Hoi An is the food capital of Vietnam. It is also an incredibly cute mixing an old town and with the new, a stunning riverside location and fantastic Vietnamese cuisine. Here is my Hoi An blog on what to do in Hoi An for 3 days:
Hoi An Blog: Where to Stay
We stayed at the Anantara hotel which I loved. It is a beautiful hotel in a beautiful spot right on the river. I think this is the best location to stay in Hoi An – you are still in Hoi An but just at the edge of it. It is a quick stroll into the heart of the ancient town.
Many hotels in this area are on the coast between Da Nang and Hoi An. That is great if you are after a resort-style trip but if you want to explore Hoi An you want to be closer into town – particularly for those visiting this South East Asia city for the first time.
The staff were very friendly and could not do enough. The rooms at the Anantara were lovely. The bed was super comfy. There were robes, slippers and lovely smells. Each room at Anantara has an outside patio and then inside there is a small “living” area and a couple of steps up to the sleeping area. This gave a feeling of greater space. And there is a great pool.
⇒ Looking for another interesting spot to visit in Asia? Check out my post on 11 Instagrammable Things to do in Jeju Island Korea.
The breakfast buffet at Anantara Hoi An was a highlight! The setting is stunning – you can sit and enjoy a view of the river. The best bit of the buffet was the amazing Vietnamese pancakes – like a rice paper roll but with a thin omelette, lettuce, shrimp and some kind of fish sauce. A happy marriage between the omelet and summer roll! Anantara also had an egg making station, pho, fabulous looking fresh fruit and great coffee!
⇒ Staying longer in Vietnam? Check out this fantastic post on 23 Fun Things to do in Vietnam
When to Go to Hoi An Vietnam
I visited Hoi An in January. It was still warm but not too hot which was perfect for me! If you are after sunshine and high temperatures then the high season in Hoi An is from February until July.
If you like temperatures a little cooler visiting between February and April is probably best as rainfall is low. If you are looking for more warmth then consider visiting between May and June.
⇒ If you’re visiting Vietnam Halong Bay is one of the most famous sites – click here for the Best Halong Bay Cruises
What to Do in Hoi An for 3 days: Where to Eat and drink
For Vietnamese coffee (served with condensed milk) head for Faifo in the heart of town. Enjoying a Vietnamese coffee is a must do in Hoi An. I am a complete coffee snob and I loved this sweeter version of extreme coffee!
⇒ Planning on travelling solo to Vietnam? Make sure you read my post on how to have a fantastic time travelling solo.
Mango Rooms on the river is also very cute and tasty and serves up Vietnamese fusion like mango summer rolls. The rocking rolls were like a bird’s nest deep fried and put into lettuce with some fish sauce for dipping. Like most restaurants in Hoi An, Mango Rooms was very reasonably priced. Summer rolls are also on my must-do Hoi An food list!
Following on with the Mango theme we then had dinner at Mango Mango. We started off with amazing homemade potato chips with a tomato-based salsa. The Mango Mango papaya salad that followed was the right mix of sweet and sour. Next up was the Peking duckling which was served off the bone with sweet potato tortillas and yogurt. A delicious meal at this Hoi An restaurant and a great wine list.
⇒ Keen to spend longer in Vietnam? Check out this great post on a 2 Weeks Vietnam Itinerary
On our first night, we found The White Marble Wine Bar – Hoi An’s only wine bar. This quickly became our pre and post-dinner spot! It had a great wine list and a great location on one of Hoi An’s main streets.
⇒ For more great places to eat check out this fab post on the 12 Best Restaurants in Hoi An
Hoi An Vietnam Things to do: Attractions
The best things to do in Hoi An involve walking and absorbing the atmosphere. Some areas are of course very touristy but they are still very cute. There is activity on both sides of the Thu Bon River – we only found the other side of this river towards the end of the trip.
A favourite in all of the Hoi An travel blog is the Japanese covered bridge which is cute but I’m not sure it’s worth all the fuss.
There is quite a bit of interesting art to explore in the ancient town of Hoi An and there are some nice boutique stores tucked in amongst the tourist tat. The area we liked best for art was over the other side of the Japanese covered bridge.
The night market on Nguyen Hoang Street is great for a visit but make sure you get there early as it is all over by 9pm. I got my best shots of the Vietnamese lanterns at the market. This is must-see Hoi An Vietnam for photographers.
When it comes to what to do in Hoi An for 3 days my number one of the must-do things in Hoi An would be one of the cooking classes with the Red Bridge cooking school. We met at their restaurant in town in the morning for Vietnamese coffee of course!
We were then split into two groups and sent to explore and shop in the Hoi An market. We then hopped on a boat and headed down to the actual Red Bridge cooking school.
We each had our own “hob” with our ingredients ready to go. The classic Vietnamese pancake was definitely the most difficult thing to cook! Mine kept falling apart.
Following this, we all sat down to eat the lunch that we had prepared and it was lovely. Then it was a boat back to the old town. Red Bridge was a great experience which this Blog Hoi An highly recommends.
⇒ For another great foodie experience in Vietnam check out this post on Nha Trang Cooking Class and Cultural Journey
Anantara hotel had bikes available to guests so I grabbed one and cycled down to An Bang Beach, the nearest Hoi An beach to the old town. The ride to An Bang Beach took about 15 minutes. Along the way, you can take a right off the main road and get some rice paddy shots.
The An Bang Beach itself was nice but lounges and umbrellas covered nearly every square inch. I then cycled down to the next beach but missed the turn-off! It was then a busy ride back to Hoi An but a nice little workout.
There are massage places everywhere in Hoi An. I had a massage at Aaron’s which was 4th on Trip Advisor. It was an excellent Swedish massage despite being in South East Asia!
⇒ If you like a massage and are heading to Hanoi read this post on The Best Massage in Hanoi
Hoi An Activities: The Must Do
The must-do thing in this Hoi An blog is to have a meal at Morning Glory. The food at Morning Glory Hoi An is AMAZING and it is incredibly cheap. And Morning Glory has some decent wine. I became obsessed with the smoky eggplant and pork.
I think we went to Morning Glory 3 times over our stay because no Hoi An restaurant was better and I had the eggplant every time!
We also enjoyed the beef in betel leaves, pork spring rolls, and the bbq lime leaf chicken. Do not leave Hoi An without at least one meal at Morning Glory.
And finally, try Dai at Da Nang airport for a last Vietnamese coffee. It is not the nicest location but the coffee was great.
⇒ If you’re looking for some support in planning your trip to Hoi An I highly recommend you have a look at Passepartout and have a chat with Laura.
6. Hoi An Reading
Heading to Asia? Here are some of my other posts that you might enjoy:
Getting to Hoi An
The nearest airport to Hoi An is Danang.
How Many Days should I spend in Hoi An?
I found that 3 days was sufficient to cover must see in Hoi An options. For a Hoi An itinerary 3 days I would include exploring the old town, lots of meals, the night market, a cooking class at Red Bridge Cooking School, a trip to An Bang Beach and of course a massage!
Tours of Vietnam
If you’re interested in joining a group tour in Vietnam here are some good options for travelling solo with a group or traveling with friends/partners:
Who Paid for What with this Post
I paid for everything! This was completely me travelling and not working with any tourism boards or hotels etc.
However, this post does contain affiliate links. That means that if you click through on them and make a purchase I may well receive a small commission. I just wanted to make sure that you knew.
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Also published on Medium.