Tourists can choose to stop at their favourite spot for fishing Photo: blogdulich

Hoi An ancient town is well-known for its ancient and peaceful beauty. Tourists travelling to Hoi An normally loves sipping a cup of coffee by the river, cycling around the town, taking a boat tour on Hoai River, or visiting the traditional craft villages, etc. However, in order to make your trip complete and more interesting, do not miss these fascinating experiences. Here are 5 exciting things to do in Hoi An that visitors usually miss.

1. Overnight camping at Cham Island (Cu Lao Cham)

The overview of Cu Lao Cham (Cham Island) - Hoi An Photo: timeoutvietnam.vn
The overview of Cu Lao Cham (Cham Island) – Hoi An Photo: timeoutvietnam.vn

Cu Lao Cham is one of many attractive destinations in Hoi An. Nevertheless, due to its rather small size, tourists normally will just spend one day to visit. The main activities are snorkeling, diving to watch coral, enjoying seafood, or riding motorbike around the island. If you have time and not in a rush, do spend some more time here and stay overnight.

Camping at Cu Lao Cham with a stunning view straight to the ocean Photo: tourdananggiare.net
Camping at Cu Lao Cham with a stunning view straight to the ocean Photo: tourdananggiare.net

Different from the center of Hoi An the ancient town, night time is when Cu Lao Cham is sunk in peace and tranquility, making it the perfect time to throw a small party on the beach.

Some simple snacks in a quiet place surrounded by close friends, tourists surely will have really memorable moments spending here on the island. At the end of the day, when the conversation has finished, going back to your camp, the breezes and fresh air help you to go to sleep tightly and faster; waking up early the next day with total refreshing mind

What can be nicer than you and your loved ones gathering around the bonfire in a peaceful quiet atmosphere of Cham Island Photo: LisF
What can be nicer than you and your loved ones gathering around the bonfire in a peaceful quiet atmosphere of Cham Island Photo: LisF

2. Enjoying traditional arts

One night of traditional art in Hoi An Photo: tourdananggiare.net
One night of traditional art in Hoi An Photo: tourdananggiare.net

The traditional arts are held regularly with a lot of various choices of “Bai choi” game (see explanation 1 below), Cham dancing, Folksong singing and Repartee chanties, etc. In order to inspire the audiences, all the performances are choreographed and staged in an elaborate, careful and dedicated way. This is a perfect opportunity for tourists to find out more about the traditional culture of this ancient town – Hoi An. The nights that these traditional arts are on always attracted a lot of tourists.

"Bai Choi" singing and game in Hoi An Photo: photobucket
“Bai Choi” singing and game in Hoi An. One of the things to do in Hoi An. Photo: photobucket

Info on Bai Choi Game

Chess pieces to play Bai Choi Photo: vietnamvip
Chess pieces to play Bai Choi Photo: vietnamvip

Each “Bai Choi” comprises of 30 chess pieces with different names, assigned to 10 types of cards. On each card is written the names of three chess pieces, and the players will select the type of card they want to buy. After the nha cai (banker) gives out the cards, a bamboo stick, on which the name of a chess piece is written, is drawn to start the game.

After “nha cai” (the dealer) delivers all the bars to the partners, the game starts. The “hieu” (working as M.C.) conducts the game by randomly drawing out the bamboo sticks from a box. Each of the sticks bears the name of a chess piece, and the hieu sings the short folksongs representing each of the chess pieces on the bamboo sticks he has drawn out of the box.

When the partners hear the folksong of any of the chess pieces on their wooden bars, they have to shout out and show their chess piece for a check. They receive a yellow banner, which is equivalent to a small prize, and the set ends when any of the partners has 3 right chess pieces on the same bar. The winner gets the biggest prize in the game.

(The information on Bai Choi Game was taken on the website of www.hoian-tourism.com)

Cham Dancing in Hoi An Photo: vnweblogs
Cham Dancing in Hoi An Photo: vnweblogs
Folksong singing and Repartee chanties on a boat on Hoai River - Hoi An Photo: laodong.com.vn
Folksong singing and Repartee chanties on a boat on Hoai River – Hoi An Photo: laodong.com.vn
Beautiful Hoi An at night time Photo: alobooking

In terms of other form of traditional arts, tourists could go to the Hoi An Traditional Art Performance Theatre at number 66, Bach Dang Street; Hoi An Art Craft Manufaturing Workshop at number 9, Nguyen Thai Hoc Street to experience and admire the work of the artisans.

