Almost all visitors to Vietnam consider Hoi An their most favorite city in the country. Many interesting sites gather in Hoi An such as the ancient town, beautiful beaches, and organic vegetable village. The peaceful and quiet lifestyle paired with the cheap cost makes it difficult not to choose this city as your new home. It’s understandable if someone loves to live in a tranquil city like this. That’s why Hoi An is one of the top cities in Vietnam suitable for foreigners. After staying in Hoi An for a few months, I compiled important information about how to live in this charming city.
Overview: What Is It Like to Live in Hoi An?
Living in Hoi An is peaceful, comfortable, and slow. Although the ancient town is touristy and quite crowded at night, you can still find pockets of fun and down to earth locals and expats. In the daytime, you can cycle around the ancient town, sit in the coffee shops, and sip a cup of Vietnamese coffee. In the morning or evening, An Bang beach beckons with its calm waters and beachy laid-back bars.
If you want a more local feel, it’s here for you too. Just visit the normal life in the local area, experience local activities, buy food at the nearby market, talk and joke with local sellers, cook and eat, or treat yourself to eating outside in a big restaurant. Food stalls on a random street are always available. There is so much to do just a short motorbike away. You can fill your weekends with visiting Thanh Ha pottery village, Cham island, My Son sanctuary, Da Nang, or just ride a motorbike to the outskirts of Hoi An. These daily activities are simple but it’s really hard to enjoy the tranquility characteristic of this town in a busy life in big cities.
Weather in Hoi An
Hoi An has two seasons, dry and rainy season. The temperature is quite hot in the dry season but it is the best time in Hoi An. In the rainy season, the floods and typhoons usually make shops close and daily activities cease. Therefore, you should check the weather forecast to prepare yourself for each season. Read your rough guide to Hoi An to know more detailed information about the weather.
Transportation in Hoi An
Hoi An has full transportation services such as bus, taxi, motorbike taxi, and pedicab, so it’s really easy to get around the city for newcomers. Because Hoi An is a small town, there are no traffic jams compared to the vehicle mess in big cities.
Motorbike is always the best transportation option in Vietnam. You can ride a motorbike to explore the outskirts of Hoi An, and other places nearby such as Da Nang or My Son sanctuary. The motorbike rental cost ranges from 120,000 to 150,000 VND per day. The cost is different, depending on whether the motorbike is automatic or manual. You can easily find many motorbike rental shops around Hoi An. Hoi An Bike Rental is a highly recommended shop. Also keep in mind that the ancient town closes to motorbikes at night. Please notice the time on the signs that mark the ancient town boundary.
Otherwise, the ancient town is a great place for walking and bicycling. Sightseeing sites are close to each other, so it’s quite easy to walk around. Hoi An is not big, so you can easily catch many people cycling from the ancient town to An Bang beach. With the low traffic in Hoi An, the bicycle is an ideal transportation option to move around the city. The rent for a bicycle is around 30,000 VND per day. Bicycle rental shops are located mostly in the ancient town and areas nearby.
Food and Shopping
Hoi An is famous for its abundant delicious foods such as cao lau, mi quang, chicken rice, banh mi, and more. The price is cheaper than other famous cities but the food still has the best taste. You can easily find food everywhere in Hoi An, at street vendors, local stalls, or big restaurants. Take a look at delicious must-try dishes in Hoi An and Top Restaurants in Hoi An to start your food hunting. Besides, Hoi An Market is one of the best places for food lovers. All the specialties in Hoi An are sold inside the market. Just do one circle around the market and your stomach will be full of delicious food. Moreover, Hoi An is also famous for stylish coffee shops with the best Vietnamese coffee. Read best cafes in Hoi An to find your favorite coffee shops in Hoi An.
Hoi An is also a paradise of shopping. Clothing, jewelry, art, lanterns, and more are sold mostly in the ancient town. When walking around the ancient town, you will be impressed by so many beautiful things. Check out this article Ultimate Guide to Shopping in Hoi An to find the best shops in town. Another best spot to buy souvenirs is the night market in the ancient town. You must bargain before buying anything. Be patient, bargain with some sellers to know the reasonable price for your favorite souvenir, and then buy it at the lowest price. If you move to Hoi An, you’re going to be an expert in no time!
If you plan to settle down in Hoi An, it’s important to find a good place to buy household appliances for your new house. Dien May Xanh, the largest electronics and home appliance retail chain in Vietnam, is highly recommended. There are two Dien May Xanh branches in Hoi An. One is at 16 Nguyen Tat Thanh street, and the other is at 371 Cua Dai street. The high quality products that come with a warranty and professional services make them the best choice.
