Hoi An is different to the other cities in Vietnam, it’s a lot more peaceful and relaxed. There are lots of elements that make Hoi An a charming city, from its signature lanterns, to the mixture of architecture and canals, making it a great place to visit.
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Getting to Hoi An
Hoi An is pretty easy to get to, again you can either catch a bus or train, even fly there. The most direct route is a bus and mean you will avoid going to Da Nang. Flying and trains require you to transfer to Hoi An which is about 40km from Hoi An.
As a backpackers we caught the local bus. The bus is 750m from the station, it comes every 20 -30 minutes and costs 30,000 vdn per person plus 10,000 vdn for bags. Be prepared for a bumpy ride, dirt flying around, people randomly pulling the bus over in the middle of the road.
The bus station is about 12 minute walk to the main accommodation area in Hoi An.
A private car to and from Da Nang Airport each way for 3 people will cost around 300,00 vdn and 4- 7 people will cost 400,000.
Where to stay?
The accommodation area is just outside of the Old Town and only a five to ten-minute walk to the Old Town. We stayed at Tribee Kinh which is a chain that has two hostels and one hotel.
Forty-eight Hours Guide to Hoi An…
Explore the old town first. It’s a ticketed area and will cost 120,000 vdn which allow you into the city for five days and five attractions. Don’t forget your ticket as they will ask you every time you enter the city walls.
The top five attractions are:
1. Japanese bridge
2. Phung Hung Old House
3. Quang Trieu Assembly Hall
4. Tan Ky Old House
5. Quan Cong Temple
Go to Morning Glory for lunch and have the signature Hoi An dishes, White Rose Dumplings, Wontons with Crabmeat and Cao Lau. They also have a vegetarian version for those who don’t want to try the pork version.
Hoi An is famous for its tailors and if you are in the market for some new clothes and suits it’s the best place to have them made in Vietnam. With over 400 tailors it’s hard to choose where to get them from! There are two very well reputable places Yaly Couture and Bebe Tailor. You’ll need three days in Hoi An if you are planning to get clothes made.
Afterwards, head to Rice drum 75 Nguyen Thai Hoc St for sunset cocktails overlooking the river. Cocktails cost 80,000 vdn. Ask to be seated upstairs to get the best view of the river.
Try Ms Ly’s Restaurant (22 Nguyen Hue) for dinner. Ms Ly cooks all the food herself, in traditional Vietnamese style.
Hire a bicycle from the hostel or a local stall. It’s 25,000 vdn plus a 50,000 vdn deposit for the day. Cycle to the nearby villages passing through the rice paddies to An Bang Beach.
Stop by the beach for a swim or a refreshing drink before heading to Cam Thanh coconut palm village.
The maps provided weren’t the easiest to use and we did get a little lost on our way to Cam Thanh coconut palm village. A local girl was friendly and helped us to get to the village, so if you do struggle the locals are generally pretty good at helping out.
As a tourist area, she did try and drive business for her family by taking us to her aunt’s cafe. We were thirsty by this time and the prices were the same as everywhere else we’d been. We had a great chat learning about her life and about living in Vietnam.
In the coconut village, you can go on bamboo boats with the locals. They take you around the plantation, go crabbing and make you leaf accessories. The family offered bamboo boat rides for 250,000 vdn for two people.
Head back to the hostel for a rest before dinner. Try Mihn Hien restaurant (50 Tran Cao Van) which had amazing vegetarian food and super cheap!
Let me know what you think about Hoi An in the comments!