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One of the most popular destinations on the Southeast Asia backpacking trail is Hoi An in Vietnam. This beautiful and relaxing city ticks so many boxes that you’ll want to stay forever. If you’re wondering how many days to spend in Hoi An, it’s best to give yourself time to slowly explore the place and just chill out. For this reason, I spent 4 days here and have compiled together this Hoi An itinerary to help you make the most out of your time in Hoi An.
Wondering where to stay in Hoi An or how to get to Hoi An? Check out my travel guide for more information about visiting Hoi An.
HOI AN ITINERARY
Day One in Hội An Vietnam
1. Queen Banh Mi
First on the Hoi An itinerary is FOOD! If like me, you’ve arrived in Hoi An straight off the bus you’ll probably want to grab some food. Or you might’ve just got off the plane! Danang International Airport is close to Hoi An, with a short distance from Hoi An to Danang of just 29km. There are lots of amazing places to get Banh Mi in Hoi An, so start off by trying one of the best at Queen Banh Mi.
2. Wander Around Hoi An Old Town
Old Town Hoi An is a UNESCO world heritage site so is definitely a must see in Hoi An. The area is almost all pedestrianised so you can easily wander around here. There’s plenty to see here including Chinese temples, pagoda, wooden shops and the old Japanese bridge.
3. Head for Dinner at Bamboo
You can find this restaurant opposite Tribee Kinh Hostel. The food is of course reasonably priced, with a great selection of local and western food. One of the must dos in Hoi An is to try Cao Lao, a noodle dish unique to the city.
4. Attend a Free Spring Roll Making Class
Tribee Kinh hostel is a great option of accommodation in Hoi An. They offer different activities every night, open to both guests and non-guests, one of which is free spring roll making. You make your own fresh and fried spring rolls to enjoy afterwards.
5. Explore Hoi An Night Market
This is one of the most popular and well renowned night markets in Southeast Asia and for good reason. The colours and the atmosphere are so addictive, you’ll want to keep coming back every night. It should definitely be top of your Hoi An things to do list! There’s so many stalls with food and souvenir options as well as brightly lit lanterns everywhere. If you fancy treating yourself, why not try a boat ride along the Thu Bon river?!
Day Two in Hội An Vietnam
1. Grab ‘Packed Lunch’ at Phi Banh Mi
Day two on the Hoi An itinerary is a beach day, so head to Phi Banh Mi and grab a takeaway sandwich to take to the beach with you. This place offers avocado for an extra 5000 VND (15p!)
2. Cycle to the Hidden Beach
When researching what to do in Hoi An I didn’t expect to come across a beach, in fact there are three! The Hidden Beach is one of the best places to visit in Hoi An as it’s a lot less busier, so the ideal place for a relaxing beach day.
You should be able to find lots of places to hire cheap bicycles around the city. Cycling to the beach is much quicker and more fun! If you use your phone map to take the walking directions to Hidden Beach you will go through the rice paddies – more enjoyable than just taking the main road. It takes around 20 minutes to cycle from Hoi An old town to Hidden Beach.
Bike parking and beach chairs are free at this Hoi An beach, and the sea is the perfect temperature to relax and cool off. There’s also a little shop to get drinks and snacks from, so you can spend as long as you like relaxing in this little corner of hidden Hoi An.
3. Enjoy a Family Dinner at Your Hostel
If you are looking for the best place to stay in Hoi An look no further than Love.ly hostel. This is the best hostel I’ve ever stayed at! The staff there were lovely and made it really feel like home. They offered family dinners here which are the best, and most relaxed way to meet other travellers, especially great if you’re solo travelling.
At Love.ly they often got us involved with preparing the food. It’s also delicious local options and for me it’s the perfect way to socialise and make new friends. For more about this amazing hostel read my Hoi An travel guide.
4. Grab Dessert at Hoi An Night Market
There are so many different street food stands at the Hoi An night market selling all sorts of sweet options. My favourites were ice cream rolls, coconut cakes and crepes.
Day Three in Hội An Vietnam
1. Have an Outfit Custom Made
This activity certainly wasn’t something I expected to include in my backpacking / Hoi An itinerary!
Hoi An has become some sort of a tailoring ‘mecca’ over the years. Getting clothes made certainly wasn’t on my list of things to do in Hoi An, but when everyone else at the hostel seemed to be getting it done I thought I’d treat myself. There are so many different tailors to choose from, I went to Five Seasons which was really good. Most places will be able to get you measured, then make, fit and adjust your clothes in 24-36 hours. I got these two pieces made for 50USD.
2. Have Lunch at the Banana Tree Café
This little place is found in the Hoi An old town, overlooking the river. They sold amazing cheese creps and lemon juice.
3. Try Your Hand at Lantern Making
The Lantern Lady is around a 10 minute walk from Banana Tree, still in old town Hoi An. If is slightly hidden so look out for Thai Kitchen – it’s on the street opposite this! Lantern making starts at 90,000 VND (£3) and takes around 1-1.5 hours. The lady who ran the class was lovely and so patient – which is needed when you have an artistically challenged student like me! It was one of my favourite things to do in Hoi An and a great addition to any Hoi An itinerary.
4. Dinner at Kho Tai Quong
This little place is more on the ‘hidden Hoi An map’ but this makes it all the more cheaper! It’s found on a side street behind the night market with equally amazing staff and food. I had a great veggie Cao Lau for less than £1!
Day Four in Hội An Vietnam
1. Nia Fruit and Juice Bar
The final day of my Hoi An itinerary kicks off at this little juice bar in Hoi An old town. They have a massive range of fruit juices to choose from, I really recommend guava juice! It’s in the ideal location to people watch, enjoy your drink and write in a journal.
2. Take a Walk Along the Thu Bon River
Most visitors will only see the river running through Hoi An old town in the evening when they’re visiting the night market, but it’s a lovely place to wander in the day when it’s much quieter. Take a walk up and down, checking out all the little shops as you go.
3. Enjoy a Vegan Lunch at Ba Dam
If, like me, you are leaving in the early evening for a night bus, you will want to be well fed before your journey. Bam Dam is an amazing VEGAN(!!) buffet restaurant that shouldn be marked on your map of Hoi An! It’s so cheap and so delicious, I tried three different things and a juice and it came to under £2!!!
4. Grab a Snack for the Road at Bahn Mi Phuong
Offering supposedly the best Bahn Mi in Vietnam, Bahn Mi Phuong is definitely a must do in Hoi An! There is always has a queue outside but with a great variety of delicious sandwiches available at amazing prices, it’s easy to see why. Grab a sandwich to take on you onward journey – it definitely makes the long hours on the road easier, trust me.
5. Leaving Hội An Vietnam
I couldn’t round off a Hoi An itinerary without helping you with your onward journey. If you are travelling north you are likely going to Hue. You can get here by taking the Hue to Hoi An bus which is around a 3 hour journey, or opt for the scenic Hi Van Pass on a motorbike. If you don’t fancy driving yourself you could look at getting an Easy Rider from Hoi An to Hue. If you are travelling south your next destination is likely Nha Trang or Da Lat. The bus from Hoi An to Dalat takes around 12 hours overnight.
Hopefully this Hoi An itinerary is helpful to any budding Hoi An traveller. There’s so much to love about this city and I think this itinerary really showcases the best things to do in Hoi An. For more on Hội An Vietnam, check out my travel guide. Enjoy your visit!
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