Hoi An is one of the most famous coastal towns in South East Asia and attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year. Located on the coast of Central Vietnam, it is particularly noted for its unique preservation of history and beautiful “ancient town” of Hoi An. When visiting, people often wonder about the Night Life in Hoi An. While the nightlife in Hoi An isn’t the main attraction, that’s not to say there isn’t plenty to do! Here are some of our favourites:
1. Explore the Ancient Town
Like I said, the night life in Hoi An may not be as bustling as a city such as Da Nang, but offers its own style of appeal! At night the streets like up and are filled with vendors, locals and tourists alike. Perhaps one of the most basic but enjoyable thing to do while in Hoi An – and the best part is, it’s free! Along the river is particularly beautiful, with plenty of good restaurants overlooking the water. For those of you who love good photo opportunities, this is one of the best that you will get in Vietnam. The nightlife in Hoi An offers an array of light and colours, perfectly blended together giving a vibrant atmosphere that cannot be passed up with a camera.
(The majority of Hoi An is beautifully lit at night time making it perfect for photo opportunities)
2. Head to a bar!
Hoi An offers quite a few good bars with varying vibes. However, here are 5 of our personal favourites:
Hoi An Sports Bar – This one is always a crowd favourite, due to it televising many of the large sporting events worldwide. Located in Ancient town and offering a decent range of beers, Hoi An is a winner for sports lovers or just those just looking to chill out.
Address: 61A Phan Châu Trinh, Minh An, Tp. Hoi An, Quang Nam
Mango Mango – This is for those looking for something perhaps a little bit nicer in terms of nightlife in Hoi An. Located right near the famous Japanese Bridge, Mango Mango offers a relaxing vibe with Latin-style music and some of the best cocktails in Hoi An to match.
(Mango Mango's relaxed Spanish style interior is always a favourite with tourists)
Address: 45 Nguyen Phuc Chu, An Hoi, Minh An, Tp. Hoi An, Quang Nam
Q-Bar – Q Bar offers a sleek design with a fantastic list of cocktails and Japanese style snacks. Electronica/ lounge style music will be found here, with soothing LED lights. It offers a modern vibe and relaxed vibe, while located just 3 minutes from the Japanese Covered Bridge.
Address: 94 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Minh An, Hoi An City, Quang Nam
Dive Bar – This venue has been a classic for both locals and expats. Filled with lounge sofas, pool tables and an interent café, you will find both diving enthusiasts and travellers from all over the world at Dive Bar. They offer a varying menu with cheaper prices than most places and you can also enjoy a shisha here for 120,000VND! Additionally, it is open late for those wanting to kick on. One of the best examples of nightlife in Hoi An
(Dive Bar offers a more eccentric vibe, often playing live music at the cosy venue)
Address: 88 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Minh An, Tp. Hoi An, Minh An
3. Take a cruise along the Thu Bon River
What makes Hoi An so special is that not only does it offer a fantastic Ancient town full of life, but it has the Thu Bon River located right in the heart of it. Night time is our recommended time to do this as it is far cooler and the surrounding lights of Hoi An cannot be beaten. The sampan is the most common type of vessel to travel with down the Thu Bon River and the most traditional way to do so. You can expect to pay around 100,000VND for an hour ride.
(There are no shortage of options how to travel down the Thu Bon River - night light in Hoi An)
4. Play Bai Choi
What is so fun about Bai Choi is that it’s a traditional game that can get both locals and tourists involved! Similar to bingo games, no one really knows where Bai Choi started but it is said to be up to 400 years old and originating somewhere in the Central Vietnam – even cooler! Often played on a Saturday night, Bai Choi comprises of 30 chess pieces that are assigned to 10 types of cards. The best way to learn is to ask a local or simply get in there! Basically, the end of each song is the name of one playing card. If you have 3 cards that have the ends of 3 songs, you are a WINNER! There are also gifts/prizes involved that hold more sentimental value than material.
(A live game of Bai Choi being enjoyed by everyone in Hoi An - it often brings a lot of laughter)
5. Visit the night market
The night market is on Nguyen Hoang street, across the other side of the Hoai River. This is a great opportunity to pick up some jewellery, bracelets or even some locally crafter lanterns – a perfect souvenir gift. If buying souvenirs isn’t your thing, you can still simply come to drink a beer and enjoy some of the local food stalls. At the Hoi An night market, you can also purchase some fantastic pictures of Hoi An and surrounding areas. When purchasing anything at the market, be aware that the locals will automatically put an additional “foreigner fee” on most items, meaning somewhere between 50-75% of what they are asking is fair. However, once you have agreed on a price, you cannot change your mind – this is considered insulting in Vietnamese culture.
6. Do a food tour!
Last but not least, a walking food tour is by far one of our FAVOURITE activities when enjoying the nightlife in Hoi An. On a food tour, you will find the best hidden local eateries, try dishes you would not find in touristic restaurants and all for a fraction of the price! It is also a fantastic opportunity to blend in with some of the locals. We also recommend joining a tour at the beginning of your stay in Hoi An (provided you have more than one or two nights) so you can be selective with your eating! You will definitely find a favourite and the owner will be more than delighted to see your face again. These tours typically take around 3-4 hours, so make sure you start on an empty stomach!