Backpacking in Hoi an, Vietnam

If there is a city you should visit in Vietnam it is definitely Hoi An. This small but cozy town is visited by thousands of tourists every year and is known for its clothing stores. You can enjoy delicious food there and relaxing on the beach can also be part of your visit. The city has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1999. You can discover a lot in this area by bike, the roads are quiet and the various sights are close to each other.

Made-to-measure suits to cocktail dresses

If you travel through Vietnam you will hear from many other backpackers that they have purchased a suit in Hoi an. There are several shops where they can make tailor-made suits or cocktail dresses for you within 24 hours. The retailers know they can charge more because the demand for tailor-made suits in this region has increased enormously. Many tourists come here specifically to buy a tailor-made suit cheaply. You can negotiate at these stores.

climate

Hoi An is centrally located in the country. The temperature here averages above 30 degrees all year round. There can be a lot of rain in the summer months. The best travel months are December to February. Here you have the least chance of rain and the best chance of sun.

Restaurants

Hoi An really comes to life when it gets dark. The city is decorated with lanterns and friendly ladies are cooking everywhere on the streets. The local community enjoys it when you sit on the street and eat with them. In the streets you will also find Western restaurants that often have beautiful courtyards. Eating street food is very cheap and for 3 euros you can have a delicious meal. The restaurants here are more expensive, for a main course you pay around 8 euros.

Accessibility

Hoi an is a city that cannot be reached by train. Da Nang is located next to Hoi An and a train stops there. From there it is about a 45 minute bus ride to Hoi an. Da Nang also has an international airport and is easily accessible by plane. Flights operate from both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. The easiest and cheapest way to get to Hoi an is by bus. From Hué it is 5 hours and from Nha Trang it is 12 hours. The buses are comfortable and not expensive. From Hué it costs 5 euros and from Nha Trang 12 euros.

Tips

  • At the beaches you will see that people immediately come up to you to ask if you want to park with your bike or scooter. One charges 3 euros per bicycle per day. The other just wants you to buy a bottle of water for 0.50 cents, then you can park your bike all day.
  • Tickets are sold in the city to get to special places. For 5 euros you can visit 12 places. These are museums, gardens or the Japanese bridge. People will come up to you and say that you will have to buy this ticket otherwise you will not be allowed to walk around the city. This is not true, they only say that to sell more tickets. You are free to walk the streets of Hoi an and visit all the shops and restaurants.
  • By bike it is a 20-minute bike ride from the city to the beach. Many hostels and hotels have bicycles to borrow.
  • When booking your bus tickets you can look for different companies. Try to find a company where you can also book permanent places. Then you know in advance whether you can sit together with your travel partner or not.
  • Be critical of the prices asked. In this city they know well that tailor-made suits are pricey in Western countries and that in Hoi an they are known for their high quality. Don’t agree too quickly, but try to get the best price.

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