Ask Google…about Hoi An? Ask Fairlie!

This post is part of a regular series of weekly “Ask Google? Ask Fairlie!” posts. Today I ask Google about Hoi An in Vietnam. I type the start of a question into Google and based on the Google auto-completion suggestions, I find out what most people are wanting to know. Then I answer those questions myself. Who needs Google when you can ask Fairlie?   Ask Google about Hoi An

Is Hoi An…

Is Hoi An worth visiting?

Let’s just put it this way…we stayed in Hoi An three times in 16 months. So yes, we think it’s worth visiting.  Hoi An is a town about halfway up the snaking coastline of Vietnam and a half-hour drive from the international airport of Danang. It has UNESCO world-heritage listing because it is a very well-preserved example of a Southeast Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th centuries. The historic old town centre is closed to vehicles other than motor-bikes and bicycles (and even they are banned for several hours a day) which makes for a lovely, relaxed atmosphere.

Is Hoi An safe?

To be perfectly honest, I’ve never had personal security concerns in Vietnam at all, and Hoi An is no different. I think the biggest safety issue throughout the country is the traffic. You really need to develop some street-smarts quickly when you hit the ground in Vietnam. My most fearful moment in Hoi An was when we did a half-day countryside cycling tour, and had to ride our bikes through the streets of the town (the streets where cars, taxis and trucks could go, as opposed to most restricted old town streets). Watching a nine year old cycle a wobbly path through manic traffic was just a little bit frightening.

Is Hoi An on the beach?

Hoi An’s hotels and restaurants are roughly separated into two areas – the historic old town centre and the Cua Dai beach area.  The beach is 5 kilometres from the ancient town (about ten minutes by taxi). Most beach hotels offer a town shuttle service, or some people hire bikes to cycle between the two.

What is Hoi An’s best…?

What is Hoi An’s best hotel?

The hotel that I looked longingly at every time we stayed in Hoi An was the Anantara Hoi An Resort (formerly Life Heritage Resort Hoi An). It has 93 rooms and suites, in two and three storey French colonial style buildings, and like Vinh Hung Riverside Resort, is on the banks of the Thu Bon river. It has a very grand appearance, and is well located. People also seem to rave about The Victoria Hoi An Resort which is on Cu Dai Beach, and if you really want to splash out there’s the six-star Nam Hai resort, which is not really in Hoi An, but nearby at Ha My Beach.  It offers 60 one-bedroom villas and 40 pool villas spread over 35 hectares of tropical gardens and along the beach. The pool villas are each assigned a butler. 

What is Hoi An’s best area to stay in?

Personally, I prefer staying in the old town rather than out at the beach.  I love being surrounded by the yellow ochre hues of the ancient buildings, and the hustle and bustle of town life. The downside is that the town hotels tend to be smaller and lack ‘resort style’ facilities if that’s what you’re after. On our last visit, we stayed at Vinh Hung Riverside Resort on the banks of the Thu Bon River, which I thought combined the best of both. It was resort-style with a large swimming pool and lush gardens, but just a short stroll to the cafes, shops and action of the old town centre.

What is Hoi An’s best time of year to visit?

Hoi An has two main seasons: rainy and dry. The rainy season lasts from September to January and when I say ‘rainy’…it can be torrential, causing massive flooding throughout the town. The danger months are October and November, which can see parts of the old town metres underwater, especially during the full moon when high tides and the swollen river conspire to swamp hotels, restaurants and businesses along the river. We’ve been in Hoi An in September when it was in the high 30s (celsius) each day, very sunny and quite humid; in January when it was overcast, a bit rainy and low to mid 20s each day; and in December when it was overcast or sunny, but warm and very pleasant with just a few shortish showers of rain. Apparently the best beach weather is around the end of May, begining of June. What you really want to do if it’s possible, is to be in Hoi An on the 14th day of a lunar month, to catch a Full Moon Festival.

Click here to find all my previous post about Hoi An in one easy-to-access location.

What question do you want to ask about Hoi An?

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