Hotels in Hoi An

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Hoi an – A rainy day

Footstepsinvietnam.info – Hotels in Hoi An are fiercely competitive, which means plenty of choice and generally high standards. Budget options are slightly pricier than many other parts of Vietnam, with $6 being about the cheapest. Around the centre, 300,000 VND is usually the lowest asking price (March 2013). Heading further out of town, more typical prices can be found. Many hotels are clustered around Hai Ba Trung St (formerly Nhi Trung Street), just north of the Old Town and within easy walking distance, and also along Cua Dai Street, off to the east and a bit of a hike away.

Most of Hoi An’s high-end hotels are located along the unbroken beach stretching from Danang to Hoi An. Closest is Cua Dai Beach 5 km away.

It is more likely to find a good bargain in the evening, when budget hotels try to fill their rooms for the night.

Budget

An Hoi Hotel, 69 Nguyen Phuc Chu, (anhoihotel@yahoo.com. Nice and quiet, very near old town (opposite riverbank). Nicely decorated wide rooms. Free internet and Wi-Fi 15-25$, including breakfast.

An Phu, 30 Nguyen Duy Hieu Street, ☎ +84 510-914345. One of the biggest budget hotel operations in Hoi An. South of the centre, about a 5-10 minute walk away. Nice rooms and a relaxing pool in the middle. Be careful of the recommended hotel doctor in case of an emergency as they have been known to provide out of date drugs and/or sub-standard versions which have been known to cause some very dangerous reactions.US$20-40.

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A view on Thu Bon river

Dai Long. A 7 minute walk from the heart of the old town. Extremely clean, spacious rooms. Beds come complete with a mosquito net. The staff are incredibly helpful and speak excellent English. Free internet and Wi-Fi. (update) Offseason April ’12, rooms go for 12-14USD. doubles ~US$20.

Cam Chau Mulberry homestay, 116 – 157 Tran Nhan Tong, Hoi An city (Southeast of Hoi An city), ☎ 051 3623777. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Cam Chau Mulberry homestay is located in a small village near the city centre of Hoi An. It has 16 rooms in 8 different houses nearby each other owned by 8 local families. This is a great place to stay in Hoi An on your holidays and experience the real Vietnamese culture, food and daily life… It is just 5 minutes by bike to the city centre, bicycles are free of charge and Wifi is working very well. US$ 15 – 22.

Green Field Hotel, 423 Cua Dai St, (greenfield@dng.vnn.vn, fax: +84-510-863136). Good value hotel with some English-speaking staff and a location that is not particularly central. Satellite TV and decent air conditioning in some rooms. Other rooms have no A/C. Many rooms smell moldy, so have a look before you check in. Free computers with Internet in the lobby, free Wi-Fi (patchy in rooms), swimming pool and free cocktails for one hour in the evenings. They also have dorms available (three single beds in a room) for $6 per night. Singles from US$12.

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Ha My TT Hotel, Thon 1 – Dien Duong – Dien Ban – Quang Nam, ☎ +84-90 822 0747 (French), +84 90 811 2825 (English and Japanese). This ancient French style beach resort about 6 km from Hoi An centre is recently been renovated. It has a special atmosphere and its friendly owner, Mr. Nguyen Van Hien, will do everything to make you feel comfortable. Don’t be rejected by its unpainted facade, as the rooms are nice, and the beach is great! 20-30$US per night.

Hoa My, 201 Ly Thuong Kiet Street (Cnr Hai Ba Trung), ☎ +84-510-916582. Cheap, modern, very clean, but of course a bit outside the old town. There are two more similar hotels next to it. They sell bus tickets at approx. double the real price. from US$12.

Hoang Trinh Hotel, 45 Le Quy Don Street (Cnr Tran Hung Dao St and opposite Confucius Temple), ☎ +84 510 391-6579 (kshoangtrinhhoian@yahoo.com). Great hotel in good location and scenic setting. Well furnished en-suite rooms with cable TV with excellent reception, air-con, ceiling fan, fridge, Wi-Fi and balcony restaurant with an impressive view. Has bicycles for hire for 15,000 dong and motorbikes also. The staff are friendly, and they continuously offer small snacks for free.US$14-25.

Hop Yen, 103 Ba Trieu & 694 Hai Ba Tru’ng St, ☎ +84 510 386=3153. checkout: 11AM. In the “backpacker town” area, 7 minutes from Old Town. Clean rooms, spacious, staff moody (very friendly when you inquire after rooms but it doesn’t last!) with moderate to good English, and tour advice. The open bus tickets they sell are not however with the companies they say they are, an inferior company, book elsewhere. Free internet and Wi-Fi before 21:00. Update as of april 2013: the staff magically transformed into human beings which are good to you if you are good to them and might become unfriendly when you treat them bad. doubles US$12 no AC, +$2 with AC, dorms $5.  

Jolie Homeystay, 60/16 Phan Chu Trinh St, ☎ +84-934-847788 (JolieHomeyStay@gmail.com. Clean and affordable accommodation run by a friendly and helpful local family. Jolie Phong, who runs the premise, speaks good english. Non pushy service environment. Situated within the town centre, 2 mins walk to the river. Wifi. US$10- US$15.

Locphat-Hoi An Homestay, Group 6, Son Pho Block, Cam Chau Ward, ☎ +84 93 512 0820) (LOCPHATHOMESTAY@gmail.com). Nice and quiet, very close to old town . Nicely decorated wide rooms. Free internet and wifi $10-16, excluding breakfast. 

