Hoi An, Vietnam- Tips, Tricks and Things To Do


Ahhhh, Hoi An, the much anticipated Hoi An. Whenever we asked other travellers we'd met along the way which was their favourite stop in Vietnam, 99% all responded with Hoi An. Read any guidebook and it sings Hoi An's praises. It's fair to say it was one of the stops I was most looking forward to. We arrived off the sleeper bus very early in the morning and took a taxi to our home for the next few days: The Vietnam Backpackers Hostel. Thankfully, being a bigger hostel, arriving way before the check-in time wasn't a problem at all. We put our backpacks in a locked luggage room and went and napped on some sofas until a more reasonable hour. We then took full advantage of the pool facilities and sunloungers, and then got dressed ready for the day, all before 11am.

We were sat by the pool when we spotted an Australian couple who'd been in our hostel room in Nha Trang. After discussing our individual sleeper bus experiences we decided to hire bikes and go for an explore. The hostel was fairly near the beach, so that's where we headed. This was our first attempt on the roads in Asia, and to be fair, it wasn't too bad at all. Thankfully the roads were empty and the junctions had traffic lights, so I'd definitely recommend cycling down to the beach, it was really good fun.

The beach itself was lovely. White sand and crisp water. I had, unfortunately, got rather sunburnt a couple of days before so didn't really get to make the most of being at the beach. There were a few restaurants right on the beach front, so we had lunch at the nearest one.  After cycling back, we spent the rest of the afternoon by the pool. Now, the hostel was lovely, but it did feel an awful lot like being on Love Island. Let's put it this way, we were soon approached by 'Top Shagger Toby' and his laaaad friends and treated to their lads lads lads spiel.

That night we decided to go out out, so headed to Sunshine Hostel with a big group of others from our hostel. What's the significance of Sunshine Hostel I hear you ask? Well, let me tell you... For 100k (about £3.50) you can have unlimited drinks between 8 and 10pm. The hostel also has a pool, in the main area by the bar, which I ended up in fully clothed. I was pulled in by a random boy who was never to be seen again, thanks buddy. Spending the rest of the night looking like a drowned rat wasn't ideal, but yanno, as a backpacker I should've been grateful for the wash.

It's fair to say we weren't feeling too peachy the next day, those unlimited vodkas had definitely hit. We had the free breakfast at the hostel - I had the pancakes - and spent the morning by the pool, lounging in the sun. Once we were feeling a bit more human we took a taxi to the old town and went for a wander. That evening we just had dinner at the hostel and headed to bed pretty early. It's fair to say the day was a bit of a write-off.

The following day we woke up, had breakfast and were in the pool by 8. That early bedtime clearly cured us. We spent the morning in the pool, showered and then had lunch at the hostel. We took a Grab taxi to the old town and wandered the markets, each buying some new clothes. Hoi An is known for it's tailoring - there are tailors every few meters each producing handmade garments within 24 hours for a very cheap price. Unfortunately, we didn't have the time to have anything made, but having seen the pieces other travellers we'd met had had made, I'd definitely recommend doing it.

Whilst wandering the market a Vietnamese lady offered to paint my nails for about 60p, so I ended up following her through the market to her home, and sat in her front room whilst she painted my nails. That afternoon we took a boat trip along the river, which was really nice. We were one of the only boats around, and it was only Toria, the boatlady and I onboard, so it really was peaceful.

That evening we had dinner by the riverside whilst we waited for the sun to set. We each lit a lantern once it was dark and put them in the river. Seeing Hoi An at night was beautiful, with all the lanterns, but very very busy! If you're planning on going, be prepared for a lot of pushing and shoving. That evening there was a karaoke night at the hostel so we ended up going to that. It was pretty good fun, definitely more so after a few vodkas. 

A prettier city with a much slower pace

- The Beach
- The Old Town
- Shopping in the markets
- See the lanterns in the evening
- Have some clothes tailor-made

- Use Grab to book taxis, they're much cheaper than the usual taxis
- Buy things from the market stalls that are slightly further out, they tend to be cheaper

Vietnam Backpackers

Despite feeling a bit like Love Island, the hostel itself couldn't be faulted. It was clean, the showers were amazing, breakfast was included and the beds were really nice, we were lucky to be in a room that didn't have bunkbeds! It was definitely a party hostel, so if you're looking for a relaxing few days, I'm not sure this is quite the place for you. 

3/4 days - there's quite a lot to do, and it's more relaxing than other places

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