Exploring Hoi An’s nearby regions is the perfect opportunity to come face to face with the real Vietnam. Hoi An is surrounded by gorgeous countryside, historical monuments, stunning passes, breathtaking views, exotic islands, and surreal fantasy parks. Given Hoi An’s popularity and development as a tourist destination, it is relatively easy to travel around, either on an organised tour or a do-it-yourself trip. With all the options on offer, picking the right destination might prove to be a bit of a challenge!

To help you choose the best trip and make the most of your vacation time, we provide a list of the best day trips around Hoi An based on your interests, fitness level, special requirements, cost, transit time, and duration of each. Have a read below and see what amazing day trips are available.

Why do a Day Trip around Hoi An?

Hoi An has a way of hooking you in. Not only because it is Vietnam’s most atmospheric and mesmerising city, but it’s also because it is the perfect starting point to explore Central Vietnam. From here, in just an hour or two, you can find yourself in some of Vietnam’s most famous destinations. It’s no coincidence that most visitors plan on spending one or two days here but then end up staying longer. This fairytale town offers a great variety of hassle-free day tours for all tastes, ages, and budgets, which will make your holiday unforgettable.

Whether you’re in the mood for exploring the treasures of the sea, riding through the lush Vietnamese mountains, or stepping back into Cham’s ancient civilization, Hoi An’s neighbouring areas all hold something special for you to discover.

GreenLife Homestay: Where to stay in Hoi An
The sun sets over Hoi An rice fields. This is the beautiful view from GreenLife Homestay in Hoi An. Photo: Travis Hodges

Best Day Trips from Hoi An

Hai Van Pass

Road Length: 21 kilometres (30 minutes)
Distance from Hoi An: 60 kilometres (1 hour and 30 minutes)
Duration: Allow for a full day as transit time will vary depending on your mode of transport

The Hai Van Pass is undoubtedly the most impressive scenic stretch of road in Vietnam. In 2008, it was described by BBC’s Top Gear as a “deserted ribbon of perfection” and one of the “best coast roads in the world” Since then, the road’s fame has escalated and travellers from all over the world have been coming here to experience it first-hand.

Hidden Hint: Allow yourself a few hours to complete the ride. There are so many scenic viewpoints to take in!

Located an hour and 15 minutes outside Hoi An, driving the 21-kilometre long Hai Van Pass, which is situated 500 metres above sea level, is a must-do. You’ll be rewarded with mesmerizing views of misty mountains, deserted sandy beaches, fishing villages, and lush forests. If you’re an experienced motorbike rider, then renting a bike and driving yourself is undoubtedly the best way to experience Vietnam’s best road. However, If you are not confident driving a bike and prefer to sit back and enjoy the scenery, then try a Guided Motorbike Tour. You’ll still get the full experience but with a local driver on a comfortable passengers’ bike, without the worry of navigating the road or finding the best places to stop.

If you’re travelling with children, as a group, or with people with limited mobility, there are also open jeep tours available. This way you’ll not only share the whole experience with your loved ones but also the cost. For a group of three or more, this might be one of the most economical options. You can find out all the details on the Hai Van Pass route and the different tours on offer in our article here.

Hai Van Pass motorbike tour
The jungle view from the Hai Van Pass which geographically splits northern and southern Vietnam. Photo: Travis Hodges

Ba Na Hills

Opening Hours: 7:30 am – 9:30 pm
Average Time On Site: 7 hours – allow for a full day
Distance from Hoi An: 55 kilometres (1 hour and 30 minutes)

Tickets: Adults: 700,000 VND (30 USD) / Children (1-1.3 metres tall): 550,000 VND (23.50 USD)

Often referred to as the Disneyland of Vietnam, the Ba Na Hills amusement park is the perfect place to spend a full day with family and friends. Located 1,500 metres above sea level in the Truong Son Mountains, the resort is set to attract increasing numbers of tourists—for a good reason. Its surreal mix of mystical castles, amusement park rides, and pagodas offer one of the most exciting experiences in Vietnam.

Hidden Hint: Arrive as early as possible since this place can get very crowded!

Here, you’ll find yourself walking in the clouds across the Golden Bridge, riding one of the longest cable car rides in the world, taking in vistas of stunning tropical flowers, admiring a giant 27-metre Buddha statue, strolling around the cobblestone streets of a massive French medieval style replica town, and finding your inner child inside a 21,000 square metre indoor fantasy park.

Whether your idea of fun is to enjoy a glass of Bordeaux or seek further adrenaline rush on a 29-metre tower drop, Ba Na Hills has something for the whole family and is the perfect place to escape reality for a day.

Before your visit, make sure you’re prepared for the experience (it can be quite intense!) by reading our comprehensive Ba Na Hills guide here.

Golden Bridge - Ba Na Hills
The Golden Bridge is one of the main attractions at the resort. Our favourite time to view this unique piece of art is right when the park opens or as the park is closing.

Cham Islands

Public Ferry Ticket: 150,000 VND (7.50 USD)
Entrance Fee in Marine Protected Area:  70,000 VND (3.50 USD)
Distance from Hoi An: 9 nautical miles (1 hour and 30 minutes)
Duration: Allow for a full day

This is your chance to spend a day in an idyllic tropical paradise. This beautiful marine protected cluster of eight islands, known as the Cham islands, is one of the least developed areas in Vietnam. A day trip to the Cham Islands rewards you with wonderful beaches, tropical nature, and colourful marine life. Snorkeling, diving, trekking, and fishing are the most popular activities to indulge in. It’s an ideal day trip for families and those who are looking for tranquility and relaxation. You can reach the island by ferry boat, and it takes about 90 minutes. Find out more about the Cham Islands and how to get there in our article here.  

