Hoi An Off The Beaten Path

  • Residential Street,Cam Nam Island,Hoi An,Vietnam.
    Residential Street,Cam Nam Island,Hoi...
    by Greggor58
  • Coming and Going,Cam Nam Island,Hoi An,Vietnam.
    Coming and Going,Cam Nam Island,Hoi...
    by Greggor58
  • Riverside Walkway,Cam Nam Island,Hoi An,Vietnam.
    Riverside Walkway,Cam Nam Island,Hoi...
    by Greggor58

Best Rated Off The Beaten Path in Hoi An

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    just outside the city limits, rural Vietnam awaits

    by richiecdisc Written Jan 25, 2005

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    working the rice paddies

    Since we had four days in Hoi An and it's a pretty small town, we decided to just walk out one of the roads to see what we could find food-wise on the outskirts. We not only found banh dap, a tasty snack, but also we were surprised at how rural it got too. Rice paddies spread for as far as the eye could see and we enjoyed to watch the locals working their land. Walk out Huynh Thuc Khang and you'll see a very different part of Hoi An.

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    • Food and Dining

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  • SirRichard's Profile Photo

    Ancient atmosphere

    by SirRichard Updated Oct 2, 2003

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    that light...

    If you visit the Hoy An market early in the morning, when the activity is at its best, you will see scenes that will make you think you are in another time, in another world, in one of those oriental flavour movies. The sunrise light is so special, with newborn beams, shadows, transparencies... and the scents add a magical fragant atmosphere too!

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    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

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  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo

    My Son, the Champa Kingdom's Capital

    by call_me_rhia Written Jul 19, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    a cham tower
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    My Son, the Champa Kingdom's Capital, is located about an hour from Hoi An, and can be reached by cheap tour buses or by private taxi. Cheap tour buses cost a few dollars but they all arrive at the same time, so when you visit, the archaeological site will be packed. Taxis cost about 20 dollars and give you the chance to explore the site in a less crowded and rushed way.

    My Son was a center for spirituality and worship of Champa Kingdom, which had their spiritual influence from India. In the past it would have looked like a forest of ceremonial towers - now, after much of the site has been destroyed by bombing during the Vietnam war, only about 25 of the original towers are left standing.

    A path leads you through the site and past all significant monuments, although the best one that you'll see is the first one you'll encounter, after walking up the hill past the entrance. The main temple here is dedicated to SHiva, while others were used to keep the sacred books and for ceremonial purposes.

    Once you get to My Son you need to buy an entrance ticket (55000 dong, july 2007) before crossing the bridge. here your ticket will be checked and you'll be directed to some parked green jeeps, who will drive you to the "real" site entrance, still some kilometres far... uphill and through dense forest.

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  • betska's Profile Photo

    Marble Mountains

    by betska Updated Sep 8, 2008

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    Marble Mountain - Ngu Hanh Son Village carvings
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    Getting there was half the fun. We walked to the local bus station north of town. We enquired and were told that a bus was leaving at 10am (in a half hour's time) No probs! We waited by the bus, but an amercian guy put his pack on the bus & wandered off looking for cheap drinking water (he said they over-charged at the bus depot) Funny thing was, it left in 10 minutes, not at 10am. So we were OK - but this guy's pack was on the bus and not him!!!! We pleaded with the driver to wait, but not possible. What to do??? We didn't want to leave his pack unattended at the bus depot.
    Meantime, our friend from USA rocks up at the bus depot and realises that the bus has left without him!!! He grabs a local with a motorbike, races after the bus and finally, all is well!
    Moral to the story - don't leave sight of your luggage!!

    The story goes that they have plundered the mountain for so much marble, they had to stop, or there would be no more mountain left, so the marble is now imported from China. The village of Ngu Hanh Son, at the base the mountains is lined with marble carving shops, selling everything from tiny charms up to huge monuments.
    The "mountains" are actually a series of 5 marble & limestone peaks, which were once islands. They are named after the five elements - fire, water, soil, wood & metal.
    The highest mountain, Thuy Son, is climbed by stairs built into the side of the hill. a lovely pagoda that can be climbed overlooks the beach and the views across the surrounding country are stunning, making it well worth the trek.
    There are many caves & shrines to explore and these have become Buddhist sanctuaries. They also served as havens for the Viet Cong during the war.
    One of the caves, Huyen Khing Cave has a high ceiling pierced by 5 holes. If you get here at around 11am-mid-day, you will see the sunlight filter through, illuminating the central Buddha -very "other-worldly".
    Entry 15,000 dong.

