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Where to Stay in Hoi An

Introduction

Choosing where to stay in Hoi An, can be overwhelming due to the endless of accommodation options available. Since its recognition as a UNESCO site in 1999, Hoi An has undergone a remarkable transformation from a small rural area and fishing villages into a bustling tourism hub attracting nearly 8 millions tourists a year (compared to the whole city population of 100,000 people).

Accommodations now range from basic homestays to luxurious villas, hotels, and even some 5-star resorts. Fortunately, many of these accommodations have harmoniously blended with the landscape of Hoi An. Nestled between the rice paddies, you’ll find charming small homestays and villas accessible by 2-wheel vehicles. For those seeking a relaxing vacation, beach resorts are also available.

Our first visit to Hoi An was in 2014, and we instantly fell in love with the tranquil atmosphere. Eventually, in 2020, we decided to move from Ho Chi Minh City to Hoi An. Our insights into the different areas of Hoi An may prove useful for anyone planning a trip, whether it’s a short stay of a couple of days or a longer vacation which we really recommend it.

We typically categorize accommodations in Hoi An into three groups:

Accommodations in the old town

Accommodations around the rice paddies

Accommodations near the beach

In this guide, we’ll break down each smaller area to help you make an informed decision about where to stay in Hoi An.

 

1. Hoi An's Rice Heart

The vast rice fields situated between the old town and the beach form a distinctive “heart” shape, creating an ideal space for a leisurely stroll or a bike ride along the small paths.

In this area, you’ll come across some incredible hidden restaurants and cafes. It’s also the perfect spot to catch a breathtaking sunset. Throughout the year, except for October, November, and December when farmers let the land rest, you’ll find lush green rice fields, contributing to the serene atmosphere of Hoi An.

Exploring this charming heart of the town is a must for your trip. If you plan on staying longer in Hoi An, consider choosing accommodation close to this area for an even more delightful experience.

The best area to stay in the Hoi An Rice Heart is An My Village in Cam Chau Ward. We’ve always dreamed of buying a small piece of land to build a cafe or vegan restaurant in An My one day.

Here, you’ll find hidden cafes, restaurants, cute little homestays, and villas. Unlike the central area, there are no large hotels and resorts in An My Village, providing a more intimate atmosphere. Don’t miss checking out this beautiful Hub co-working space, popular among Hoi An expats. Also, explore the Tropical Eatery by Chay Vui, a lovely vegan restaurant in An My.

 

2. Cam Chau

Cam Chau is the best area to stay in Hoi An in our opinion, it’s renowned for its peaceful atmosphere, surrounded by rice paddies, and its convenient location between the ancient town and An Bang Beach. This provides a nice balance for those seeking tranquility while still being close to key attractions. The area is particularly appealing for longer stays.

In Cam Chau, you won’t find many large hotels and resorts; instead, there are mostly homestays and villas, contributing to a more intimate setting. Cua Dai Street runs through Cam Chau and stands out for its diverse dining scene. Local eateries along this street, such as Pho Muoi, or Banh Mi Lanh not only offer delicious food but also maintain high hygiene standards. 

Additionally, there are local restaurants near Cua Dai Street that cater to expats, like the Red Dragon or Son Hoi An restaurant which offer delicious dishes at much better prices compared to the touristy restaurants in the old town. We would recommend to venture a bit further down these areas to enjoy the great authentic Vietnamese food while together fighting the impact of mass tourism in Hoi An.

The primary market in Cam Chau is Ba Le Market, providing a good source of fresh vegetables and fruit if you plan on cooking during an extended stay in Hoi An. Cua Dai Street also hosts various small marts and stores for all your needs. It’s advisable to avoid staying directly on Cua Dai due to traffic noise, but moving just a block away can make a significant difference.

For those who prefer exploring Hoi An on foot, Cam Chau is an excellent area to stay.

 

3. Cam Thanh

Cam Thanh is a quiet rural area offering some excellent accommodation options. Having lived here for 1.5 years, we appreciated its tranquility, but we did find it a bit challenging to quickly access good food, especially cafes & eateries compared to Cam Chau Ward. If you have a bicycle or motorbike, this shouldn’t be an issue, but if you prefer walking, Cam Thanh might not be the best fit for you.