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A street vendors selling traditional foods in Hoi An

Mrs. Flower’s Homestay, 39 Thai Phien St., ☎ +84 98 315 0329 (hoaflower80@hotmail.com). (Near Sinh Tourist Open Bus office, about 1 minute walk.) A newly opened homestay with very clean, spacious and comfortable three rooms (some with balconies) very close to the Old Town. The owners are a lovely couple who make you feel part of their family (Mrs. Flower speaks good English). Free use of internet and Wi-Fi. Free use of laundry machine (January 2013), TV and fridge in the shared area, bicycle and motorbike rental. Mrs Flowers will also help if you wish to have any tailored clothes made, taking you to the market and helping you to pick out the best materials. She will measure you herself and send it off to a good quality tailor for a cheaper price than offered by the high street tailors (for example a cashmere/silk suit the high street tailors quoted as $150, Mrs Flowers instead had made for $80 without loss of quality). Makes for a much more personal experience than staying in a hotel. Also available for long-term stay US$200/month (from 1 month to 1 year). US$8-12.

Nhi Nhi Hotel, 60 Hung Vuong Street, ☎ +84 510 3 916718. Nhi Nhi Hotel in Hoi An offers rooms equipped with air-conditioning, cable TV, safe and internet connection. Some of its facilities and services are restaurant, swimming pool, high-speed internet access, 24-hour room service and airport transfer. Rates start at 35.00 USD.

Phuoc An Hotel, 31/1 Tran Cao Van St. checkout: 12:00. A clean, friendly and modern atmosphere make the Phuoc An hotel one of Hoi An’s more notable. An indoors restaurant on the first floor overlooks the hotel pool. The hotel is a stones throw from the markets, tailors and old quarter. Bicycles are offered to patrons free, however motorbikes can be rented at a cost of US$4 per day from across the road. Good service and complementary all you can eat breakfast each day before 11. (Hotel not connected with the Phuoc An River Hotel on Cua Dai road.) 18-30$US per night.

Sunflower Hotel, 397 Cua Dai St., ☎ +84 510 393-9838. checkout: 12:00. Located on Cua Dai Street, which leads directly to the beach (about 2.5km away). 4km to An Bang beach (turn left out of hotel, turn right on Hai Ba Trung St., go straight.) Motorbike rental places both sides of the hotel (80,000 dong if renting for a few days, 100,000 for one day). Bicycles 20,000 dong per day. Rooms are spacious with large beds, air-con, fridge, cable tv, fast Wi-Fi. Some rooms have balconies. Hotel has a clean, medium sized pool. Rooms are currently having new bathrooms installed. There is a little noise in the morning from a nearby temple sometimes, and obviously from the renovations. Room rate includes decent buffet breakfast (egg station makes good omelettes/pancakes). Free shuttle bus to town (it’s only a 15 minute walk anyway). Dorm rooms available at $9 per night (Jan 25, 2013) (6 people in on room, pretty clean, A/C, nice bathroom, buffet breakfast included). doubles ~€12.

Tan Phuong, 209 Ly Thuong Kiet, ☎ +84-510 386-2531 (tanphuonghoian@yahoo.com.vn). Only a few blocks away from the river. Staff are helpful, rooms are spacious and clean. Food available. This is one of the stops of open buses. Also rent bikes/motorbikes. US$10-20.

Thanh Binh 3, Ba Trieu Street (off Hai Ba Trung Street), ☎ +84-510-916777. Popular budget hotel done up like a Chinese temple, with a pool and pleasant rooms, all air-con equipped. The mattresses are on the hard side though and the breakfast isn’t much to write about. Free Internet at the lobby. US$15-30.

Riverside night

Riverside night

 

Mid-range

Friendly guesthouse, To 1, Tra Que village, ☎ +84935211382 (friendlyguesthouse@gmail.com). In the charming village of Tra Que, 1km to An Bang Beach, 10 min to the Ancient Town, Friendly guesthouse, is a hidden gem. 5 rooms, from 45$ to 65$, with amazing view on the river. French owners living with Vietnamese family. Clean, modern, quiet. Home made jam, french pastries. Price includes breakfast and bicycle.

Betel Garden Homestay, 161 Tran Nhan Tong st. (City nearby), ☎ 0510.3924165 (sales@betelgardenhomestay.com) . checkin: 06:00; checkout: 12:00. The Vuon Trau Family Resort is a bit out of the centre of town and a beautifully landscaped garden with several unique species of areca and betel trees, complete with an array of songbirds and fishes in small ponds. Staff is incredibly friendly and tries a lot to make you feel at home, including complementary fruits laid in your room each day it is made and the obligatory free bicycles. Their areal also offers a nicely laid out secluded pool area, as well as two covered dining areas for the about 20 guests. As of July 2012 the Vuon Trau Family organizes a complimentary dinner together with their guests twice a week, offering free beverages (and beer) next to excellent food. Be sure to try their AMAZING banana flower salad. Staying here, you will be cared for as one of our family and you will have the opportunity to learn about Vietnamese culture, cuisines and many other things unique to this part of the world.

An Huy Hotel, 30 Phan Boi Chau Street, ☎ +84 (510) 862116 / 914627 (anhuyhotel@vnn.vn). Fourteen rooms conveniently located near the river and Central Market, away from the din of most streets in the heart of Hoi An. The hotel was converted from a traditional Hoi An shophouse — not as squeaky clean as a newly-built hotel but nice, with plenty of historic charm. Good breakfast, such as pancakes with banana fillings. There are 2 computers set up in the lobby to provide Internet access. US$28 for a double room.

