Traveling Hoi An, Vietnam
Updated: May 24, 2019
Hoi An, Vietnam was easily one of the coolest places I have ever seen. It was so crazy and different from anything I had ever seen before. It’s a small city, so it’s very easy and cheap to get around by walking, biking, or taxiing.
I stayed at the Hoi An Sincerity Hotel and Spa, which was a wonderful little place only a couple minutes up the road from the famous, “Old Town”. The Hotel and Spa was a nice place to relax, and their pool was a great escape from the miserable heat. Their spa was also great, they had so many options that were very affordable. I ended up doing a 2 hour spa treatment with a scrub and a swedish massage which cost me roughly $30.
It was a 20 minute walk from the hotel to Old Town. I rode one of the hotel provided bikes on my first trip to Old Town but couldn’t find a place to lock up the bike, which ended up being a bit of a nuisance. I would rather have just walked there or taken a taxi. Also, the amount of motorbikes on the roads, and the lack of traffic rules was terrifying to me at first. Every single time I crossed any street on foot or on bike, or even in a taxi, my blood pressure shot through the roof. When I made it across any street alive, I was shocked. That’s not me being dramatic, that’s just how crazy it is.
All the shops in Old Town and around that area are so cute! I could just walk around there looking at things for hours. The lanterns line the streets which makes for a great scene at night and also during the day. Most shops don’t have set prices for the items, which forces you to haggle. Haggling was hard for me because first of all, I was very unfamiliar with the currency, and also, even if I had been familiar with it, I wouldn’t know what price to ask for. I did the best job I could when haggling on the price of clothes, leather wallets, and other souvenirs, but I’m sure I didn’t do a very a good job. Regardless, prices are so cheap, so I wasn’t all that concerned.
The Hoi An beaches are amazing. I've been to a lot of beaches in my time and this beach was my absolute favorite. It wasn't overcrowded, it was very clean, and the scenery was beautiful. I went to the Dolphin's restaurant where they let you sit at a beach chair with an umbrella for free. There are people walking around taking your drink and food orders and bringing everything out to you. I could have spent the whole trip at this beach, it was very nice.
My Favorite Food
Bahn My Phuong was the absolute best. It’s famously known as the place where Anthony Bourdain ate. I went twice, and both times it was completely packed. You can either eat your food there, or take it to go. I got the classic pork Bahn My, which was incredible.
Another restaurant that I really enjoyed was a cafe called CoCoBox. This place had fresh and healthy food options. They also had a drink menu with fresh juices that were phenomenal and so refreshing. Cocobox is located in Old Town, so it's a perfect place to stop and rest after walking around in the heat.
Day Trip to My Son Sanctuary
I decided last minute to take a half day trip to My Son sanctuary. I found this tour on Viator and was very pleased. The guide was a young man who very friendly and knowledgeable.
There were about 10 other people on the tour and a van picked everyone up from their hotel in the early morning. The My Son sanctuary was then about a 45 minute drive from Hoi An. Even though it was incredibly hot outside, the sanctuary was quite amazing and full of rich history. Some of the structures there have been standing for thousands of years, even through the Vietnam war. I definitely would recommend this half day excursion.
Words of Advice
Don’t drink the tap water! I encountered some stomach issues on my last day of the trip. I can’t be sure what caused it but I’ve been told it’s best to stay away from the tap water in Vietnam, which I didn’t do. So, try to stick to bottled water only. If a restaurant serves you a glass of water, don’t drink it.
Also, be prepared for the heat! You will be dripping sweat at all times so its best to have the right clothes and to be mentally prepared.