Hoi An Honeymoon Guide

Be captivated by the charming town of Hoi An, with its rich cultural heritage, beautifully preserved merchants’ houses, pagodas, ancient wells, tombs and slow pace of life.

Explore the narrow streets of Hoi An’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. The picturesque streets and lanes are lined with faithfully restored, historic buildings that have been transformed into open-air craft shops, cafes, art galleries and souvenir shops. Many streets are off-limit to cars.

What to do and see in Hoi An

Soak up the atmosphere in the Chinese-influenced Old Quarter, take a cruise along the scenic Thu Bon River or cycle into the surrounding countryside.

Relax on Cua Dai Beach, a 30km crescent of pristine white sand that stretches all the way up the coast to Danang or surf off Non Nuoc beach, known as China Beach by US GIs who surfed there while on R&R during the Vietnam War.

Take a day trip to nearby My Son and view the atmospheric Cham ruins – all that remain of the once-powerful Champa Kingdom.

Examine carvings at Marble Mountain, a limestone outcropping among the rice paddies 21km north of Hoi An or trek up to Huyen Khong Cave, a wartime base for Vietcong guerrillas.

Later, savour Hoi An’s mouthwatering specialty dishes of shrimp pancake and cao lu, a dish of rice noodles topped with slices of roast pork.

Hoi An offers several interesting sightseeing opportunities within the atmospheric Chinese-influenced Old Quarter as well as ancient Cham ruins in the surrounding countryside.

Explore the narrow streets of Hoi An’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. The picturesque streets and lanes are lined with faithfully restored, historic buildings that have been transformed into open-air craft shops, cafes, art galleries and souvenir shops. Many streets are off-limit to cars.

The financing of the restoration and maintainance of the old sections of the town falls to the Hoi An World Cultural Heritage Organization, which sells a VND75,000 ticket that allows limited admission to the sights within the old town.

There are several restored homes, temples and assembly halls worth visiting. Compelling sightseeing attractions in Hoi An, include the following…

Japanese Covered Bridge

Regarded as the official symbol of Hoi An, the Japanese Covered Bridge (Cau Nhat Ban) was first constructed in the 1590s by Hoi An's Japanese community in order to connect with the Chinese quarters just across the stream.

Reflecting Japanese architecture of the period, the bridge was constructed with a roof to provide shelter from both rain and sun. The bridge was faithfully restored in 1986.

The entrances to the bridge are guarded by a pair of dogs at one end and a pair of monkeys at the other end; animals considered sacred animals to the ancient Japanese. Some historians also believe the construction of the bridge was initiated in the year of the dog and finished in the year of the monkey.

Visit the small temple inside the bridge, dedicated to Tran Vo Bac De, god of the north, who is believed to have control over the weather.

Check out the three Chinese characters carved above the temple's door by Nguyen Phuc Chu Lord in 1719: ‘Lai Vien Kieu’ (Bridge for Passers-by from Afar) – an unsuccessful attempt to replace the original name.

Location: Western end of Tran Phu Street, Hoi An; Admission: Free.

Tran Family Home and Chapel

For an insight into the life and times of a 19th century mandarin, pop into this elegantly designed house, built in 1802 by Tran Tu Nhuc, a favourite of Vietnamese Emperor Gia Long and ambassador to China.

Inside the drawing room, see original Chinese antiques and royal gifts such as swords and vases, and ponder the three sections of sliding doors: the left for men, the right for women, and the centre, open only at Tet and other festivals, for dead ancestors to return home.

The chapel features an ancestral altar behind which sit small boxes containing relics of deceased family members and a biography; their photos hang on the wall to the right of the altar.

Below sits a 250-year-old book containing the family history, and beside it lies a small bowl, containing yin and yang coins, meant to bring good luck, which you can toss, if you like.

In the ceiling, a roof tile has been replaced with transparent glass, illuminating the altar in the morning.

Location: 21 Le Loi Street, Hoi An; Admission: Free; Hours: Daily 8:30am-6pm.

Quan Cong Temple

This temple was built in 1653 to honour Quan Cong, a famous Chinese Han dynasty general, who lived in the 3rd century AD. The general is worshipped as a symbol of loyalty, sincerity, integrity and justice.

Constructed by the Minh Huong people (Chinese immigrants) together with Viet people, the temple’s structure resembles the Chinese character ‘Quoc’ (meaning country) and is composed of three parts: the front hall, an open yard and the back hall (sanctuary).

