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Living in Hoi An

Everything on living in Hoi An after almost 6 months here.This post started out as a bit of a whinge about how dull it was sitting still for a couple of months but in our second month, after starting this post in the wee small hours, we went out for breakfast and a bike ride and I found myself falling under a car.

Being alive and content in an ultra-charming little riverside town with its wonderful people suddenly wasn’t so bad. More on my accident down the page, back to the slow travel thing.

Hoi An city destination nomads travel slow travellers

Over the last 5+ years of nomadic travel we’ve had several slow travel periods but it’s never been a style we’ve embraced and has always been brought on by necessity. We’ve spent months on end in both London and Romania but I can’t think of anywhere else, in 50+ countries, where we’ve stayed in one place for more than a few days at a time.

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We ended up living in Hoi An for over 2 months before leaving and returning for another 3 months. By the time we left we were in love with this town and not one of us wanted to leave.

Living in Hoi An Video

D ( my son ) worked hard to put this little video together for you. As you can see, we’re working on getting YouTube up and running with talking to camera videos, but we’re not quite ready to publish yet. This just gives you a taste of life in Hoi An, the place, the food, lifestyle and our house. This video was all taken before we invested in proper video equipment. Unfortunately, we can’t go back in time and re-shoot with what we have now.

I Love Hoi An And I Love Vietnam

Hoi An Dragon Dance. Living in Hoi An
I love this town! The kids are rehearsing right now for the next full moon. There will be dragon and/or lion dances. It’s incredible to watch them practice in the evenings and we’re always welcomed with smiles.

Hoi An is a lovely town for expats or digital nomads, it’s not another Chiang Mai, there’s no malls, movies, co-working spaces or ice skating, but it’s a lovely town with cute shops, interesting markets, beautiful countryside to explore, wonderful people and great food.  For malls you need to visit Danang, they are there along with the ice rinks and Starbucks, about half an hour up the road.

The house we rented just outside the Old Town was amazing, brand new and very budget friendly and there are some big day trips to do to nearby places. It’s not perfect for a long stay but it’s extremely pleasant. There are beaches in Hoi An too, but we’re not generally beach people. So although I sometimes struggle with slow travel and feel that my wings have been clipped, I LOVE this town. In many ways I didn’t want to leave.

Finding a House or Apartment in Hoi An

We arrived in Hoi an From Ho Chi Minh with an Airbnb reservation which went bad, thankfully. When we saw our planned Airbnb we took to Facebook and found ourselves a beautiful, brand new, 3 bedroom house within hours.

It cost us under $20 per night. We can put you in touch with our landlady, Dao, she has a couple of houses and is one of the nicest people you could meet. Contact her through the Facebook page of her tailor’s shop, Khan Tran Tailor Shop. she also makes excellent shirts.

There are plenty of places to rent in Hoi An but you’ll sometimes need a minimum of a 3-month visa because of government regulations.  Expats mostly stay out of town, some towards the beach, many near Cua Dai Rd., some prefer paddy fields, we chose to be within walking distance of the Old Town. Check the flood maps if you are staying in the wet season.

Hoi An Life, Routines and Food

Mi Quang what to eat in Hoi An Vietnam
Mi quang from a tiny shop in the countryside. The best places only serve one dish and it’s always perfect. I could write poetry about this mi quang it was so good. $1, breakfast.

During our first few months in Hoi An Chef’s training took priority and if you know what Ironman is you’ll know that he was training for 3 disciplines, swim, run, bike. A stupidly long swim, an insane bike ride and then a full running marathon at the end.

He trained for hours, 6 days a week and we let him have the prime 5 am to 9 am slot. That’s when I would have liked to be running, going to yoga or practicing my photography, but I couldn’t and that didn’t help with my stir-crazy feeling.

Once that was all over I could do all of the above and it was great, we had a small gym almost opposite our house and I was able to run in the countryside, this is a perfect place for fitness-minded people but you need to be used to the heat. Between November and March temperatures were very pleasant, even cool.