Ha An Hotel, 6 Phan Boi Chau Road, ☎ +84 510 863126. Located in a quiet area beyond the main markets, this hotel consists of a few buildings built in a semi-French colonial style around a central courtyard. The rooms are airy, light and pleasant with air-conditioning, bathrooms and TV. A basket of fresh fruit is usually provided in the room. There’s a collection of books in the reception area that can be borrowed by guests. The price includes an excellent breakfast and free use of bicycles. US$55-104.

Hoai Thanh Hotel, 187 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, ☎ +84 510 861171 (info@hoaithanhhotel.com, fax: +84 510 861135). About 200 meters from the centre of town. US$24-75.

Hoi An Indochine Hotel, Cua Dai Road, ☎ +84 510 923608 (infor@hoianindochine.com, fax: +84 510 923578). Only 5 minutes walk from the beach, by the calm and romantic river and garden. French style architecture with 61 river view rooms. US$65/night (10 superior rooms), US$75/night (45 deluxe rooms), US$105 (6 suites).

Hoian Vinh Hung 3 Hotel, 96 Ba Trieu Str. checkin: 13.00.; checkout: 12.00 noon. A beautiful small hotel, 5 minutes’ walk from the old town, with modern marble bathrooms and the added bonus of in room wifi; the deluxe rooms even have computers. The room service menu is packed full of local delicacies and the hotel features the only roof top swimming pool in Hoi An. Breakfast is included in the price. What really makes this hotel though are the staff, welcoming, helpful and professional, with excellent English. US$30-48.

Bai Huong Homestay, Cham Islands, 213 Nguyen Duy Hieu (opposite Anh Phu hotel), ☎ +84-510-3927632. The homestay on Cham Islands, 10 miles offshore from Hoi An. Stay inside the houses in a fishing village on an island in Vietnam.US$120/each shared room all included.

Lotus Hotel, 330 Cua Dai Road, ☎ +84 (510) 3923 357 (hoianlotus@dng.vnn.vn). Beautifully designed resort-hotel draws from a range of styles & influences resulting in a perfect blend of Eastern culture & French architecture, immaculately furnished and equipped rooms in a relaxing combination of Vietnamese, Japanese and French styles. Free ADSL / Wi-Fi available throughout the building. US$36-55.

Long Life Hotel, 30 Ba Trieu Street, (sales@longlifehotels.com). Comfortable hotel with a nice pool and excellent breakfast. Wi-Fi and computers are available. Friendly staff. Wide range of room prices with the internal rooms having tiny windows the cheapest and the upper floor rooms with a balcony being the most expensive. The attached bathrooms for all the rooms are about the same and include a nice whirlpool tub. US$17-35.  

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden Homestay, 382 cua dai str, ☎ +845103863720. checkin: 2pm; checkout: 12pm. The name ‘Orchid Garden’ originates from the owner’s long held passion for orchids, with more than 30 varieties of orchid in the garden. The homestay has four secluded bungalows built in traditional Vietnamese architecture, surrounded by a variety of tropical trees, and equipped with modern convenient facilities. Each bungalow is named after a kind of orchid that you can find around the garden. Orchid Garden also has a traditional sanctuary for worshiping ancestors and for the family activities.

Phuoc An River Hotel, 242 Cua Dai road. checkin: 13:00; checkout: 11:00. Roof garden restaurant on the sixth floor provides the best views in Hoi An. Clean rooms, good food, friendly staff, and beach road riverside location make the Phuoc An River Hotel unique in Hoi An. Spa, Gym, Pool, Poolside Bar, Coffee Garden. The hotel is quietly located 15-20 minutes stroll to/from the beach, and within easy walking distance of the ancient town. Bicycles are free for guests. Good service. Great breakfast – own kitchen garden and free ranging hens, mean fresh veggies and eggs daily! Well reviewed on Tripadvisor/Agoda. (NB. This hotel is not connected with the Phuoc An Hotel on Tran Cao Van, or Phuoc An clothes shop, which are owned independently.) 30/60$US per night – Rooms/Suites.

Splurge

La Maison Cabane, ☎ +84 128 75 15 401 (lamaisoncabane@gmail.com). House seaside for rent 3 days minimum for 4/6 persons in An Bang Beach, and 5min to the old town by motorbike.

Dong An Beach Hotel, ☎ +84 510 927888 (info@donganbeachhotel.com). Overlooking the Thu Bon River, and < 5min walk to the Cua Dai beach. Some 5 km away from town. US$79-195. 

Furama Beach Resort. Brand new luxury resort on fabled China Beach. About 20 minutes to Hoi An by taxi (5 minutes to Da Nang) Internet rates starting at US$150, walk-up rates from US$200. 

Le Belhamy Hoi An Resort and Spa, Hamlet 1 – Dien Duong Village Dien Ban District (It is just 10 minutes from Hoi An Ancient Town and 30 minutes from Danang International Airport.), ☎ +84 510 3941 888. All rooms are equipped with Private pool, balcony, garden, living area, refrigerator, mini-bar, Wi-Fi Internet access and TV with satellite/cable. Some of its facilities and services are Restaurant, room service, concierge, swimming pool, pool bar, spa, fitness room/gym and Wi-Fi Internet access in public areas. Rates Start at 101.00 USD.

Hoi An Glory Hotel & Spa, 358 Cua Dai Street, ☎ +84 510 3914444 (gloryhotel-hoian@dng.vnn.vn). Opened in spring 2004, with 1 restaurants and 2 bars, Glory Hotel on the area of 3,500 sqm, has 94 rooms built in 4 area with garden, swimming pool and Green field views. US$63-93.

