Hoi An is this little town where you were supposed to go for only a few days but ended up staying for way longer. Although it’s much smaller than the big cities of Vietnam, such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, there’s so much charm packed into Hoi An that you’ll wish you could move here. This is the perfect getaway for the ones who’d like to travel to a calmer place, but still have a ton of things to do. If this is your first time traveling to Hoi An, here is everything you need to know about this quaint town.
First things first
The first thing you have to get before traveling to Vietnam is a visa. Without it, you won’t be allowed into the country – if you’re not on the visa exempt list that is. But most countries are obliged to apply for a Vietnam visa, regardless of the length of their stay, or if it’s for business or leisure. You have two online options: Visa on Arrival and E-Visa. The latter is only available for certain countries in the world though, whereas most nationalities can apply for a Visa on Arrival. However, you can only fly into Vietnam with this visa, so if you are planning on arriving with another means of transportation, you have to go to the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate and get your visa there.
How to get here
The absolute easiest and fastest way to get here is by flying to Danang. If you’re in a big city, in Vietnam, there are usually flights running daily. But if you’re coming from abroad, your best bet is to first fly to either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, and then change flights to Danang. Once there, you can either take a shuttle bus, taxi or why not rent a motorbike. It’s merely a 40 minutes drive.
Where to stay
Depending on your budget, you can either splurge on this or save a buck and go souvenir shopping. If you are on a bigger budget, you should check out Sunrise Premium Resort. This is a five-star resort which has everything you could ever want from a hotel – a big pool, beautiful facilities, fantastic service, dining options and gorgeous views over the beach. However, if you’re on a tighter budget, you also have many hostels to choose from, such as the Tribee Bana. Just make sure that you book far in advance since Hoi An is a very popular tourist spot so it gets full quickly.
When is the best time to visit Hoi An?
There’s not really any bad times to visit Hoi An since the weather here is mild all year round. Even during the colder months in Vietnam, between December – March, you’ll still be able to hit the beach. The nights are a bit cooler, the air is more crisp, but it’s usually enough if you have a cardigan. But when it rains in Vietnam, it pours, so you might want to avoid the rainy season.
What to see in Hoi An
The first thing you have to do in Hoi An is to go to the Old Town and start exploring. The whole area is a photographer’s dream – every little alley is more picturesque than the other! You could easily wander around here for hours and still be able to discover something new each time. The architecture is French, Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese inspired, making for some really interesting buildings.
You should also get custom made clothes here by a local tailor. Do you have a dream dress on your mind but haven’t been able to buy it in store? A suit? Or would you just like to get a one-of-a-kind garment? Then you have to visit the local tailors here. Hoi An is famous for custom made clothes so this is the perfect place to get that piece of clothing you’ve been thinking about for a while. Just remember to be very specific when you describe what you want and spare no details.
If you want to get outside of the Old Town, rent a bike and go to the beach. You can easily bike to Cua Dai or An Bang Beach, two of Hoi An’s most beautiful beaches. It’s about a 20 minutes bike ride and there’s some restaurants and bars by the beach, so you can easily stay there for the whole day before biking back to your hotel. Doesn’t Hoi An sound like the perfect vacation spot for you?