We normally ate out at least once every day. Breakfast was usually pho or mi quang from a street stall and we’d have a restaurant meal in the evening. We rarely eat 3 meals, usually just late breakfast and dinner so with the ultra light, ultra delicious ( but not spicy) Vietnamese food we all lost a fair bit of weight. That was great for me, not so great for the boys and our Ironman.

We bought fruit at the market to make smoothies at home and I rarely cooked much more than eggs, veg, tofu and fresh rice noodles. We could order pizza online and have a movie night on our huge flat screen TV, we found great pizza and they accepted our Payoneer card ( that’s Amazon paying for our pizza, thanks Amazon!) They could deliver Vietnamese dishes, Indian and baguettes, it was almost like having room service, but I prefer to be out mingling.

If you crave western food and company, head to Jim’s Snackbar or The Happy Buffalo, but be warned, once you hit these places the weight starts going back on.

Costs of Eating Out in Hoi An

Prices start around 20-30,000 Dong for superb street food. You could eat mi quang, cau lau or pho 3 times a day and pay no more than $3-5. Of course if you hit up the tourist restaurants you’ll pay more but some good restaurants, the markets, street stalls and pho joints will feed you incredible, healthy nutritious food for minimal cost.

If you need western food expect to pay from around $4 at Mix Greek restaurant,  around $5 and up for a pizza, around $4 for a great burger at Jim’s snack bar and so on. A western style coffee at Mia comes in around $1.30, their cheesecake is superb at roughly $2. Take yourself to the Happy Buffalo for beers and incredible, well priced Vietnamese/Western fusion bar food, it’s a great place. ( It has now changed hands)

Vegetarian and Vegan Food

I prefer to eat vegetarian or vegan but my family are omnivores so compromise is needed. I haven’t as yet found a vegetarian street food stall but most restaurants have a good selection of vegetarian options.

They do tofu well in Hoi An. Vegetarian and vegan restaurants do exist but my boys mostly won’t go to them without bribery. Try Cafe 43 on Trang Cao Van for a good mix of vegetarian and meat lovers’ dishes, or opposite Minh Hien Vegetarian restaurant is exclusively meat-free.

Prices for a vegetarian dish in either of these two restaurants start at around 40K Dong A lady on this street also sells great Mi Quang in her front room at just 20 K Dong. It’s not vegetarian. Most Mi Quang stalls charge us 30K .

Staying Fit, Running, Cycling, Gym and Yoga in Hoi An

We can recommend Trinh Xuan gym on Nguyen Tuan, it’s a solid, cheap, basic gym. For a more up-market gym with air-con try Super Fit Gym and Yoga on Ly Thai To. Nomads Yoga is also good, find them on Facebook for their daily schedule, in summer they also offer beach yoga. We run and cycle seriously, the road to Danang and beyond is OK for bike training. There is a local Hash House Harriers group that meets infrequently. If you Hash, get in touch, if they know there are a few people in town they are more likely to organise an event.

Danang (Da Nang) Nearest Big City to Hoi An

Danang has most modern conveniences from fantastic cinemas ( with plenty of movies in English) to shops and supermarkets selling genuine goods. It also has the amazing Dragon Beach which shoots fire and water on weekend evenings. Transport between Danang and Hoi An is easy enough with local buses and taxis readily available. Danang also has the nearest airport to Hoi An and nearest railway station. Marble Mountain, just outside Danang, is well worth seeing.

Wi-Fi Speed and Powercuts in Hoi An

The wi-fi is the best we’ve encountered anywhere in the world. It’s strong and it’s fast. In the run-up to APEC we had one full day when power was off and one period of 4 hours. We had notice that power would go off both times but it was still incredibly hard to cope with in the heat. Often one side of town has power, another doesn’t, so you can get on your bike and find a cafe if you try. People talk about the wi-fi going down in Vietnam because of under sea cables ( there is some truth in sharks chewing the cables apparently). We got the chance to talk to a Hanoi IT professional ( through our local Hash House Harriers meets) and he said it hasn’t happened in the last 2 years, but you never know.

