Hoi An Wet Season: What to Do in Hoi An When It Rains?

No beach, no pool, no outdoor adventures? What to do in Hoi An when it rains? This is a very popular question from travelers who come to Vietnam in the wet season.

The rainy season in Hoi An (and central Vietnam) is affected by the monsoon regime, generally occurring in the last quarter of the year. It features a high rainfall because there are more than 20 rainy days monthly. The temperature definitely goes down, making travelers feel more pleasant but it’s always wet. Additionally, typhoons also hit the region many times in this period, causing heavy rains and then flooding. The lower part of the old town of Hoi An and the countryside will be covered by water (even some places are isolated!). Sure, traffic in these areas comes to a standstill.

So, anything to do on rainy days in Hoi An? This article reveals all what travelers can do and can’t do to ensure that a suitable plan is made easily.

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Hoi An Wet (Rainy) Season

When Is the Wet Season in Hoi An?

Every year, the wet season stretches from the end of September to January in Hoi An and its area. It’s characterized by a higher rainfall and a lower temperature than the rest of the year – called ‘dry season’. When the temperature drops to the lowest degrees, locals call it ‘the cold season’ (usually November and December).

When Does Hoi An Flood?

The highest chance of flooding in Hoi An is in November and December. During these months – called ‘flooding season’, Hoi An’s old town and other parts of the city will be covered with water. It rains more than 20 days a month, followed by the highest rainfall and the lowest temperature in the year. Additionally, typhoons hit the area too, and damage many things. Our advice is to check the weather forecast if plan to go to Hoi An at the end of the year.

In the Old town, streets and places near the river are frequently flooded (for example, Bach Dang St or An Hoi island). If the water is high, the entire heritage site can be embraced by water, giving it a nickname ‘the Venice of Vietnam’. For that reason, visitors can’t walk and sightsee. Of course, restaurants, shops, markets, and outdoor activities will be shut for safety. There are some boats taking tourists to see around the town and life of local people. Read more information in https://centralvietnamguide.com/hoi-an-flooding.

What to Do in Hoi An When It Rains

Making a Foldable Lantern

Lantern is one of the symbols, reminders about Hoi An. It’s brought by Chinese communities from China to the town some centuries ago. Chinese people hang it in their house, especially in full moon, to have luck, peacefulness and happiness. On that day, a traditional lantern festival will be held by local people.

Note: Lanterns are a perfect gift/souvenir to bring home, and Hoi An’s lanterns are absolutely foldable.

A lantern making class can be within an hour, but also up to a few hours. The time depends on which step the learners start and the size of the lantern they choose. In the beginning of the class/workshop, they decide their favourite size, shape, and color of the covering fabric. In a ‘long class’, the artisan will instruct to form the frame with bamboo sticks. This stage is skipped if join a shorter class. After that, he/she tells learners the ways to use the glue properly and pieces of already-cut fabric to stick and cover the frame tightly. Everything is done by hand.

Learn How to Cook Vietnamese Foods

Hoi An is known as one of the food capitals in Vietnam. Here, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, and Europeans exchanged the culture in past centuries when it’s still an international trading harbour. This leads to diversity and differences of Hoi An’s local cuisine.  

Cooking classes in Hoi An are abundant, for both non-vegetarians and vegetarians, and available for all levels of skill. When it rains, travelers can think about staying indoors, in a restaurant inside the Old town or somewhere else in the countryside. A visit to the market to learn about and buy ingredients is possible to skip. The menu usually includes spring rolls (fresh or fried), banh xeo pancakes, salad, noodles (mi quang, cao lau), noodle soup (like pho) and other Vietnamese classics. It covers the starter, main course and appetizer. During the class, the chief will instruct to make the dishes from scratch. Learners definitely have a fun and meaningful time, especially families.

A Coffee Class with Local Baristas

Vietnam is the second largest coffee producer in the world. If interested in Vietnamese coffee and coffee culture, a class/workshop with local coffee makers (baristas) will be perfect on a rainy day. He will introduce different kinds of beans, variety, growing techniques, fragnance, how they’re different and anything around them. After that, he teaches how to make traditional coffees of Vietnamese people. This is a great chance to get to know other coffee lovers too. To know our recommendations, please text/call us in whatsapp number (zalo) +84968009827.

Enjoy Vietnamese Coffee or Tea

Hoi An has so many coffee shops and tea houses for visitors, to take a seat, enjoy local beverages, read a book or watch the world go by. The coffee beans or tea leaves they use are all grown in Vietnam. The Reaching Out teahouse (in Old town) supports deaf and mute persons, so if would like to give back to the local community, we highly recommend visiting this place.

Temples and Pagodas in Hoi An Old Town

Sightseeing temples and pagodas is a good way to learn about the history and culture of different populations in Hoi An old town. While Buddhist temples don’t require any entrance fee, visitors still need to pay to enter others, for example, Chinese assembly halls. Taking photos is allowed, and it’s needed to follow the dress code: wearing respectively.

These are temples and pagodas in Hoi An:

– Vietnamese temples: the Japanese covered bridge, Phap Bao pagoda, Cam Pho communal house, Tran family chapel, Nguyen Tuong family chapel, Hoi An communal house, Hy Hoa temple, the Five-elements temple (Nguyen Thai Hoc St)

Further: Chuc Thanh pagoda, Phuoc Lam pagoda

– Chinese temples: see in https://centralvietnamguide.com/hoi-an-chinese-assembly-halls/ (visitors can use Hoi An ancient town ticket to visit these buildings)

Join a Leather Workshop

Travelers can go to a leather shop or workshop to be instructed by local artisans, to make a leather item for themselves (wallet, bags, etc). Express classes are available, besides long clases in which one full day or a couple of days are required to complete. Not just making a meaningful souvenir/gift, the learners also have new knowledge and skills, and fantastic time to save. Text/call us in whatsapp number +84968009827 to know our recommendations.