Stroll through the pretty gardens, then admire the temple's colourful roofing decorated with patterns of dragons and unicorns and paved with colourful ceramic tiles. Don’t miss the blue dragons carved in relief on the entrance door.

Walk through the temple to see the large 3m-high statue of Quan Cong. The partially gilt statue is made of papier-mâché on a wooden frame and is positioned in the central altar at the back of the sanctuary.

The beared and red-faced mandarin is depicted dressed in a green royal robe and flanked by statues of his adopted sons: Quan Binh, a civilian mandarin, and General Chau Thuong, a military mandarin and one of Quan Kong's protectors.

Further inside the sanctuary stand two life-size wooden horses, one white and one sorrel, which recall the mounts once ridden by Quan Cong.

In ancient times, Quan Cong Temple (also known as Ong Pagoda), was used by merchants to pay their respects and pray for the general's attributes of loyalty, bravery, and virtue.

Try to witness the Ong Pagoda Festival, held twice a year according to the lunar calendar to celebrate the birthday of Quan Cong (on the 13 day of the first lunar month) and his death anniversary (on 24 day of the sixth lunar month). Both festivals attract a lot of believers and pilgrims from all over Vietnam.

Location: Corner of Nguyen Hue, near the central market, Hoi An; Admission: Free; Hours: Daily 8am-5pm.

Phung Hung House

This private, traditional two-story wooden house has been inhabited for more than 200 years by eight generations, and the current owner is happy to show you around.

Discover a wealth of combined architectural influences including a Japanese style four-sided central roof on the first floor and a Chinese rounded turtle shell roof with carved beam supports on the upstairs balcony.

The house is located on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, just west of the Japanese Bridge.

Museum of Trade Ceramics

This museum displays a collection of pottery artefacts that reveals Hoi An’s importance as a trade port as well as an exhibition on the restoration of Hoi An’s Old Town architecture.

The house itself is possibly the main attraction and you are free to explore its two floors, courtyard and anteroom, which have been lovingly restored.

My Son ruins

Stroll the serene and evocative ruins of My Son, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most important Hindu temple ruins in Vietnam.

Wander through the complex of abandoned and partially ruined temples that were constructed between the 4th and 14th century AD by kings of the ancient kingdom of Champa, a once powerful Hindu empire.

Built mainly of red brick, the temples are dedicated to the worship of the god Shiva (known locally as Bhadresvara).

My Son was used for religious ceremonies by the ruling dynasties as well as a burial place for Cham royalty and national heroes.

Much of what remains today are structures built or renovated during the 10th century AD. At one time, the site encompassed over 70 temples as well as numerous stele bearing historically important inscriptions in Sanskrit and Cham, but bombing during the war with America (the Viet Cong used My Son as a munitions warehouse) has reduced many temples to rubble.

The compound is divided into groups. Each group represents a microcosm of the world and contains similar structures: a kalan (or main tower with the entrance facing east); a gopura (or gate-tower leading into a walled temple complex, with two entrances); a mandapa (or entry hallway and sanctuary); and a kosagrha (or repository to house valuables belonging to the deity, typically with a saddle-shaped roof).

My Son (pronounced Mee sun) is located in a beautiful, verdant valley surrounded by the Truong Son Cordillera and overlooked by Cat’s Tooth Mountain (Hon Quap). The main temples overlook the 350m-high Mount Chua, ‘Mountain of the Gods’. A brick wall encircles the compound.

You can book a tour of the site from either Hoi An or Danang. Many of the smaller structures and most decorative carvings can be seen in the Museum of Cham Sculpture in Danang, while others can be viewed in a temporary museum on the site.

Note: The surrounding area is still rendered dangerous through the presence of unexploded land mines.

Location: Around 40km from Hoi An, and 69km from Danang; Admission: 50,000 VND (USD/AUD2.4), private half-day tour with guide $35; Hours: Daily 8:30am-6pm.

Marble Mountains

Make time to explore this cluster of five marble and limestone formations, which the locals liken to the shape of a dragon at rest.

Known in Vietnamese as Ngu Hanh Son (Five Elements Mountains), the five peaks are named after the five elements: Hoa Son (Mountain of Fire), Moc Son (Mountain of Wood), Kim Son (Mountain of Metal), Thuy Son (Mountain of Water) and Tho Son (Mountain of Earth).

