Backpacking in Hoi An, Vietnam is a fantastic choice for travellers seeking a mix of culture, history, and natural beauty. Here are some highlights and tips for backpacking in Hoi An:
Table of Contents
1. Explore Hoi An Ancient Town:
The Ancient Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit destination. Wander through its narrow streets filled with beautifully preserved buildings, colorful lanterns, and charming shops. Don’t miss iconic landmarks like the Japanese Covered Bridge and the Fujian Assembly Hall.
2. Visit Local Markets:
Hoi An is famous for its bustling markets, where you can immerse yourself in the lively local scene. The Central Market is a great place to explore and sample local street food, while the Night Market is perfect for souvenir shopping.
3. Take a Bike Ride:
Hoi An is relatively compact and bike-friendly, making it a perfect city to explore on two wheels. Rent a bicycle and pedal through the rural outskirts, passing rice fields, coconut groves, and traditional Vietnamese villages. You can also cycle to nearby An Bang Beach for a day of sun and relaxation.
4. Learn Traditional Crafts:
Hoi An is renowned for its handicrafts, particularly its tailoring and lantern making. Take the opportunity to have a custom-made outfit tailored, or participate in lantern-making workshops and create your own unique lantern.
5. Sample Local Cuisine:
Hoi An offers a fantastic range of local dishes. Don’t miss the famous Cao Lau, a noodle dish unique to the region, as well as other specialties like White Rose Dumplings and Banh Mi. Explore the street food stalls and local eateries to experience authentic Vietnamese flavors.
6. Take a Cooking Class:
Vietnamese cuisine is loved worldwide for its fresh flavours and diverse ingredients. Hoi An is an excellent place to take a cooking class and learn how to prepare traditional dishes. Many cooking classes include a visit to a local market to buy ingredients before the cooking session.
7. Enjoy Riverside Views:
Stroll along the Thu Bon River and soak in the serene atmosphere. You can take boat rides to catch breathtaking sunsets or explore nearby islands like An Hoi and Cam Kim.
8. Visit nearby Marble Mountains:
Located just 20 km from Hoi An, the Marble Mountains are a collection of limestone hills with hidden caves, pagodas, and panoramic views. You can hike to the mountain summit and explore the intricate network of tunnels inside.
9. Participate in a Lantern Festival:
If you happen to be in Hoi An during a full moon, you can experience the enchanting Lantern Festival. The streets are aglow with colorful lanterns, and locals release floating lanterns on the river, creating a magical ambiance.
10. Enjoy the Beaches:
Hoi An is close to several beautiful beaches, such as An Bang Beach and Cua Dai Beach. Spend a day soaking up the sun, swimming, or trying out water sports like surfing or paddleboarding.
Remember to pack light but essential items like comfortable shoes, sunscreen, insect repellent, and light clothing suitable for the hot and humid weather. Hoi An is a relatively safe and backpacker-friendly destination, so embrace the local culture, try new things, and enjoy the unique charm of this ancient town.