Hoi An Pacific Hotel & Spa, 321 Cua Dai Street (halfway between beach and town), ☎ +84 510 923 777 (info@hoianpacific.com). Opened in spring 2004, with 1 restaurants and 2 bars, including the “Sky Bar”, located on the 6th floor of the hotel with terrace view of all the whole area. renamed from Hoi An Pacific Hotel. google shows this hotel at No. 167 as well? US$70-120. 

Hoian Vinh Hung Hotel & Resort. US$70-110.  

Vinh Hung 1 Hotel, 143 Tran Phu Street, Hoi An, Vietnam, ☎ (84-510) 3861 621. With arguably the best location in Hoi An this small historic hotel has the charm and beauty that many of Hoi an’s larger hotels lack. US$60-100.

Life Heritage Resort

Life Heritage Resort

Life Heritage Resort Hoi An, 1 Pham Hong Thai Street (East end of street fronting the river), ☎ +84 (0) 510.914555 (hoian@life-resorts.com). Lovely French colonial style architecture with rooms overlooking the Thu Bon River at the east end of Hoi An town, a short walk from the ancient town but just far enough away that a quiet night’s sleep is practically assured. Rooms are spacious (many are bi-level with a sitting area) and have good a/c but restaurant and bar are open to the breezes. Two-day package (off-season) was US$250 incl 2 x breakfast for two, 1 x dinner for two, and 20% discount to a comprehensive spa. The included breakfast is a buffet, making it easy to dart in and eat before or after a morning excursion.US$98-268.

River-Beach Resort, 05 Cua Dai Street, Tel:(84.510) 3927 888, 2-minute walk from the beach, a four-star resort that offers stunning views of surrounding paddy fields, river and sea. 120 rooms, ranging from deluxe, superb deluxe rooms to executive, family and presidential suites. All – fully equipped with modern facilities and comforts. Each room has a private balcony or terrace and offers views of the river, pool, garden or countryside. Free Wi-Fi is offered throughout the hotel. There is also a fitness centre, beauty salon and spa, bar, baby sitting services and gift shop. US$60 for deluxe room – US$165 for a presidential suite.

Swiss-Belhotel Golden Sand Resort & Spa, Thanh Nien Road – Cua Dai Beach, ☎ +84 510 927 550. This beautiful hotel with a gigantic swimming pool is located by the river a short stroll from the market. Evening musical entertainment in the lobby makes it all the more delightful. Internet rates from US$105, beach-front suites US$285.

Victoria Hoi An, Cua Dai Beach, ☎ +84 510 927 040. Internet rates from US$125, walk-up rates from US$165, honeymoon suites US$210-300.

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Places you should visit in Hoi An

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Traditional rooftop in Hoi An

Footsteps in Vietnam – Entry to all historical sites in Hoi An is via a coupon system, where 120,000 dong (US$6) (April 2013) gets you a ticket that can be used to enter five attractions: one museum, one old house, one assembly hall, the handicraft workshop (and traditional music show) or the traditional theater, and either the Japanese Covered Bridge or the Quan Cong Temple. Tickets are sold at various entry points into the Old Town, including Hai Ba Trung Street, and also at some of the attractions, including the Cantonese Assembly Hall. The city requests that visitors dress “decently” while visiting sites in the Old Town, as in men wear a shirt and women don’t wear a bikini top, sleeveless blouse or skirt above the knees. Respect the local culture and remember that you are not on the beach.

First, you may choose one of the two landmarks of Hoi An:

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Japanese Bridge temple (Chua Cau). Photo: lamsao.com

Japanese Bridge temple (Chua Cau or Lai Vien Kieu), on the west end of Tran Phu Street. The bridge was constructed in the early 1600’s by the Japanese community, roughly 40 years before they left the city to return to Japan under the strict policy of sakoku enforced by the Tokugawa Shogunate, and renovated in 1986. Today, it’s the symbol of Hoi An. Entry is one coupon, but it’s possible to cross back and forth several times without meeting a ticket-checker. If your scruples are bothering you, feel free to leave tribute for the pig statue or the dog statue who stand guard at opposite ends of the bridge.

Quan Cong Temple, 24 Tran Phu Street. In honour of revered Chinese general Quan Cong, this temple is festooned with elaborate statues and artwork. Its majestic entrance of red and gold is impressive. Quan Cong is a Chinese symbol for justice and integrity and is still worshipped today

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Quan Cong temple (Chua Ong), Hoi An. Photo: tamngu

The ticket allows admission to one of the four museums in the Old Town:

Museum of Folk Culture, 33 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street. Some may be put off by the bizarre-looking plaster sculptures of Vietnamese peasants, but this museum documents the dress and culture of rural Vietnam.

Museum of Trade Ceramics, 80 Tran Phu Street. The dusty, unlabeled displays of broken pottery are eminently forgettable, but the house itself is nice enough, and it provides a better opportunity to explore the shape and layout of an old Hoi An home than you’ll find at any of the Old Houses (below).

Hoi An Museum of History and Culture, 7 Nguyen Hue Street. The museum contains some old black and white photos of Hoi An taken in the early 20th century. It also houses an old canon, some two-thousand year old pots from the Sa Huynh period, and a case full of 9th century bricks and tiles from the Champa period.

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Ancient tool of Sa Huynh

Museum of Sa Huynh Culture, 149 Bach Dang Street. The museum’s main collection consists of pottery and urns from the 1st and 2nd centuries. Upstairs is another museum, the Museum of the Revolution. Its main collection consists of pictures from war heroes and a collection of weapons such as grenade launchers, machine guns and AK 47s.

There are three old houses that exist in an awkward halfway state between museum show-piece and somewhat shabby residence for the family that lives there. Your ticket allows admission to one.