The area is riddled with caves, many of which served as sanctuaries for Buddhist believers as well as for Viet Cong forces during the Vietnam War (known in Vietnam as the American War).

Follow a series of steep and mainly natural stone steps to the peak of Thuy Son, the highest mountain that ranges across three peaks and contains numerous caves and grottos, many of which house shrines and pagodas.

The route takes you past the Tam Quan Gate to Vong Giang Tower, which offers panoramic views across Mount Kim Son, the Truong Giang and the Cam Le rivers, and the surrounding coastal strip. The tower dates back to the Emperor Minh Mang in the 18th century.

Continuing on takes you to the Van Nguyet Grotto and the Van Thong cave, home to an ancient stele and a large statue of Buddha. From here, a step path climbs to a hole in the roof of the cave; once through this hole, you are rewarded with a panoramic view of the area.

On the way down, don’t miss the Linh Ung Pagoda, a large pagoda boasts a selection of Buddha and Bodhisatta statues. Other caves to visit include Am Phu Cave; a series of metal ladders extends to the mountain top, from where you can enjoy excellent views overlooking the South China Sea.

Non Nuoc village, at the bottom of the mountains, offers an opportunity to buy marble-carved statues (of local folk tales) and Buddhist figurines.

Location: Around 10km north of Hoi An, and 11km south of Da Nang; Admission: 30,000VND; Hours: Daily 7am-6pm

Best beaches in Hoi An

Hoi An offers a choice of magnificent beaches in and around Hoi An and stretching all the way north to Da Nang, including…

Cua Dai Beach

Stroll along this narrow 30km-long crescent of pristine white sand, fringed with palm trees that stretches all the way up the coast to Danang.

Enjoy a snack from a local stall or cool-of with a drink from a beachside bar. Deck chairs are available for a small fee to relax and enjoy the sea view across to the Cham Islands, situated around 13km south of Hoi An town.

Cua Dai Beach is popular among locals at weekends, but often deserted at other times and is located just 4km east of Hoi An.

Cua Dai Beach is home to several beachfront resorts including the Sunrise Premium Resort Hoi An, Palm Garden Beach Resort & Spa and the Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort.

Non Nuoc Beach

Wander this stunning white-sand beach, which also claims the same sobriquet as China Beach by US GIs who surfed here while on R&R during the Vietnam War.

It is now home to the 4-star Sandy Beach Non Nuoc Resort.

Relax on the beach or make use of watersports facilities so you can go surfing, body boarding, wind surfing, jet skiing, sailing and sea kayaking. Rent a bike and explore the coastline or head to the deep sea for game fishing adventures.

Non Nuoc Beach is located just 15km north of Hoi An and 9km south of Danang.

Bac My An Beach

(Danang) – Further north lie the beautiful white sands of Bac My An Beach, now home to the luxury 5-star Furama Resort, which offers a wide range of facilities including sailing, windsurfing, sea kayaking, body boarding, water skiing, jet skiing, wake boarding and diving.

The nearby Son Tra Peninsula (Monkey Mountain) offers scuba diving, snorkelling, fishing and swimming among colourful reef fish. Or rent a bike to explore trails surrounding Son Tra Mountain (693m), overlooking pretty coves and white-sand beaches. Look out for noisy red-mouth monkeys.

Bac My An Beach is 22km north of Hoi An and just 6km east of the centre of Da Nang.

My Khe Beach

(Danang) – A one-time favourite of war time GIs, previously known as China Beach, My Khe offers a 9km-long stretch of smooth white sand that shelves gently into calm waters.

Watch local fishermen paddle their tiny wicker coracle fishing boats through the breaking waves or explore the 30km-long coastline dotted with several beaches including Nam O Beach (Red Beach), where the first US combat troops reportedly came ashore in the 1960s.

Located about 24km north of Hoi An and 6km east of Danang, the 50m-wide beach is safe for swimming and provides beachside facilities such as seafood restaurants and stalls as well as several nearby hotels.

Where to stay in Hoi An

It's easy to find a wide range of accommodation options to suit all budgets in Hoi An, including the following hotels and resorts….