Old Houses in Hoi An Ancient Town

Hoi An ancient town world heritage site has 1,000 traditional houses. Some of them are exceptionally preserved by the family, so that visitors will see real residences of Hoi An’s locals many centuries ago. It’s needed to have an Old town ticket pass to go in. Here is the list of the best protected houses:

  1. Tan Ky house at 101 Nguyen Thai Hoc St

Highlights: free introduction, flooding levels each year shown

  1. Phung Hung house at 4 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St

Highlights: local ladies weave embroideries here

  1. Duc An house at 129 Tran Phu St

Highlights: home of Mr Cao Hong Lanh (a local revolutionist, communist)

  1. Quan Thang house at 77 Tran Phu St

Highlights: here the family is making white rose dumplings (Hoi An’s food specialty)

  1. Nguyen Tuong family chapel at 8/2 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St

Highlights: the family has many famous writers

Museums in Hoi An Old Town

Besides old houses and temples, visitors can see five museums in Hoi An’s old quarters. Here they are:

  1. Museum of History and Culture (aka ‘Hoi An museum’) at 10B Tran Hung Dao St
  2. Museum of Sa Huynh culture at 149 Tran Phu St
  3. Museum of Traditional medicine at 46 Nguyen Thai Hoc St
  4. Museum of Trade ceramics at 80 Tran Phu St
  5. Museum of Folklore at 33 Nguyen Thai Hoc St

To visit these museums, travelers must buy an entrance ticket which costs 120,000 VND for adults. This pass includes the entry to Hoi An old town world heritage and 5 places and traditional performance (see details of this show above/below).

Shows of the Hoi An Lune Center

The Lune production is the first producer bringing world-class cultural performances to Hoi An. Before coming to Hoi An, this team achieved international rewards. Its home – the Lune center building stands in An Hoi island, opposite to the Ancient town, so it’s very convenient to walk there.

For now, there is only one show which visitors can choose: the The Dar or ‘Bamboo circus show’ (firstly on stage in August 2016 at Ho Chi Minh city). It starts at 6 pm and ends after an hour. Again, definitely it’s held in an indoor stage and visitors don’t have to worry about the rain while watching it. The standard ticket price is 700,000 VND. Text/call us in whatsapp number +84968009827 to make a reservation in advance (no fee).

Note: After the Hoi An Lune center’s show, visitors easily find somewhere to have dinner or get a cold beer in the surroundings. The biggest night market in town is just 5 mins walk. 

Traditional Performance in Hoi An Old Town

Visitors can use the Hoi An old town ticket to enter the Traditional art performance house at 66 Bach Dang St to watch this mini show. It’s available at 10:15 am and 3:15 pm everyday, and for sure, it’s held indoors. Its duration is 15 minutes and the spectators are advised to be in the theatre at least 10 mins before showtime.

Please show the ticket pass for the staff (to the right hand side) and then receive a card to join a Vietnamese traditional game later. Go upstairs and take a seat in the stand to enjoy performances. The room is air-conditioned.

If Bach Dang street is flooded, this performance house will be closed. Please check when come.

Things Not to Do in Hoi An On A Rainy Day

The Golden Hands Bridge/Ba Na Hills

The weather is very important to decide how good the trip to Ba Na hills and the Golden bridge is. Because these places are in high mountains, so when it’s rainy, can’t see anything or take any good pictures. If traveling in the wet season (end of September to January), please don’t forget to check the weather forecast.

We have private cars to Ba Na hills and Golden bridge from Hoi An or Da Nang, and also guided tours. See full information in full-day Ba Na hills and Golden bridge or half-day Golden bridge tour.

Basket Boat Ride in Palm Forest

Cam Thanh village, west of Hoi An old town is the only place in Vietnam where people can take a basket boat ride through a palm forest. Yes, it’s unique. However, if it rains, as an outdoor activity, travelers can’t find any boats to go or can’t fully enjoy everything. The water of the river will rise in the wettest months, making the village flooded and the forest is closed. This is dangerous for visitors, so please don’t consider carefully.

Please read everything you need to know about Hoi An’s bamboo boat ride in https://centralvietnamguide.com/hoi-an-basket-boat-ride/.

Lantern Boat Ride on Hoai River

Hoai river runs by the Hoi An ancient town world heritage. At night, locals paddle sampan boats on this river to see the world and release paper wishing lanterns. The busiest days are within Hoi An full moon lantern festival or weekends. Although a plastic tarp is arranged to cover passengers from the rain, it’s not 100% well worth experiencing. Let’s wait until it stops raining!

The ticket price now is 150,000 VND for a boat with 1 to 3 people, and 200,000 VND for 4 and 5 people. 5 passengers are maximum (don’t count toddlers!). More information in our guide to Hoi An lantern boat ride.  

Cham Islands

In the rainy season, going to Cham islands is not safe and tours to this beautiful archipelago are shut from the beginning of October. If willing to explore its underwater life, like snorkeling or diving, please contact experts (experienced divers) to know their advice.

What to Bring If Travel in Hoi An Wet Season

If traveling to Hoi An in Vietnam in the wet (rainy season), please don’t forget to bring these things:

– personal rain poncho (or jacket), umbrella

– mosquito repellent (insect repellent)

– waterproof shoes

– easy-to-dry clothes

– hair dryers to use after hanging out

– something waterproof to cover the luggage and smartphone (if plan to go outdoors everyday)

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