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A typical ancient house in Hoi An. Photo: Dada Novi

Phung Hung House, 4 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, just west of the Japanese Bridge. Traditional two-story wooden house, inhabited over 100 years by eight generations; and the current one attempts to guide you around in hope of a tip.

Quan Thang House, 77 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street.

Tan Ky House, 101 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street. As above, a younger member of the family will provide a cup of tea and a “tour” that doesn’t stray from the front room of the house, as you’d need to step over sleeping members of the older generation to go anywhere else. The design of the house shows how local architecture incorporated Japanese and Chinese influences. Japanese elements include the crab shell-shaped ceiling supported by three beams in the living room. Chinese poems written in mother-of-pearl are hanging from a number of the columns that hold up the roof.

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Houses on the riverside. Photo: Dada Novi

Numerous congregation halls, where Chinese expatriate residents socialized and held meetings, are dotted about the town. They are typically named after the home region of their members, such as Fujian and Canton. Your ticket allows admission to one. Some do not have ticket-takers, so it’s up to your conscience if you want to try wandering into a second.

Cantonese Assembly Hall (Quang Dong), 176 Tran Phu Street. Built in 1885, it has a calm courtyard with ornate statuary. Take a peek at the half-hidden back yard and its kitschy pastel dragon statues.

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Hokien (Fujian) Meeting Hall (Hoi quan Phuc Kien). Photo: travelvtv.com

Hokien (Fujian) Meeting Hall (Phuc Kien), 46 Tran Phu Street. Built in 1757.

Chinese All-Community Meeting Hall (Trieu Chau), 157 Nguyen Duy Hieu. Built in 1887. It’s near the Fujian hall, also spanning the block.

Finally, you can choose one of the following to get some “Intangible Culture”:

Hoi An Handicraft Workshop, 9 Bach Dang Street. Folk music performances are offered at 10:15 and 15:15 every day except Monday.

Traditional Theatre, 75 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street.

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Faces carved in bamboo roots. Photo: Dada Novi

Swan Boats, On the river (Head for the main river area near the footbridge). Make sure you check out the swan boats on the river. These are literally passenger boats shaped like giant swans whose eyes light up at night and which play ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’ at double speed.

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Japanese culture showcase, Hoi An festival 2012. Photo: hoianfestival.com

The Hoi An Orphanage is located right next to the Roman Catholic church. Do recognize that children should not be exploited as tourist attractions — this is not a zoo. If you want to visit and speak with the people who run the orphanage about their work or make a donation, please do. Asking children to pose or be posed for photographs, however, is unsavory at best and damaging at worst. Even taking candid photographs can be considered questionable and it is best to ask if this would be acceptable ahead of time by calling ahead.

SEE MORE:

Getting around in Hoi An

Hoi An – A town of food

Getting around in Hoi An

Chua Cau (Bridge Temple), Hoi An. Photo: hoianpost.com

Chua Cau (Bridge Temple), Hoi An. Photo: hoianpost.com

GET TO HOI AN

By airplane

Footsteps in Vietnam – The nearest airport is in Da Nang which has domestic connections to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Hue with Vietnam Airlines and VietJet Air and some international flights to Bangkok, Singapore Siem Reap, Cambodia (for Angkor Wat) and charter flights to China.

A taxi from Danang airport to Hoi An costs about US$22 using a taxi with a meter. This is one occasion where haggling to set a fixed price is cheaper than going by the meter, but good luck with this – despite clear signs everywhere listing fixed price fares to destinations including Hoi An (should be 400,000 dong) most drivers seem unwilling to discuss a fixed price. Meters will typically run to around 450,000 dong. Air-conditioned Minibus-Taxis cost US$5 per person (there are no minibuses in airport, you should go first to the city). The ride takes about 45 min.

A word of caution about flying Jetstar: they are frequently up to 8 hours late, many times arriving at Danang from Saigon at 02:00.

Go Travel Vietnam (GTV), 61 Phan Chau Trinh St. on the corner of Le Loi Street, (English speaking consultant: +84 915 454 949) offers transfers from Hoi An to Danang Airport and Train Station at 5 set times per day for 80,000 dong. This is by far the cheapest way to get from Hoi An to Danang airport or train station in October 2012, you must go into GTV to pre-book at least one day in advance. They can also organize private car transfers from your hotel or from the airport or train station as well for 290,000 dong. They were also able to arrange motorbike transfer to the airport for 150,000 dong for a midnight flight.

Book your flights online, travel agents charge you 30-50% more.

By train

There is no railway station in Hoi An. The nearest is in Da Nang, which receives several trains a day from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Nha Trang etc. Most travel agents and hotels can book a train ticket for you.

Da Nang Railway Station: 202 Hai Phong, Tan Chinh Ward, Thanh Khe District, TP Da Nang, Phone: + 84 511 375-0666.

See note above regarding transfers between Hoi An and Danang train station for 80,000 dong with Go Travel Vietnam.

Hoi an streets

Hoi an streets

By bus

There are two different bus stations in Hoi An now (older guide books just show the one on D Hung Vuong)and the public buses to Da Nang leave from the station about 2 km north west of the centre on Le Hong Phong.

xe om from Hoi An bus station to the old town should be around 10-15,000 dong.