Hidden Hint: Best time to dive and snorkel is from June to August.

Cham Islands coastline
A view of the lush coastline and beautiful beaches of the Cham Islands. Photo: Kristen Wells

My Son Sanctuary

Tickets: 150,000 VND (6.50 USD)
Opening Hours: 6:30 am to 5 pm
Average Time On Site: 2 hours and 30 minutes to 4 hours
Distance from Hoi An: 40 kilometres (1 hour)
Duration: Can be done as a half or full-day trip

My Son Sanctuary is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a great example of the ancient Cham Empire civilization. Often referred to as a “mini Angkor Wat,” My Son is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Shiva, and is believed to be the longest inhabited archaeological site in Indochina. The Champa dynasty ruled central Vietnam for 900 years and built at least 70 structures in the area between the 4th and 14th century. Unfortunately, only 18 survived the American bombings during the war in 1969.

Hidden Hint: Visit after 2 pm to avoid tour groups, the midday sun, and enjoy the temples in peace.

Today, what is left is an atmospheric complex of brick ruins, including temples, towers, and altars, partially reclaimed by nature. It’s considered one of the most important heritage sites in Southeast Asia and one of the few of this nature in Vietnam. Located just 40 kilometres southwest of Hoi An, it’s the perfect day trip for those who are interested in architecture, history, and ancient civilizations.

You can escape the hustle and bustle of the city and find yourself in a serene untouched time capsule. The nature of the site makes it inaccessible to people with walking disabilities and you’ll need a reasonable fitness level to visit. You can find out more on My Son’s site in our article here.

My Son Sanctuary temples
My Son Temples in the lush vegetation of Central Vietnam. Photo: Travis Hodges

Marble Mountains

Entrance Ticket: 40,000 VND (2 USD)  
Elevator cost: 15,000 VND (0.75c USD)
Opening Hours: 7 am to 5:30 pm
Average Time On Site: 1 hour and 30 minutes to 4 hours
Distance from Hoi An: 20 kilometres (27 minutes)
Duration: Can be done as a half or full-day trip

Located just off the coastal road between Da Nang and Hoi An, the Marble Mountains are the shortest day trip you can do from Hoi An. This cluster of marble and limestone hills, riddled with caves and grottos, has been a centre of worship since the time of the ancient Champa. With some of the larger caves been transformed into religious shrines and pagodas, it’s hard to find any other site in Vietnam that contains such religious diversity and magnificent scenery.

Hidden Hint: If you’re travelling with children or those with limited mobility, then avoid the 156-step climb at the main entrance and take the lift.

Each of the five mountains is named after one of the five elements: water, wood, fire, metal and earth. The main one, Thuy Son (water) is the only one open to tourism.  A visit to the top of the mountain offers spectacular views of Da Nang, Non Nuoc beach, and the surrounding Marble Mountains.

If you’re a cultural history buff don’t miss feeling the depth of history and spiritual serenity here. Those feeling adventurous can also try climbing up or repelling down into a couple of caves. People with limited mobility and young children will struggle to reach the majority of the caves, but they can still enjoy the unique ambience, most of the temples and some great views by using the recently installed lift.  You can find more information on the Marble Mountains and tours in our article here.

Marble Mountains - Huyen Khong Cave
The magnificent statues and shrines in Huyen Khong Cave

Tam Thanh Mural Village

Distance from Hoi An: 45 kilometres (1 hour)
Duration: Can be done as a half or full-day trip

In just an hour’s drive from Hoi An, you’ll find yourself in a one-of-a kind street gallery,  depicting portraits of local faces and scenes from everyday Vietnamese life. At first, it might look like any other small fishing village in Central Vietnam, but once you stroll down its alleys, you will discover unique street art project brought to life.

Inspired by Korean mural villages, Vietnamese and South Korean artists came to paint over 100 residents’ homes with colourful murals in June 2006. The aim was to promote “art for a better community” and to boost local tourism. Inevitably, the murals brought this struggling village back to life, making it a popular tourist attraction.

Hidden Hint: End your day at the pristine Tam Thanh Beach, away from the crowds of Hoi An

This is the first project of its kind in Vietnam, and is well worth a day trip. It’s a great destination for the whole family. Children will enjoy the bright colours, youngsters will appreciate the art, and older couples will enjoy a picturesque walk along its quiet alleys. Visiting Tam Thanh will not only give you the perfect Instagram photo—it’s also a chance to support the local community. Before visiting, read our tips in our full article here.

Tam Thanh Mural Village - The Painted Village
The Painted Village, Central Vietnam.

Hidden’s thoughts

Hoi An’s surrounding areas are blessed with significant sites and unparalleled natural beauty. Once you’re here, don’t miss your chance to visit some of the most important monuments of the country and experience what Central Vietnam has to offer. No matter if you are a history buff, motorbike lover, crazy Instagrammer, art enthusiast, thrill seeker, or laid-back traveller, there’s something for everyone in just an hour or two from Hoi An.

Now that you know what’s nearby, there’s nothing left but to choose your favourite activity. Remember to read the links to our full articles in order to make the most out of your day trips around Hoi An.

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