Introduction

Hoi An, a charming ancient town nestled along the central coast of Vietnam, is a destination that oozes with history, culture, and natural beauty. With its well-preserved heritage buildings, lantern-lined streets, and picturesque riverside setting, Hoi An is an absolute delight for travelers seeking an authentic Vietnamese experience. If you find yourself with only 48 hours to explore this enchanting town, fear not! We have compiled a list of 10 cool things that you must absolutely do during your short visit.

1. Wander through the Old Town

The first thing on your Hoi An itinerary should undoubtedly be to explore the enchanting Old Town. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, this area is a living museum of ancient architecture and traditional Vietnamese customs. Stroll along its narrow, lantern-lit streets, lined with beautifully preserved wooden shop-houses, art galleries, and tailor shops. The Old Town is also home to numerous well-preserved temples, assembly halls, and communal houses that offer fascinating insights into the town’s rich history and cultural heritage.

Useful link: [Hoi An Old Town](https://www.vietnamonline.com/attraction/hoi-an-old-town.html)

2. Take a Boat Ride along the Thu Bon River

A boat ride along the Thu Bon River is a must-do when in Hoi An. Hop on a traditional wooden boat and meander along the tranquil river, passing by lush green landscapes and picturesque fishing villages. Opt for a sunset boat ride to witness the breathtaking colors reflecting on the water and enjoy the peaceful ambiance. This leisurely journey gives you a chance to observe the daily lives of the locals and offers a unique perspective of Hoi An’s beauty from the water.

Useful link: [Hoi An Boat Tours](https://www.viator.com/Hoi-An-attractions/Hoi-An-Boat-Tours/d5229-a10524)

3. Visit the Japanese Covered Bridge

One of Hoi An’s most iconic landmarks is the Japanese Covered Bridge, known locally as Chua Cau. This beautiful bridge, built in the 16th century, is a perfect fusion of Japanese and Vietnamese architectural styles. Adorned with intricate carvings and a small pagoda, the bridge is not only aesthetically pleasing but also holds historical significance. Crossing the bridge, you’ll find yourself in Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, boasting unique shops, art galleries, and charming cafes.

Useful link: [Japanese Covered Bridge](https://www.hoianguide.net/japanese-bridge-hoi-an.html)

4. Experience Hoi An’s Cuisine with a Cooking Class

One of the highlights of visiting Hoi An is indulging in its delectable cuisine. Why not go a step further and take a cooking class to learn how to recreate these mouthwatering dishes when you return home? Hoi An is known for its fresh flavors and distinct dishes such as cao lau, a unique noodle dish, and banh mi, a Vietnamese baguette sandwich. In a cooking class, you will have the opportunity to visit a local market, learn about the ingredients, and follow expert chefs as they guide you through the process of creating these delightful culinary masterpieces.

Useful link: [Hoi An Cooking Classes](https://www.hoiancookingschool.com/)

5. Explore Hoi An’s Lantern Market

Hoi An is renowned for its vibrant lanterns that adorn the streets, illuminating the night sky with a magical glow. To truly appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into these lanterns, a visit to Hoi An’s Lantern Market is a must. Located near the Japanese Covered Bridge, this bustling market offers a dazzling array of lanterns in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Take the opportunity to browse through the market, immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, and perhaps even purchase a lantern or two as a unique souvenir of your time in Hoi An.

Useful link: [Hoi An Lantern Market](https://www.vietnam-guide.com/hoi-an/shopping/lanterns.htm)

6. Catch the Sunrise at An Bang Beach

For beach lovers seeking some relaxation, An Bang Beach is the place to be. Just a short ride from Hoi An’s center, this pristine stretch of sand offers a peaceful escape from the town’s bustling streets. Start your day by catching the breathtaking sunrise over the ocean, painting the sky with hues of pink and orange. An Bang Beach is also home to charming beachside restaurants and bars where you can savor delicious seafood while enjoying the gentle sea breeze.

Useful link: [An Bang Beach](https://www.vietnam-guide.com/hoi-an/an-bang-beach.htm)

7. Cycle to the Countryside

Escape the tourist crowds and get a glimpse of rural Vietnam by renting a bicycle and exploring the picturesque countryside surrounding Hoi An. Pedal through lush paddy fields, pass by charming villages, and witness the locals going about their daily routines. You might also stumble across vibrant green rice terraces, traditional crafts workshops, and ancient pagodas hidden off the beaten path. Cycling not only allows you to appreciate the natural beauty of the area but also provides an opportunity for cultural immersion.

Useful link: [Cycling in Hoi An](https://www.vietnambackroads.com/38/hoi-an-cycling-biking-full-day-tour-of-bike-trip.html)

8. Marvel at the My Son Sanctuary

A visit to the nearby My Son Sanctuary is a captivating journey back in time. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a cluster of ancient Hindu temples and towers constructed by the Champa civilization between the 4th and 14th centuries. The architectural marvels are set amidst dense jungle, creating a mystical atmosphere. Explore the ruins, admire the intricate carvings, and learn about the fascinating history of this ancient civilization. The My Son Sanctuary is not only culturally significant but also a great opportunity for beautiful photographs.

Useful link: [My Son Sanctuary](https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/949)

9. Get Tailor-Made Clothing

Hoi An is renowned as the tailor capital of Vietnam, and for good reason. The town is brimming with skilled tailors who can create custom-made clothing to suit your taste and preferences. Whether it’s a stylish suit, a traditional ao dai dress, or a cozy winter coat, Hoi An’s tailors can work wonders with fabrics of your choice. The prices are usually reasonable, and the attention to detail is impressive. Just make sure you leave enough time during your 48-hour visit for measurements, fittings, and adjustments.

Useful link: [Hoi An Tailors](https://www.vietnam-guide.com/hoi-an/shopping/tailors.htm)

10. Immerse Yourself in Hoi An’s Night Market

No visit to Hoi An would be complete without experiencing the lively Night Market. As the sun sets, the streets come alive with countless stalls selling a variety of souvenirs, local handicrafts, clothing, and street food. Wander through the vibrant alleys, haggle with local vendors, and savor delicious Vietnamese street food such as banh xeo, a crispy pancake filled with shrimp and herbs. The Night Market offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Hoi An and take home some memorable and authentic souvenirs.

Useful link: [Hoi An Night Market](https://www.vietnam-guide.com/hoi-an/night-market.htm)

In just 48 hours, Hoi An offers a plethora of experiences that will captivate your senses and leave you wanting more. Whether you delve into the town’s rich history, delight in its culinary offerings, or simply take in its natural beauty, Hoi An will undoubtedly leave an indelible impression. So, pack your bags, immerse yourself in the lantern-lit streets, and let Hoi An weave its magic on your soul.