South East Asia Travel

Backpackers Guide to Hoi An

Hoi An is one of the most popular destinations to come and visit when you are visiting Vietnam. Famous for getting tailored clothes made for super cheep and lanterns, it is easy to see why this UNSECO world heritage site. The streets of the old town are lined with the cutest yellow wash buildings with blue doors. There are so many little arty stores within the town as well as coffee shops, restaurants, and of course tailors.  Once every month around the full moon, the old town shuts of its electricity and the whole place is lit up using just lanterns. We weren’t able to make it to Hoi An for that specific time frame but if you can plan around it, I am sure it would be amazing!

Where to stay 

We booked our hostel really late because we did not know when we would leave Hue so there wasn’t much left in terms of hostels when we got around to booking a place. It happens when you are backpacking and having the freedom to come and go as you please it worth it! However, I did want to stay in Backpackers hostel, but they were sold out! So if you can I would recommend staying there as it is in the middle of old town.

Little Leo Homestay

I did like this place but, we had a few issues. First, we stayed in the back of the building where there was a rooster just outside. It decided to crow for almost two hours in the middle of the night. Which as you can imagine drove us crazy. We asked to move to the front which wasn’t a problem, and we didn’t hear anything from the rooster after that. The only other issue with the place was it was a good 20-minute walk to the old town. However, the place rented bikes for free so we just ended up cycling everywhere. The breakfast here was pretty good, if you do stay make sure to get the banana pancake.

Things to do

The Old Town

Definitely take a day to wander around the old town and check out all the cool stores. We wandered around the main part one day and then cycled around it another day. It is so pretty so make sure to bring your camera as the walls and doors make for the perfect photo opts.

An Bang Beach

Take the bikes and go out to the beach for the day. This was one of the nicest beaches I was on during my travels. Plus, the cycle out to the beach is gorgeous. Basically all rice fields, and the locals working away. I also seen a man just chilling on top of his cow on the side of the road, which almost had me driving into the nearby field looking at him.

The Japanese Covered Bridge

Doesn’t take long to check out this bridge in the old town. Walk over on to the other side where there are even more cute stores.

Rent a Bike

I’ve already talked a good bit on bikes. But take a bike and just cycle around the surrounding area. It really is very beautiful and definitely gives you a taste for the more traditional Vietnam or alternatively rent a scooter and drive to the near by villages. Da Nang is only 30 minutes drive away so why not check it out for a few hours.

Hoi An Market

Of corse, no trip would be complete without checking out the market! The difference between this Market and others is that this is where you find all the beautiful hand painted lanterns. It is such a beautiful market to walk around. I bought my lantern here for less than $4, I brought it all around South East Asia with me and it miraculously made it back in one piece. Greatest achievement to date!


We were going to get clothes made. Until we decided to go to Bali and Singapore instead of Cambodia. So we said we’d save our money.  If you have the room for it in your budget it is defiantly something I would recommend doing. There is no shortage of Tailors but make sure to do your research on it. Also, make sure to ask the people where you are staying if they know a good place. They are always happy to help.

Cooking class

We had done a cooking class in Thailand and had wanted to do one in Vietnam as well. But, for some reason never got round it doing one. There were a few schools in Hoi An and I would say it would be one of the best places to do one and I really wish we had, just another reason to go back I suppose!

Where to eat & drink


I would highly recommend this place for dinner. If you fancy a bit of western food, definitely go here. Their veggie burger was amazing. They also did possibly the best passionfruit mojitos I have ever had. We loved it so much we went back a few times.

Minh Hien Vegetarian Restaurant

This place does the best vegetarian Vietnamese food. The Pho was great! And very cheep.

The Backpackers Bar

A popular bar among the backpackers and drinks are cheep. Anywhere along that strip is pretty good to grab a few drinks.

That is it on what we got up to in Hoi An, it was defiantly a favourite of mine which meant we ended up staying a lot longer than expected. I think it was five days, which you might have to spend there anyway if you plan on getting some clothes made.

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