Hoi An traditional crafts Photo: dulich-hoian.net
Hoi An traditional crafts Photo: dulich-hoian.net
Tourists have a chance to experience the working atmosphere of artisans at Hoi An Art Craft Manufaturing Workshop Photo: dulich-hoian.net
Tourists have a chance to experience the working atmosphere of artisans at Hoi An Art Craft Manufaturing Workshop Photo: dulich-hoian.net
Pottery in Hoi An Photo: dulich-hoian.net
Pottery in Hoi An Photo: dulich-hoian.net
The famous Hoi An lanterns are made from the clever hands of the artisans Photo: dulich-hoian.net
The famous Hoi An lanterns are made from the clever hands of the artisans Photo: dulich-hoian.net

3. Joining cooking class

Hoi An's unique cuisine Photo: vietnamexpresstravel
Hoi An’s unique cuisine. Cooking class is one of the best things to do in Hoi An. Photo: vietnamexpresstravel

Hoi An cuisine is pretty diverse and makes very good impression on tourists all over the world. Apart from enjoying the food, many tourists are curious about how these delicious dishes are prepared and cooked. As the answer for this, a number of restaurants in the old town started short – course cooking classes. They are not basic cooking classes that will give tourists meticulous instruction on cuisine, instead, the unique features of Hoi An cuisine will be introduced and some very typical dishes of the town will be taught for them to cook.

Some of the typical dishes of Hoi An will be taught to tourists. The photo shows Cao Lau - a very famous food only found in Hoi An Photo: travel.anandi.vn
Some of the typical dishes of Hoi An will be taught to tourists. The photo shows Cao Lau – a very famous food only found in Hoi An Photo: travel.anandi.vn

When a class is taking place, you will begin by purchasing raw ingredients in the local market. After that, the chefs will teach you to prepare and complete the dishes you registered at the beginning of the class. The average studying time will normally last 3 hours. Some of the suggested addresses are numbers 106, 109 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, number 175 Cua Dai, etc.

Tourists are taken to the local market to purchase raw ingredients first Photo: hoianfoodtour
Tourists are taken to the local market to purchase raw ingredients first Photo: hoianfoodtour
After buying all necessary ingredients, they are taught the dishes they registered in the beginning of the class Photo: grayline.com
Join cooking class is one of the best things to do in Hoi An. After buying all necessary ingredients, they are taught the dishes they registered in the beginning of the class Photo: grayline.com
Two tourists with their instructor after the cooking class Photo: fatgirldoestheworld
Two tourists with their instructor after the cooking class Photo: fatgirldoestheworld

4. Exploring Bay Mau Coconut Forest

Beautiful Bay Mau Coconut Forest Photo: dananghoian
Beautiful Bay Mau Coconut Forest. Joining this tours is one of the best things to do in Hoi An. Photo: dananghoian

Bay Mau Coconut Forest is located approximately 5 km to the east from Hoi An. Previously, this place was a revolutionary base in the resistance and is one of the core zone of biosphere reserves world Hoi An – Cu Lao Cham (Cham Island). Apart from cycling around, tourists can choose to sit in basket boats going down the river and enjoying the the peaceful atmosphere. After threading their way through the canals, tourists can stop at their favourite spots for fishing and crabbing.

Tourists on basket boat discovering the mangrove forest Photo: dananghoian
Tourists on basket boat discovering the mangrove forest Photo: dananghoian
Tourists can choose to stop at their favourite spot for fishing Photo: blogdulich
Tourists can choose to stop at their favourite spot for fishing is one of the best things to do in Hoi An. Photo: blogdulich

Another activity that tourists enjoy doing here is learning how to make decoration stuffs from coconut leaves. Under the guidance of the tour guides, visitors are taught to make hats, or cute animals, etc. They are considered as memorable souvenirs after the tour to visit the Coconut Forest.

Visitors enjoy making decorations from coconut leaves Photo: dantri4.vcmedia
Visitors enjoy making decorations from coconut leaves. This is one of the exciting things to do in Hoi An. Photo: dantri4.vcmedia
Flower bouquet made from coconut leaves Photo: thieunien.vn
Flower bouquet made from coconut leaves Photo: thieunien.vn

Any tourists travelling to Hoi An or Cu Lao Cham (Cham Island) should really take these interesting experiences into consideration. They promise to give you, your families, and friends a lot of fun and exciting moments in this summer!

Read more Hoi An travel guide at here.

Vietnamese girl enjoys travelling the world, learns about different unique cultures and cuisine.

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