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Hoi An’s international reputation has been carved from its long, colourful history as a port town along the maritime Silk Road running between Europe and China. Over the course of centuries of trading in exotic textiles, spices and jewellery, Hoi An developed a population full of rich, well-travelled traders, eager to bring to Vietnam some of the spoils of international exchange. What bloomed during the golden age of Hoi An is still largely visible today in its communal houses, religious buildings, ornate residences and beyond.

With tourist numbers to Hoi An reaching record numbers these days, day trips from Hoi An to its outlying attractions are growing in popularity. Eco tourism that offers visitors a chance to see traditional farming and fishing techniques is on the rise, along with cooking classes and cycling tours of handicraft villages. The attractions of My Son Sanctuary and Da Nang have always been big draws, but improved travel connections now make these much more attainable on a day trip from Hoi An.

Below is an explanation of some of the day trips from Hoi An offered by Incredible Asia Journeys, and where you might find such destinations on our tours.

Farming Villages

The huge amounts of sailors and merchants coming in and out of Hoi An on a daily basis during its past was enormous, all of whom needed a quick bite to eat before being sent back out to sea. The various quiet villages around Hoi An provided this service to great effect, filling up the rice bowls of foreign traders who, by adding ingredients brought with them, would go on to have a profound impact on the international food culture of Hoi An. While these villages are easy to cycle to, you might find a lack of things to do there. A Hoi An day trip can really open up the communal wonders of these villages by helping you speak to locals and buy food directly from the farmers.

Tra Que Organic Village (3.5km, 7 min)

The closest of Hoi An’s outlying towns possesses a fantastic commitment to pesticide and GMO-free crops, retaining an organic and 100% natural approach to vegetable growing by replacing fertiliser with algae grown in the village lagoon. Cooking day trips from Hoi An like to stop here to stock up on produce to use for the cooking class later, as well as at the local market where you can bargain for the best price. You can speak directly to the farmers who grew the produce here, and even taste-test some to experience the difference between Tra Que vegetables and ones from elsewhere.

Which day trips from Hoi An go to Tra Que?

Hoi An Cooking Class

• Hoi An Farming and Fishing Experience

Hoi An Eco Tour

Hoi An Rural Villages Half Day Cycling Tour

Cam Thanh (3.2km, 7 min)

It’s clear to see why Cam Thanh was used as a shelter during the American War. The thick forests of nipa palm and coconut provided excellent cover for soldiers and villagers, but the vast rice paddies at Cam Thanh now ensure that life is lived in the open. There are great opportunities on day trips from Hoi An to try different agricultural activities in the rice fields of Cam Thanh, including planting, transplanting and harvesting rice, as well as riding water buffalo to plough the fields for sowing.

Which day trips from Hoi An go to Cam Thanh?

Hoi An Half Day Agricultural Tour

• Hoi An Farming and Fishing Experience

Craft Villages

A feature of every major town in Vietnam, the surrounding villages that fall under the jurisdiction of Hoi An have been creating and refining their skills in very specific crafts that feature in most residents’ homes. Generations of families under one roof have taken to these crafts, but the modern pull of big cities mean that sons and daughters are unwilling to learn, and certain crafts are slowly becoming extinct. These day trips from Hoi An can help you see a few of the town’s crafts before they disappear entirely.

Kim Bong Carpentry Village (5km, 10 min)

The strong woodworking tradition at the heart of Kim Bong on Cam Kinh Island is one born of hundreds of years of working with the medium, still practiced by young adults today. The popularity of the wood spread far and wide, as many merchants would buy from the village during Hoi An’s trading days, but the proudest moment for the villagers here is when two of its citizens were invited to take up residence in the Imperial Citadel of Hue, such was the kings’ love of their work. Nowadays, many fantastically ornate statues can be seen throughout every stage on a Hoi An day trip, as well as a delightful wood and shell inlay product that is popular with tourists.

Which day trips from Hoi An go to Kim Bong?

