0

An Bang Beach is only a short distance from the Old Town, and it is a great place to chill out and relax. This is the perfect setting to relax, the backdrop of a perfect holiday. You can reach this beach via bike. The white sandy beach is very inviting, as are the azure waters. You can also visit An Bang Seaside Village, which is just the right setting for couples as well as families. You can stay at the homestay accommodation to get a local experience of a stay at Hoi An.

19. Visit the Japanese Covered Bridge

Hoi An, Vietnam, Japanese Covered Bridge
Source: Photo by user rapidacid used under CC BY 2.0

Symbolic of Hoi An’s past, this bridge was constructed by the Japanese community that was living in Hoi An. It is said that no trip to Hoi An is complete without a mandatory picture of this bridge. It was initially built to reach the Chinese quarters across the stream. The roof was intended to shelter the people during sun and rain, a very thoughtful touch! This bridge is now the official symbol of Hoi An.

20. Enjoy Kim Bong Carpentry Village

Three Heads in Kim Bong
Source: Photo by user Dragfyre used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Kim Bong Woodworking / Carpentry Village is located in Cam Kim commune of Hoi An. It is noted for its traditional woodwork and carpentry. The carpentry village is quite popular among tourists who like to stay away from the touristy part of the town. This village is located about 10 minutes across from the town of Hoi An, and it is accessible by boat. Here, visitors can see first-hand carpentry traditions that are used to make unique and sophisticated products.

21. Visit the Old House of Phung Hung

Phung Hung old house 2 (inside)
Source: Photo by user Khương Việt Hà used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Located just a few feet from the Japanese Covered Bridge, you might notice the wide entrance hall that is decorated with embroidery, exquisite wall hangings, and beautiful lanterns. This is the old house of Phun Hung. For those who would like to get a taste of the olden living style, this house is a must-visit. The house is still being lived in by a Chinese family, the Tran family to be precise, and it is very well-looked after. You can ask for an English or French speaking guide to know more about the house. It is open every day from 8.30 am until 6 pm. Entry to the heritage house is one of the options included in the ticket for the Old Town Heritage Area.

22. Time your trip for a festival

Festival Time!
Source: Pixabay

The Full Moon Festival is held once a month, on the 14th day of every lunar month. You can take a boat (it will cost you about 70,000 VND / approximately 3 USD). Also referred to as the lantern festival, it is a tradition that has been held for a long time. The entire town shuts off its lights, stops the traffic, and beautiful lanterns are allowed to fly high in the air. You will be awestruck by the candles, lanterns, and the large gatherings.

Another festival to look out for is the Dragon Festival, or the Mid-Autumn Festival, that is held once a year. You can hear drum beats every day of the week before, when children practice for their performance on the big night. The main participants are children, and the festival is a gesture of gratitude to the moon.

23. Book a lantern making workshop (18 USD)

book a lantern making workshop

The Lantern Festival is Hoi An’s most beautiful spectacle. The tradition of decorating the town of Hoi An with colourful lanterns started in the late 16th century during the Chinese and Japanese settlements. Lanterns are lit up along the streets and set into the river as offerings to the God of their lands and to their ancestors. This tradition is still carried today every month on the eve of the full moon.

Join this workshop with one of Hoi An’s respected lantern makers. Learn about making paper lanterns and literally make your own! From building the structure into your chosen design, assembling the paper to the finishing touches, you will surely walk away with a charming lantern to cherish forever. Don’t worry, the lantern is collapsible, so you can conveniently carry it during your trip. This is also a fantastic way to understand Vietnamese culture and engage with the locals.

Book a lantern making workshop

Price: 18 USD

Duration: 2 hours

24. Go fishing with an old local (22 USD)

go fishing with an old local

In Hoi An, enjoying the town’s many river ways is always a must. If you can pick only one river tour, do not hesitate to go on a fishing trip with a local down the Thu Bon River, an important water stream and the main source of livelihood for the residents of the town. Escape the stresses of city life and experience breathtakingly panoramic views of Kim Dong countryside. Immense in the life of local and learn how they preserve their traditions and culture, using traditional fishing methods, mending fishing nets and using wooden fishing boats. Enjoy the fishing and appreciate the amount of hard work and skills involved. Finally, satiate your tummy with light dishes from your catch. It’s surely a perfect getaway!

Go fishing with an old local

Price: 22 USD

Duration: 3 hours

25. Learn a new skill with this bamboo root crafting class (20 USD)

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

In East Asian culture, bamboo signifies longevity, friendship and vitality, a sacred barrier against evil. No wonder bamboo is commonly used as decorations in Asian homes. Let loose of your creativity and join this wonderful and authentic bamboo sculpting experience. No amount of experience is necessary. Under the skilful eye of our bamboo artist Huynh Phuong Do, carve and create intricate works on bamboo roots. Work your way using chisel and sandpaper. You will be pleasantly surprised of the masterpiece you have created! Listen to your host as he shares a bit of history and his love for the craft.

Bamboo root crafting class

Price: 20 USD

Duration: 2 hours

Splurge and enjoy!

Vietnam is one place where you can become instant millionaires; the Vietnamese Dong has such a low exchange value that everything runs in millions! So, have fun being a millionaire for a few days, if you aren’t one already!

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