Where is Hoi An?
Hoi An is located on the coast of the South China Sea in the Quang Nam Province in Vietnam and is usually seen as a “half-way” point for people traveling the length of the country. Transportation to Hoi An is easily manageable and coming from Phong Nha costs about 400,00o VND/18 USD. The price should be roughly half of that, but during Lunar New Year it is more expensive. Alternatively, you can always travel from Phong Nha to Da Nang and then take the public bus to Hoi An.
Travelfish did a great job explaining the public transportation and you can check out their post about it here. Hoi An is a unique city marked with history, culture and vibrance. It is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site due to its well-preserved infrastructure. In addition to being surrounded by historical elements, one finds themselves immersed in a city identified by textile arts and when in Hoi An.
Hoi An is a unique city marked with history, culture and vibrance.
Many people come to Hoi An and quickly discover the many seamstresses who can essentially create any item of clothing that you desire simply by studying an image. It is truly amazing to see and getting clothes made is a great way to either save money or bring back to home a one of a kind souvenir.
Is it safe?
As I have said before in my other posts about cities in Vietnam, you need to be cautious when walking near the roads because the motorbike/scooter traffic is ruthless. As always, be aware of your surroundings and do not rent a scooter/motorbike if you are the least bit doubtful of your abilities. You don’t want to be “that” backpacker who made a stupid decision. At night, the streets are well-lit with lanterns and it is quite beautiful. Make sure you keep your belongings close to you or just leave them in a locker at your hostel.
As always, be aware of your surroundings and do not rent a scooter/motorbike if you are the least bit doubtful of your abilities.
What is there to do?
Hoi An is one of those cities that you go to and when you are there, you don’t need to necessarily “do” anything in order to enjoy your time there. Walking around the city itself and observing the people and activities happening around you is enough to satisfy your desire to get a taste of Hoi An. As I mentioned earlier, Hoi An is a colorful city kept alive by the talented artists that make up the city. When in Hoi An, get clothes made, take a tour of the river, ride bikes, try the local food or visit An Bang beach. If you’re still not convinced, check out what Tripadvisor suggests.
Where can I stay?
I booked a dorm at the Sunflower Hotel and it cost me 180,000 VND/8 USD per night. The dorm was alright and had it’s own bathroom, but it wasn’t my favorite hostel. They had a great breakfast buffet, which was free and they also had a swimming pool. You can read more reviews about the Sunflower Hotel here through Hostelworld.