The Old Town is in many ways the heart of the city - it’s undoubtedly the most touristy as well, with all the usual tourist shops well represented. Those more interested in history and architecture will appreciate the many Chinese, Japanese and French colonial influences that can be seen in the Old Town's plentiful collection of intact buildings. One of the highlights is the covered Japanese bridge, which dates back to the 18th century and was supposedly built so the city’s residents at the time could easily access the Chinese quarter. Thanks to the city’s thriving port, Hoi An is home to a broad mix of cuisines, with local, national and international dishes available to try. There are lots of restaurants and cafes throughout the city, including many by its picturesque seafront.
The peak tourist season lasts from the end of May through to the end of August. This time of year is also when the weather in Hoi An is at its best, when the skies are calm, days are clear and temperatures are generally favourable. The monsoon season typically lasts from September to January, during which time tourism typically dies down.
Hoi An Beach is a short drive from the old town. Whilst it is certainly not as idyllic a beach location as in Phu Quok or the Thai Islands, it is a nice enough beach with some good resort hotels and is one of the few beach locations in SE Asia that gets its best weather during July and August. It is always difficult to choose between staying in town and on the beach. Town is certainly more atmospheric and you have the advantage of being able to walk around easily at night and sample the numerous cheap eateries. However if you are travelling with family and want to have some down time by the beach then there is a strong argument for staying at Hoi An Beach and using the shuttle services to get into town when the mood takes you.