Hoi An in is home to a small but beautiful Old Town located in the center of the tiny city, but it only takes about a day to see it. Here are some ideas for the rest of the time in town.
The majority of hotels and homestays in Hoi An are located at least a few steps outside the Old Town, which really isn’t a bad thing, given that restaurants and cafes outside the town center tend to be cheaper. Most accommodations will offer cheap bike rental as a way to get to the Old Town and explore the area.
About a 20 minute bike ride or a 5 minute taxi (about 70,000 dong) from the Old Town is An Bang beach, which was great for wading in the ocean and relaxing. The sunbeds/umbrellas aren’t free though, prepare to pay 40,000 dong to use one.
There’s several restaurants on the waterfront as well.
There is another beach at Hoi An called Cua Dai, which was actually closer to my homestay but (according to what I read from online reviews) is suffering from erosion, so it’s probably best to go to An Bang. An Bang also has a few accommodation options.
Closer to the Old Town (but still technically outside of it) is the Hoi An Museum. It recently moved locations, and is now located at 10B Tran Hung Dao Street.
The museum covers a bit of ground, displaying some Cham artifacts, old photographs of the town, and even some more recent war artifacts. The collection is small, however, and there’s little information in English. Normally the museum requires a fee or a punch on one of the 6 places in Hoi An the ticket covers, but the guard let me in anyway even though I had used up my ticket. I was glad I got lucky and was able to see the museum for free, but normally it does require a fee and it isn’t that impressive of a collection. In my opinion it’s a decent place to learn some of Hoi An’s history but can be skipped if you don’t want to spend the money. There were only a few other people looking at the collections besides me, which was nice.
The main thing I liked about the museum wasn’t actually in the museum itself, but actually the Sky Cafe at the top. I tried to get there by climbing up the stairs inside the museum but the door to the top floor was locked. Turns out I had to go downstairs and out to an elevator, then I took that to the cafe.
There were a lot of young Vietnamese people at the Sky Cafe but only a couple of other tourists, which felt strange since Hoi An has tons of tourists everywhere. It was kind of refreshing in a way to go somewhere geared more towards locals. Because of this it was also cheaper than the Old Town cafes.
Down the street from the History Museum is a Confucius Temple, which is free and was also almost empty when I was there.
Quite a few of the back streets outside the town center are worth a look either on foot or on a bike. While lots of tourist shops are around these areas, it still feels more local and less crowded than the Old Town.
My accommodation in Hoi An was Eden Homestay, which was a really nice place about a 10 minute walk from the main town. The room was a great deal on Agoda, about $20 USD per night for a large room with two beds for just me.
The staff was very nice and helpful, they will arrange tours outside the town and provide maps and tailor recommendations.
The breakfast and Vietnamese coffee were good and included in the room rate.
In this post and my previous post on things to do in Hoi An, I left out probably the most popular activity in Hoi An — getting clothes made at the tailor shops. I will discuss this in the next post.