Entertainment, Healthcare, and Other Conveniences
It’s not difficult to find a gym center, yoga club, or spa in Hoi An. There are reliable and good places worthy of purchasing a membership card. For a gym center, SuperFit Gym and Tuan Toan Fitness Center Hoi An are the best centers with good equipment and dedicated trainers. In addition, Nomad Yoga Hoi An and Hoi An Yoga are good yoga clubs in Hoi An. You should also supplement this with yoga on the beach at dawn, it’s an unforgettable experience. Next, Muay Thai is becoming popular in the Vietnam community and Hoi An is no exception. Hoi An Muay Thai is highly recommended for those who love this kind of sport. Finally, White Rose Spa and The Calm Spa are famous spas with professional services in Hoi An that you shouldn’t miss.
Hoi An is not known for its entertainment venues. This city is famous for a slow and tranquil lifestyle, so all the entertainment places are not open too late at night. You can still find many bars in the ancient town or on An Bang beach. You can relax at these places until 10 PM. If you want to find overnight entertainment places, you should think about a fun night in nearby Da Nang. It only takes 45 minutes by car from Hoi An to Da Nang. A bunch of bars, entertainment parks, and other interesting places are available for you to spend a night or your weekend there. Transportation Guide: How to Get from Da Nang to Hoi An provides all the transportation options that you can take for your trip.
While staying in Hoi An, sometimes you need to go to the bank. There are many different banks located mostly in the ancient town and in areas nearby. Some banks open from Monday to Friday, but the others still work on Saturday morning. You need to check the opening hours of the bank in advance.
If you happen to need a doctor, Pacific Hospital at 6 Phan Dinh Phung street is a good hospital with English speaking doctors. The equipment is modern, the service is good and quick, and the staff is professional and will take good care of you. There are cheaper hospitals in Hoi An but their services are not as good as Pacific Hospital. If you only want to buy medicine, you can find it most pharmacies. There are many pharmacies located around the center of Hoi An, so it’s not difficult to find one. However, hospitals in Da Nang are better if you get really sick. Because Da Nang is the most developed city in central Vietnam, the most modern equipment and the highly skilled doctors are gathered in hospitals in Da Nang. Therefore, Da Nang is the best place in central Vietnam for medical treatment.
Areas to Live In
The ancient town and areas nearby, Tra Que Vegetable Village, and An Bang beach are the top three areas to live in Hoi An.
The ancient town and areas nearby are considered the center of Hoi An. All the conveniences are gathered in this area. Most places are within reach by walking, so this area is the most convenient for you to settle down in. However, the rental cost is definitely the most expensive in Hoi An.
Tra Que Vegetable Village is in the middle of the ancient town and An Bang beach. The population in Tra Que is low because a large portion of this area is vegetable gardens and paddy fields. Because it does not have high buildings, sunset and sunrise are extremely beautiful here. The air is fresh and nature is by your side. There are not many stores and shops in Tra Que, so you need to go to the town for more services. However, it’s only 3.5 kilometers from Tra Que to town, so it’s not too far. The rental cost is quite cheap in Tra Que.
Only six kilometers away from the town, An Bang beach has many hotels and restaurants. The conveniences in this area are not as abundant as the town but they can hold you over for a few days. Renting a house next to the beach so you can do yoga on the sand every morning will be an awesome option. The rental cost in An Bang beach is quite expensive due to its beautiful location.
In general, the cost of living in Hoi An is lower than in other big cities. The rental cost for a fully furnished room in the town is around 250 US dollars per month. Besides the top three areas above, you can find rooms for rent in the outskirts of Hoi An and the rental cost will be much cheaper. Or consider renting a whole house for a big family. You can join Facebook groups such as Hoi An Expats and Danang Hoi An Expats to look for advice from expat communities in Hoi An.
Cost of Living
In general, the cost of living in Hoi An is lower than in other big cities. The rental cost for a fully furnished room in the town is around 250 USD per month. The local food costs 15,000 VND to 25,000 VND (0.65 USD – 1.1 USD) per dish. In the ancient town, the price may be 10,000 VND higher. If you dine at a fancy restaurant, the price is much more expensive, depending on each restaurant. Coffee shops usually sell drinks for 20,000 VND to 50,000 VND (0.9 USD – 2.2 USD). The cost of shopping and other aspects depend on the quality of the product or service you buy. However, the overall cost is still lower than in other big cities in Vietnam.
In addition, I made a list of pros and cons of living in Hoi An. This is just a brief list, if you have more questions, please comment below!
|Bicycle friendly||Floods and typhoons in the rainy season|
|Low cost of living||Not many entertainment venues are open late at night|
|Peaceful and quiet town||Not many modern hospitals, you will have to drive to Da Nang for one|
|Many green spaces inside and around the town||This is definitely an area frequented by tourists so it might be hard to make long-term friends|
|A lot of organic food||Since this is a smaller town you will have fewer options for eating out and recreation|
|Good adventuring capability with Da Nang nearby||No airport in town|
|Very close expat culture||Fewer expat job opportunities|
Hoi An is a city worth settling down in for any foreigner. With all the information above, you can easily prepare for your upcoming stay in Hoi An. Keep reading more articles on our blog to understand more about this beautiful city.
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