Travel Guide

Hoi An, once known as Faifo, was a major international port in the 16th and 17th centuries, and the foreign influences are discernible to this day. While the serious shipping business has long since moved to Danang, the heart of the city is still the Old Town, full of winding lanes and Chinese-styled shophouses, which is particularly atmospheric in the evening as the sun goes down. While most all shops now cater to the tourist trade, unusually in Vietnam the area has been largely preserved as is and renovation has proceeded slowly and carefully, mercifully absent of towering concrete blocks and karaoke parlors.

The main thoroughfare in the Old Town is Tran Phu. Just south of the Old Town, across the Thu Bon River, are the islands of An Hoi and Cam Nam.

GETTING IN

By plane
The nearest airport is in Danang, which has frequent connections to Hanoi, Saigon and some flights to Bangkok, Singapore and Siem Reap, Cambodia (for Angkor Wat). A taxi from the airport to Hoi An costs about US$12-18 thanks to the cartel, but only about half that in the other direction.

By train
There is no railway station in Hoi An. The nearest is in Danang, from where there are several trains a day from Hanoi, Saigon, Hue, Nha Trang etc. Our hotel receptionists can book a train ticket for you.

By bus
Traveller buses run daily up and down the coast from Da Nang, Hue and Nha Trang. Note the road to Nha Trang is awful and the trip takes all day; it is much better to take a train. Sinh Cafes office is at 18A Hai Ba Trung st., just off Hai Ba Trung, and they charge US$3 for the trip to Hue (4 hours, twice daily).

By motorbike or taxi
It is easy to take a motorbike or taxi to and from Da Nang via the Marble Mountains (see below), from where you can catch a train onwards.

GETTING AROUND
The centre of Hoi An is very small and pedestrianised, so you will be walking around most of the time.

SEEING

Old town
Entry to all historical sites in Hoi An is via a coupon system, where US$5 gets you a ticket that can be used to enter five attractions: one museum, one family house, one Chinese meeting hall, the art performance theater and either the Japanese Covered Bridge or the Quan Kong Temple. Tickets are sold at various entry points into the Old Town, including Hai Ba Trung St.

Japanese Covered Bridge (Cau Nhat Ban or Lai Vien Kieu), on the west end of Tran Phu Street. Hoi An’s best-known landmark consists of a covered bridge and pagoda. The bridge was constructed in the early 1600′s by the Japanese community, roughly 40 years before they left the city to return to Japan under the strict policy of sakohu enforced by the Tokugawa Shogunate. Last renovated in 1986. Entry one coupon.

Museum of Trade Ceramics, 80 Tran Phu St. The dusty displays of broken pottery in this house are eminently forgettable, but the house itself is nice enough. Entry one coupon.

Phung Hung House, 4 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St (just west of the Japanese Bridge). Traditional two-story wooden house, inhabited over 100 years by eight generations – and the current one attempts to guide you around in hope of a tip. Entry one coupon.

Chinese meeting halls: Numerous congregation halls, where Chinese expatriate residents met and socialized, are dotted about the town. They are typically named after their home region, such as Fujian and Canton. Entry into any hall one coupon.

SHOPPING

Hoi An shopping is characterised by the traditional Vietnamese local markets, with more offerings of traditional craftsmanship and cultural souvenirs than is usually found elsewhere in the country. The range of merchandise available in Hoi An is more limited than other places in Vietnam, but highly regarded cultural souvenirs are more prominent here.
There’s no better place for a bit of shopping spree! You will find that wandering around the shops and Restaurants of Hoi An is the main joy of Hoi An, and browsing through the shops will occupy many pleasant hours. For general information about Hoian restaurant and Hoian shopping, please contact with This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it !

Hoi An Shopping Guide

Hoi An lanterns and tailor-made clothing are renowned throughout Vietnam. Hoi An is indeed well known for their shops, especially clothing shops. It is simply incredible what the tailors can make for the prices they charge. Most shops have the latest fashion catalogues, and you simply choose what you want, have a fitting and they set to work making it for you – often very quickly. Examples of prices are US$39 for a Cashmere suit, US$9 for trousers and so on, however be sure to haggle hard to get a great price.

You’ll find plenty of other souvenir shops in Hoian, especially shops selling paintings, wood carvings and the aforementioned paper lanterns, which are beautiful when lit up at night.

Buy

Made-to-measure shirts, blouses, dresses, suits etc. from the renowned tailors. When last counted in 2002, there were 140 shops in the city and the number is now well over 400. Be careful who you choose to manufacture your clothes. As a rule of thumb, give all tailors 2 days advance to prepare your garment and keep going back until you get your clothes right!

 

SLEEPING

 

Hotels in Hoi An are fiercely competitive, which means plenty of choice, low prices and generally high standards. Many are clustered around Hai Ba Trung St (formerly Nhi Trung Street), just north of the Old Town and within easy walking distance, and also along Cua Dai Street, off to the east and a bit of a hike away.

 

Most of Hoi An's high-end hotels are located along the unbroken beach stretching from Danang to Hoi An. Closest is Cua Dai Beach 5 km away.


GETTING OUT

My Son - Cham ruins in the jungle a few hours away (lots of agents offer day trips).

The Marble Mountains halfway to Da Nang are well worth a stop. The hills loom out of the surrounding coastal plain and feature a group of Buddhist temples built into caves – a popular pilgrimage site for locals. Make sure you wear walking shoes, as reaching many of the caves on the map require clambering over rocks and through crevices. An small entry fee applies and guides are available.


hoi an tailors
5 out of 5 stars - "A Dong Silk - hoian tailors." The best custom tailors in hoian.