The Hoi An Admission Ticket for Long Term Travellers

Hoi An Museums Ticket. Living in Hoi An
Hoi An has over 200 ancient buildings and around 20 are open to the public on the Hoi An ticket system. Some are museums, this is the Cultural Museum, others are simply traditional homes kept exactly as they were built for over 130 years. These buildings flood regularly, to a depth of up to 2m. And still they stand.

This is a tricky one to get information on before arrival, but now we are here the infamous Hoi An ticket is no problem at all. Adult visitors ( kids are free) need to buy a Hoi An ticket to go into the numerous museums and ancient building that are open to the public around town. You DO NOT need a ticket just to wander around Hoi An.

The only snag with this is that the Japanese covered bridge is considered a ticketed item, so visitors simply wanting to cross can get very angry when they are asked for a ticket. I’ve seen it happen.

There is a second bridge that you don’t need a ticket for just metres away, but I guess they don’t realise. If you visit early or late there is rarely anyone checking tickets on the bridge and I’ve walked over it dozens of times without a ticket.

I have bought a ticket and we spent a pleasant half day exploring some of the museums with the kids, it’s a nice thing to do and with them being free it’s an absolute bargain. The ticket will only get you into 5 attractions of your choice.

Pre Wet Season Heat (September- October in Hoi An)

Cham Ruins Hot Vietnam

It’s insanely hot, from 30-37º C here right now ( September). The wet season will be here any day and we’ve already had a near-miss with a cyclone.

Mostly we’ve had blue skies with rainless thunder clouds rolling in around sunset. It’s dramatic, beautiful and hot.

We picked this climate for Chef’s training, but we’d much prefer it cooler. For most of the night we need to run the air-con, we’re used to tropical heat but this is intense. We only have air-con in our bedrooms, that’s typical here. By day we’re fan only.

It’s rare to find anywhere with air-con, no restaurants or coffee shops ( other than Dingo Deli) have it. It’s OK, everyone manages. But laundry piles up incredibly quickly and we’re very glad of our washing machine.

The video below is Chef and I cycling in the downpour the cyclone brought.

Living in Hoi An in the Wet Season

Hoi An Old Town Flooding Depth and Years
Flood levels in one of the restaurants on the waterfront. Today, November 2017, I’d guess that the water is to the top-most marker, all of the Old Town is flooded.

The wet season hit us in late October, days of torrential rain, but interspersed with sunny periods and a welcome drop in temperatures. It was still warm enough for fans, but no more air-con. The rain wasn’t much of a problem until a cyclone or typhoon came too close, then 4 days of torrential rain brought on the typical Hoi An floods.

Living in Hoi An When it Floods (November to December)

Living in Hoi An flooding in the Old Town
The scene in the Old Town this morning. Motor boats replace scooters, life goes on. Hoi An Flood season, November 2017.

Life just went on. Today you’ll need a boat to get around the old town and there are plenty. Some roads outside the Old Town are flooded, some aren’t, we still have power and wi-fi but we can’t get an Uber and no restaurants are delivering food.  There is a full post on Hoi An flooding experiences here.

If you’re thinking of staying in Hoi An through the wet season take a look at the flood map before you rent a property.

Living in Hoi An in January

January has been cold! Daytime temperatures sank to 17º C and we needed a light fleece in the evenings. Locals wrap up in coats hats and scarves, I guess it’s the only chance they get to wear them. There was also a lot of rain in January but interspersed with some sunny periods or even days. We swam in the sea one day in January, air temperature was good but the sea remained very chilly. On other days the beach was gloomy and cold, the water rough and murky.

Coffee in Hoi An (and wine, tea, and beer)

Best Coffee in Hoi An Living in Hi An Vietnam
The best coffee in Hoi An ( for our western tastes) is Mia. Their cheesecake and carrot cake is also spot on. They were housed in a smaller building until a few days ago, they’re now in their beautiful new home on Rue des Artes. We love this road, packed with galleries and amazing photography. Can you see Chef and the boys there?

If you’ve been reading for a while you’ll know that my veins flow with Americano black coffee, Earl Grey tea and red wine. I have all three here in Hoi An.

Coffee is semi problematic as we can’t buy instant and we don’t have a cafetiere, Aeropress or any other travel coffee maker with us. But we’ve found a couple of fixes.

