Hội An is a city on Vietnam’s central coast known for its well-preserved Ancient Town, cut through with canals. Hoi An Ancient Town is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Its buildings and its street plan reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage site.

Floating Lantern Festival is lit every night in Hoi An regardless of whether it is the Lantern Festival or not. Candles are placed and burned at the bottom of the colorful paper lanterns, creating a glowing atmosphere in the twinkling moonlight.

We explored Hoi An when we stayed in Da Nang and is only a short drive away. We went there during the day and during the evening and it seems to be two different towns depending what time of the day you are visiting.

Various activities help us immerse in the local culture and Hoi An is a place to do so. Here are 7 amazing activities to do both for parents and kids once in Hoi An as it brings such a sense of uniqueness as this town is nothing short of magical.

  1. COOKING CLASS- You don’t have to be pro in the kitchen to enjoy Hoi An’s fantastic cooking classes. Here you can follow the entire process, from the fishing net and public market to the claypot and frying pan, while learning local techniques along the way. The kids will enjoy this experience as they would be fully hands on from the start to finish.
  2. COCONUT VILLAGE AND ECO ROUND BOAT TOUR – Cam Thanh Coconut Village, is a picturesque destination known for its vibrant coconut groves, scenic boat tours, and rich cultural experiences. Nestled in the heart of Hoi An, this village offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and traditional way of life. We went out of the beaten path to have this experience as we heard that at the main place they blast music, let the tourist drink and it is just one big party. We wanted to have a different experience and found a family run place that offer just that (location: TRANG COCONUT VILLAGE ). There are very little tourist around so the experience is far more enjoyable as well as so personal. You learn so much from this family, as they love to talk about their culture and their heritage.

Immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture with a lantern-making class. Select from full and express options. In the full activity, make the lanterns completely from scratch.

Begin your experience with some herbal tea and traditional music. Hear about the history of Hoi An bamboo silk lanterns from your host and how the local people believe that hanging lanterns in front of their house brings luck, happiness, and wealth.

Create lanterns shaped like lotuses, triangles, garlic, UFOs, or diamonds and choose your own silk style and color with guidance from your instructor. This unique activity can be enjoyed by the entire family, even by kids as young as 3 years old.

Once completed, these lanterns are easy to fold, carry, or put in your luggage, so you can take home an original, hand-made souvenir from your visit to Hoi An.

4. LANTERN BOAT TOUR – Embark on a captivating journey as you sail along the Hoai River and illuminate the waters with released lanterns (you can also add that to your itinerary – releasing your own lit up lantern is a very magical experience), transforming your visit into unforgettable memories. This unique experience not only adds beauty to the rich tapestry of traditional culture but also holds profound spiritual significance for both the local community and visitors alike.

5. EXPLORING OLD TOWN OF HOI AN – This is a must to do during the day and during the late evening hours as the town transforms depending on the time of the day. A World Heritage Site, Old Town has narrow streets lined with timber buildings of Indigenous and Colonial architectural styles spanning several centuries. It’s home to ornate Chinese temples/assembly halls, including Hội Quán Phúc Kiến, and museums highlighting folk culture and history. Bustling Hội An Market offers fresh produce and souvenirs, while eateries and fine-dining restaurants overlook Thu Bồn River.

6. BAMBOO LUNE THEATRE- For those who are looking for a unique Vietnamese cultural experience, Lune Center is not to be missed when in Hoi An city. Surrounded by the picturesque scenery of the ancient town, Hoi An Lune Center is the first and only bamboo theatre in Vietnam. It was built for local art performances, being especially honored as home to the world-renowned Vietnamese Bamboo Circus. The theatre promises to bring every audience a joyful and unforgettable experience.

7. ANG BANG BEACH – Tranquil, tree-lined beach featuring white sand, palapas, lounge chairs & eateries. There are plenty of round boats at the beach that gives a unique feel of charm. There are plenty of local eateries and more western restaurants at this beach just to enjoy the views and water. We hit this beach before we went to explore the OLD TOWN and it is a great way to relax before hitting the streets of HOI AN.

Hoi An is a vibrant city that attracts many many tourists every year. These activities are not to be missed when you are in this Ancient Town with the family- they are very enjoyable and help you immerse in the local culture and heritage.

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