Solo Travel Destination: Hoi An, Vietnam
We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Emily, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Emily lives in the United States and submitted the following report about Hoi An. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!
Solo travel rating: 1.5 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)
Languages spoken: Vietnamese, French, English
Reasons to go: Hội An Ancient Town is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Its buildings and its street plan reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage site.
Calm, mild weather is now limited to the season of May/June to the end of August when the seas are calm and the wind changes direction and comes from the South. For the remainder of the year, the weather is alternately rainy and cold, and hot and mild. Popular activities such as visiting offshore Cù lao Chàm islands are only guaranteed to be likely from the end of May to the end of August, which is the high season for domestic tourism.
Definitely check out the Kim Bong Bike Tour in Hoi An, Vietnam (www.hoianfreetour.com). In exchange for tourists helping them improve their English, these college kids offer free tours of Hoi An and the nearby rural Cam Kim Island. Such a great idea! I learned so much! Cam Kim is a scenic rural island which is almost entirely free of tourists. This bike tour gives a fantastic sampling of the countryside of Vietnam, meandering through stunning rural scenes, rice paddies, villages, fields of water buffalo, and local life.
If there’s a rain day, Hoi An Blind Massage is a great way to not only get some R&R but to also give back to those in need. Google it for more info.
Each month, there is a full moon party where all the electricity is cut off in the city and Hoi An is lit up by only lanterns. Absolutely gorgeous! Keep in mind this is a calm night and nothing like the full moon parties in Thailand. These are very family-oriented, in fact.
If you need any clothes custom-made for you, Hoi an is where it’s at! It is very economical. Just bring in any picture and the clothing can be made for a fraction of the price in North America. There are different levels of quality, so just be aware that you get what you pay for. However, even the most expensive are more inexpensive than anything you can get at home.
When it comes to restaurants, Mango Mango on the river in the Old Town has the best view; however, it is a bit pricey for Vietnam. Still, it will make for a wonderful night! Another great restaurant is Minh Hien. This is a vegetarian restaurant but be sure to know that no matter whether you are a carnivore or vegetarian, you will love this place….and return time and time again all the days you are in Hoi An! Mark my words. Miss Ly’s Cafe has great vegetarian options as well. Madam Khanh is the “Bahn Mi Queen” of Hoi An (115 Tran Cao Van), if not for all of Vietnam. Delicious, even though I just had the veggie bahn mi. Mmmmm! Another great banh mi standout is Banh Mi Phuong.
Solo Travel Destination Rating System
Safety - 1 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language - 2 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 2 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 1.5 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult)