Originally published on November 2010, as part of our Southeast Asian adventure
Hoi An is one of those places that no matter how well you mean to write about it, you’ll never do it justice.
Reaching Hoi An was complicated. The original idea was to take a train through Na Trang, but it was cancelled due to terrible floods. We then looked at other alternatives, the best of which was to fly to Danang. We flew in a massive Vietnamese airlines plane that was virtually empty. The airport was thankfully bigger than Palawan’s in the Philippines too, thank God. The flight was cheap enough and the transfer from Danang to Hoi An was also very, very, affordable, so we treated ourselves.
We we stayed in the Hoang Thring Hotel and we had an amazing receptionist. She welcomed us with tea, biscuits and spent quite some time explaining, map in hand, the layout of the town. When we finally got to the room, we saw they had made towel swans and had left them on the bed – really cute.
Hoi An is the place in Vietnam to get a dress or a suit, something I would’ve definitely done had I had more space in my bag. The town is by the river and is incredibly picturesque, as they have smartly ensured that the whole town maintains the same sort of signs and they have also been very protective of keeping buildings of cultures that has influence in the area before (such as Japanese, Chinese, French and of course Vietnamese).
Hoi An also has the happiest people I ever saw in Vietnam, they are all so happy, and whilst, yes, it may be seen a bit too touristy, I would never miss a visit to this town and I can’t wait to go back already. We spent 3 days (probably stayed a little too long), just walking around, going into old houses, crossing the Japanese bridge… The one thing we really did was eat: we had not had “proper” bread for over 2 months and we were reunited with the humble baguette there, as well as with the pastries…mmmm
But even all good times come to an end and it was time to leave… Towards Hue!