Hoi An One Day Itinerary: A Travel Plan for One Day in Hoi An

From a backwater town in the 1990s, Hoi An today is one of leading tourist destinations across Vietnam. In a recent year, it attracted 8,5 millions of overnight visitors and more than half are from abroad. It has things that travellers seek in their trip: twinking lantern quarters, sandy beaches, peaceful countryside, delicious foods, lots of hotels and shopping places. English is popular around the world heritage, making travelers feel that they will travel at ease, just like at home. This article outlines an itinerary for one day in Hoi An, for both first timers and repeaters. While the first timers should focus their time on the Old town – the best “attraction”, for those who visited the city more than one, they prefer to spend less time there and more for others. Don’t need to go beyond the borders of Hoi An (for example, to Da Nang), they still find cool things to do and hope for memorable experiences.

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Hoi An One Day Itinerary for First Timers

*This itinerary focuses on Hoi An ancient town and An Bang beach

Have Breakfast and Drink Coffee Like a Local

Locals daily come to pavement coffee shops around the Japanese Covered Bridge to have breakfast, drink coffee and meet up with friends before work. Breakfast options are beef noodle soup, cao lau noodles or banh mi sandwich, with a price from 20,000 VND. Coffee varies in 3 types: black, with little and many condensed milk. Starting a new day here allows visitors to know local culture and lifestyle before see crowds of tourists.  

Buy Hoi An Old Town Ticket

To sightsee historical buildings in the town, visitors need to buy a ticket with a price of 150,000 VND. This entrance fee covers 5 places where the best preserved architectures and cultural performances are seen (our recommendations below). The nearest counter is next to the Japanese bridge, at the corner of Tran Phu St. Read more details in Hoi An old town ticket.

Japanese Covered Bridge

This is the emblem of the town, built by the Japanese in the early 17th century in 2 years (based on local people’s conjecture). They aimed to create a passage from their quarter to the Chinese one, and to control a monster that makes earthquakes and floods. Later, Chinese rebuilt it and added a Taoist temple in the back and since then, Vietnamese have called it “temple bridge” or Chua Cau. On the 20,000 VND, visitors can see the bridge. Read details in the Japanese Covered Bridge.

Try Local Herbal Tea (Nuoc Mot)

Every local and local tourist know this special beverage and it’s sold only in the place where it’s first made – Mot Hoi An at 150 Tran Phu St. The family uses many fresh and natural ingredients to mix it, including lime, cinamon, ginger, lemongrass, green tea and more. A cup is filled by the tea and ice, garnished by a lotus petal and a tea leaf. Due to being cool and herbally, visitors should try.

Old House of Tan Ky

Built in 17th century, this tub house was owned and built by a merchant. Its entrance gate looks to major Nguyen Thai Hoc St, to optimize business opportunities and its back opens to the quay where the cargo comes and leaves. In the living room, expensive mother-of-pearl furniture and daily-used utensils are still preserved. A family guide will introduce her ancestor’s house while visitors hold hands with a cup of tea. Before seeing the iconic yellow wall of Hoi An by the river (to photograph), high levels of the flood in town over years, amaze the viewers. Read details in Tan Ky Old House.

Get a Custom Made Suit in Local Tailors

Hoi An town is known as a capital of tailors because around it, visitors can find some hundreds. The “industry” in making personalized clothings here is one of the highlights due to the far-reaching reputation. Main reasons are a wide range of fabric, style, price and quality, as well as a quick turnaround (within 24hrs if the garments are simple). Nowhere else in the country, the tailors can copy nearly 100% of what her customers show on the phone. Read more details in Tailoring in Hoi An.

Hoi An Traditional Art Performance House

Watching traditional art performances in this theatre (at 66 Bach Dang St) is covered by your old town ticket. It’s available 2 times during the day, at 10:15 a.m and 3:15 p.m on the upper floor. The ground one is for showcasing masks and hosting classes in which visitors learn about a local handicraft from scratch.   