Firstly, the little stainless steel over-cup Vietnamese coffee filter works just fine and you can buy one for around a dollar in any market. Secondly, our favourite coffee shop, Mia, sells great Arabica beans which they grind freshly for you.

Vietnamese coffee tends to be sweet, chocolatey or caramely and we don’t like it. There are loads of western-style ( mostly Australian style) coffee shops and roasteries in Hoi An, as well as traditional Vietnamese coffee joints. Mia wins hands down for us, they also do great carrot cake and cheesecake. Unfortunately, they don’t have air-con so I can’t really sit down there to work. Dingo Deli has coffee and air-con but their coffee leans more towards Australian long black than Americano, also it’s a lot further away.

Living-in-Hoi-An-Shopping-at-Hoi-An-Market.
We do our shopping in the market. This is the central market, there are a few others away from the main town. Other than corner shops, the markets are the only place to shop and the only places that sell fruit, veg, meat, noodles and fish. We buy mountains of fruit to turn into delicious smoothies.

I bought my Earl Grey with me from Sainsbury but there are plenty of fancy tea shops around and most local supermarkets in expat areas have a selection of western goods. Every corner shop sells wine ( from $7 up ). Although mostly I’ll have a Saigon Green (from 50c up)  if we’re out, it’s colder and wetter.

Things to Do in Hoi An

Living in Hoi An cycling in hoi an fishing boats
Another day another bike ride. You can cycle to the pottery village, the silk village, the fishing village or the carpentry village. It’s all beautiful and once you’re off the main roads it’s as safe as cycling will ever be.
Hoi An Lanterns Living in Hoi An
Hoi An’s famous lanterns are just as pretty as I remember them 17 years ago. We loved this town on our first 1 month tour of Vietnam, we chose it because of that and knew what to expect. We’re pleased with our choice.
Hoi An Lanterns Living in Hoi An
I’ve wanted to work on my photography for a long time and there’s fantastic inspiration here in Hoi An with galleries such as this one ( It’s also a free Hill Tribes museum). I have a photo tour booked soon, so hopefully a little expert help with my camera. ( Update, Photo Tour Guy #1 failed to deliver and never contacted me about my booking so I went with Pieter of Hoi An Photo Walks, it was superb!, More to come)

The Night Market

Living in Hoi An the night market
In some ways the Hoi An night market is very similar to those in Chiang Mai or Bangkok. The kids can still fire little winged whatsits into the night sky ( they’re cheaper here) . There are pluses and minuses. It’s not same same.

The night market is on the far side of the river, opposite the old town. It’s pretty tacky but fun. This is the “party” side of the river with plenty of bars, there are also nightly fun games and attractions along the water’s edge, it’s fun for kids.  More on Hoi An with kids here.

There is an abundance of street food and cheap restaurants over this side, quality is variable. See our full Hoi An food post here.

Getting Around Hoi An

We hired bicycles at $1 per day, others prefer motorbikes or scooters. Uber is OK in Hoi An and cheap but quality of service has deteriorated in the last 6 months.

There are plenty of taxis around. Taxis, as in most of SE Asia, are cheaper than Uber or Grab. We have NEVER been ripped off by a taxi driver not had any difficulty. They’ve all used their meters and we tip them well. There are local buses to take you to Danang .

The Traffic Accident and the Fabulous Vietnamese People

We’d already be blown away by how nice everyone is here, hotel owners, our landlords, the guy at the corner shop, my mi quang lady, just about everyone, but my accident brought this into sharp focus.

What happened was this, we were all out cycling. Mostly it’s pretty safe round here, there are plenty of push bikes and mopeds but not too many cars and trucks.

Some streets in the Old Town are pedestrianised and push bike only and in the countryside you see little on the road other than ducks and water buffalo, so we use the bikes a lot.

Yesterday morning we were passing the market on a congested, slow-moving traffic street. I got distracted, I wasn’t looking at the road and I hit a drain cover causing my bike to topple towards a passing car. There was nothing I could do to stop myself falling. The car hit my foot and pushed me back the other way towards the gutter.

