Last updated on March 12, 2024 by Stefano Ferro, founder of MEL365, following extensive travelling in Vietnam

Stay in Hoi An: Old Town or beach?

Let’s start by saying that technically speaking Hoi An doesn’t have a beach.

The town is located along the Thu Bon estuary, around 5 km from the coast.

Usually, the Hoi An beach is considered to be the coastline north of the estuary that runs up to the Da Nang Airport.

There are actually other areas to stay in Hoi An. This guide focus on the differences between two of the most popular neighbourhoods.

Hoi An Old Town or Beach? – All you need to know on a table

Hoi An Old TownHoi An Beach
Character/HistoryPlenty, Lovely exploring
the maze of small lanes
Not as much,
mostly resorts
BeachNo beaches (10km from
the coast)
Long and narrow,
not the most beautiful
ActivitiesExploring the Old Town
Galleries, historic sites
water sports, sunbathing
relaxing
RestaurantsAmazing street food,
good selection
Small selection,
more expensive
BarsMany on An Hoi IslandNot as many,
more expensive
CafesGreat selection of
cool cafes
Limited selection
AccommodationUsually B&B,
small in size
Beautiful resorts, access
to the beach and/or pool
Best HotelNu Ni HomestayKA Villa
VibeYoung, couplesFamily, couples looking
for a resort stay
Comparison of Hoi An Old Town Vs Hoi An Beach

Why do you want to stay in Hoi An Old Town

Hoi An Old Town is considered one of the best-preserved ancient towns in Southeast Asia. 

It is known for its well-preserved traditional architecture, including old merchant houses, temples, and assembly halls.

The buildings in Hoi An Old Town are made of wood, with intricate carvings, bright colors, and tiled roofs, giving the area a unique and charming atmosphere.

You can visit the Old Town area by walking or cycling through its narrow streets, visiting local shops and art galleries, and experiencing traditional Vietnamese culture and cuisine.

One of the main attractions in Hoi An Old Town is the famous Japanese Covered Bridge, which dates back to the 16th century and is considered a symbol of the town’s history and cultural heritage.

The old town is a maze of small streets, even if you step outside the ancient part of it.

Most of the accommodations are small and they very rarely have a pool.

Staying in the old town, or around it, means you will enjoy the real character of Hoi An with historic details all around you.

At night you will have some of the best street food in Vietnam besides a drink along the Thu Bon river.

Hoi An Old Town main street in the early morning, the best time to enjoy it without a crowd of people around
Hoi An Old Town main street in the early morning, the best time to enjoy it without a crowd of people around

Why do you want to stay in Hoi An Beach

If you are looking more for a relaxing break, in a nice resort with a pool, maybe a gym and sea view than the beach is the best place to stay in Hoi An.

Hoi An Beach is a more recent development located a few kilometers south of the Old Town.

The area offers a more modern and relaxing experience, with a variety of resorts, restaurants, and activities.

Hoi An Beach is known for its long stretch of sandy beach, although very narrow, which is a great place to relax, swim, sunbathe, and enjoy water sports.

The beach is a great option if you have small kids that do not want necessarily to spend the entire day in the Old Town.

Children and adults alike can participate in a variety of activities, including fishing trips, boat tours, and cooking classes.

The area is also home to several high-end resorts, offering luxury accommodation and spa services, making it a popular destination for those looking for a more upscale beachfront experience.

Best stay in Hoi An Old Town and Old Town Beach

A great accommodation I would suggest in Old Town is the Nu Ni Homestay. Very clean, spacious and inexpensive. And the best comes now. It has a large pool too, very unusual in this part of town.

In Hoi An Beach, the KA Villa is one of my favourite places to stay. It’s great for families and also for couples.

The breakfast is fantastic and, included in the price, you have the laundry (so handy) and the sunbeds at the beach (so practical).

The pool is a great bonus too. Just perfect

For a romantic stay in Hoi An Beach (Cam An), I suggest the An Bang Hideaway, the interior is absolutely fabulous.

It is a step back to the Indochina time. The rooms are immaculate and you are literally just meters from the beach. 

To sum it up

While Hoi An Old Town provides a unique cultural and historical experience, Hoi An Beach offers a more modern and relaxing beachfront vacation destination.

Both areas are worth visiting and offer a unique experience for travelers to Hoi An.

You can always book your accommodation in town and explore the beach, and vice-versa. Just keep in mind the distance, from 5km to 10km.

You can rent a bike (sometimes for free at the resorts), take a taxi or book a Grab (my suggested choice, taxi drivers always tend to ask twice as much).

Stefano Ferro - MEL365.com Founder and Editor

About the Author

Stefano is a seasoned travel expert and the visionary founder of MEL365.com, a leading travel website with traffic across 6 continents. With a rich background in the travel industry, Stefano spent four pivotal years at Amadeus Travel Distribution System, gaining invaluable insights into travel technologies and distribution.

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