Hoi An, Vietnam Tour - Exploring Hoi An's hidden gems with locals

Posted by Emma | 9th May 2023

Hoi An is a small town located on the central coast of Vietnam. It is a place of stunning beauty, rich history, and a perfect blend of Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese cultures. With its narrow streets, ancient houses, and beautiful riverside, Hoi An is a destination you must include on your Vietnam travel itinerary.

On my first day I had the pleasure of exploring Hoi An with two local guides, Emily and Nam, who took us to discover Hoi An's hidden gems. We were promised a small guided tour around the backstreets of Old Hoi An, tasting delicious local snacks along the way, and we weren't disappointed! If you're looking for the best things to do in Hoi An - then this tour is a must!

After a sweet Vietnamese coffee, our guides took us to a quiet local village surrounded by lush, green rice paddies. We learnt about village life, family temples and architecture before making our way to a rice noodle factory. We were shown around by the current owner, whose family had been handcrafting rice noodles in the factory for generations. Many of the traditional techniques and tools employed in the noodle-making process remained largely unchanged. The rice noodles, made from locally grown rice, lye solution and water from the local well, are used in cao lầu, a signature dish from Hoi An. Along with the rice noodles, a bowl of cao lầu usually consists of sliced roast pork, crispy pork fat, greens, herbs, bean sprouts and a splash of flavourful broth. Later in the Hoi An tour I devoured a delicious bowl of cao lầu - the factory had supplied the rice noodles!

Next up on the itinerary was a visit to another local family business who produce and sell organic bean sprouts. After a demonstration, we tasted some of the beansprouts we helped to harvest. Crunchy, fresh and delicious!

We jumped in an electric vehicle to our next stop, the local food market, which was a feast for the senses! The market was a vibrant tapestry of colours, with beautifully displays of fresh fruits and vegetables. The aroma of food being cooked wafted through the air, drawing us deeper into the market's bustling atmosphere. We stopped at a few small stalls to indulge in some delicious local snacks such as bahn xeo (rice flour pancakes filled with pork, prawns and bean sprouts) and freshly squeezed fruit juice. The visit was a sensory adventure, immersing us in the culture and culinary delights of Hoi An, but the food tour had only just begun! I was pleased I came with an empty stomach!

Photo by TripMapper Ltd

We continued to enjoy many more tasty local Vietnamese treats as we explored Hoi An, from banh dap (cracked/smashed rice pancakes) to black sesame soup and bahn mi to locally made coconut and sweet potato cakes - we were spoilt! As we strolled around Emily and Nam provided us with fascinating facts about Hoi An's architecture and how it reflected the different cultures that had left their mark on the town.

Our guides were passionate about ensuring we experienced an authentic view of Hoi An. On the Hidden Gems of Old Hoi An Tour we discovered places that most visitors would never find on their own. This Hoi An tour was an immersive experience that allowed us to appreciate the beauty and cultural richness of this remarkable town whilst feasting on local treats. We highly recommend adding it to your Hoi An itinerary!

Remember to add your tour booking to TripMapper, your essential itinerary planner when building your own Vietnam vacation. TripMapper is the must-have travel budget and itinerary app—travel tech designed to make planning your trips fun and easy!

Photo by TripMapper Ltd

AFFILIATE LINK: Products or services featured in this blog are independently selected by the TripMapper team. However, when you buy something through our affiliate links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you want to experience this Hoi An tour and decide to purchase it through one of the affiliate links, we get a small commission without any extra cost to you!

Getting excited about travel?

Sign up for the best travel planning & budgeting app, available on web and mobile.

Get started for free