Hoi An: guide for 1-day travelers

When you stay in Da Nang, you cannot miss a visit to Hoi An.

da nang to hoi an vietnam naturebels


How to reach Hoi An

It is very easy to travel from Da Nang to Hoi An. Some hotels arrange the transfer for their guests, but you can DIY and go there for a cheaper price. The itinerary is easy and you cannot get lost.


By bus

You can catch bus nr. 1, which has several stops in all Da Nang. It is a yellow bus, with around 25 seats. On the other hand, the aisle is full of bags and boxes carried by local people.

bus to hoi an naturebels

On the bus there are 2 staff members: 1 driver who drives and honks the horn, and 1 person who drags people inside the bus, collects the ticket money and controls that everything is all right among passengers during the trip.

The ride costs 30’000 VND per person, and it takes around 45-60 minutes to reach the destination.

I recommend this option as it can be quite fun!


Alternatives to the bus

You can either rent a motorbike and go there driving yourself or take a taxi.

To rent a motorbike in Vietnam is very cheap, like 150-200’000 VDN (6-8 $) for 1 day! The downside is that, if you do not have enough skills, you will have a hard time on Vietnamese streets. There are no rules so you need great reflexes and high awareness of what you are doing. If you are not an expert, then go by bus or taxi. This is a friendly suggestion 🙂

By taxi, the trip takes around 45 minutes and, as far as I understood, the cost is approx 15 $.


Hoi An: UNESCO World Heritage Site

Since 1999, Hoi An has been nominated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The city’s historic district, the “Old Town Hoi An”, is very well preserved and maintained. Its architecture is a mix of indigenous and foreign influences.

The best way to visit it is by renting a bike. You can bike in the Old Town, but you can also easily reach the outskirts and discover the real Vietnam in only 1 day. A bike will cost you around 5 $ for the entire day. It is really worth it!

After a short tour in the centre, I biked towards the rice fields and got into this wonderful landscape. One road, no one else, only green fields. That’s the Vietnam I was looking for.

rice fields naturebels

These brave people are working in the fields despite the 40°C, despite the 98% humidity. Life can be very hard, and we need to admire who proudly faces it every day. Physically speaking, this is destructive.

rice fields hoi an naturebels

Going back to the city’s old town, you can visit the covered “Japanese Bridge”. This is one of the main attractions in Hoi An, and usually, it is impossible to take a picture with no one else (almost) around. I was so proud to be there by myself (almost)…

japanese bridge hoi an naturebels

The pedestrian area is cute, colourful and gives joy. If you look up in the sky, you will admire hundreds of coloured lanterns hanging around, which gives to the city a magic atmosphere.

hoi an centre naturebels

And during the night…

lanterns vietnem naturebels

The Hoi An main market, called Central Market, is very popular and it is located in the Old Town, on the water’s edge. It is a fascinating place to visit even if you’re not looking for something specific to buy. There are several craftsmen selling their artworks. I have been so impressed by this guy, transforming a bamboo root into a mask. It is cool, isn’t it?

bamboo masks hoi an naturebels

His little shop was full of these beautiful masks. He was so excited to see people interested in his art.bamboo masks hoi an naturebels

In general, Hoi An is very cute, and perfect if you want to have a 1-day experience outside Da Nang, or if you want to buy some crafts or handmade products. There are a lot of restaurants and bars, you just need to pick one and enjoy a delicious Vietnamese meal.


Unexpected and surprising bars

After a full day biking under the sun, I was hoping to sit in a nice place, drink something and relax before going back to Da Nang.

As mentioned, Hoi An offers many bar options for any taste. This is a funny one I found in the Old Town:

funny bar vietnam naturebels

How cool is this? I think that’s a great tactic, it’s catchy, funny. Well done!

But the best place I have been during my stay in Vietnam, as far as I can remember, is this one:

tea and footbath naturebelsI can already hear you saying “well, this is nothing surprisingly special and it is not unique…”. Ah-a, check the next pictures and you will let me know later if you changed your mind.

The shy host welcomed me and guided me to the backyard. Among their huge choice, I ordered a hot jasmine tea, served with this cute setting.

tea and footbath naturebels

But, the best part has still to come! While sipping my tea, I had my feet dipped into this rose-scented, salted and iced water!!

tea and footbath naturebels

Isn’t it cool? It has been an unexpected and super pleasant surprise. So appreciated in such a warm and humid day! This place is called Cocobana, and it is located in a little corner in the pedestrian area. I really advise you to visit it if you have the occasion.

And well, this is the happy-end to my 1-day visit in Hoi An. I feel I had a great day, and I would definitely come back to Hoi An.

See you soon!