I had heard this phrase so many times, from numerous people- even before I stepped foot in Vietnam. We already had a full itinerary- trying to visit cities in the North and South of the country, and Cambodia in between. With only two weeks dedicated to Vietnam, I just didn’t have time for Hoi An- or so I thought.
After a lengthy conversation with an Aussie couple in Ha Long Bay, they had me convinced- we absolutely had to make time for Hoi An. The decision was spontaneous, and we decided to forfeit our planned trip to Sapa and make a detour to Hoi An instead.
We were in Northern Vietnam in February, and the weather was cloudy and dreary, so we were more than ready to head South again. I am disappointed that we missed Sapa, but the dreadful winter weather had already ruined our Ha Long Bay trip, and we feared the same fate in Sapa.
Sunshine and humid air greeted us when we arrived at Da Nang Airport, and I immediately knew we had made the right decision coming to Hoi An. We stayed at Sunshine Hotel, which ended up being one of my favourite hotels ever. Bright, airy, and spacious rooms with the most amazing breakfast buffet I’ve ever seen- all for a mere $22 per night.
The three days we spent in Hoi An are now a blur of afternoons spent lounging by the beach, biking through town, eating Bahn Mi sandwiches, and walking along the twinkling lantern filled streets at night.
What can I say about Hoi An that hasn’t already been said? The town is so charming and pretty, and there’s something almost magical about it at night when tea lights and lanterns illuminate from almost every shop and restaurant.
Having just come from the crazy motorbike filled streets of Hanoi, Hoi An felt like another world. It was so… quiet. I had become so accustomed to the incessant traffic that I had forgotten what it was like to cross the street without fearing for my life. A random herd of goats being forced down the beach one day was the only reminder that we were indeed still in Vietnam.
There are so many reasons Hoi An stole my heart. The delicious food, friendly locals, the sunshine and beaches, children smiling and waving, shouting “hello!” from their doorsteps, and the the enchanting lantern filled streets- I could go on forever.
The pictures do not do Hoi An any justice. This little town completely exceeded my (already high) expectations and I was devastated when it was time to say goodbye.
A word of warning: do not visit Hoi An at the end of your trip when you aren’t able to extend your stay because it will probably steal your heart, too.
Looks beautiful. While I love big cities these small retreat locations are always a welcome contrast to the busy city.
I agree! 🙂
I completely agree that there is something just so magical about this little place – I hadn’t even heard of it when I first started planning my trip to Vietnam but after I went, I fell in love with it!
It definitely seems to have that effect on most people!
LOVED Hoi An when I visited in March – wasn’t the beach a nice surprise? My friend felt the place was a bit too touristy and fake, but to me (and you it seems) it was chilled, pretty, clean and just lovely. Great post!
Thank you!! Yes, the beach was lovely, and I totally agree with you that Hoi An is chilled and charming- despite the fact that it is very popular with backpackers and tourists.
That looks amazing, I love the pictures in your post.
Thanks so much!!
Looks beautiful, I love a good escape from the big cities!
Yes, always nice to escape for a while!
We spent a week in Hoi An in Feb 2013. I’d like to go back and spend another weeks soon-it’s a stunning place.
It is stunning! I hope to revisit someday as well.
You have convinced me … I am definitely going to Hoi An! I went thru it on a bus en-route to Da Lat. I had to hook up with an expat friend in Saigon … otherwise I would have got off the bus. Da Lat is also a great place to visit. It is 3500′ altitude; so they grow all fruits & veges. A great golf course in Da Lat.
Glad to hear that- I’m sure you will enjoy Hoi An! I wish I had been able to visit Da Lat as well. Next time!
Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday.
It will always be useful to read articles froom other writers and use something from their sites.
Thank you, Jeanne! I’m glad you happened to stumble upon my blog!
Firstly, thanks for your Article. I have read this post. The title is short and active “Hoi An Stole My Heart” Thank you for sharing your Vietnam trip. I would say that you are lucky to travel to Vietnam. Actuality, Vietnam is a very beautiful country in the World. And I´m a lover of Travel, food, fashion, shopping. So, I just missed a blog like this today through this post. Now, I´ll share this post on social media for my friends:)
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Thank you so much 🙂 Vietnam is a beautiful place! It’s still one of my all time favourite countries in the world.