One day in Hoi An – Where should we go?

This had not been the first time I travel alone, but that feeling is truly different. Because this was the first time I slept on coach both outward and return way for 4 days. I and my friend departed very early – 7:30 a.m, every day, Hanh cafe has only a trip from Nha Trang to Hoi An. After a long night, I set my foot for the first time…

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This had not been the first time I travel alone, but that feeling is truly different. Because this was the first time I slept on coach both outward and return way for 4 days. I and my friend departed very early – 7:30 a.m, every day, Hanh cafe has only a trip from Nha Trang to Hoi An. After a long night, I set my foot for the first time in Hoi An at 7am. How beautiful the weather was! Hoi An just stopped raining so it was not sunny but very cool. Not being hesitate any longer, I just started one day in Hoi An

A sunset in hoi an
Sparkling Hoi An at sunset

As soon as I got off, I was very surprised by the friendliness of Hoi An people. When we only asked some vague questions “where is Hai Ba Trung street?”, there was a woman waiting for picking up her relative showed us fervently “it’s very close, you just went straight to the 2nd intersection, then you would see Hai Ba Trung”. Both of us thanked profusely, how friendly Hoi An people were!
Arriving to the hotel we booked before, just as we laid luggage in our room, we went to the Ancient Town immediately. We asked receptionist if they had a map, he showed the small map on the back of the hotel’s name card. We went following the map, did not think that Hoi An is small like that.

one day in hoi an walking round the streets
One day walking round the ancient town

Before starting the one day trip in Hoi An, we decided recharge energy. We went out for dishes which were consulted experience of predecessors, seniors. Firstly, referring to Hoi An, we had to mention two specialties that could not but eat namely is Cao Lau vermicelli and Quang Noodle. Two of us decided to eat Quang Noodle first, a small restaurant located in the junction of Tran Cao Van Street and Thai Phien street. To be honest, I didn’t really like Quang noodle because I ate this dish once in Saigon and it killed my first impression of it. However, when the caterer brought two bowls of noodles to us, they looked quite attractive with vegetables, I love vegetables :). Start eating … oh, So delicious! The taste was different from in Saigon so we had finished in only few minutes. Although we still wanted to eat more, both of us were full already, resigned ourselves to back to eat at the evening.

While eating, we took advantage of asking the way to the Ancient town, then met another friendly person “you just covered this road to the riverside, then turned right, that is to arrive”. When we ordered to pay, she said “20 thousand”, that means 10 thousand a bowl. Both of us were pop-eyed because we thought that we misheard so must ask twice. How cheap it is!

After eating fully, to keep our one day trip going on, we went straight to the Ancient town following the instructions of the woman eating next to us before. We found out that everything in Hoi An is ancient: restaurants, sewing stores, souvenir shops, even committee offices, airplane ticket offices are also antique, signs and doors are made from wood, the walls are painted a light yellow color of nostalgia, there was a tree rig of dodder seedlings often planted in front of porch, drooping looks very nice.

Hoi an tan ky old house
This house still remains the old features in its furniture

Two sides of the Ancient Town is separated by a river, with a quite famous bridge crossing the river in Hoi An, also called Chua bridge with mainly Japanese architecture.

Chua bridge in hoi an
The beautiful Chua Bridge in Hoi An at the evening

Walking around to take pictures, a tofu peddler invited us. I am addicted to this dish from when being in Saigon so I decided to try Hoi An tofu to feel the difference between it and Saigon tofu. According to me, Hoi An tofu is not only not as tasty as Saigon tofu, but also more expensive than it. But if you want to try, you will feel that the difference between tofu here and tofu in SG is that Hoi An tofu is cooked with molasses rather than white sugar. There is a tip not to be over charged is ordering a bowl priced VND 5000 before eating, if not it will be priced up to VND 7000.

Because of having just one day in Hoi An, we can not miss Chua Bridge which is the famous icon of this ancient city. Then were known that ticket was VND 120000 one person for visiting 6 locations….In general, the price of the famous nationwide tourism place was quite OK. Therefore, we bought tickets to visit. Although, Hoi An tourism was win many praise, but there was an inevitable problem that tour guides in Hoi An cared only for foreign tourists.

At noon, we decided to eat rice at lunchtime to be full and were going to eat chicken rice – a famous dish here, following the address written in notebook, two of us found out Ba Buoi chicken rice restaurant at Phan Chu Trinh street, this restaurant is complimented abundantly on Tre Tho website. Two plates of hot chicken rice served looked delicious and it were also very affordable with VND 35000 a plate.

one day in hoi an trip with a delicious chicken rice dish at lunch
Recharge your energy with a delicious chicken rice at lunch
ba buoi is the famous restaurant with chicken rice
Ba Buoi is the famous chicken rice restaurant in Hoi An

After finishing, we went back the hotel, by the way intended to buy ticket nearby Hanh Café to go back Nha Trang, we found a ticket office of Quang Hanh then dropped in there to ask price. The price offered was lower by VND 10.000 a ticket, so we bought immediately, nevertheless; the coach would depart sooner – 6:15 a.m and there was only one trip to Nha Trang per day too. Which made me wonder if this was a trick of the tourism in Hoi An to keep tourists stay with her more than one day.