The Nam Hai, Hoi An
Location: Hoi An Beach, Hoi An
Rating: 5-star
Prices: from AUD739 per room
Description: Situated on the unspoilt shores of Hoi An Beach, The Nam Hai offers luxurious villas with iPod docks and free Wi-Fi. It boasts of 3 beachfront pools and a spa. Spacious villas at Nam Hai feature walk-in closets, flat-screen cable TV and BOSE sound systems. Bathrooms come with rain shower. Tea/coffee makers and minibar are available. Guests can choose from 4 tennis courts or play a game of badminton or basketball. Guests can enjoy a dip in the child-friendly upper pool or choose to swim in the narrow lap pool or the beach-front Olympic pool - both suitable for adults and b swimmers only. A library is available for those who wish to read. A variety of activities are available for children at Kids’ Club. The Restaurant offers guests the chance to dine by the sea while tasting the best of Vietnamese and international cuisine. The Bar offers a wide selection of cocktails and snacks. Beach Restaurant serves an assortment of seafood and grills. The Nam Hai is a 30-minute drive from Danang International Airport. Hoi An Town is a 10-minute drive away.

Hotel Royal Hoi An - MGallery by Sofitel
Location: Cam Pho, Hoi An
Rating: 5-star
Prices: from AUD187 per room
Description: Located in Hoi An in the Quang Nam Region, 400 metres from Japanese Covered Bridge, Hotel Royal Hoi An - MGallery Collection boasts a year-round outdoor pool. Every room at this hotel is air conditioned and is equipped with a flat-screen TV. Some units include a seating area and have views of the pool or river. The rooms have a private bathroom, slippers and free toiletries. The hotel features free WiFi and a 24-hour access to the front desk, where guests can arrange the free shuttle service, babysitting service and rental of complimentary bicycles. Guests can visit the boutique gift shop on the property for gift ideas, or simply indulge in a spa treatment at Woosah Spa. Hotel Royal Hoi An also features an exclusive high-end Japanese restaurant and Faifo restaurant that serves an array of delicacies. Assembly Hall of the Cantonese Chinese Congregation is 500 metres from Hotel Royal Hoi An, while Hoi An Ancient Town is 800 metres away. Da Nang International Airport is 23 km from the property.

Palm Garden Beach Resort & Spa
Location: Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An
Rating: 5-star
Prices: from AUD175 per room
Description: Located along Cua Dai Beach, Palm Garden Resort is set amid 5 hectares of beautiful landscaped gardens. It features a spa and 45 metre outdoor pool. Resort-style rooms come with a balcony and free WiFi. Views of the garden or sea can be enjoyed from each room, which offers classic wooden furniture. Tea and coffee-making facilities, a safety deposit box and cable TV channels are a standard in all rooms. Guests can enjoy massages and body treatments at Palm Spa. Beach activities like volleyball and snorkelling are available at this resort. Featuring over 400 species of palm trees and plants, the resort’s garden is ideal for a stroll. Sea views await at Colibri Beach Front Restaurant, which serves an international menu and barbequed seafood. Vietnamese specialities are featured at Terrace Café, while Contino Club Bar provides the place to unwind over drinks. Palm Garden Beach Resort and Spa offers a free shuttle service to Hoi An Ancient Town, 5 minutes’ away. Da Nang International Airport is a 30-minute drive from the resort.

Sunrise Premium Resort Hoi An
Location: Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An
Rating: 5-star
Prices: from AUD171 per room
Description: Directly on Cua Dai Beach, the luxurious Sunrise Premium Resort Hoi An offers stylish garden or ocean-view rooms with free WiFi. Its 2 outdoor pools overlook Cham Island and the East Sea. Pampering spa treatments and a modern gym are also available. The elegant air-conditioned rooms are all equipped with a flat-screen TV, minibar and personal safe. Some rooms have a dressing area. Bathrooms come with either a bathtub or shower. Bodyworks Spa features hot stone therapies, herbal detox programmes and anti-aging facials. Peak Fitness offers state-of-the-art equipment and personal trainers. Tennis courts, bicycle rental and a business centre are also available. The 24-hour restaurant and room service menu offers local and Western dishes, while Sao Bien restaurant offers fresh seafood. Other dining options include cakes at Givral Lobby Bar, Tea Pavilion and flavoured Shisha at Sunrise Bar. Sunrise Premium Resort Hoi An is 4 km from Hoi An Ancient Town and Hoi An City. It is within a 30-minute drive from Cham Museum and Marble Mountain. Da Nang International Airport and My Son Holyland are within a 40-minute drive away.

Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort & Spa
Location: Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An
Rating: 4-star
Prices: from AUD151 per room
Description: Located beside Cua Dai Beach, Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort features an outdoor swimming pool and rooms with views of the river or sea. Wi-Fi and parking are free. The spacious rooms at the resort come with traditional Vietnamese, French or Japanese décor. Each room is well-equipped with a balcony and TV with cable channels. Select rooms offer a bathtub. Victoria Spa offers a variety of body and facial treatments. Guests can also work out at the fitness centre or play a game of tennis. Overlooking the sea, Annam Restaurant serves a selection of local and international dishes. Fresh seafood is also offered. Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort & Spa is 5 km from the ancient town of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Danang International Airport is 30 km from the resort.

Anantara Hoi An Resort
Location: Cam Chau, Hoi An
Rating: 4-star
Prices: from AUD221 per room
Description: Featuring French colonial architecture, Anantara Hoi An Resort is located along Thu Bon River around 5 km from Cua Dai Beach. The resort offers a variety of activities like traditional Chinese painting, conversational Vietnamese and daily yoga classes. The resort also organises boat trips along the river and walking tours to the Cham Imperial City of My Son or the Marble Mountain. The spa offers beauty treatments and massages. Each room has a seating area and private porch with beautiful views of the garden or river. The air-conditioned rooms feature flat-screen satellite TVs and tea/coffee making facilities. Lanterns Restaurant offers exotic fine dining fusion dishes in an open-air setting. Riverside Cafe serves warm beverages and a wide selection of delicious pastries, while O'Malleys Pub offers snacks and drinks selections. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ancient Town is just a short stroll away. Anantara Hoi An Resort is about 35 km from Danang International Airport and 135 km from the Imperial City of Hue.

Essence Hoi An Hotel & Spa
Location: Hung Vuong, Hoi An
Rating: 4-star
Prices: from AUD105 per room
Description: The Essence Hoi An Hotel & Spa is only 500 metres from the centre of Ancient Hoi An Town, and offers a swimming pool and fitness centre. All its modern rooms come with free Wi-Fi and a welcome fruit platter. Essence Cafe serves Vietnamese and international dishes and caters for 24-hour room service. Fitted with air conditioning, all the soundproof guestrooms come with a 32-inch flat-screen TV, a minibar and a personal safe. Some rooms have a private balcony. The en suite bathrooms come with either a bathtub or rainshower. Free bicycle rentals are available. Guests can also relax with a massage or visit the sauna. The hotel also provides laundry services and English newspapers. Essence Hoi An Hotel & Spa is 6 km from Cua Dai Public Beach and 4 km from An Bang Public Beach. Da Nang International Airport is 30 km away. Parking is free.

Hoi An Silk Village Resort & Spa
Location: Tan An, Hoi An
Rating: 4-star
Prices: from AUD79 per room
Description: Hoi An Silk Village Resort & Spa is 1.4 km from Japanese Covered Bridge. Rooms feature a balance with modern décor in neutral colours. Offering plenty of natural sunlight, every air-conditioned room comes fitted with a flat-screen cable TV, safety deposit box and a seating area as well as a minibar and electric kettle. Bathrooms come with a shower, bath or spa bath. Facilities include a fitness centre, library, karaoke, business centre, meeting/banquet facilities and a kids' club. Guests also have 24-hour access to front desk services that include the arrangement of airport shuttle, currency exchange, tour and ticketing and luggage storage. A salon and gift shop are located on-site. Assembly Hall of the Cantonese Chinese Congregation is 1.4 km from Hoi An Silk Village Resort & Spa, while Hoi An Ancient Town is 1.5 km away. The nearest airport is Da Nang International Airport, 22 km from the property.

Best time to visit Hoi An

The best time to visit Hoi An for outdoor activities is from late-December through to late-March, when the climate is warm and mostly dry.

For hot weather, with an average high of 28°C (82°F), visit from late-February to late-April.


Hoi An experiences a tropical climate with two distinct seasons: the warm, dry season from January through July, and the hot, wet season from August through to December.

You can expect some rainfall throughout the year in Hoi An; February is the driest month of the year.

For more climate info: Hoi An Weather Guide

How to get to Hoi An

Hoi An is located on the coast of South Central Vietnam around 28km (17mi) south of Da Nang.

The most convenient route to Hoi An is by air to Da Nang International Airport (DAD), followed by a short taxi or bus ride to Hoi An.

Da Nang Airport receives nonstop daily international flights from Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok, as well as domestic flights from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

More information about how to get to Hoi An

More about Hoi An…

Latest update: Where to honeymoon in Hoi An: 14 June, 2022