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HOW TO SPEND ONE DAY IN HOI AN

As some of you know, I stayed for almost three weeks in Da Nang, a bigger city located right next to Hoi An. Visiting this smaller town was one of my favorite things to do. In comparison with Da Nang, it is smaller, but only in size. Hoi An is packed with lots of cultural and historical insights and is perfect for a whole day trip.


Especially during nighttime, Hoi An turns into something mesmerizing, and walking through the old town next to the river will be an unforgettable moment.

Surely, you could spend more than a day in Hoi An and there’s more to see and explore.


However, if you’re looking for a guide that leads you through your day trip, this blog post might be perfect for you. If you're going to spend more than one day, feel free to find some inspiration here too.


The Day Trip

HEAD TOWARDS HOI AN (10:00 AM)

From my "home base" in Da Nang, I just ordered a Grab to get to Hoi An. It took roughly an hour and was, for me, the most convenient and independent way to travel. Of course, you could also get a shared van that transfers you to Hoi An, but remember that they only operate at specific times and you aren't as independent due to the fixed schedule.


Once arrived, we head directly to a hidden brunch place called: Ellie’s Cafe Hoi An. As already mentioned, it is hidden but worth visiting, since it offers lots of vegetarian and vegan food options. My personal recommendation is the Rainbow Healthy Salad with lots of different ingredients such as tasty grilled veggies, avocado, eggs, and so on, and the nourishing Smoothie Bowl. It took a while until the food was served, but the chill environment made waiting not so bad.


EXPLORE THE TOWN (12:00 AM)

After your brunch, you can just walk South to the small “island” and explore the old town. I do like exploring without a fixed plan but always have some spots marked on my map I want to cross by. For this reason, doing my research on Google Maps is a must


One spot you can’t miss is the famous Japanese Covered Bridge which also marks the center of the town. The Ba Mu Temple was also a destination I had to stop by. At a coffee store I enjoyed a break, head a delicious Flat White, and enjoyed the relaxed flair of Hoi An.


NIGHT MARKET (5:00 PM)

A stop that you can’t miss is the night market itself. It opens at 5 pm and offers lots of delicious Vietnamese street food and typical market stuff to buy. I always enjoy walking through those night markets, even though they sell similar stuff on each of them and I mostly end up buying nothing.


EAT DINNER AT THE RIVER (6:00 PM)

Depending on the season, it might start to get dark soon. This could be the perfect opportunity to stop at a restaurant and watch how Hoi An attracts more and more visitors. In the daytime, it does have some tourists but when the night begins, it is literally packed with people. Almost everyone wants to enjoy the unique vibe of Hoi An by night.


And I have to agree, Hoi An by night is magical. Countless lanterns turn on their lights. Boats floating around the river also provided with lanterns. It seems like thousands of stars have landed.


We spent over 2 hours at the restaurant Nha Hang Vi Que, which has one of the most central spots to watch what was happening. The restaurant serves traditional and mouthwatering Vietnamese food and on request, they made everything vegetarian-friendly.

WALK AROUND THE TOWN (8:00 PM)

Although, you've already explored the whole city on foot. I recommend doing the same thing over again. Use your feet and explore how the town has changed and also has a different vibe. It's more packed with people and locals, it's livelier.


During my day visit, I walked around the old town for the second time, bought some snacks at the night market, and experienced Hoi An from a different side.


HEAD BACK TO DA NANG (9:00 PM)

After a full day of walking and exploring it was already time to head back to Da Nang. The app Grab made my way back very easy and I got home safely.


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