After arriving in Hoi An from our epic motorbike journey we checked into a lovely little hotel/guesthouse- Viet House Homestay where we paid £14 for our own double room which was huge and pretty fancy compared to my normal standards.
This time of year it gets dark pretty early in Vietnam so by the time we were ready to head into the town at 6:00pm it was already completely dark.
We headed into the Old Town which i did have some expectations for as i have heard nothing but brilliant things about it and we certainly weren’t disappointed! Hoi An is a UNESCO town and has a mix of Chinese, Japanese and European influence making it very unique.
One of the things the Old Town is known for is its lights! Chinese lanterns of all different colours and sizes hang from the shops, restaurants and across the streets in the old town and it’s simply gorgeous. Along with that and the yellow brick walls the town is by far the prettiest i have been to (or at least on par with Paraty in Brazil).
At night it does get a bit hectic with locals trying to sell you boat rides down the river, floating lanterns to let go in the river and flyers for drinks at their bar but once you ignore this and look beyond it it’s actually a very peaceful place, that night we got some food and headed in for an early night as we were pretty tired from our adventurous day!
I got sick that night, it must have been something that i ate although i don’t know what and from being in South East Asia last year for so long and travelling so much this year i’ve kind of got used to being ill so i took it easy the following morning and then spent the afternoon seeing the old town in the daylight which was equally as gorgeous as it was the night before and during the day there’s a lot less harassment from locals trying to sell you things.
In fact Hoi An is known for its tailoring and there are tailors everywhere to custom make you whatever your heart and wallet desires and before arriving in Hoi An i thought that we would constantly be offered to buy things and come into the shops but we didn’t even get asked once which i was really happy about especially as i didn’t want or need to get anything made.
Vietnam in general has surprised me with just how cheap it is and while we were in Hanoi we were finding draught beers for as little as 5000 Dong/ £0.15 (!!) however in Hoi An near to where we stayed they had beers for 3000 Dong/ £0.08 (!!) so with it being nearly as cheap as water, Steph and I met with Jess- a girl who i had met earlier in the year in Prague and had a few drinks because of course with those prices it would have been rude not to!
The next morning feeling surprisingly okay we decided to head to the beach. Another thing Hoi An is popular for is its bicycles, you see so many people riding around on pretty old school bikes with baskets on the front so we also hired two from the guesthouse and rode to the beach.
The beach is 2km away a long a straight and flat road so it’s a really easy ride (although we still had to be careful as there were a lot of other bikes, mopeds, cars and trucks all on the road!) and for most of the way the road is surrounded my gorgeous rice paddies so we rode a long them too and to be honest i felt like i was in Ubud in Bali rather than Vietnam!
The beach itself was really nice, there were lots of sun loungers for hire but being the budget backpackers we are we opted to lie on the sand and instead spend the money on a fresh coconut which was a brilliant decision!
We stayed at the beach until about 5pm before heading back and on our way back we were treated to a gorgeous sunset which made all the rice paddies reflect an incredible orange colour!
The next day we kept hold of our bikes and decided to bike around the Old Town. Although the town is pretty small and we had already walked around it a good few times before it was nice to go to the further edges, especially a long the river where we wouldn’t have walked to. Our aim for that day was also to head to some cute cafe’s and coffee shops as the old streets are lined with really awesome places and we did find a few great spots to take a break in and get out of then sun as the midday sun was very hot!!
This was now our 4th and final evening in the town so we walked around again which we never tired of doing as you always see something new and even after 4 nights i was still in love with all the lights and the river and the bridge.
We got a night bus the following night so had the day free, we met up with Jess again for lunch and then i met up with Amy from A Nomadic Existence , she had seen on Instagram that i was in Hoi An and she arrived that morning so we got an iced coffee and caramel tart and talked all things travel which was really nice.
Then it was time to say our final goodbye to Hoi An and get on the overnight bus to Nha Trang which is 12 hours down South.
I really loved my time in this town, i could have stayed so much longer but i also felt that 4 full days and evenings there was enough to see the Old Town many times, head to the beach, check out lots of different cafe’s and restaurants and get a really good feel for the place.
If you’re heading there soon (which you should) then definitely plan a good few days there to relax and hire some bikes to see the town and the surrounding area and if you have the money and space in your bag then get some things made and tailored as there’s not many other places in the world that you can get it done so cheaply and quickly!