Beautiful temples and pagodas tell stories of Chinese influence while colonial details carry the charm of a French village. Blogger and travel writer Rose Munday briefs us on the best Hoi An Instagram spots…
You’d be hard-pushed to find a location as photogenic as Hoi An. As it’s a UNESCO-protected World Heritage Site, the crumbling yellow buildings and sleepy backstreets have been well-preserved for several years. Not only is Hoi An a melting pot of history and culture, it’s the perfect location to take seriously stunning photos. Whether you plan to be in front of the lens or behind it, we’ve got your back for the wheres and the hows…
These are our top 10 Hoi An photography spots and most Instagrammable places in Hoi An. Enjoy!
1. The Hoi An vibes sign in the SUNDAY shop
Proving that Hoi An vibes are for real, this sunny shop on Tran Phu Street shouldn’t be missed. Not only can you pick up gorgeous items of clothing, souvenirs and homeware, you can hang out in the backyard which is definitely a hidden gem. You probably wouldn’t guess it was there without someone passing on the message (you can thank us later!).
We all know Instagrammers love a swing, and in SUNDAY Hoi An there’s one to recline in if your friends take too long shopping. There’s also a fabulous pink wall with the famous ‘Hoi An vibes only’ sign flanked with tropical cacti.
Insider tip: There are two SUNDAY shops in Hoi An and one isn’t Instagrammable at all. When searching for the Hoi An vibes only locations, visit the Sunday Shop on Tran Phu Street.
2. The Japanese Bridge
Whether you’re looking for Instagrammable spots or engaging history, you’ll find it at the Japanese Bridge. The pastel pink walls are a newer addition to the Bridge, which was originally built in the 18th century as a way to connect the Japanese Quarter to the rest of the city. Following a couple of renovations and an increase in tourism to Hoi An, it’s been uploaded to Instagram several thousand times.
Tip for visiting: Inside, it’s crowded and hard to get a shot. Head down the road and snap it complete with its reflection. Bonus points if you can get a wide angle shot to include the sunny yellow buildings on each side.
3. An Thai Cafe
This charming cafe on Cường Để draws in photographers and passersby with its sunny window display packed with yellow lanterns, baskets of flowers, gorgeous paintings and vats of lotus tea.
Not only is it “gram goals”, it’s also a great place to sample all your favourite Vietnamese foods. Com ga (chicken rice), cao lao (barbeque pork noodles) and mi quang (prawn and quail egg noodles) are all done well here. Wash them down with a super sweet glass of lotus tea freshly made on site.
Tips for visiting: Nab a window seat. If a snap of you in the front display wasn’t cute enough, you’ll get some beautiful shots of Hoi An passing by from your position overlooking the street.
Address: Find it at 100 Cường Để.
4. The Night Market lanterns
If you went to Hoi An and didn’t pose with the Night Market lanterns, did you even go to Hoi An?
These beauties come in all shapes, sizes and colours. While you’ll spy gorgeous lanterns all over Hoi An, you’ll probably never find as many in one location as at the Night Market. Admire them as you shop for bargains and sample sizzling street food.
This Night Market can get very busy at weekends, making it tough to get a photo at all. Visit on a weekday soon after it opens (6pm) for your best chance at a clear lantern shot. If you’ve got a handy friend to take your photo, a shot of you gazing up at the lanterns will never fail to draw in the likes!
5. The beach swing at An Bang
It’s not quite the Bali swing, but is a pretty cute addition to the An Bang beachfront. Find the Hoi An beach swing in front of Sound of Silence coffee shop which btw, is a peaceful oasis you should add to your Hoi An itinerary. I promise I didn’t purposefully match my bathing suit to the colour of the swing…
Tips for visiting: Bring a friend to take your photo as the beach isn’t the most tripod-friendly zone. Also, this spot is a Boomerang waiting to happen. You know it, we know it – resist no more.
6. The Espresso Station
Sunny yellow might as well be official Hoi An uniform. While we love all the colourful corners around town, few venues do it as well as Espresso Station. Bright blue details, chalkboard window shutters and leafy pot plants decorate the cosy cafe – then there are the drinks! Order the ice cube coffee and receive your beverage in frozen form. Drizzle over a pot of heated milk and voila, your Instagrammble caffeine fix is sorted!
7. Coconut boats at An Bang Beach
Aah, An Bang Beach. A spot where time stands still as gentle waves graze the sandy shore. Sure, the main section can get busy, but it’s pretty easy to escape the crowds a little further down the beach.
My favourite spot for finding peace is the area around Hidden Beach Restaurant, halfway towards Cua Dai Beach. It isn’t called ‘hidden’ for no reason – it’s a down windey track off the main road, but the local feel when you arrive is more than worth the trek. The iconic Vietnamese coconut boats lay strewn on the sand once the morning fishing trips are complete. Other countries’ beaches will never seem Instagrammable again…
8. Hoi An Riverside
There aren’t many spots more photogenic than the Hoi An Riverside. Crumbing yellow buildings overlook the waterway, hanging lanterns create reflections, and fishing boats mill around the bridge. Grab a coffee (on a balcony for major ‘gram points) and soak it all up.
Want to up your social media game even further? Visit at night, especially if there’s a full moon festival going on. Lights turn off in the town and elegant floating lanterns bob along the riverfront. It’s the ideal time to take a romantic wooden boat ride through them. You’ll put the Venice gondolas to shame!
9. The pagodas (especially Trieu Chau Assembly Hall)
Pick a pagoda, any pagoda, and it will probably provide some serious photo-ops. My favourite of all Hoi An’s religious monuments is the Trieu Chau Assembly Hall, which was built by the Chinese in 1845. It’s dedicated to the God of Wind and Big Waves. Not only is there plenty of history to soak up, the pagoda is made of intricately carved wood, porcelain patterns and colourful Chinese characters. Thrown in a gold casket of smoking incense and you’ve got yourself one very photogenic spot!
10. The GAM gemstone shop
A hidden gem inside an actual gem shop? We’re too good to you! Not many tourists know about the charming GAM Wine Bar in the back room of the Gemstone Art Museum. Signature yellow walls and hanging flowers make it one of the most photo-worthy spots in Hoi An Ancient Town. The front isn’t bad to look at either…
Heading to Vietnam any time soon? Also check out our ultimate guide to Da Nang, Hoi An and Hue here!
Have you been to any of these spots? Do you have any more to add? Leave them in the comments below!