My experiences and tips
Hoi An is an ancient town, was center of culture, commercial in Central Vietnam in 16th and 17th centuries. Come to Hoi An, you will be watched cottages have been hundreds of years old, beautiful beaches in Cua Dai, An Bang and Cu Lao Cham island.
How to get Hoi An
Assuming you’re staying Da Nang city (one of biggest cities in Vietnam and you can get Vietnam visa on arrival at Da nang airport). From Da Nang to Hoi An is 30km, there are 3 ways that I went.
1. Going by bus
You can catch a bus from Da Nang bus station, every 30 minutes have 1 ride, start from 5am to 5pm. Ngu Hanh Son mountain, a famous resort of Da Dang, is located on the road. If having more time, you should visit then catch another bus to continue. Note, when catching bus from Ngu Hanh Son, you must stand at bus stop (100m from the resort) and hands up when see the bus, because drivers will not stop if he sees no one.
2. Going by motor
This is my favorite way. You can rent a motor in Da Nang city and coast to Hoi An, the scene is very beautiful.
3. Rent car from Da Nang to Hoi An
- You can contact Mr. Thanh (+8491 203 4117) to rent a 4-seater car to go from Da Nang city to Hoi An. Price: $12.
- From Da Nang airport to Hoi An. Prices: $13 / 4-seater car, $16 / 7-seater car.
Motels and Hotels in Hoi An
- Nam Ngai motel, 626 Hai Ba Trung street – Hoi An.
- Motel at 24 – La Hoi street. 15$/room
- Homestay is very popular in Hoi An, you can contact Ms Chau at 9 – Nguyen Phu Nguyen, opposite Vinh Hung resort.
- Guest house of city, no.1 – Nguyen Hue, near the market, restaurants and Hoi An Old Quarter.
- Phuong Dong hotel, 42 – Ba Trieu street. Rates: $15 to $20 / double room (room is very nice), include breakfast.
- Green Field hotel with rates are about $25 to $30. The hotel has pool, nice rooms, enthusiastic staffs. However, it’s located at 423 – Cua Dai street, 3 km from center of city.
- Southern hotel & villa. The hotel was designed in garden style, beautiful pool, nice rooms, spacious campus. Add: 224 – Ly Thai To street. Rates are slightly higher than Green Field hotel.
- A villa on the road Da Nang – Hoi An. This is a new villa, spacious, cool, homeowners are very good and friendly. You even can buy seafood and bake in the garden. Rate is about $40/room (4 people).
What to visit in Hoi An
1. Hoi An Old Quarter (Khu phố cổ Hội An)
This is the main place that you should visit when come to Hoi An. Old Quarter has many ancient houses, historic sites where have been preserving beauties of Vietnamese culture.
- Bridge temple (Chùa Cầu), also known under the name Japan bridge (Cầu Nhật Bản ), is symbol of Hoi An city. The bridge was built by Japanese, who lived in Hoi An in 17th century. Add: located on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai and Tran Phu streets.
- Phung Hung ancient house (Nhà cổ Phùng Hưng). Add: 4 – Nguyen Thi Minh Khai street. The house was 200 years old, built according to ancient architecture of Vietnamese.
- Tan Ky ancient house (Nhà cổ Tấn Ký), another famous ancient house in Hoi An. Add: 101 – Nguyen Thai Hoc street.
- Phuoc Kien assembly hall (hội quán Phước Kiến), a structure (is like a temple) of Chinese who lived in Hoi An in 16th and 17th centuries. Add: 46 – Tran Phu street.
2. Cu Lao Cham island (a beautiful island of Hoi An)
You should buy a tour to simplify and save. There are many tour firms on streets in Old Quarter, however, you should choose tour of Song Hoi (Sông Hội). Song Hoi will organize visiting Cu Lao Cham in 1 day, from 7h30 to 16h. My advice, you should not self-travel to Cu Lao Cham, it’s complex, expensive (if you have no experience) and poor services…
3. My Son (Mỹ Sơn), complex of Cham ethnic temples that have been thousands of years old. You can buy a My Son tour in Hoi An.
4. Bike tours
There is a type of tour is very interesting, that is bike tour. Guides will take you to villages on the outskirts of Hoi An city, explore the rustic life of Vietnamese villages. If having least 5 days, you should combine traveling Hue – Da Nang – Hoi An, they’re very close together. 2 days for Hue, 2 days in Da Nang and 1 day for Hoi An. You will have overview about Central of Vietnam.
What to eat in Hoi An
- Cao Lau (cao lầu). This is a famous specialty of Hoi An, look like noodle but is not noodle. Cao Lau is very delicious and cheap. There are many Cao Lau restaurants in Hoi An, but the best is Mrs. Thanh restaurant on Tran Cao Van street, or Mrs. Be restaurant is next to the well in Hoi An market.
- Quang noodle (Mì Quảng) is a other specialty of Hoi An. You should enjoy this dish at Mr. Hai restaurant, serve from 7pm, near Hoi An cloth market. Or Van Loc restaurant on Tran Phu street.
- Chicken rice (Cơm gà). The most famous are Mrs. Buoi restaurant at 26 – Phan Chu Trinh, serve from 11am to 7pm and Mrs. Minh restaurant is located on Ly Thuong Kiet street, opposite Hoi An stadium, serve from 5pm.
- Beaten rice paper (Bánh tráng đập), Corn porridge (chè bắp), blended mussel (hến trộn ), 3 favorite dishes in Hoi An. You can eat these dishes at Ben Tre restaurant, village 1 – Cam Nam. From Old Quarder, you cross Cam Nam bridge, go straight 100m then turn left, you will see a street that has many restaurants, Ben Tre restaurant is 1 of them.
- Dumpling – cauldron cakes. Hoa Hong Trang restaurant (white rose) at 533 – Hai Ba Trung street, this is the first restaurant created this dish.
- Duck porridge (Cháo vịt) at Mrs. Sat restaurant in Hoi An market. It’s tasty and cheap, less than $1 / bowl.
- Fried fish noodle (bún chả cá). There a 2 goog restaurants. Mrs. Sau restaurant at old bus station, serve from 8pm to early morning. If you want to eat in afternoon, you find Ong Cop temple (Miếu Ông Cọp), there is a small restaurant (at intersection) but very crowded.
- Pancake (Bánh xèo). Gieng Ba Le restaurant at 45/51 – Tran Hung Dao (in an alley of Tran Hung Dao street). Hai Dao restaurant at 160 Ly Thai To, quite distant from Old Quarter but it’s tasty, cheap and spacious.
- Seafoods. Restaurants: A Roi, Gio Bien (sea wind), Minh Vinh. They’re near Cua Dai beach (but not in Cua Dai), you can ask motorbike taxis, well-known.
My advice about seafoods.
Don’t let the taxis take you to restaurants in Cua Dai beach, most of them had deal with these restaurants, so prices will be very expensive (Vietnamese call it is “slash-cut”). If you want to eat seafood at Cua Dai beach, let’s tell taxis take you to the beach, then find restaurant yourself. Remember asking the prices before ordering.