The best tours in Hoi An

Created 25 May 2017
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Once a prominent Vietnamese trading port due to its proximity to the Thu Bon River, Hoi An’s sightseeing opportunities comprise traditional shops, ornate Buddhist temples, traditional markets, and interesting museums. 

Catering to just about any budget, group size, and interest, the following list of the most popular Hoi An Tours ranges from lantern-making and bamboo bicycle crafting workshops in Hoi An Ancient Town to full-day snorkeling and swimming excursions to Cu Lao Cham Marine Park.

Market boat tour & cooking class with local guide

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The Hoai River

 

If you are looking to sample some of the finest fare Vietnam offers, Hoi An makes for the ultimate gourmet getaway. 

During this course in your local guide’s house, make a tasty dish and take a boat ride to the market to shop for your ingredients.

Make your own way to Hoi An Riverside Resort & Spa as you join your local guide, Mrs. Pham, for a culinary adventure that starts at her home. 

At your host's riverside lodging, review the prepared menu and chat with her to figure out what you are interested in cooking. 

After deciding what to make, have a unique opportunity to visit the market by boat to buy fresh ingredients for the class.

Once you’re back from the market, Mrs. Pham teaches you how to make authentic Vietnamese food that truly represents the regional flavors loved by locals. 

During this unique experience, you get a closer look at daily life through Hoi An’s culinary culture.

Cham cultural heritage tour to My Son

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Discover UNESCO-listed My Son on this day tour from Hoi An. Explore more than 70 ancient Hindu temples and tombs constructed between 4 and 14 AD. Marvel at unique architectural designs and learn the history and culture of the people of Champa.

Begin your day with a hotel pickup and journey through the countryside, passing by seemingly idyllic villages and lush natural landscape. Finally, arrive at My Son, a cluster of ancient temples dedicated to the worship of the Hindu God Siva.

Walk around this vast complex of temples and wonder at the remnants of an extinct Asian civilization. Marvel at the intricate inscription details in Sanskrit. Listen to the historical account of the complex from your knowledgeable guide. See holy temples, stone relics, and other artifacts. Wander around this site that once was the religious and cultural center of the kingdom of Champa.

After a day full of discovery, your transfer brings you back to your hotel.

Hoi An countryside cycling excursion

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Take a trip away from the city and discover the fresh air of Hoi An's splendid countryside on this half-day bicycle tour. Ride along rice paddy-lined trails, see the beautiful sights of Cam Thanh village, and get the chance to learn local crafts such as crab catching and lantern making.

Begin your trip with a convenient pickup from your hotel, meet your guide, and get equipped with your bike and helmet. 

After a brief safety orientation, set off down the trail and enjoy the picturesque ride along gorgeous rows of serene rice paddy fields to the village of Cam Thanh. 

Admire the village's iconic thatched-roof cottages, woven using the large water coconut leaves from the surrounding forests.

Stop for an enjoyable meet-and-greet with a local family, where you have the unique opportunity to learn about the villagers' way of life straight from the source. 

Next, it's all aboard a traditional bamboo basket boat for a lesson on how to catch crabs from experts in the craft.

After a refreshing drink of fresh coconut water, continue cycling to a workshop where you have the chance to make Ha Linh lanterns. 

This hands-on master class has you creating stunning colorful lanterns that you can take home with you.

Marvel at the charming scenery one more time as you cycle back to the Post Office in Hoi An's town center.

Hidden secrets walking Tour

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Charming waterside walkways, landmark-lined footpaths, and central temples make Hoi An the perfect city to explore on foot. 

Stroll through a former trading port, pass by buildings steeped in history, and admire the city's breathtaking sights as you cruise down the Thu Bon River.

A convenient pickup from your hotel has you meeting your guide in downtown Hoi An in no time. Your expert guide describes the beautiful buildings and the city's turbulent history as you stroll along the avenues that make up the well-preserved ancient town. Get up-close views of famous landmarks including the Chua Ong Pagoda, built to honor the 3rd-century Chinese general Quan Cong.

As you continue through the city, founded as a 16th-century trading port for Chinese, Dutch, French, Japanese, Portuguese, and Arab merchants, you can stop at Phuc Kien Assembly Hall and see the Jinshang Temple, where residents can worship the goddess of the sea. 

Admire a multitude of restored buildings as you stroll to Tan Ky House, including an often-photographed 17th century bridge.

Before the ride back to your hotel, you can experience the best of the city from the water with an afternoon boat trip along the Thu Bon river, where you can learn more of the city's history as you float by.

Hoi An motorbike street food tour

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Discover a few of Hoi An's cherished street food dishes while riding around the Ancient Town on a motorbike. Marvel at the rich, ancient architecture between bites of unique Hoi An dishes—cao lau, Madam Phuong bread, and even a salad made from banana flowers.

Get picked up from your Hoi An hotel on a motorbike and take off on the centuries-old streets. Hang on to your friendly local guide as you cruise through ancient alleyways, on your way to discovering the most exquisite street food dishes in the city.

Travel to where the locals eat, and along the way come to appreciate the ancient architecture present in the longtime South-East Asian port town. Get closer to the everyday people of Vietnam, seeing how they live, work, and eat.