There is a public bus (#1) from Da Nang bus station to Hoi An bus station that costs 18,000 dong and takes c. 45 min. There seems to be no fare written on the side of the bus, but the Ohh La La Socola cafe (14 Thai Phien Da Nang) provides anti-scam maps dated 25 Feb 2013. On the bus they try to charge foreigners 50,000 dong, close to the price of private vans from a hotel in Hoi An to the airport in Da Nang, close to the cost of a bus from Da Nang to Nha Trang (3.5/4h versus a 45 min trip). Locals support the scam by pretending they are also paying 50.000 dong, insist on the fare and they will lower it to 30,000, insist and pay the official one. Expect no change if you have a 20,000 dong note. Beware of bus drivers putting your luggage at the front and sparing you the nicest front seat, likely they want you to pay 50,000 dong and threaten to kick you off. As soon as they see other foreigners to pick up they kick you off in their favour. Buses are frequent – every 20 or 30 min pick time, else every hour – so you can simply sit down, have a coffee, enjoy air-con while talking to nicer locals and then jump on the next bus. Same goes for Hoi An – Da Nang. The bus passes through downtown Da Nang and near the train station as well. If you come from Da Nang airport, the closest bus stop of the same route to Hoi An is at the roundabout where the streets Nguyễn Tri Phương and Điện Biên Phủ meet (a nice 10-15 min walk, since you can walk along the lake). This bus stop is clearly marked with a road sign.

There are no shortage of travel companies and private buses travelling to and from from Hoi An to destinations such as Hue, Hanoi, Saigon, Dalat and Nha Trang.

Open-tour buses run daily up and down the coast from Da Nang, Hue (3.5-4 hr, 60,000-100,000 dong as of Mar 2012) and Nha Trang (9-10 hours overnight, US$10-15 as of April 2013).

By motobike or taxi

It is easy to take a motorbike or taxi to and from Da Nang via the Marble Mountains (see below), from where you can catch a train onwards. This trip cost 460,000 dong from Da Nang bus station, by the meter. Mai ling taxi in Jan 2012.

By boat

The traditional boat "Ghe nang". Photo: workheritagesite

The traditional boat “Ghe nang”. Photo: workheritagesite

Hoi An has a river system stretching hundreds of kilometers – this was the ancient transport network of the Cham Kingdom as they moved goods between the highlands and then through Hoi An and onto China. Speedboats or traditional ghe nang sailing on the river or sea.
GET AROUND
The centre of Hoi An is very small and pedestrianised, so you will be walking around most of the time. Motorbikes are only banned from the centre of town during certain times of day, so keep an eye out for them; even in the most narrow alleys. Evenings are especially busy with motorbikes two, or even three abreast competing with pedestrians for even the smallest space on the street! The city’s government does not allow motorbikes to enter the Old Town on the 14th and 15th of each lunar month. On those evenings, a lot of activities, including traditional games such as bai choitrong quan, and dap nieu are held in all over the town.
Hoi An's alleys are too narrow for cars. Photo: ttvnol.com

Hoi An’s alleys are too narrow for cars. Photo: ttvnol.com

To go to the beach or reach some of the more remote hotels, it is easy and cheap to hire a bicycle (c. 20.000 dong per day in Jan 2013). For mountain bikes, head to Anh Cuoc shop, at 635 Hai Ba Trung. Taxis can be found in the middle of Le Loi St, over the river on An Hoi or called by phone. When busy, taxis may refuse your fare back to your hotel from town if it is too close, opting for larger fares. Arranging a shuttle from your hotel may be a better option although prices can be higher. A local 15 minute taxi fare is around 60,000 dong.

Motorbike taxis  (“xe om”) , of course, are always an option. Some shops have electrical bicycles (especially along Duong CuanDai, close to the centre -75.000 dong, Jan 2013). You can also charter boats for about US$1/hour.

Traffic in the area of Hoi An is minimal, so if you’ve been avoiding getting on a bike in the big cities, small towns and the surrounding countryside like Hoi An are ideal to get used to the road rules.

Get a car to visit My Son early in the morning, about an hour away, or the Marble Mountains, about forty minutes north towards Da Nang. Motorbike hire for the My Son trip is cheap in town at 80-100,000 dong. Be prepared to get lost around Hoi An – signposts and road signs are rare.

The old Champa way was to travel by the river system. The rivers of Hoi An cover hundreds of km and offer an interesting & adventurous alternative to travelling by road. Get on a boat and you’ll begin to see a whole lot more of Hoi An and the Delta.

Motorbike

Cost of motorbike rentals in Hoi An town as of Feb 2013: US$4-5 per day (80-100,000 dong) A hotel may charge double. You get a step-thru with auto clutch. These will take two porky Europeans easily enough! There are any number of small shops renting them, you will be offered a helmet usually. Take it every time- there are plenty of roadside helmet checks. Failure to wear one results in the bike being confiscated and a US$75 fine. Worse, you probably haven’t got a Vietnamese driving license and there are no papers to sign, no agreements made so you are on your own legally. Ride to the outskirts of Danang to visit the stunning Marble Mountains. If you look left from An Ban beach, you can see the Marble Mountains ( 3 prominent lumpy hills) clearly – the high rises further on are Da Nang. Bear in mind the total lack of signposts, and just keep looking left at the flat terrain until it isn’t flat any more! You are on a 2 lane road all the way. It’s standard practice for the bike to have only enough gas to make it to the next gas station. In addition to gas stations, there are also little hand-operated roadside pumps everywhere; these can be convenient, but they’re more expensive. The proprietor may show you a sign with a few calculations for non-Vietnamese speakers such as 3 litres is 90,000 dong. You actually see the gas draining through a calibrated sight glass. In a commercial gas station they can, and do bang in half a tank then shut the machine off to serve someone else. The amount in money has gone from the display, and he tells you a totally made up figure. All this makes the roadside hand pump with sight glass a lot more foreigner friendly. Gas costs around 25,000 dong/litre and one litre is enough for sightseeing to the beach and back and zipping around town. If you take a trip – lets say you ride to My Son 2-up – then you will use about 4 L. It’s inevitable that you will get lost 5 times between Hoi An and and My Son! Luckily fuel is cheaper out in the countryside.

