Guide to Hoi An In Asia’s Beautiful Central Vietnam
Considering Vietnam wasn’t always in the plan, it was just a destination I had hoped we would visit in Asia as we passed through, it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable places I have ever visited around the world. Hoi An located in central Vietnam up in the northern part of the country is a hidden gem that is similar to Tulum in Mexico, or Costa Rica, it’s a little place that backpackers and travellers have discovered and is known for its genuine people, very communal atmosphere and beautiful rivers and beaches.
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From the minute I stepped off into Da Nang (the main city) I just knew it was going to be an enjoyable stay. As you travel around the city Da Nang you are surrounded by modern buildings, beautiful channels of rivers and surrounded by coastline with white sand and American looking beachfronts lined with palm tress and nice paved walkways. A 30 minute drive away is beautiful Hoi An, along this drive you will find big hotel chains building their five star luxury hotels right on the hidden beach fronts! Even though this place is not busy now, you can just tell in a few years it will be. But this isn’t always a bad thing, Da Nang in my eyes will be Australia’s new Thailand and a nice secret escape for Europeans, maybe even the new American version of Cancun in Mexico, it will become a big hotspot for a cheap and enjoyable getaways with all inclusive resorts and beautiful beaches, but like Cancun, there will be the hidden backpacker and traveller spots which similar to Tulum and Playa Del Carmen (Mexico), Hoi An will stay the quiet little town where true travellers will travel too, and why not? It’s a beautiful little town with the loveliest people, everyone is so happy and friendly and I can quite honestly say out of all the places I have travelled too it is one of the safest little towns in the world!
So have I got you interested yet? Well to inspire you some more lets do a rough break down on this hidden gem, Hoi An in Vietnam for you!
How To Get Around, Main Transport:
Like most small towns motorbikes, and bicycles seem to be the main way to get from A to B, the town of Hoi An is very spread out, and most hotels, hostels and backpackers can be found scattered around the area but close enough to the main markets, shopping and beaches that a push bike is the first choice of most visitors and considering almost every form of accommodation offers them for hire or free use its no wonder they are such a big hit! If you however don’t like riding bikes, you can hire a motorbike for no more than $5 a day and there are taxis around if you prefer, walking is also an options but in the heat it can be quite sticky and unpleasant as you would be looking at walking around 2-5km between the main places of interest. I would say hire a bike! there is not much traffic, but be careful as the motorbikes speed past you, and some have been known to drive on the wrong side of the road! bring a flash light for night time as the streets can be dark! it is very safe here, but always be cautious if riding alone.
Where To Stay, Your Accommodation:
Hoi An is a lovely place for all types of travellers, although it tends to attract more elderly travellers that chose to stay a little more out of town to soak up the cheap food and drinks and just relax overlooking the rice paddies from their pool view rooms (Perfect way to spend your retirement if you ask me!) it is also a destinations many backpackers and travellers tend to visit. its has those beach vibes, and cheap accommodation if you really are looking to save money. we stayed in the gorgeous River View Villas, and it was about a 10 minute bike ride from the main hub of the town, the beach was about a 20 minute bike ride away, but overlooking the farming fields and a small river channel was just beautiful! this was only a 3 star resort but we paid only $40 a night and got a free upgrade to the suite! its was amazing!
What To Eat And Where To Eat It:
Food glorious food! oh how much i love asian food! although Vietnam doesn’t tend to have as much variety as some neighbouring countries, it still has the best spring rolls and rice paper rolls in all of Asia! like most vietnamese food, a range of vegetables and meats, along with noodles and soups are offered, Hoi An also has many restaurants that offer western food, with pizza being the big hit everywhere! and its really good as well with their home made pizza bases that are like a crusty bread! don’t forget to try the pork netted spring rolls! they are AMAZING! you can find a range of restaurants in the main town of Hoi An, and here you can also find a range of fruit markets! the fruit is so colourful and so fresh, the mangos are amazing and you must try the local delicacy of Lotus Root! its really tasty and super healthy!
Top Things To See And Do:
Visit the beaches, do a river cruise, enjoy the local foods and markets, do a tour around the town on a bicycle, visit a local farm, cook up a storm in a cooking class, or just sit by the pool and relax! its really up to you, the town of Hoi An is beautiful, i would suggest hiring a motorbike, bicycle or even a private driver for the day and just go and explore! there ensile overly too much to do here, but a day tour to the local villages and farms is always fun, and don’t forget to see the beach,it may be a bit far to ride too, but its worth is and very beautiful!
Top Tips To Know:
- Bicycles are a great way to get around! its very safe here, and you CAN ride your bike after dark! just bring a touch as most bikes don’t have lights or reflectors on them, the motorbike ridders can be a bit crazy so just be aware and careful
- remember to brain in the markets! they try to get US dollars sometimes, but try to pay in local, its much cheaper and after bargains for a while you will get your things a lot cheaper!
- there aren’t too many ATMs around so make sure you get enough cash out at the airport or before you leave home, we got stuck and had to search for an ATM for hours! so just come prepared with enough cash to get you through your stay (I bought too much stuff and used our food money to buy things…hehe, Whoops!)
Considering I might not have visited Hoi An, it was a more of a last minute decision, I am forever grateful my wonderful parents suggested it as they were very right! The people are so friendly and I left thinking, yep – I will definitely be back here one day!