Nestled between rice fields and a river to the south, it’s essential to be aware of potential floods in October and November, which could submerge the riverside path.

Cam Thanh provides a range of accommodation choices, including eco-friendly resorts, homestays, and boutique hotels. These establishments often prioritize a peaceful and close-to-nature atmosphere.

It’s approximately 4-5 km to reach the beach and about 2 km to the ancient town. Additionally, Cam Thanh is a hub for many cooking classes, with the Red Bridge being a prominent one that offers high-quality cooking experiences.

 

4. Cam Nam Island

Cam Nam Island is situated in the Thu Bon River in Hoi An. It’s super close to Hoi An’s center and is connected to the town by only one bridge; there is a second bridge under construction, and as of January 2024, the work is still ongoing, with hopes of completion in 2024.

It’s a good choice for a quick visit, especially given its proximity to the ancient town. Navigating Cam Nam Island is pretty easy with the main street running along its length. In terms of food options, unfortunately, there aren’t many good ones. It’s okay for a short stay or if you prefer resort dining, but for an extended stay, you might want to explore more food options in town.

There are some good small to medium resorts along the riverside that offer beautiful sunset views over the river. Keep in mind that this area can get a bit soggy during the annual flooding in October and November. Some families here are prepared with their own boats, that should speak something. If you plan to stay around those months, keep an eye on the weather. 

Also, be aware that this area is a bit far from the beach. So, if you’re all about sun and sand, you might want to consider a different spot to stay.

5. An Hoi Island

An Hoi – Night Market & Party Hub, An Hoi is situated on the eastern bank of the Thu Bon River, just a short walk from the historic Old Town. This location conveniently puts you within easy reach of all the must-see sights, such as the Japanese Covered Bridge and other main tourist attractions in the old town.

During the day, An Hoi is a maze of narrow streets adorned with cafes and homestays, and there’s not too much traffic to contend with. As the sun sets, the area undergoes a lively transformation into a vibrant night market, with vendors offering everything from souvenirs to delicious street food.

Accommodation options in An Hoi are diverse, ranging from traditional guesthouses and family-run homestays to boutique hotels and luxury resorts. Regardless of your budget or style, you’ll likely find a place that suits your preferences, with many offering balconies or rooftops that overlook the river or the bustling streets.

Wandering along the northern street parallel to the river, you’ll discover a lively array of bars and pubs. However, it’s worth noting that the loud music tend to last until midnight. While this lively atmosphere may appeal to a younger crowd, it may not be the ideal setting for those seeking a tranquil evening, particularly older individuals who appreciate a more serene atmosphere.

 

6. Hoi An City

In the central city area of Hoi An, traffic can get quite hectic, but there are quieter streets available if you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere. The main street in this area is Hai Ba Trung, which serves as the main road from Hoi An Town to An Bang Beach, the most popular beach in Hoi An. On Hai Ba Trung, you’ll find numerous tour agencies.

Traffic in this region can be pretty bustling, slightly outside of the pedestrian area. Sometimes, you may encounter large buses stopping on the road to drop off their guests.

Hidden away in the small alleys branching off the busy streets are plenty of fantastic options for food and cafes. Take Ren Rua Cafe, for example, offering excellent salt & coconut coffee at a much more affordable price compared to those catering mainly to tourists. Alternatively, you can explore Thai Phien street, a popular food street for locals, offering tasty Hoi An signature dishes like Cao Lau Thanh or Phi Banh Mi. If you’re in the mood for something familiar, Herbal Pizza on Hai Ba Trung street serves up great pizza or grab a craft beer at the Hill Station as one of our favorite place to drink in Hoi An.

If you decide to stay in this area, I’d recommend waking up early and taking a stroll or a run in the Hoi An ancient town. This allows you to witness the town’s peaceful side in the early morning when only a few locals are cleaning their houses and before the old town gets crowded with tourists.

This area is also a great choice for staying, especially for those planning a short stay in Hoi An and wanting proximity to all the dining, shopping, drinking, and tourist attractions in town.