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  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    Animal market

    by balhannah Updated Mar 27, 2010

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    coming from the market
    4 more images

    By the river bridge that crosses over to Can Am Island is the animal market.
    The Market is located just around the corner in Bach Dang street. You walk into the market area from the river bridge road, where the Tin smiths workshops are. Just a short way in, and hidden, are the animal markets where you will see the chickens, ducks, pigeons and pigs for sale. There is plenty of wheeling and dealing going on by the buyers and sellers. Nobody seemed to mind me having a look and taking photo's.
    I was the only Westerner here, everybody walked past the entrance, so I thought it was quite an interesting find!
    It is on the side located nearest the river.

    Location Bach Dang Street, Hoi An

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  • magor65's Profile Photo

    My Son

    by magor65 Written Nov 29, 2008

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    My Son
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    My Son is a definite "must" if you visit this part of Vietnam. Situated about 40 km from Hoi An in a lush green valley it is one of the most important archeological sites of Vietnam. Once the ancient centre of the kingdom of Champa, it is nowadays the UNESCO World Heritage site.
    Although My Son cannot compare to the temples of Angkor in Cambodia, it is undoubtedly an evocative place of great historical value.
    The earliest temple constructions come from the 4th century AD, but most structures whose remains we can see today were built around the 10th century AD.
    The American war reduced a big part of the buildings to ruins. Some of the decorative elements and carvings that 'survived' the war have been removed to the Cham museum in Danang. But still the place makes a lasting impression.
    The ticket comprises the transport to the sites, which are about 2 km from the ticket office.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Archeology

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  • xaver's Profile Photo

    Cross the bridge

    by xaver Written Oct 21, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    man working

    Looking for the popular japanese bridge, I found another one, wich was not obviously the one I was looking for, but this one crossed the river and brought you to the other, definitly not touristic side of Hoi An.
    May be because it was low season, but I did not see many tourists in Hoi An anyway, but walking through the small streets where people used to live and do their daily activites was amazing!

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  • SirRichard's Profile Photo

    Patios

    by SirRichard Updated Oct 2, 2003

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    A charming patio

    There are many private patios in the old part. Most of them are turned now into shops, art galleries... so don't be shy, just walk into, have a look, take your time, explore. Many of the patios connect with alleys that communicate the narrow streets between them, so you can easily get lost, but as it is a rather small place, you will soon find yourself into a known street again...

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  • SirRichard's Profile Photo

    Gates & entrances

    by SirRichard Written Oct 1, 2003

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    A gate

    You can find some spectacular gates, entrances, facades and verandas as you walk by the streets. Some of them are still private houses, but most are turned now in to shops or tourism-oriented places. Some have plants outside and bird cages. Chinese love birds!

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  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo

    Visit the beach.

    by cachaseiro Written Feb 8, 2011

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    The beach near Hoi An.
    1 more image

    Hoi An has a beach 4 kilometers out of town.
    Last time i was there the weather was quite bad and you could not swim and most beach bars were closed, but when the weather is nice then it´s quite a lively place and the beach is relatively good there.
    To get the 4 kilometers there i recommend renting a bicycle in Hoi An.
    Cycling there is easy and real nice on small country roads with people working in the rice fields.
    Alternatively you can take a bus or go by taxi.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Surfing
    • Cycling

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  • leffe3's Profile Photo

    My Son

    by leffe3 Updated Feb 24, 2006

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    65 kms south west of Hoi An is the superb My Son Champa ruins.

    It's nowhere near as impressive as Angkor, which so obviously influenced the style, added to which much of the site was destroyed or badly damaged by US mortar fire and B52 bombing in the American War.

    But its location is magnificent, in the shadow of Cat's Tooth Mountain and its brooding intensity.