Sample street food includes:

Madam Phuong bread

Bánh Bèo (steamed rice cake)

Cao lầu (noodles with pork and greens)

Husband and wife cake (Vietnamese wedding cake)

Bánh ít lá gai (rice cake wrapped in leaves)

Savory coconut pancake

Balut egg (fertilized egg)

Banana flower salad

Barbecue beef and scallops

Vietnamese dessert

Lantern-making workshop

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Bring home your own version of the colorful handcrafted lanterns that decorate the streets of Hoi An at night. Along with letting you craft one of these vibrant traditional items, this workshop shares the background and significance of the designs that bring color to the city.

In a cozy workshop with guidance from one of the city's most respected lantern makers, try your hand at crafting a lantern to form your own unique design. As the lantern takes shape, learn about the special meaning the lanterns hold for local people, who believe that hanging lanterns in front of their houses may bring luck, happiness, and wealth to the family.

Traditionally the lanterns were only made of silk and featured a limited selection of designs, but over time, lantern makers have crafted a diverse array of shapes and materials. 

Take inspiration from lanterns shaped like lotuses, diamonds, triangles, and garlic, made from cardboard or nylon fibers, as you create a light of your own.

Hoi An cooking class

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Sample the flavors and history of Vietnam during a sensory-tuned walking and cooking tour of Hoi An. Traverse the streets of Old Town, shop for produce at a local market, and learn the fundamentals of cooking traditional Vietnamese dishes from an expert chef.

Meet up with your local guide and take off for Old Town. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this district and its many pedestrian-only streets make for ideal strolling and discovering. 

Pass by brightly colored buildings, admire the exceptionally well-preserved architecture dating back through the 15th and 19th centuries, and listen as your guide explains the history behind the Hainan Chinese Congregation.

After working up an appetite, follow your guide to meet your expert chef, and together head to a local market to haggle with merchants and purchase fresh Vietnamese ingredients. 

Then tuck into a family-run restaurant and strap on that chef’s hat. Though dishes vary, on this day, your cooking team captain sets you up with rice paper and bowls of warm water, and walks you through the hand-dipping process of banh trang. 

Dice cucumbers, mince garlic, and mix up those vermicelli noodles—once your feast is finished—it’s time to dive in.

Excursion to Cu Lao Cham Marine Park

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Escape via speedboat to the beautiful Cham Islands, a national marine park off Hoi An's coast. Enjoy a day of leisure. Take a visit to a local fishing village, go snorkeling or swimming in the crystal-clear water, and marvel at colorful marine life in spectacular coral reefs.

Start your day trip with a pickup from your hotel and enjoy a scenic drive along the eastern coastline of Vietnam towards Cua Dai Wharf. Upon arrival, a speedboat takes you over to the spectacular Cu Lao Cham Marine Park, a UNESCO-listed biosphere reserve.

Pass by native fishing villages and watch the locals go about their seemingly idyllic lives before swimming in the exquisite, azure water. Alternatively, go snorkeling to wonder more closely at the diverse marine life.

Once you've worked up an appetite, break for a delicious fresh seafood lunch by the ocean. Take time to laze on the pristine white-sand beach and observe the stunning scenery or go fishing (additional cost). After an action-packed day, a speedboat brings you back to the jetty, where your return transfer awaits you.

Bamboo root sculpture workshop

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Bamboo has always had an integral place in Vietnamese culture, and this workshop lets you try your hand at transforming this iconic plant into a piece of art. Join a talented local artist for a chance to learn the age-old craft of creating a sculpture out of the versatile bamboo root.

When you arrive, you find the bamboo already washed, dried, and ready for you to work with. Your host for this course has developed a unique twist to the age-old art, taking the roots and incorporating their little hair-like shoots to create the hair or beard of a bust that is carved onto the bamboo stump.

Start with a short practice session to get a feel for the bamboo and your chisel before it's time to start carving. Listen to your host's instructions and see how the root gradually starts to take form. You can let your instructor handle finer details like the figure's eyes and the edges of its nose, but if you're feeling confident enough, feel free to go at it.

Once the main chiseling is done, complete your creation with sandpapering to put the finishing touches on your own bamboo root-carved bust.

Thu Bon River cruise to craft villages

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Discover Hoi An's unique cultural heritage and natural surroundings on this private day tour. Enjoy a scenic cruise on the Thu Bon River, explore the Thanh Ha ceramic and Kim Bong woodcarving villages, and marvel at the enchanting natural scenery of Cua Dai.

Be picked up from your hotel in the comfort of a private vehicle; sit back and relax as you journey south. Upon reaching the jetty of Thu Bon, hop aboard a traditional boat and ride along the stunning Thu Bon River.

Your first stop is the floating village of Thanh Ha, famous for its ceramic products. Interact with locals and learn about their customs, heritage, and daily lives in the village.

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Continue your journey to Kim Bong, a well-known woodcarving village. See the intricate carvings of handcrafted wood products and watch how artisans transform a simple piece of wood into high-quality furniture.

Then cruise to the serene Cua Dai estuary and marvel at the picturesque view of natural landscapes and lush greenery before returning to the jetty where the transfer back to your hotel awaits you.

 

 

Source: VNN/VNguide

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