Note: Foreign International Driving licenses are NOT valid in Vietnam and in case of accident, a foreigner driving a motorcycle without a valid license is at fault and will pay! Also personal insurance may not be valid for someone riding on a motorcycle with a driver who does not have a valid license.

Cyclo

Xich lo (cyclo) in Hoi An. Photo: 4hours1000places.com

Xich lo (cyclo) in Hoi An. Photo: 4hours1000places.com

Like in Hanoi or Saigon you can easily find cyclo service in Hoi An. The fare is similar to taxis but much more comfortable for the experience. Cyclos are able to go to every corner of Hoi An that cars can not, and moreover please you with leisure feeling. Besides, cyclo riders are always a good source of information where you can ask for everything you want. Some of them can speak English or French.

SEE MORE:

Hoi An – A town of food

Places you should visit in Hoi An

Mini travel guide to Hanoi – by Lonely Planet

Footsteps in Vietnam – Hanoi is perhaps Asia’s most graceful and exotic capital city – a place of grand old boulevards and ancient pagodas where locals practice their tai chi moves beside tree-fringed lakes. For all of its timeless charm, it’s also a 21st-century metropolis.

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A woman carries goods through the old quarter of Hanoi. Photo: Amos Chapple/LPI

See
The Old Quarter’s narrow, congested streets are thriving with commerce. Some of them are named after the products that were traditionally sold there – these days, P Hang Gai peddles silk and embroidery, while P Hang Quat is the place to purchase candlesticks and flags.

Contrary to his wish for a simple cremation, Hõ Chí Minh’s Mausoleum is a monumental marble edifice. Deep in the bowels of the building, the former leader’s body is stored in a glass sarcophagus. (Dec-Sep; 5 Pho Ngoc Ha; admission free).

Founded in the 11th century and dedicated to Confucius, the Temple of Literature is a rare example of well-preserved traditional Vietnamese architecture. Entrance was originally only granted to those of noble birth – these days the hoi polloi are free to explore inside (P Quoc Tu Gia; admission 30p).

Hoan Kiem Lake – which translates as ‘Lake of the Restored Sword’ – is a popular symbol of old Hanoi. Legend states that the Vietnamese once used a magical sword to drive the Chinese from their lands, before a giant tortoise grabbed it and disappeared into the lake.

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St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Hanoi. Photo: cunbong @ datvietphoto.com

The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is one of Vietnam’s major museums, displaying tribal art, cultural artefacts and textiles. In the grounds are examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture (Nguyen Van Huyen Rd; admission £1).

Eat and drink
Quan Ly is one of Hanoi’s most traditional bars, specialising in ruou, a Vietnamese liquor made from rice, with a number of varieties on sale. There’s also abundant bia hoi – a light Vietnamese draught beer (82 Le Van Huu; glasses of bia hoi 12p).

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Street cafe, Nguyen Du Str. Photo: news.zing.vn

Invariably packed to the rafters, Quan An Ngon offers Vietnamese street food from all corners of the country, with a series of mini-kitchens arranged around a large courtyard. Try chao tom (grilled sugar cane rolled in spiced shrimp paste).  ]Do be prepared to wait for a table during peak periods of the day (00 84 8829 9449; 15 P Phan Boi Chau; dishes from £1).

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Phở cuốn (Rolled pho)

Highway 4 is the birthplace of a family of restaurants specialising in cuisine from Vietnam’s northern mountains. There’s an astounding array of dishes – from bite-sized catfish spring rolls to pork fillet with shrimp sauce (3 P Hang Tre; dishes from £3).

Set in a handsome French colonial mansion, Ly Club has an impressive dining room featuring elegant oriental light fittings and a menu of Asian and European dishes (4 Le Phung Hieu; meals from £7).

La Badiane is a stylish bistro located west of Hanoi’s Old Quarter. French techniques underpin the menu, although Asian influences creep into some dishes – try the tomatoes stuffed with Vietnamese spices and turmeric rice (10 Nam Ngu; set lunches £10).

Sleep
Hidden away in the narrow lanes of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, Hanoi Elite is a great-value place to stay. Its 12 guest rooms have comfortable beds and its breakfasts are cooked to order (10-50 Dao Duy Tu St; from £35).

The Art Hotel is a new opening currently making a name for itself in Hanoi’s Old Quarter – spacious rooms have spotless bathrooms, while the surrounding area can claim some of the city’s best street food (65 P Hang Dieu; from £40).

Sporting an assortment of textiles, ethnic art and locally made furniture, 6 on Sixteen has just six sparsely decorated rooms close to Hoan Kiem Lake. Breakfast includes freshly baked pastries and robust Italian coffee. Try to bag a room with a balcony as the rooms at the back have tiny windows (16 Bao Khanh; from £45).

A stylish hotel overlooking the St Joseph’s Cathedral, the Cinnamon Hotel deftly combines original features, such Sleep as wrought iron and window shutters, with more minimalist Japanese aesthetics. All of the six rooms have balconies (26 P Au Trieu; rooms from £45).

Sapa travel tips

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Photo: paddyhome.com

Footsteps in Vietnam – Sapa is nearly 400 km north-west of Hanoi. This cloud-covered town is located at 1550 m above the sea level, cool all year round. There are many magnificent mountains including the peak of Indochina – Fansipan of 3143m elevation.
The area is home to 7 ethnic groups with unique cultures, lifestyles and languages; all wearing their traditional attires, working on evergreen terraces. Hill tribes gather for the weekend market for trade and for meeting with lovers. Sapa is a good place for relaxing, for culturally touring, and/or for trekking and should not be missed on your trip.

