Hoi An

Japanese merchant houses, Chinese temples and beautiful beaches

A major trading port for seafaring merchants in centuries gone by, the foreign influences that shaped Hoi An are still visible today in its old quarter. Discover faded Japanese merchant houses, tranquil Chinese temples and a string of beautiful beaches.

Little has changed in the intriguing port of Hoi An since its 17th century ‘golden age’, a time when merchants from all over the Far East and West travelled here to trade in silk, spices and tea.

Ambling around the Old Town – a UNESCO World Heritage site – will reveal the city’s mixed cultural heritage. The rustic streets are scattered with architectural treasures, from Dutch colonial houses to ancient Chinese tea warehouses, which give an interesting glimpse back through the centuries.

Flowing through the heart of Hoi An, the Thu Bon River played a vital role in the city’s history, and today visitors can hop on board a sampan (a wooden rowing boat) to cruise its tranquil waters. Head out at sunset for sublime views as you drift past coconut plantations and local fishermen.

When night falls the streets of Hoi An are lit up by hundreds of sparkling silk lanterns in every colour of the rainbow – the perfect time for peaceful evening strolls. Don’t miss out on the lively night market where friendly shop sellers display an array of great trinkets.

If you want to venture beyond the city you can cycle throughout the surrounding countryside, passing through scenic landscapes and stopping at villages to see traditional Vietnamese handicraft skills at work, such as hand-weaving and wood carving.

If you’ve been inspired to see what makes Hoi An special for yourself, our Asia experts can put together your tailor-made itinerary.

  • We have just returned from what was a holiday of a lifetime. I can't thank you enough. All the places you recommended were excellent. The organisation was meticulous and made our lives so much easier.

    HPB, India, 2016