Charming Hoi An
Our second stop in Vietnam was the charming little town of Hoi An. The old part of Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage site and it is incredibly popular with tourists of all kinds. This is something that has surprised us about Vietnam in general – the amount and range of tourists. I kind of expected to only see backpackers around but there are so many families with young kids and older couples as well. Who knew this was such a popular destination for that kind of tourist? That said now that we’ve been here for a few weeks I can see why it is as popular as it is. Vietnam has been one big pleasant surprise.
Although we haven’t seen very much of the country, what we have seen has been clean, well maintained, tourist-friendly and very good value. The local people have all been very friendly and helpful contrary to some of the stories we had heard. There is also a very distinct culture here that is interesting to observe and interact in. I can completely see why people of all walks of life are coming in droves to Vietnam. The accommodation in particular is excellent value.
While in Hoi An for example, we stayed at a hotel a few km’s outside of the old town for 27$ a night. For this price we had access to the hotel’s brand new beautiful pool, lots of comfy lounge chairs to sit on while sunbathing, a big and varied buffet breakfast, flat screen TV with satellite, fast wifi, bathtub, king sized comfy bed with great sheets and a balcony overlooking the pool, oh and I forgot free bicycle’s which you could use to go into town or out to the beach. This is luxury for the budget traveler! At 27$/night it is expensive for Vietnam, but for a tourist with Dollars, Euros, or Pounds this is ridiculously cheap. Think of what 50$/night could get you!
Hoi An itself is a must-see while in Vietnam. The old town has lanterns strung up over the streets that are particularly beautiful when lit up at night, and is closed off to motorbikes and cars for some hours during the day meaning you can actually walk around in peace and fully take in the town’s charms. It is the ideal place for a bike ride and we tremendously enjoyed our time cycling around the riverfront area and through the ancient streets. There are also a good variety of restaurants and cafe’s about. Finally, if you like photography you’d be hard pressed to find a better subject than Hoi An. Unfortunately our pictures from the town aren’t very good at all, I don’t know why but we really missed the ball on this one!
We had a really nice and relaxing four days here before hopping on a flight to Hanoi.