Hoi An Rural Villages Half Day Cycling Tour

Thanh Ha Pottery Village (5.5km, 15 min)

The history of Thanh Ha for half a millennium has been the production of pottery, bricks and other ceramics for use throughout the region and beyond. Many of the bricks and tiles fired in Thanh Ha made their way to Hoi An’s Ancient Town, the architecture of which eventually became famous throughout the world. Nowadays, Thanh Ha makes its money on tourism, lending itself to Hoi An day trips on their way to My Son Sanctuary. It is now home to Thanh Ha Terracotta Park, a small but beautiful forested area where visitors can find clay replicas of world wonders such as the Sydney Opera House, Taj Mahal, London Bridge and the Arc de Triomphe, all impressively detailed.

Which day trips from Hoi An go to Thanh Ha?

• My Son Sanctuary by Jeep & Boat

Tra Nhieu Weaving Village (8km, 25 min)

The skilled hands of the villagers of Tra Nhieu have been developed over generations of practice, but their use is quite diverse. As master weavers, the Tra Nhieu artisans can weave mats and fishing baskets, both of which are always necessary in Vietnam, from rush, jute, rattan and reeds. Day trips from Hoi An often come to see these master weavers making these products as well as giving short classes on natural origami, where visitors learn how to turn leaves from the adjacent plants on the river into grand works of animal art or jewellery.

Which day trips from Hoi An go to Tra Nhieu?

Hoi An Rural Villages Half Day Cycling Tour

• My Son Sanctuary by Jeep & Boat

Hill Tribes

Under the reign of the Nguyen Emperors, the country of Dai Viet, which eventually become a unified Vietnam, assimilated many of the hill tribes and entire civilisations of people in their territory-expanding conquests. This was not helped by the French colonists or American army, but some hill tribes still remain in the region.

Co Tu (83km, 2hr)

Managing to stay out of contact with mainstream society was a great feat of the Co Tu people, who live in mountainous surrounds near the border with Thua Thien-Hue Province. The village of Bho Hoong is a great example of Co Tu architecture, with steep thatched roofs, long reeds and quaint fences creating the idyllic village scene. Day tours from Hoi An usually feature a try at crossbow shooting, one of the ancient hunting practices of the Co Tu that has survived since the Bronze Age, as well as a communal dinner with the village, giving you the chance to experience a Co Tu meal while socialising the way that they do.

Which day trips from Hoi An visit the Co Tu?

Bho Hoong & Co Tu Village Full Day Tour


Connections between Central Vietnam’s rugged mountains and Buddhism are easy to draw for the Vietnamese. Many of these natural sites are deemed holy and as such, pagodas and entire temples are built directly into the rock. Two examples of these can be seen at the Marble Mountains and Son Tra Mountain near Da Nang, while the ancient Champa Kingdom’s following of Hinduism is evidenced by the temples built to honour them at My Son Sanctuary.

Marble Mountains (20km, 30 min)

This collection of five peaks represents the five elements of wood, fire, water, earth and metal in Buddhist principles. Jutting out from seemingly nowhere amidst the flat ground between Hoi An and Da Nang, these five mountains each feature shrines, temples and tunnel systems to connect them between their caves. Stone steps are cut into all of the mountains for ease of access, but the only one where you can reach the peak for panoramic views over the sprawling urban scene below, as well as the other mountains and the long coastline, is the Water Mountain, which day trips from Hoi An prioritise.

Which day trips from Hoi An go to the Marble Mountains?

Hoi An - Da Nang Jeep Tour

• Mountains of Da Nang Day Trip from Hoi An

Linh Ung Pagoda (33km, 50 min)

What this pagoda lacks in history, it makes up for in style. Beginning life very recently in 2010, Linh Ung Pagoda is certainly not entrenched into Buddhist culture in Vietnam, but its attractive mix of contemporary and classic Buddhist architectural motifs makes it a great visit on a day trip from Hoi An. The complex is devoted to the ‘lady Buddha’ or Goddess of Mercy, evidenced by the 67m-tall statue, the largest Buddhist statue in Vietnam and the size of a 30-storey building. The whole complex gives great views over Da Nang city as well as its gorgeous coastline.

