Why choosing non-touristy activities in Hoian? Because Hoi An is an old town that preserves almost intact with more than 1,000 architectural monuments from streets, houses, meeting halls, temples, shrines, temples, ethnic churches, ancient wells … to traditional dishes, especially the pure values of the people here. Hoi An is also considered a living museum of architecture and urban lifestyle.
And because the beauty that attracts tourists in Hoi An is not high-class resorts, flashy beaches, ornate decorations. Hoi An is a place with timeless beauty, extremely rustic and idyllic.
Many travel bloggers have shared “to explore the ancient city, you should live as a Hoi An’s person, wake up in the old town, watch the awakened town awake and truly explore the deep insights of culture here.
Visiting Hoi An on the full moon day
If you have time, you should arrange to go to Hoi An on the full moon day (the 14th day every month according to lunar calendar), because this time Hoi An ancient town organizes a full moon festival, when the entire old town will turn off the lights, only lighting lanterns along with other traditional lamps. Above all, on this day, the flower garlands and coloured lanterns will be released the most and the river will be the most shimmering.
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Cycling to explore the ancient town
Cycling to explore the corners of the old town is an interesting thing when coming here.
In the early morning and late evening, the weather is very pleasant, it is the right time for you to rent a bicycle (for about 40,000 VND a day), then ride around the streets, small alleys, along the banks of Hoai River or far away. You will also have the chance to experience the refreshing atmosphere of the green paddy fields and Cua Dai Beach.
Cycling through each of these pretty and peaceful streets, visitors can not only enjoy delicious food but also see a part of daily life of Hoi An people, which is a very peaceful and modest life.
Enjoying the street food
Wandering around the streets of Hoi An, you will come across delicious and inexpensive sidewalk dishes. Sit back and enjoy the special and delicious taste of “cao lau”, sweet porridge and many other appealing ones.
And of course, you cannot miss enjoying the best bread in the world in Hoi An. Hoi An bread was commented by David Farley – BBC as “the best sandwich in the world”. The fragrant slices of pork, pate, cucumber with vegetables and typical meat sauce make Hoi An bread extremely delicious and attractive.
Taking part in “Bai choi” traditional game
This is a familiar playground for local people and tourists. In the evenings, when you have taken a walk, you should return to the courtyard by the Hoai River Bridge to enjoy the ancient melodies of the playing cards.
The game lasts from 5 to 7 minutes. The equipment are cards, each of which consists of 3 words. It is similar to the bingo game but the folk card game is written in 3-letter word. In every game if you have 3 words, you will be the winner.
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Staying at homestay and join activities with the locals
Coming to Hoi An, you can easily “book” yourself a room in hundreds of homestay with different prices and amenities in this city. Hoi An people are famous for being friendly, so wherever you are, you will be considered as a family member.
You will have the chance to go to the market, cook rice with the landlord, sip a cup of tea with the landlord and be taken around the Old Quarter by the member of the family. This can be an experience you will never forget.
Visiting the trade villages
The place that backpackers should also explore is the traditional trade villages that have preserved folklore for thousands of years.
The first one you should not ignore is Tra Que Vegetable Village in Cam Ha Ward of Hoi An City. It is located 2km northeast of Hoi An Ancient Town. Coming here, you will witness the whole process of planting green, clean and beautiful vegetables. Vegetable growers in the village will guide you how to grow, care for and harvest vegetables so you can “twist your pants” to sow seeds and water vegetables
The next one is Thanh Ha pottery village on Thu Bon river. When you come here, you can see there are many tourists willing to “roll up their sleeves” to sharpen the pottery, step on the turntable to better understand the labor value as well as learn about the local traditional pottery. In this destination, the people in the village help visitors to experience the free, enthusiastic guide.
>> Related Content: Hoi an Handicraft Villages Day Trip
Riding motorbike along the beach sites
The most appealing thing for many tourists nowadays is the feeling of relaxing and breaking free, so why not taking trip to Hoi An beach by motorbike.
While riding a motorbike along the white sandy beach. You can stop to eat some specialties around the estuaries you visit such as Cua Dai Beach and An Bang Beach and enjoy the fried mussel, taste Quang noodles and “cao lau”.
Being a fishermen and learning how to sing “ba trao”
Coming to Hoi An, you try to visit the fishing village and participate in fishing activities here. You will be taken to the sea early in the morning and will be taught how to cast nets, fish and enjoy your work on the boat.
In addition, you are also taught to sing baits – a unique art form of the fishermen in Central Vietnam.
Drop flower garlands and coloured lanterns
Lanterns are also considered a “specialty” not to be missed when traveling in Hoi An. Visitors easily come across colorful and shaped lanterns around the streets and houses.
On the full moon day of the month, there is another real Hoi An in the eyes of tourists – a magnificent Hoi An with the light of lanterns and flower garlands.
You can choose to walk along the Hoai River or sit in the middle of a small boat, paddle out in the middle of the river and then gently drop each of the lighted lanterns. Watching the shimmering rows of lanterns and praying for peace is an experience that visitors should try. during a tour in Hoi An.
Visiting the ancient architecture structures
Have you heard about the “symbol of Hoi An” – Japanese Covered Bridge. Japanese Covered Bridge, also known as Japanese Temple, is located adjacent to Nguyen Thi Minh Khai and Tran Phu streets, is a unique architectural work, typical in Hoi An. This temple was built by Japanese merchants here in the middle of the 16th century.
Besides, to better understand the life and culture of Hoi An people, tourists should visit some famous ancient houses and spiritual and social constructions such as Quan Thang, Duc An, Tan Ky
These are beautiful places in Hoi An to help visitors experience the typical cultural space here.
Hoi An, a name that whenever we mention, we always wish to come here. Not only because it carries in itself a peaceful classic beauty, the landscape here is also wild and rustic. If you are on a long vacation, take the time to come to Hoi An, because the hidden charm of Hoi An here requires the patience of each visitor to reveal it.