Hoi An is a popular city in Vietnam receiving around 3.2 million tourists every year. Most tourists spend their time exploring the picturesque old town which is beautiful however there is so much more to Hoi An that many tourists miss.
If you want to know about all of the non-touristy places and things to do in Hoi An then keep reading.
Non-Touristy Things To Do In Hoi An:
Here’s 11 non-touristy things to do in Hoi An, Vietnam.
Cua Dai Beach
The most popular beach in Hoi An is An Bang Beach which will be packed with tourists all day long. Whilst it is a lively beach with a fun atmosphere, if you’re looking to escape the crowds instead head to Cua Dai Beach.
Cua Dai Beach used to be the main beach in Hoi An many moons ago however now it mostly lies forgotten as coastal erosion caused the beach to become thinner and eventually people started going to An Bang Beach instead.
Cua Dai Beach is still worth visiting and there’s still plenty of space available on the sand. The best bit is that it’s usually very quiet and you’re unlikely to bump into other tourists.
There are still many beachside restaurants for you to grab a snack or refreshment and it’s a great place to try out some local dishes.
Stay in a homestay to experience local life
Rather than staying in a fancy hotel, why not opt for a homestay. This is where you stay with a local family to truly experience and immerse yourself in local culture.
You’ll not regret it as not only will you get an authentic insight into Vietnamese life, but you’ll get the opportunity to interact with locals and build friendships. The people of Hoi An are really friendly and welcome travellers to get to know their way of life.
Hire a bicycle and venture off the beaten track
Lots of tourists hire bicycles in Hoi An and ride around the city. This is a super fun activity and a great way to see the city.
To escape the tourists, hire a bike and venture out of the main town area. There’s a lot of beautiful countryside surrounding the city that doesn’t get enough attention from tourists.
You’ll get a fantastic insight into local life as you ride through the countryside passing local villages and seeing the real Vietnam. A great route is to follow the Hoai River.
You can rent a bike from many shops located all over the city. I’d suggest hiring one for the day and letting yourself get lost.
Catch the sunset on a Hoi An rooftop
One of the best places to watch the sunset in Hoi An is on the rooftop at Faifo Coffee. This hidden gem is still relatively unknown to most travellers so you won’t have to battle the crowds to get a good view.
This rooftop has a fantastic view of the old town from above and is the perfect spot to watch the sunset.
Visit a pottery village
Just outside of the Hoi An Ancient Town are many traditional trade villages which have preserved practices for thousands of years.
Thanh Ha Pottery Village, located on Thu Bon River, is an excellent place to visit. The villagers here have crafted unique pottery since the 16th century. The terracotta clay used to create their designs is actually taken from nearby riverbeds.
You’ll get an authentic experience when visiting here and can even give the pottery a go yourself. The locals are more than happy to show you how.
Cam Nam Island
The main old town of Hoi An, whilst incredibly beautiful, is super touristy all the time.
If you want a similar experience but wish to avoid the crowds, head over to Cam Nam Island. This island is just minutes over a bridge from the old town but the atmosphere here is much different. Cam Nam Island is much more relaxed and laid back.
You’ll see far less tourists and much more locals. It has many of the things that you’ll see in the main old town including local restaurants, temples, shops and much more but without the crowds.
Eat with the locals
Why not dine at local restaurants that are still relatively unknown to tourists? Not only will you find some peace and quiet from the crowds but it’s also a fantastic opportunity to try some authentic, local Vietnamese food.
A great restaurant is Bale Well which serves delicious Vietnamese pancakes (banh xeo). There’s plenty of other dishes to try too. It’s located at 51 Tran Hung Dao.
Another is Com Ga Ba Buoi which is a favourite of the locals due to it’s delicious chicken rice. It’s located at 22 Phan Chu Trinh.
Finally, head over to Quan Dau Bac located on Phan Chu Trinh Street. This open air restaurant serves delicious Vietnamese food that will leave you wanting more.
Take a boat ride at Cam Thanh Coconut Island
Head over to Cam Thanh Coconut Island for a taste of how the locals live. They will even show you how to row a boat and catch crabs!
It’s a lot of fun and a great way to interact with the locals. Everyone is super friendly and happy to show you their way of life.
Take a calligraphy class
Many tourists take a cooking class or a lantern making workshop when visiting Hoi An.
One of the more offbeat classes you can try is a calligraphy class. You’ll get the chance to learn from a highly skilled calligrapher and learn how to write the Vietnamese script.
The best bit is that you can take home your work afterwards. This would make a nice display in your home or the perfect gift for a friend.
Take part in the Hoi An Handicraft Workshop
This traditional workshop takes place inside a 200 year old house. Here, visitors will learn mat weaving, pottery, textile weaving and more. It’s located in a quiet and peaceful setting in a Vietnamese village.
You can learn from the highly skilled locals and create something with your hands. It’s also a great way to support the local community.
Visit the rural village of Cam Kim
Get away from the old town of Hoi An and head over to the rural village of Cam Kim. Here you won’t find busy shops, luxury hotels or tourist traps, just stunning rural scenery and a peaceful village.
This village is a fantastic place to relax as it feels very untouched by tourism. You’ll find quant Vietnamese wooden houses dotted around the village.
A must-see is the Kim Bong Carpentry Village, located in Cam Kim. Here you’ll see locals crafting wood into products. It’s loud but a fascinating insight into local life and gives you the opportunity to witness talented craftsmanship right in front of your eyes.
Thanks for reading this post on the non-touristy thing to do in Hoi An. Whilst the old town is absolutely stunning, there is so much more to Hoi An than meets the eye and many travellers miss out.