“Hoi An Vibes Only”

At 25 Nguyen Thai Hoc St, Sunday in Hoi An shop has this “Hoi An vibes only” wall and today, it’s one of the hottest spots for instagrammers. Entry is free, even visitors don’t buy anything.

Hoi An Central Market

This is the oldest and largest market in the city, so named “the central market”. It includes different areas: for cooked foods (near the entrance at Tran Phu St), cooking utensils and spices, fresh meats and vegetables (near the entrance at Bach Dang St) and fishes by the river. So, visitors have the chance to see a variety of merchandise to buy, photograph and of course, lots of delicious dishes to try. Prices are clearly shown, so there are many locals and visitors who love to eat here. See more details in Hoi An’s central market.  

Precious Heritage Art Gallery by Rehann

At 26 Phan Boi Chau St, this gallery or art museum exhibits memorable pictures taken by its owners – Rehann (a French). In the remaining spaces, visitors will have the chance to see the most complete collection of traditional costumes from all 54 ethnics around Vietnam. Stories about how the photographer approached and catched moments of their everyday life with his camera, are told also. No doubt, the Precious Heritage is the best private museum in town.  

Lunch – Banh Mi Phuong

Banh Mi Phuong is the best known banh mi restaurant in Hoi An, due to the scrumptious sandwiches and the fame after the praise of Anthony Bourdain in his visit. He saids that it is “the best banh mi in the world”. Here, at lunch and dinner times, there is a long line of visitors who wait to try the famous bread dish. Banh mi is a crunchy baguette filled with pate, different meats, pickles, raw vegetables and sauces. One costs from 15,000 VND. See more details in the Best banh mi in Hoi An.

Fujian Assembly Hall

Near the central market, this is the largest Chinese assembly hall in town that is owned by the Fujian community. It’s built for worship of the Thien Hau goddess who patronizes the safety for merchants and fishermans on the sea. Although she is a “foreign god”, local people still believe in her and come here to pray daily. Visitors enjoy seeing grand and ornate architectures, as well as richly-decorated interiors of the temples. Read more information in Fujian Assembly Hall.

Museum of Trade Ceramics

Containing valuable and elaborate ceramics that were made for exportation, this museum is worth it to visit. Many of what visitors see are from shipwrecks in the surrounding water of the Cham Island where merchant’s boats often stopped to seek food and fresh water. Historically, Hoi An was a bustling trade port from 15th to 19th centuries in the region. See details in Museums in Hoi An.

An Bang Beach

After a busy walking and sightseeing time in the Old town, chilling out in An Bang – the best beach in Hoi An, is proper. It’s 4 km away, so visitors only need a short transfer by taxi. This place is widely known for fine sandy expanses with numerous sun chairs under the shade of talapas and coconut palms. Rental is inexpensive. In the back, there are restaurants and bars with all day menu and ready to serve snacks and cold drinks. If liking to swim but without a swimsuit, walk out and you will see shops to buy. The water here is shallow, warm and unpolluted, therefore loved by many families. Read details in An Bang beach.

Ba Mu Temple Gate

Let the taxi driver drop you in the crossroad of Hai Ba Trung and Phan Chu Trinh streets when you return to the town for dinner. To the left, this attraction is the remaining part of a fallen temple where people worship Chinese goddesses. Both day and night, it draws many instagrammers who come to photograph. No entrance fee is required.

Dinner – Try Your First Cao Lau Noodles

Just a short walk from the temple gate, Khong Gian Xanh is one of the nicest choices to try your first cao lau – Hoi An’s signature noodle dish. It is a bowl with brown, chewy noodles (like Japanese udon) topped by thinly-sliced char siu pork, blanching bean sprouts, raw vegetables and crispy crackers. A little bold sauce is at the bottom. To enhance the flavours, locals also add lime, chilli sauce, fresh chilli or sauces and then mix to eat. Learn about this specialty food in Best Cao Lau in Hoi An.

