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20 Photos that will make you want to visit Hoi An

Réhahn takes you on a tour of the town with 20 photographs that reveal the best places to visit in Hoi An.

Is Hoi An Worth Visiting ?

Hoi An is an absolute must-visit destination for travelers interested in history, great food, and vibrant local life. It’s also one of the best places in the world for travel photography. If you happen to be traveling to Hoi An or if the historic city is on your list of places to visit, this article is sure to inspire your wanderlust.

Visit Hoi An in Vietnam

What to do in Hoi An ?

The historic town of Hoi An on the Central Coast of Vietnam offers a rare mix. It boasts excellent culture and cuisine, while the sea air and artisanal finds make for a serene Vietnamese getaway

There is only one downside to the city’s charm. Visitors will find they are not the only ones interested in traveling to Hoi An to discover this UNESCO World Heritage site.

The crowded downtown area has slightly sullied the town’s image for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path type of holiday. Yet, Hoi An’s singular beauty perseveres, charming visitors with its architecture and mellow atmosphere.

The key for those looking to avoid the masses isn’t to skip the destination altogether. It’s to find the right guide to show you the best places to visit in Hoi An to see the magic that the city has to offer.

Réhahn has lived in this sunny yellow city for nearly a decade, photographing every alley and angle. 

He knows the right moments to venture into downtown and the times to avoid it. He knows the ideal places to catch an epic sunset or sunrise, and when to skip the guided tours. 

Follow along to get an insider’s view of where to visit in Hoi An through Réhahn’s lens.

Golden Age photograph of Hoi An
© Golden Age

Colors, Culture and Cuisine

Hoi An is a destination that has distinguished itself as out-of-the-ordinary. 

Amongst the megacities and tourism hotspots that fill Vietnam, it is known as a haven of architectural beauty and tranquility. It even beats out famous destinations such as Hanoi and Halong Bay as one of the best places to visit in Vietnam for international travelers. This is largely due to its natural scenery, historic yellow walls, and famed shopping.

The tourist sites are certainly worth seeing, just try to arrive as early as possible to avoid the crowds!

Cau Lau Cuisine in Hoi An

The Classic Yellow City To-Do List

A typical Hoi An itinerary will include some stops in the Ancient City to view the beautiful old landmarks. 

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Go early in the morning before the city fills up and start with the famous Japanese bridge. Try to find a vantage point where you can see it from a distance with the reflection in the water below.

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Hoi An is known for its little winding hems (alleyways). Take the time to explore the small streets that navigate away from the center. 

The Ancient Town is the perfect place to get lost.

Gaze into the charming storefronts or stop in the central market for some shopping. Then when hunger hits head to one of the city’s multitudes of eateries.

Cô Mai and Miss Ly are two of the best restaurants to experience the culinary influences in Hoi An’s cuisine. An added plus is that Cô Mai is located in a 200-year-old merchant house.

During the rainy season (October to February), aspiring photographers can catch the play of light on reflections in flooded hems

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At night in the Ancient Town of Hoi An, hundreds of dancing lanterns light up the night sky. Not only are they are stunning, but you can also have them custom-made in any fabric you want. It’s the perfect way to take a small piece of Hoi An home with you.

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▲ This shot of a man sleeping in a traditional Vietnamese Sampan boat is one of Réhahn’s most well-known photographs. The calm water beneath the boat gives viewers a sense of tranquillity that can be found on Hoi An’s waterways.

From Fishermen to Floating Lanterns

The green waterways that wind their way through the city are an essential part of life for Hoi An residents. Early risers can see the fishermen bringing in their catch from the night before near the central market. Night owls can see floating lanterns carrying the purchaser’s hopes for good luck along with the current.

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▲ Réhahn captured this aerial view of Hoi An with a drone.
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▲ As the sun disappears, indigo blue envelopes the waterscape. The right colors will come to those who wait.
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▲ The walls of an ancient merchant house offered a picturesque setting for a student who happened to walk by. Réhahn used a technique called “fishing photography” to capture a variety of subjects in front of this golden wall. He has a large collection of images from kids on their bicycles to ladies carrying baskets of fruit.

The Yellow City

There is a reason that Hoi An is known as the Yellow City. The brightly painted walls of the Ancient Town reflect the cheerful demeanour of its residents. 

It’s easy to find a photogenic location in Hoi An for a memorable photograph. Just wander through the streets that wind out from the heart of downtown like arteries.

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▲ There’s an explosion of color between the yellow walls and blue windows, adding whimsy to the scene of daily life.
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▲ The residents of Tra Que village tend to have a friendly demeanor that makes them a joy to meet. This couple has lived together just outside of Hoi An for most of their lives.

Retreat to Nature Outside of the City

Tra Que village, a short distance from Hoi An, is the perfect place to sample the serenity of pastoral life. This small village is home to hundreds of residents whose main occupation is to grow all kinds of vegetables.

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Arrive early from 5 am to 7:30 am or in the afternoon  between 3:30 pm to 6 pm. These slow times are ideal for visiting this charming place that Réhahn calls the “loveliest village on Earth”.

Just outside of Hoi An there are many artisans who craft everything from incense to non la to bricks. If you get tired of the city and want to discover something new, head outside the tourist zones. Bike through lush yellow and green fields or watch and learn as farmers harvest herbs, fruits and vegetables.

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▲ In certain towns in Vietnam, there are families who have been handcrafting incense for centuries. Around Cam Kim island, dozens of artisans make incense as well as mats, and conical hats. It’s a beautiful place to get lost and connect to locals. This shot of a woman who happened to be working at home was taken in the countryside of Hoi An.
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▲ The reward at the end of the day in the Hoi An countryside is the majestic orange light that floods the sky above the soaked ricefields.

Sunrise to Sunset Over Hoi An

For visitors to Vietnam, there’s nothing quite so memorable as the colors that fill the sky every day and night.

In Hoi An, the best sunsets and sunrises can be found from May to September. Regardless of whether you’re in the Ancient Town or on a nature walk, there’s beauty to be found everywhere.

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Something for Everyone

Hoi An has tranquil beaches and beautiful scenery, ancient culture and world-class dining.  If you know where to look to uncover its secrets, the yellow city has something to offer for every traveler. 

20 photos to visit hoi an-sunrise on the beach

Visiting Hoi An and interested in seeing more of Réhahn’s photographs? 
Head to The Precious Heritage Museum or one of the Réhahn galleries, located in the Ancient town. The fine art galleries showcase Réhahn’s photographic series such as “The Yellow City of Hoi An”, “Hidden Smile” and “Ageless Beauty

The museum is a never-before-seen exploration into the intriguing cultures of the diverse ethnic groups that make up Vietnam.

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