7. An Bang Beach

Since 2015, An Bang Beach has become the most popular beach in Hoi An, taking the lead as the number one choice, as Cua Dai Beach lost its beauty due to rapid coastal erosion. Numerous small villas have been set up in An Bang, providing you with many more options to choose from for accommodation.

The beach tends to get crowded during sunrise and sunset when locals often visit. However, during other times, it’s a great spot to hang out. Numerous seafood restaurants provide excellent beach views, and the An Bang Beach area also boasts quality pubs and bars.

Don’t miss checking out the Fisherman Vegan restaurant, offering fantastic vegan options and a direct view of the beach. If easy beach access is a priority for you, choosing accommodation in this area is advisable. Keep in mind, though, that it’s a bit distant from the old town and some of the better food options available in the city center.

A memorable experience at An Bang Beach is sitting down with the locals during sunset on small sleeping mats, enjoying a local beer and some clam rice porridge or the various snacks sold by many aunties on the beach. The Deckhouse at An Bang Beach offers good seating and a nice view of the beach, providing Vietnamese and Western food options.


8. Tan Thanh Beach

While An Bang Beach has been the go-to for tourists visiting Hoi An for several years, since 2017, there has been a rise in accommodations, restaurants, and cafes along Tan Thanh Beach. This new area offers a less crowded beach experience with good accommodation options and a handful of cafes and pubs providing ocean views. If you prefer a quieter beach setting, this is the spot to consider.

One notable aspect here is the harmonious balance between local activities and those geared towards tourists. Locals engage in fishing while tourists enjoy swimming. A must-do when staying in the Tan Thanh Beach area is the morning walk along the beach. It’s our favorite spot whenever we want to do a weekend-long swim. 

Moreover, Tan Thanh Beach offers various water activities for you to explore and enjoy.

Don’t forget to visit the Sound of Silence cafe – not just for their pretty good coffee but also for the direct beach access and amenities like lazy chairs, tables, and showers for a leisurely day on the beach.

 

9. New residental area

This neighborhood began flourishing after 2010, and as a result, you’ll come across numerous new houses, with some converted into homestays and others being fancy hotels. Getting around is a breeze—traffic flows smoothly, and you can easily pedal your way to any destination. 

However, we have to be honest with you—there isn’t a whole lot happening in terms of things to do, see, or eat in this area. It’s great if you’re planning on staying for an extended period and you ride a motorbike to quickly move around, but we wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for a short visit.

 

10. Cua Dai Beach area

This area centers around Cua Dai Beach, a once-popular spot for foreign tourists before 2014 when Hoi An wasn’t as impacted by the influx of tourists drawn in by Instagram pictures. Some of the first beach resorts were established here over 15 years ago. However, starting in 2015, climate change and rapid erosion became significant issues. The primary causes of erosion include the construction of upstream hydroelectric projects and extensive sand mining on the Thu Bon River, leading to a depletion of sand sources.

Cua Dai Beach lost its beautiful sandy shoreline, prompting tourists to shift from Cua Dai to An Bang Beach, making this area quieter than before. Since 2018, the government has constructed a dyke to protect the beach and gradually restore Cua Dai’s beauty. While it’s not yet back to its original state, tourists are slowly returning.

This area features several good resorts and hotels. If you prefer a quiet vacation and don’t plan on frequent visits to the ancient town or extensive travel, it’s an excellent place to stay. However, be aware that getting to like the rice paddies may require considerable cycling distance. Additionally, the options for local food, as well as bars and cafes, are somewhat limited in this area compared to Cam Chau.


Final thoughts

As a practical tip, it might be wise to avoid staying on busy commercial streets like Cua Dai or Hai Ba Trung. Opting for places just a short distance away from these roads can likely provide a quieter environment with less street noise and traffic.

Hoi An is cherished for its tranquility, so, in my honest opinion, it’s advisable to stay away from the central town’s main tourist area and opt for a quiet accommodation surrounded by the rice paddies. While big cities like Saigon or Hanoi offer opportunities to stay close to main attractions, a unique stay in the rural area of Hoi An can make your trip to Vietnam truly memorable.

 

Share the best travel experience in Vietnam.

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