Morning: Trip to My Son Sanctuary
My Son Hindu Sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a great sample of the ancient Champa civilisation located in the southern part of Vietnam. It was an independent state from around the 2nd to the 17th century, at which time it was occupied by Vietnam. The impressive Hindu-themed ruins feature many beautiful stone sculptures, temples and towers in tropical jungle surroundings. The best time to visit is early in the morning as it offers cooler temperatures and smaller crowds. You can either opt for a day tour to My Son Hindu Sanctuary or rent a motorcycle if you prefer exploring at your own pace.
Afternoon: Sunbathe at An Bang Beach or Cua Dai Beach
After returning to Hoi An from My Son Hindu Sanctuary, make your way to An Bang Beach, one of the few stretches of beach in Hoi An that’s relatively unspoiled by development. A popular option for soaking up the sun and enjoying an array of seaside activities, it’s also home to a choice of beachfront resorts, seafood restaurants and hippy bars with stunning views of the neighbouring Marble Mountains, Da Nang Bay, and Da Nang and Cham Islands. Most of the restaurants offer sunbed rentals between VND 15,000 and VND 40,000, but they’re free of charge if you dine there.
Cua Dai Beach is another great reason to visit Hoi An as you can soak up all the celebrated cultural and historical sites, then head up to the beach and experience what is often claimed to be Vietnam's most stunning coastal shore. Both beaches are located just 7 km north of Hoi An Old Town, so a taxi should take no more than 10 minutes to get you there.
Evening: Enjoy Hoi An’s Diverse Dining Scene
Hoi An is teeming with international restaurants and bars, with many of them featuring spacious lounge bars on the ground floor and an eating section with a balcony upstairs. Some are fitted with large screens showing the latest sports events, as well as stages hosting live bands, DJ sets and traditional performances. Roadside food stalls and rough-and-ready restaurants are also popular dining options in Hoi An, serving authentic Vietnamese dishes at incredibly low prices.
Night: Light a Lantern at Hoi An Riverside
Your final night in Hoi An is best spent at the bustling Riverside, which comes to life with hundreds of colourful handmade lanterns, local vendors and street performances along the narrow streets. If you happen to visit Hoi An on a full moon, you’ll find every shop, restaurant and bar in the Ancient Town switches off all electricity and relies on hundreds of candles and lanterns. Expect lots of local musicians playing traditional instruments, Chinese chess, poetry readings, and lantern-making classes until late during this festivity.