Guide to Discovering Charm in Hoi An, Vietnam

Advisor - Laurel Utsman
Curated By

Laurel Utsman

Icon Share


  • International Travel

  • Vietnam

  • Digital Nomad Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Solo Travel

  • Local Culture

  • Sightseeing

  • Local Cuisine

Buildings next to streets during daytime
Curator’s statement

Hoi An is one of Vietnam's many treasures, and it doesn't take long to fall in love with this charming little town. It's like being in a dream, wandering through colorful lantern-lined streets and beautifully blended architecture from centuries past. There's a certain magic that I've only experienced in Hoi An. It's hard to describe, but once you visit, I'm confident you'll leave with the same undefinable feeling and memories that will bring a smile to your face.

The Fora Difference

Book with Laurel to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

[object Object]
Killer perks

Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you

[object Object]
Personalized recs

Customized travel planning for your style

[object Object]
Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay in Hoi An, Vietnam

Previous slide

Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An

Sprawling luxury resort with a sophisticated vibe on the shores of Hoi An Beach.

Fora Perks
  • When you book Four Seasons through Fora, you will enjoy exclusive Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits. Your advisor will be pleased to give you more details.

Anantara Hoi An Resort

Upscale French colonial-style hotel boasting a high-end restaurant and sleek rooms in Hoi An.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Silk Sense Hoi An River Resort

Riverside resort with an organic garden and year-round pool overlooking the Hoi An River.

Next slide
Advisor - Laurel Utsman

Unlock perks by contacting Laurel to book your trip.

Things to do in Hoi An, Vietnam

Woman riding a bike next to yellow buildings during daytime

- Head to the Beach: Enjoy a relaxing day at the beach, find that perfect spot to hang out and grab a drink. If you are lucky, you might see windsurfers and coconut fishing boats. I would recommend going to An Bang Beach.

- Explore Old Town: Spend the day exploring the beautiful old town. Explore the many picture-perfect buildings, stroll by the river, discover the Cau temple, experience the markets or simply find a cafe to enjoy the view. Make sure to come back at night to experience the city in a whole new light.

- Bike Around Town: Hop on a bike to soak in the countryside or bike through the old town. If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, I would recommend biking to the beach, it’s about 6km to get there, but the scenery along the route is beautiful.

- Join a Lantern Making Class: Learn to make a traditional Vietnamese lantern from artisans who have been practicing the techniques for generations.

- Experience Lantern Boats at Night: When the sun goes down, head to the Thu Bon river to watch or take a boat out on the Thu Bon river for colorful views of the city. The reflections of the lanterns in the water with the ripples of colors make it surreal.
*Tip: Avoid buying and releasing the floating paper lanterns/ candles. Though beautiful, they create lots of pollution in the river. Also note that it does get crowded by the river as night falls, so if you plan on taking a boat ride, get there earlier to beat the crowd and be prepared to be approached by people for boat rides.

- Get Custom Made Clothing: A Hoi An must, is getting custom-made clothing from a tailor shop. You will need at least two days for the design process and fittings. It's a great experience to be part of the process and fulfill your designer dreams or closet goals.
*Tips about tailor shops: There are many tailor shops in Hoi An, and it can be overwhelming to choose where to go. I recommend researching beforehand or visiting a couple of shops to see which is best for you. If you are looking for a reliable and quality tailor and want a suggestion, I would recommend BeBe tailor for your first time. They have multiple locations and are very attentive to the fit and satisfaction.

When it comes to tailor shops, there are individuals who will approach you to get you to go to their shop, don't feel pressured into following them or buying anything you don't want. It's okay to say “no thank you” in a stern voice.

Typically, I would recommend asking a local for shop recommendations, but in this case, I would be cautious of who you ask. There are many businesses, employees and individuals who work with shops to get a commission for sending customers to them.

Where to shop in Hoi An

- Reaching Out Teahouse: When traveling, I love supporting local businesses that have a mission. Reaching Out provides opportunities for people with disabilities by helping them learn skills and employment while selling beautiful collections of artisan products.

- Sunday in Hoi An: If you are anything like me, you have a list of gifts you need to buy for people back home from your travels. This adorable shop has an amazing selection of products made by local artisans from handicraft villages in Vietnam.

Day trip from Hoi An, Vietnam

Take a day tip to visit My Son Sanctuary. My Son is a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site constructed from the 4th to the 13th century. It’s about an hour west of Hoi An and can be visited solo by a private driver or motorbike, or there are multiple tour options you can join.

Places to eat & drink in Hoi An, Vietnam

Woman sitting outside an orange building under a tree

-Nourish Eatery: My favorite digital nomad spot in Hoi An, with amazing food and a relaxing atmosphere, you can’t go wrong coming here.

-Bánh Mì Phượng: Channel your inner Anthony Bourdain and experience the legendary Bánh Mì. The perfect place to try it for the first time, and they also offer vegetarian options too, so vegetarians won't have to miss out on this incredible sandwich.

Com Linh: Delicious Vietnamese food with dishes you can only get in Hoi An, like the white rose dumplings.

MIX Greek Restaurant: If by chance, you need a break from Vietnamese food, which is rare, they have a great menu and tasty pita and tzatziki.

Drinks & Treats in Hoi An

Reaching Out Teahouse: A traditional tea house with a focus on bettering others by employing local individuals with disabilities. They offer a peaceful escape from the street crowds, with delicious biscuits and a great selection of tea.

Mót Hội An: Don't be intimidated by the crowds surrounding this little tea shop. Mót tea is definitely worth the craze. It is the perfect refreshing drink to replenish and refuel you during a big day of walking.

Sound of Silence Coffee Shop: The views don’t get any better than in this oceanfront café, with beach access from the seating area, straight to the sand. It's the perfect spot to relax, drink a coconut coffee and watch the waves.

Bill Coffee + Tea: Perfectly blends a traditional Vietnamese café with low seating stools and tables with a modern flare.

LAGOM: Need a sweet treat or drink from a tiring day at the beach or strolling around old town? LAGOM has some of the best selections of desserts and sweets, with gluten-free and vegan options.

92 Station Restaurant and Café: The best rooftop cafe Hoi An with the best views to watch the sun go down over ceramic tiled roofs.

Need to Know

Travel Tips:

- The closest airport to Hoi An is Da Nang International Airport which takes approximately 45 minutes to drive. Don't stress about transportation. Your hotel can arrange for airport pickup.

- Once you arrive at the airport, I suggest purchasing a SIM card. My recommendation is to purchase Viettel.

- The most vital app to have on your phone during your trip to Vietnam is the Grab app. It’s like having Uber, Uber Eats, and Venmo all in one, making it super convenient and easy to use.

- Make sure to check the weather in Vietnam before planning your trip. Southeast Asia is notorious for its hot and monsoon seasons, which vary in different regions of Vietnam.

If you are curious about traveling to Vietnam or have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out, I’d love to help you experience the magic of Vietnam.

Advisor - Laurel Utsman

Travel Advisor

Laurel Utsman

Get in touch with Laurel

Did you like this guide? Reach out to customize and book your own experience. Or, just to chat about travel in general.

You can normally expect a response from Laurel within a business day or so. You’ll also be subscribed to our travel newsletter (you can unsubscribe at any time).