Which day trips from Hoi An go to Linh Ung Pagoda?

Hoi An - Da Nang Jeep Tour

• Mountains of Da Nang Day Trip from Hoi An

My Son Sanctuary (40km, 1hr)

My Son Sanctuary is the direct opposite of Linh Ung Pagoda in almost every way, given that it is truly ancient, lies on flat ground and is a complex devoted to Hinduism. It is also one of the eight UNESCO World Heritage sites in Vietnam, lending it a special aura of reverence that its staggering 1,800 years of accrued history commands. My Son Sanctuary is the best-preserved example of architecture from the once-powerful civilisation of Champa, who occupied the south of present-day Vietnam but were eventually assimilated into Vietnamese culture by Ming Mang, one of the Nguyen Emperors who lived in Hue. Champa’s long existence as a kingdom came to an end, but their beliefs lived on through My Son, rediscovered and restored by the French in 1890, bombed heavily during the American War and now presented as 20 standing temples, shrines and tombs devoted to Hindu gods.

Which day trips from Hoi An go to My Son Sanctuary?

• My Son Sanctuary Half Day Tour

• My Son Sanctuary by Jeep & Boat


The food culture of Hoi An has been well-documented, even if many tourists come here expecting watered down tourist versions of Hanoian or Saigonese food. The influences of many foreign visitors to Hoi An at its golden age helped to set up the diverse food scene. Japanese and Chinese influences can clearly be seen in some of the classic Hoi An foods, such as mi quang and cao lau, and the new influx of western tourists is making a mark as well, through Vietnamese pizza and the many different types of coffee sold in the town.

Cooking Classes

The best of Hoi An and Vietnam can be experienced via participation in cooking classes, which provide a fantastic culmination of history and current culture while creating fantastic dishes. Day tours or half day tours around Hoi An often head to Tra Que Village for its promoted organic benefits, as well as the chance to buy vegetables directly from the farmer, at the market or choose ones that you picked yourself. Cooking classes largely focus on spring rolls and pho, but many feature Hoi An-specific dishes like banh dap (rice pancakes) and hoang thanh chien (fried wontons).

Which day trips from Hoi An offer cooking classes?

Hoi An Cooking Class

Culinary River Cruise

Those tourists wanting to take advantage of the calm waters surrounded by lush vegetation can do so on a culinary river cruise, one of Hoi An’s day trips on the Thu Bon River and its estuaries. Sailing down the river on a converted fishing boat for dinner has become a popular excursion, as sunsets behind the overhanging plants guarding the banks of the river is a magical experience. Dinners subscribe to the Vietnamese ideal of ‘sharing is caring’, where one meal with many platters is put in front of all guests, who will choose what they need after filling up the bowls of their elders.

Which day trips from Hoi An offer a dinner cruise?

Hoi An Culinary River Cruise


Taking some time off from excursions to explore the city is always important. They can be great places to relax, and this is certainly the case with Hoi An and Da Nang. The coastal cities of Central Vietnam have a more beachside air about them, where time seems to move more slowly compared to other more business-oriented places in the country. Even during the wet season, just sitting with a coffee and enjoying the pace of life outside is something not to be missed.

Da Nang (30km, 45 min)

Capital of the centre and Vietnam’s contested ‘third city’, Da Nang has a very tranquil atmosphere set by the city-length beach that looks onto the East Vietnam Sea. This aura is helped by Da Nang’s lower pollution rates and less traffic, meaning the residents here tend to be friendly and free of their own troubles. The city has many iconic bridges that cross the river between its two halves, including the Dragon Bridge, a fantastic piece of art that sprays water and fire during New Year’s celebrations. Day trips from Hoi An often visit Han Market, the centre for activity in the city, which is interesting but can get a little hectic. Refuge can be sought in the museums around Da Nang, such as the Cham Museum, which gives a great account of the old civilisation of Champa and the Cham people who lived during, and survived after, its eventual fall.

Which day trips from Hoi An go to Da Nang?