    Best way to get here is to simply take the tourist bus from Hoi An. There are several to chose from - and most leave at approx 8am.
    It takes approx 75 - 90 minutes, and usually give you just over 2 hours at the site (which is enough time to cover the ruins). Cost is less than US$2 (excluding entry fee).

    We took the tour including the river trip back - not worth it. You still take the bus coming back and join the river approx half way between My Son and Hoi An, stopping off at the Thanh Ha pottery village on the way. There's nothing wrong with the trip - just not a particularly attractive stretch of river.

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  • Greggor58's Profile Photo

    Memorial Park and Monument...

    by Greggor58 Updated Oct 3, 2011

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    Kazimierz Kwiatkowski Memorial,Hoi An,Vietnam.
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    At the far end of Tran Phu Street you'll find a really nice little park that's essentially a Memorial to a Polish man named Kazimierz Kwiatkowski...a man that was instrumental to Hoi An's Old Quarter being given UNESCO status as a heritage site.

    IN the 1980's he came to Vietnam to participate in a program of preservation of Vietnamese heritage and because of illness died in Hue in 1997.

    This small park like setting is surrounded with green space,and a large bas-relief of the man as well as a placard detailing his efforts in this process...

    He also was a key figure in bringing that same status to the Cham ruins of My Son...where he worked in the restoration of the ruins...

    So...if you're walking about and wondering what this park and statue are all about now you know..

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    • Arts and Culture
    • Photography

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  • magor65's Profile Photo

    My Son (2)

    by magor65 Updated Nov 29, 2008

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    My Son
    1 more image

    The temple compound is divided into several groups marked by French archeologists with letters of the alphabet.
    Each group comprised the following structures: a main tower (kalan), a gate tower, a meditation hall (mandapa) and a building for offerings. Some had also towers housing stelae with royal epitaphs.
    Tourists usually start visiting the site from groups B and C. The decorative elements on the exterior walls, the motifs carved in the brickwork, are the evidence of the greatest skills possessed by the Cham artists.
    Group A, although once probably the most remarkable, was almost completely destroyed by US attacks and what is left is a mere pile of bricks.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Architecture

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  • hientonkin's Profile Photo

    BIG BLUE LOVERS

    by hientonkin Written Feb 25, 2006

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    Just for beach people. Discover Cham island is great. 8 islands, 135 species of coral, 202 species of fish.
    You can join a day trips with scuba dives, snorkelling, sailing.... or join the padi dive courses if you dont know how to dive yet, from 1 day course, 3 days course or even 6 weeks course ( for master course ).
    Have fun and fun!

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    • Diving and Snorkeling
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  • Greggor58's Profile Photo

    Change up the PACE...slow down a little..

    by Greggor58 Updated Oct 3, 2011

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    Memorial,Cam Nam Island,Hoi An,Vietnam.
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    We took a walk one day across the Thu Bon River to explore a little of Cam Nam Island...and found it was a GREAT way to escape the noise and hustle and bustle of Hoi An...Initially our intention was to find the animal market that I thought might be located here....so we went looking for it..we never did find it but enjoyed our time on this side of the river anyhow..

    We crossed the bridge at the foot of the Hoang Dieu Street..close to the market..Hoang Dieu street is also the location of my shoe vendor...anyhow...across the other side of the bridge the whole pace of life slows down...no incessant horn beeping..no tourists [ except us ] ,no vendors "welcoming" us into they're shops or restaurants..Just a little Peace and Quiet..and some meticulously looked after houses..and people going about they're daily lives..

    There's a "high end" hotel at the end of the bridge and some shops and a few businesses...we walked around some residential streets and eventually made our way back to the bridge via a really picturesque waterfront walkway that passed along the Thu Bon River...

    Along the way we passed a Memorial that essentially is a tribute to a unit of the 108th Regiment that fought and won a battle here against the French in 1948.We checked out some of the architecture of the local houses and stopped for a drink along the way...

    If you want to change it up a little....take a stroll across the bridge ...follow your nose...and find out whats down THIS road...you'll be happy that you did..

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    • Photography
    • Architecture

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Hoi An Off The Beaten Path

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