After going out of the hotel, we rent a bike to go to Tra Que Vegetable village. This place was a little far so we could not walk so paying VND 20000 to rent a bike. Two of us had intends to pay advance but the owner refused, and allowed us to take it, as well as no need collateral. We asked “Wasn’t you afraid that we steal that bike?” then he replied a cute answer “it would not too that bad”.

Unfortunately, because arriving at noon so we could not see the spectacle of people here pick vegetables in the morning to sell at market. Vegetables in Tra Que vegetable village are distinctly delicious and the taste is also different from that in other areas, which may be created by the land here.

Then we ran to Thanh Ha Pottery Village. This site was further, we pedalled ourselves paining. Next, we back down to the Ancient Town again before leaving Hoi An back to Nha Trang and enjoyed Hoi An vermicelli to end the one day in Hoi An trip.

Hoi an vermicelli
Hoi An is also famous for its vermicelli

We expected to return next time in a full- moon day, the most crowded and happiest day in Hoi An. At that time people will drop flower garlands and colored lanterns, sing and dance folk music, hang decorative multi-colored lanterns covering the Town replacing electricity lights. And I’m sure that once I get back, I will stay with Hoi An longer than just one day. See you on that day!

flower lantern dropping festival in hoi an
The romantic flower lanterns dropping festival in Hoi An is held every year

Shared by Kieu Diem

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13 thoughts on “One day in Hoi An – Where should we go?

  1. Hi, we are coming over from the UK next week and have 14 nights in Hoi An. If anyone has any “must do” trips to recommend or places to eat/drink we would be really grateful for any help, thanks

    1. Not sure why you will spend 14 days in Hoi An? It is no longer the quint village that it used to be but now over crowed with tourists and certainly not as enjoyable that it was in the past. There are many other locations in Vietnam that are now so much more enjoyable to visit.

  2. I think with 14 nights in Hoi An is too much for you to explore. You can split these 14 days to discover all Da Nang and Hue.

    1. Thanks, we’re using Hoi An as a base as the wives like to chill by the pool and me and my mate can go off exploring up to and including a couple of hours radius. We then go to Hanoi for a week to do more sight seeing in that area. I get the 14 day thing but it’s a reasonable compromise to keep everyone happy

  3. Correct !!!! I will be returning in a few weeks for a couple of months, again, play it by ear, the people are beautiful and you can do as much or as little as you like, I would recommend you stay in town not at the beach because of more convenient options in town or close to, I stay at the Le Pavillon Boutique and Spa, a little out of town but walking distance and a nice quiet area at night, go and enjoy

  4. As you will be arriving in Danang, take a taxi and visit Marble Mountains on the way, or do it as a day trip from Hoi An. For a cheap excursion, do a day trip on the bus back to Danang and back, a 45-60 minute journey. Spend the day in Danang, and head back. You may even want to explore further north and do an overnight in Hue, then catch the train back the next day, about a 3 to 3&1/2 trip back along the coast, most scenic route in Vietnam by train.

  5. We spent 9 nights in Hoi An this year, after spending 5 nights in 2017. More and more people are using it as the relaxing holiday you/your wives are looking forward to. Sorry I can’t really help with day trips as we were only there for total relaxation, but you could look at, Ba Na Hills, My Son, Danang City, Cham Island, a lot of hotels will organise moped day trips, bike rides, boat rides on the river, Cooking classes. There is even a theme park, Vinapearl, just outside Hoi An now. But just wanted to reassure you about Hoi An as a base. Which hotel are you staying at?

  6. I have a flight to Danang and 5 nights available before an onward connection to Saigon. Is there enough going on in Hoi An to keep me occupied for all 4 days / 5 nights, or would I be better trying Danang for a couple of days. I’m middle aged, like the beach and local culture and don’t mind walking a lot (provided there are refreshments along the way).

  7. Hoi an is everyone’s favourite, there is beach, rice field and old town. Plenty of walking, we found it to be a little touristy still charming. You can do side trips from here to my son. Also Danang is only a short drive away. I don’t know much about Danang but to me it looked like a big commercial city as I drove through it

  8. Hoi an is everyone’s favourite… – Certainly not mine! I will no longer return to Hoi An as it is no longer the small, quaint village that it used to be. It is now over-run with tourists and touts. Better places to go in Vietnam that are not overrun with tourists.

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