 

Mua xoe - A local dancing which is performed in every monthly fair

Mua xoe – A local dancing which is performed in every monthly fair

The area was built into a hill station for the French colonialists to get away from the heat of Ha Noi in the summer. There used to be many French-styled villas in town. But most of them were destroyed during the border clash with China in 1979.
Nowadays Sapa attracts thousands of tourists from all of Vietnam and abroad thanks to the cool and fresh climate, the sublime nature beauty and the colorful hill tribe cultures.

GETTING THERE

By train: There are various options to get to Sapa from Hanoi. However there are no flights, with international visitors having to disembark at Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport and travel by rail or road to the town. The most popular is to sign up for one of the overnight trips which includes a train journey to Lao Cai followed by minibus transfer up to Sapa. The train is slow, but reserving a sleeper seat means you can enjoy the trip and the stunning scenery in relative comfort. There are daily overnight trains heading in each direction, with the journey taking around nine hours. A number of standard and tourist trains also make the overnight run from Hanoi. You can make arrangements with any travel agent for a small fee, or do it yourself at the Hanoi Railway Station. Prices range from $16 for a hard berth to $30 for a soft berth with air-conditioning. There is also the new Victoria’s Orient Express that runs between Hanoi and Sapa, offering more luxurious rail travel facilities and services. All trains to Lao Cai/Sapa depart from the Hanoi Railway Station.
To get to Sapa from the train station in Lao Cai, you’ll need to transfer by car for the 1 1/2- to 2-hour ride from Lao Cai station. The road is cut into the hillside and is bumpy and windy, but the views of the terraced rice farms of the valley are beautiful as you ascend (ride on the left side).

Sleeper buses between Hanoi & Sapa. Photo: thesinhtourist.vn

Sleeper buses between Hanoi & Sapa. Photo: thesinhtourist.vn

By road: from Hanoi is the longest option and a minimum ten hour drive by car or bus with the journey taking up the entire day. There are many possible routes to Sapa, and visitors can plan their road trip via the route that most matches their special interests. Driving in the mountainous northwest region is often dangerous, so care should be taken to avoid excessive speeds and select vehicles or bikes suitable for all types of terrain. The rainy season should be avoided if you plan an off the beaten track route, unless you are a very experienced offroader. Any tourist cafe or travel agent in Hanoi can arrange trips by private jeep or a combo jeep and train tour. Apart from Sapa, the vast tracts of the north are best visited through a tour company, many offer comprehensive itineraries. Especially for areas off the beaten track. Avoid the temptation to book budget tours with the tourist cafes

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Photo: sapatrip.com

WHEN TO GO
The dry season is from January to June with March to May the best time to visit. Temperatures in January and February are regularly around 0ºC. The rainy season falls in June and August. September marks the end of the rainy season which is a good time to visit then by mid-December temperatures start to fall significantly making this September to mid-December period the best time to be there.

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The Ancient Stone

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Dzao traditional wedding. Photo: vanhoadantoc.edu.vn

THINGS TO DO & SEE

Many visitors sign up for trekking expeditions out to local villages and beyond. All hotels and travel agencies in town offer half day visits to Cat Cat just 3km outside of Sapa and full day hikes to Ta Phin village which lies 10km outside town. Spectacular scenery abounds on all treks in the area. Overnight stays in minority villages such as Sin Chai are also popular options.

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Trekking to the mountain top. Photo: vega-travel.com

BANKS & COMMUNICATION

The post office is in the town center, but most hotels can send postcards and letters and have stamps for sale. There are a few storefront Internet cafes, but service is slow and unreliable. All hotels provide exchange service for traveler’s checks and even credit card cash advances. There is a local bank on Cau May where you can cash traveler’s checks for the same 2% fee as at your hotel, but there are also some ATMs here.

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Cau May Street – A place for backpackers with a lot of cheap hotels & bars

TIPS:

  • It can be too adventurous trying to get there as individual traveler. Arrange the trip with a reputable tour operator to ensure smooth, risk free travel.

  • Traveling on week days is both easier and cheaper than weekends (lower hotel costs, more relaxed travel schemes)

  • Always make sure you have return tickets in hand.

  • Get to Hanoi and Lao Cai at least 30 minutes before departure – but be ready for a sudden or late departure without any explanation.

  • Make sure there is something to define the person who picks you up (i.e, his name, cell number and so on)

  • Say “no” very firmly when someone offers you something you do not want to buy. If you show the slightest interest, they may well follow you all the way up the road, until they find anther likely target.

  • Expect to bargain everything down to about half the original price asked. And expect most products to be Chinese instead of being authentically local.

Source: sapaadventure.com

SEE MORE:

Sapa Railways Information

Sapa Love market

The silent Sapa

Sapa Love market

Sapa Love market (or Love fair) is a traditional culture of the ethnic peoples like Mong, Dao in Lao Cai in particular, and in the northwestern region of Vietnam in general since long times ago. This is due to the villages far away from the center, the fair usually meets every week on Sunday morning. Previous night (usually weekly Saturday), boys and girls from the villages come to in advance to meet and communicate each oher (usually playing game, blowing Khen La, singing …)
The word “love market” is considered as a social category of love, marriage. People can explain it, but can not give it a definition of these two words put together. Because market is where people come for exchanges but the “ love” here is not sold or bought. So, what is called fair!
Love Market is especially well known as Sapa Love Market – a major tourism attractive place for tourists both domestic and foreign. The small town lies in sub-temperate, cool in al season . Snow falls in winter so it makes the Love market more romatic and attractive