Lantern Boat Ride and Bai Choi Stage

Following the Hai Ba Trung St until the end, visitors will see a vibrant open-air stage where local artists perform Bai Choi – a Unesco intangible heritage. Along the water edges nearby, there are so many paper lantern sellers (price from 10,000 to 20,000 VND) and boats. A ride costs around 50,000 VND per person, and allows you to view incredibly colorful lights from uncountable lanterns. If don’t, a stroll around the town is also great. See more details in Hoi An Old Town Boats.

Hoi An Night Market

This is the favourite of shopaholics, foodies and instagrammers. Opening after the sunset, it owns over 150 stalls where affordably-priced objects, delicious street foods are for sale. Lantern shops here are sparkling, colorful and of course, nobody leaves their eyes on them and refuses a picture there. Visitors need to pay a small fee (about 20,000 VND) to photograph if don’t buy lanterns. Read further details in Hoi An night market.

Have a Cold Beer in Nguyen Phuc Chu Street

Having a cold beer with a pretty view of lanterns, in a social ambience and upbeat music is rewarding after a long day of exploration. There are many bars and pubs along Nguyen Phuc Chu St, just outside of the night market, to come and enjoy. Pool, drinking games, dancing floors and more are absolutely possible to see in this area. Due to regulations, the venues close around 12 p.m. “Drunk banh mi sandwiches” are sold after the music is off and the crowds gradually disband. Read further details in the Best bars in Hoi An.


Hoi An One Day Itinerary for Repeat Visitors

Repeat visitors need something new or different in their return. As a must, for sure, the Old town is always a part of the day, but they prefer to spend the time there less than the first visit. Around the world heritage, there is a tranquil and nearly unspoiled countryside that is very worth it to go to and explore. These are things to do what repeat visitors should know:


Hoi An Day Tours around Hoi An

Hoi An Ancient Town and Coconut Village Experience

Read details in Full Day Hoi An Ancient Town Tour and Basket Boat Experience

This day tour allows travelers to get insight into 2 different sides of Hoi An: the busy urban and unspoiled, tranquil countryside. In the town, there are many chances to learn about local history and culture. In the half-day left, a basket boat tour through the maze-like canal network of Cam Thanh’s palm forest is the highlight. Not only exploring nature by a special vehicle, travelers also see how locals catch fishes as they do everyday and listen to their folk songs. Watching fishers spinning the boat fast and non-stop, with a surprise from the audience, is included. The experiences are unduplicated anywhere else.

Hoi An Ancient Town and Cam Kim Bike Tour

Read details: Full Day Hoi An Ancient Town Tour and Cam Kim Bike Tour

This day tour also gives travelers a chance to discover the countryside of Hoi An, apart from the old town. On the opposite bank of the river, Cam Kim island is peaceful, home of green rice paddies, small villages and traditional handicrafts. Following back roads guided by a local, the riders step by step see hidden gems, beauty spots, meet and interact with islanders. He/she also takes to families whose members welcome the foreign guests with a smile. The visit helps to know more about their life, lifestyle and traditions. Bicycle tour in Cam Kim is amongst the best experiences on wheels in Hoi An.

Hoi An Ancient Town and Hoi An Countryside Experience

Read details in Hoi An Ancient Town and Countryside Day Tour

Highlights in the countryside around Hoi An are revealed in this tour. Within a half day, travelers will learn how to make pottery by their own hands from local artisans, how to grow vegetables by traditional skills, experience a buffalo ride and basket boat ride through a palm forest. It’s suitable for all ages and all members of the family. Little ones definitely have lots of knowledge about different things in the rural areas in a new country.

To save time, text us in whatsapp number +84968009287 to ask for details and to book.

Hoi An Private Tour Guide

If looking for a local guide who speaks English well and is knowledgeable, text us in whatsapp number +84968009827.

Hoi An Old Town Walking Map

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