Hoi An is a city ideal for those who want to get away from the touristy spots, and perfect for travelers who want to connect with a city on an authentic level. If you want to immerse into the way of life in Hoi An, there are a few day trip destinations that will broaden your perspective of what this city can offer.
Cham Islands are a group of eight islands that you’ll find off the coast of Hoi An. One of these islands is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. If you are looking for opportunities to dive, snorkel, or go fishing, there is no better choice than this for a day trip destination from Hoi An.
You can also stumble upon a number of small yet important historical sites in the Cham Islands. You’ll have the chance to explore the islands on foot or rent a motorbike for a day to cover more grounds. Hon Lao is the largest of the islands and was settled by the Cham people 3,000 years ago. The eastern portion of the island is a military base, which explains why it was closed off for tourists for years.
As for when to visit the islands, make sure you schedule your visit from March to September. Otherwise, you could get stuck on an island when there is bad weather as boats aren’t allowed to navigate its waters because of bad swells in the water.
My Son Ruins
My Son Ruins is 50 km outside the town of Hoi An in Vietnam and it’s a popular day-trip destination, especially for those seeking out historical and cultural attractions. My Son Ruins is composed of a cluster of abandoned Hindu temple ruins which, according to archaeologists, were built between the 4th and 14th centuries for the kings of Champa. These temples were built to honor the Hindu god Shiva.
The ancient monuments were declared by UNESCO as a world heritage site because of their cultural and historical significance. Aside from gaining insight into the political and cultural history of the site, these ruins are nestled in the mountains of the Quang Nam province in Vietnam. This location was strategically chosen to make the Champa Kingdom easy to defend. It’s also a great opportunity to escape into the amazing mountainous landscape of Central Vietnam.
Marble Mountain is a must-visit day trip destination for tourists traveling to Hoi An. It’s a cluster of five hills made from limestone and marble within the Ngu Hanh Son District and it’s to the south of Da Nang, another popular tourist destination in Vietnam. Each of the five hills is known to represent the five elements: Kim for metal, Thuy for water, Moc for wood, Hoa for fire, and Tho for earth.
You can access each of the five hills with their own respective cave entrances or via tunnels. Out of the five hills, it’s possible to climb one of them – Mount Thuy. The peaks and caves within the area are known as pilgrimage sites but they aren’t the only attraction in this coastal area because it’s also known for its sculpture making and stone-cutting crafts. Although the extraction of rock and other materials from the mountains is now prohibited, you’ll still find a lot of crafts from previous years made with these amazing rocks.
The best way to learn more about the Marble Mountains and its surrounding villages is to take this tour from Hoi An. You’ll be joined by an English-speaking tour guide so you can learn about the culture and history of the sights and monuments.
Ba Na Hills
Want to experience a French getaway in Vietnam? Now you can when you head to Ba Na Hills as a day trip tour from Hoi An. You’ll find this hilltop resort is 45 minutes away from Da Nang or 2 hours from Hoi An. This attraction is where you can find medieval castles and the majestic Golden Bridge in the heart of Vietnam and its famous French village. The Golden Bridge which is a world-famous attraction is a 150-meter pedestrian bridge that serves as a scenic lookout point for tourists. It’s called as such because it’s painted with golden finish and features a distinctive architectural style with two gigantic hands supporting the bridge.
➤ You can visit Ba Na Hills on a day tour from Hoi An. This tour will last for one full day, which gives you the opportunity to see the best that the sight has to offer. You’ll also get the chance to ride the longest cable car in the world and take a visit to a fantastic French wine cellar. It’s a great way to see the best that Ba Na Hills has to offer.
Hue is an ancient Imperial city that used to be the capital of the Nguyen Emperors during the height of their rule. Coming here for a day tour, you get a chance to relive the glory days of imperial Vietnam. While the majority of the fine buildings from the ancient Imperial times were destroyed during the American war, many of them are still standing today. The 19th century Imperial Citadel is one of the most outstanding architectural features of the city that you shouldn’t miss during your visit. If you are looking for a tranquil and conservative city to visit, this is a destination for you!
Uncover the beauty of the ancient imperial city of Hue in this day tour. You’ll be able to see the landmarks of Hue in one full day with a tour guide showing you the history of the city. Among the highlights of this day tour are the Khai Dinh Tomb, the Imperial Citadel, and Thien Mu Pagoda, among others.
Hai Van Pass
Hai Van Pass is one of the most sought-after road trip routes in Vietnam. This 21-km long mountain pass navigates the National Route 1A in Vietnam with some of the most spectacular drives you could have in the country.
➤ To make the most of this adventure, consider booking the Retro Jeep Tour from Hoi An to Hai Van Pass. Enjoy this unique adventure in an open-top jeep as you navigate this iconic route passing by notable attractions such as Marble Mountain and the Annamite Range. Celebrated as one of the most beautiful coastal roads in the world, you’ll be treated to verdant mountains and other dramatic landscapes.
Nipa Palm/ Bay Mau
When you travel to Hoi An, you have the opportunity to unlock unique tourist attractions such as the Bay Mau Coconut Forest. This tourist attraction will have you navigating your way through the Hoai River Bank and be taken downstream for several kilometers. Once you reach your destination at Bay Mau Forest, you’ll find yourself immersed in an endless array of beautiful green nipa palm.
This palm forest known as Bay Mau is more than just an eco-friendly attraction within a submerged forest system. It’s also a special history relic as it played a major role for the revolutionary forces of the Hoian military. On top of that, this ecosystem also serves as a natural habitat for a number of marine animals.
Tam Thanh Mural Village
If you love chasing murals and street art on your travels, the Tam Thanh Mural Village is the ideal day trip destination from Hoi An. Imagine a quiet coastal fishing village that is home to over 100 families that was transformed by local artists into a real-life painting. This project was inspired by the mural villages in Korea and the artists wanted to transform Tam Thanh into their first painted village. It’s part of the “Art For A Better Community” project that was started in summer 2016, a partnership between Korea and Vietnam.
The entire town of Tam Thanh is now a breathing and waking artwork. The murals also depict life scenes that speak about the experiences of the locals from Tam Thanh and the surrounding region.
➤ If you want to see the best murals in the village, this half day tour from Hoi An will help you experience the best of what this village can offer, and how Tam Thanh Mural Village has etched its name on the tourist map in Vietnam.
Da Nang is one destination in Vietnam that is gaining a lot of buzz in the tourism industry. This ever-evolving city grew in popularity because of its strategic location as it’s within Central Vietnam, providing a nice stopover for tourists traveling from the north to south of Vietnam (or vice versa). Although iIt was once known as a provincial backwater but has slowly evolved to become a tourist hotspot.
At the south of Da Nang there’s a beach strip that is filled with hotels and other resort developments. Apart from the beaches, tourists who come to Da Nang will have plenty of sights to see including the Phap Lam Pagoda, Dragon Bridge, and the Non Nuoc Fine Arts Village. There is also a thriving food scene here, so be sure to visit local markets such as Han Market and Con Market for a good mix of bargain shopping and dining.
Hoi An is an ancient town that never fails to impress but when you have run out of things to see or do, you can always step outside of the town and explore the other must-see destinations on a day trip tour.