Hoi An - Da Nang Jeep Tour

• Mountains of Da Nang Day Trip from Hoi An

Hoi An

The history of Hoi An as an ancient port town is fairly well known, purely because of the amount of tourists who come here and explore the town for several days. Hoi An promotes its long and interesting history through the Ancient Town Pass, a ticket allowing access to the oldest part of the town and 5 of the 22 official attractions here. These fall into the categories of assembly halls, museums, communal houses, old town houses and unique attractions like the Japanese Covered Bridge. Aside from these, the UNESCO World Heritage site features an array of food along with many beaches and islands available for exploration, lending it a similar, if a bit more touristy, atmosphere to Da Nang.

Which day trips spend time around Hoi An?

Hoi An Half Day Walking Tour


Hoi An’s diverse surrounds are full of natural wonders in its rivers, lakes, lagoons, mountains, national parks, beaches and islands. They provide a perfect escape once you’ve seen the city and are often cooler, shadier places to spend time during the summer.

Bay Mau Coconut Forest (5km, 13 min)

Around Cam Thanh commune and other areas like Tra Nhieu village, banks of rivers and estuaries are guarded by luxuriant nipa palm, planted many years ago to stem the advance of the rising water during the wet season, the same one that floods Hoi An and leaves vendors drifting around streets on their boats. The tropical scenery it creates is one of utter paradise and the coconut forest of Bay Mau can be explored on a Hoi An day trip, via a basket boat down the river or by walking between its hanging coconut trees.

Which day trips from Hoi An go to Bay Mau?

Hoi An Eco Tour

• My Son Sanctuary by Jeep & Boat

Hai Van Pass (55km, 1hr 25min)

A manmade structure, but one offering unbelievable views of the forests, beaches and sea below, the Hai Van Pass is regularly voted among the top most scenic roads in the world. The countless switchbacks of the road give constantly changing views of the unfolding landscape and there are several stops to allow for closer exploration. There is a waterfall observation deck and a place to watch the scenery with minimal road traffic from high above, where even misty days can produce moments of pure beauty.

Which day trips from Hoi An go to the Hai Van Pass?

• Mountains of Da Nang Day Trip from Hoi An

Son Tra Peninsula (40km, 1hr)

The mountainous home of the Linh Ung Pagoda is a spectacle in itself, and many Da Nang and Hoi An residents come here on the weekends to enjoy the incredible views it provides. The blooming mountain sits just north of Da Nang’s curved beach, said to resemble a mushroom when viewed as one package. The rich flora and fauna here gave it its alternative moniker, Monkey Mountain, from the abundance of cheeky primates around the forested tops and the six beaches sitting below them. There are also museums and the remains of an American helipad used during the war.

Which day trips from Hoi An go to Son Tra Peninsula?

• Mountains of Da Nang Day Trip from Hoi An

Hoi An - Da Nang Jeep Tour

How do we get around on a Hoi An Day Trip?

There are many ways for us to explore the beauty of Hoi An and the areas around it… 

Jeep – A US-style military jeep is fantastic for long rides to Da Nang, My Son Sanctuary and the Hai Van Pass, with the power to take us up the steep inclines of Son Tra mountain as well. The jeep is an open-top option and perfect for good weather and drives down the beach road connecting Hoi An and Da Nang.

Bicycle – Perfect for rural escapes into the nearby countryside. It seems like Hoi An’s many village paths that flank the edges of rice paddies were made for bicycles passing the serene views on each side.

Basket Boat – The traditional method of getting down the river, and a firm favourite on day trips around Hoi An because of the skillful displays of control that the boatmen show while spinning their boats around in circles, matching the fervor by spinning their oar in their hands as well.

Kayak – Our ‘Hoi An Kayaking with Floating Bar Tour’ features kayaking along the gentle rivers and streams of Hoi An and its neighbouring communes, perfect for gliding beneath hanging nipa palm under the power of your own steam.

Walking – Hoi An’s Ancient Town is strictly pedestrian-only, so we will be walking around it on the ‘Hoi An Half Day Walking Tour’, which gives us the chance to get up close to and inside some of the attractions we will be visiting.

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