After being out in the mountains, Hoi An is a shock to the system. When we arrive the ancient town is wall to wall tourists. A tiny cup of iced coffee costs as much as at home and the dual pricing system is thriving.
Avoid the crowds
Avoid the crowds by exploring this famous yellow-walled city in the early morning. A precious hour of quiet around 6am provides me with opportunities to actually see the yellow walls and contrasting purple boganvillias. The town is waking up and preparing for the daily onslaught.
One of the lovely things about tourist towns in South East Asia are the cheap massages. During our three days in Hoi An we visit the Lemongrass Flavor 2 Spa daily. On one day we even go twice: once for a foot massage and once for a full body pampering. At 250,000VND it’s a wonderful and cost effective way tp escape the intense heat and crowds.
Every night is a family friendly party in Hoi An. Colourful lanterns cast a calm glow. Hawkers sell candles in paper holders for tourists to make wishes on the river. Wooden boats punt around loaded with happy sightseers. A tourist market sells trinkets. And you can haggle hard for all the silk scarves, t-shirts and paintings you like. Yes, it’s busy. But sometimes there is joy in that.
Accommodation: The Light Villa
Hot tip: Bargain hard! We bought a painting for 250,000VND but the starting price was 600,000VND. Don’t be shy or put off by the whining of the vendor. Even when the sign says “No BS prices” you should come in low and only make small steps up. Remember, the vendor will not sell at a loss so don’t feel bad. Be polite but firm and never be afraid to walk away.