Hoi An Travel Guide – Vietnam’s Hidden Gem

Hoi An is a beautiful, coastal town just a few kilometers away from Da Nang and Hue. Vietnam for many Americans (like my parents) still conjur up this notion of some 3rd world, war torn country and it’s hilarious because it could not be furthur from the truth.

Hoi An is beautiful. It’s got this wonderful mix of world class beaches, rivers, nature, excellent resorts and an old town that is recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site.

If you’re looking for a 3 or 4 day get-a-way with your family or a loved one, you won’t be disapointed with Hoi An and Da Nang.

Da Nang International Airport

My trip to Hoi An began with a one hour flight from Ho Chi Minh city to Da Nang International Airport where I planned to meet up with Jung Hee who was flying directly from South Korea.

Da Nang International, who’s call sign is DAD funnily enough – is actually a nicer airport than the one found in Ho Chi Minh city. Since I arrived a few hours before she did I decided to get some work done at one of the numerous cafes found at the airport.

Once she landed and got through immigration however, it was off in a Grab taxi to our lovely resort, the Silk Sense Hoi An.

Silk Sense Hoi An

A popular resort with South Koreans due to a large portion of the staff being able to speak Korean fluently, I actually had difficulty finding any reviews of this place due to most videos and blog posts in English talking about budget oriented places for back packers.

At around 100 USD a night for three nights, the Silk Sense Hoi An is not a cheap place, but it is worth every penny due to it’s numerous selling points:

Close proximity to An Bang Beach by a simple 5 minute motorbike ride, a well maintained pool, excellent breakfast and some of the BEST customer service you’ll experience.

It was also nice just being able to get away from it all while still having easy access to the rest of Hoi An.

Next We Visited An Bang Beach

What is there to say? This place is just down the road from the Silk Sense Resort. This beach is big and beautiful, the water was cool and swimming was quite enjoyable. There are also numerous beach side establishments where you can sit back, relax, drink or eat as well as par take in activities like paragliding or renting a jet ski.

If you’re wanting to actually swim, read a book, lay out next to a beach, have an excellent lunch, or drink some beers – An Bang Beach is simply gorgeous for a morning or afternoon.

The only thing I did not like about An Bang Beach was that everything starts to close around 5 pm. Tourism is not as developed here as it is in Thailand. Once the evening sets in, An Bang beach starts to settle down with all the restaurants and shops closing up.

Not a big deal though because you should totally go to the old city in the evening.

The Old Town Hoi An

This place is THE place to go every evening. Shops open up, the weather becomes nice and cool and it’s adorned with colorful lanterns and large crowds enjoying the town.

You can get yourself local food, drinks, a boat ride on the river as well as sight seeing all the local attractions. During the day if you’re curious, the old town is pretty quite so it really is best to check it out this place in the evening.

What exactly is the old town?

Hoi An was once a major trading port in the 16th and 17th centuries. Today, that architecture remains in tact for the most part and it’s like going back in time. Walking around a town that has remained unchanged to a large degree with Chinese temples, Japanese bridges, shop houses made of wood, and old French colonial houses.

Yes it’s all a bit touristy now, but it’s quite a nice place to go with your significant other as it can be a bit romantic driving around rice fields, spending an afternoon on a lovely beach and wandering around the old town.

What is there to do in Hoi An?

Shop, wander around, hit up the local cafes, enjoy dinner by the river, street food and take pictures. It’s a perfect evening to spend one or two nights.

Consider getting tickets to the Lune performing arts center too if you’re in the mood for a show.

After Hoi An it was time to go back to Da Nang

Da Nang is a small city with that international airport as I previously mentioned. Once our trip was over we spent our last day here at a local hotel.

With our flights leaving early in the morning the next day, we simply spent our last day driving around on a motorbike, visiting the Non Nuoc beach, seeing the gigantic lady Buddha statue and just relaxing with a cup of Vietnamese coffee next to the beach as the rains swept in during the evening.

In Summary, Where Should You Stay and What Should You Do