Life seems to move at a different pace in Quang Nam. You’ll ride past scenes so beautiful you’ll just have to stop and take it all in, or you’ll stumble upon temples so enchanting you’ll spend hours wandering their grounds. There’s no rush hour here. So take your time with what this place has to offer. While the magical Hoi An Ancient Town draws most travelers to Quang Nam, many eventually fall in love with everything else they find here and choose to stay longer.
But what exactly is that ‘everything else’? Spend a week with us to explore life in the countryside among these vast rice fields, visit fishing villages and ethnic communities, learn about lost kingdoms and ancient dynasties, and you’ll see why slow travel comes so naturally to Quang Nam. Follow our 7-day itinerary below for a restful holiday in Hoi An and Quang Nam.

Day 1: Hoi An Ancient Town

Take a stroll around a more quiet Ancient Town early in the morning. While most shops and attractions won’t open until 9am, you can join locals for a cup of robusta or a bowl of cao lau on the sidewalk before exploring these bougainvillea-lined streets. This UNESCO World Heritage is littered with fascinating assembly halls, museums, and historical houses. After sunset, enjoy a game of bai choi at the town’s square, then hop on a wooden boat to float along the Thu Bon River and watch as the whole town is lit up by thousands of shimmering lanterns.

Day 2: Dong Giang highlands and ethnic village

The highlands of Dong Giang are still one of Quang Nam’s best-kept secrets. You wouldn’t expect to go jungle trekking in Quang Nam, and yet the forests and waterfalls in Dong Giang will take your breath away. Nestled among these hills, about two hours from Hoi An, are some of the largest Co Tu ethnic villages in Quang Nam. Visit the Bho Hoong Village and get to know these wonderful people who are still following age-old traditions. Learn how they weave their iconic rattan backpacks, join them for a family meal, and spend the night in a Moong wooden house.

Day 3: Hoi An’s best beaches

By now, a lazy day on the beaches of Hoi An is well-deserved. Just 15 minutes from the Ancient Town are An Bang Beach and Tan Thanh Beach, each boasting a very different vibe. An Bang is lined with seafood restaurants on the sand and tends to be a bit busier, especially in the afternoon with locals swimming and playing volleyball. More laid-back beach bums will love Tan Thanh, where relaxing cafes and bars occupy a small stretch of soft sand. In the summer, it’s hard to beat a fresh coconut, some sunshine, and a good book on these lovely shores.

TIP: If you like watersports, Hoian Flow on Tan Thanh Beach offers surfing lessons in the morning and kite surfing lessons in the afternoon. You can also rent surfboards and stand-up paddleboards by the hour to explore these waters on your own.

Day 4: My Son Sanctuary

A one-hour drive from Hoi An will take you to Vietnam’s largest Cham temple ruins, My Son Sanctuary. Here, you’ll find ancient stelae, shrines, and religious artifacts that date back more than a thousand years. Take your time to walk around these amazing red brick Hindu temples and get a closer look at the sandstone sculptures and bas-reliefs to learn more about the lost Champa kingdom. Visit nearby My Son Gallery to deep dive into the story of the ancient Cham empire, and see what the temples looked like when they were first discovered.

Day 5: Cham Islands

Beautiful Cham Islands are much more than dreamy beaches, although there are plenty of those here too. Take a speedboat or ferry to the islands and spend the day marveling at incredible coral reefs, meeting local fishermen in small villages on Hon Lao, and dining on fresh-caught seafood. Most travelers explore the Cham Islands in a day, but there are some simple homestays on Bai Lang if you want to spend the night. Note that the islands have a no-plastic policy and all travelers are required to pay a small environmental fee.

Read more: 7 reasons you’ll love exploring the Cham Islands

Day 6: Tam Ky City

Quang Nam’s capital city is as local as it gets. Tam Ky is only an hour from Hoi An and still largely beneath the tourist radar. That just means you’ll likely have its charming rivers, temples, beaches, and fishing villages all to yourself. From April to August, the Dam River is dotted with bright pink lotus blossoms. You can hire a small sampan to glide through this gorgeous lagoon. History buffs will love crawling through the Ky Anh Tunnels, a wartime relic hidden underneath the quiet Thach Tan Village. Don’t forget to try the Tam Ky chicken rice while you’re here.

Day 7: Hoi An countryside

Take it easy on your last day and enjoy the serenity of Hoi An’s countryside. Hop on a bicycle and ride through vast rice fields in Cam Thanh, Cam Chau, or Cam Kim Island, all within 10 minutes from the Ancient Town. Browse the wet markets for fresh produce and look for the best mi Quang stall among hustling noodle vendors. You can also join a cooking class in vegetable farms to learn more about local ingredients, herbs, and spices. When in Cam Thanh, clamber into a basket boat and drift past peaceful canals in the Bay Mau nipa palm forest.

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