It’s a bit of a blur, I’m not sure exactly how it all happened but I have one bruised foot, one skinned foot, a big bruise on my hip and a mangled bike. I was very lucky to not go under the car.

It wasn’t nice. I’ve always ridden bikes, I cycled across Cuba for my 30th birthday and I biked to work every day in London. I just lost my concentration and took my eyes off the road and it’s the first time I’ve fallen off a bike in about 25 years. Falling seems to hurt more at 50. But there you go, stuff happens when you least expect it.

Chef falls off from time to time too, it’s inevitable. He’s caught his wheels in train tracks, skidded on wet surfaces, cars have run him off the road (never in Vietnam), all sorts. He’s usually moving fast with his feet clipped in as part of his Ironman training and yes, it scares me but so far he’s been sore, nothing too major. Always take out travel insurance, it’s vital

What I wanted to talk about was the response from the local Vietnamese people. I’ve never experienced such extreme kindness anywhere in the world. They scooped me up, sat me down, massaged me with tiger balm, got ice onto both feet, gave me a drink and a shoulder rub.

It was so nice of them. From our experiences here it seems pretty typical, the Vietnamese just are nice, happy people.

I have no idea why Nomadic Matt famously had such a bad time in Vietnam that he left. Seems crazy. Anyway, I asked Chef to take this picture to prove my point. Did you ever see such a kind bunch?  So thanks ladies and gent of Hoi An, you’re superstars and I’m a bad cyclist.

bike accident hoi an vietnam

My bike was fairly badly damaged, I was expecting to have to pay for repairs. Instead, our landlords took the bike away, welded it back together, bought me dressings for my feet and were just very concerned. Amazing kindness, they see human beings, not dollar signs.

We have only good things to say about the Vietnamese of central Vietnam, they are extremely friendly and welcoming and a smile and a sense of humour goes a long way.

What is Slow Travel?

You can’t put a time limit on it, it’s a matter of slow-for-you. We tend to stay as long as we need or want to stay and then move on. We can’t right now. But that’s what we prefer.

So the time you spend depends on how much there is to do and how much you want to do. We cope much better in London, with endless places and events to keep us busy and strangely, in Romania.

You’d think there was nothing to do in a tiny village but Breb (one of our other home bases) works its magic on me, I just have to look out of the window to be perfectly happy there.

It’s related to climate too, we don’t like this extreme tropical heat so we do tend to stay indoors more to escape it. In contrast, we love getting out in the snow, we all do. Everybody is different and everybody’s definition of slow travel will be different.

 The Advantages of Slow Travel?

Living in Hoi An renting a house
We’re renting a house. It’s beautiful, new and comes with air-con, wifi, drinking water on tap and washing machine. We have bags of space and the price is great.  

There’s a list of advantages of slow travel that most people can recite. Slow travel is cheaper, it’s better for the planet and you really get to know a place. I think that’s about it.

They’re not big enough advantages for me. We didn’t discover much more in Hoi An in the third week than we did in the first one but what happens over time is you become part of the local scene.

We live here now and are generally accepted as locals, we fit, it’s home, we have friends. It just makes it so much harder to leave.

We’ve undoubtedly saved a lot of money. Our house rental cost us way less than any hotel round here ( under $20 per night) and included washing machine, internet, drinking water, and gas for cooking. I’ll give you the final cost when we see our electricity bill.

We’re running the air-con all night almost every night in two bedrooms and it’s going to cost us. We’re used to the tropics and rarely used air-con at home in Queensland, but it’s seriously hot here right now.

Is Slow Travel Necessary With Children?

For my children no, absolutely not. They love what we’re doing now, they love that we’re not doing much so they get to play more computer games. I don’t love that. I’d rather they were busy and getting out and about more, so that’s a big part of why I don’t enjoy slow travel so much.

Once we reached the 6-month mark in Hoi An, they had local friends that they were sad to leave.

When they were younger we could take them out to playgrounds but they’re too big for that now and I couldn’t let them go out alone here. That was one of the big attractions in Romania, they could wander the village freely and safely, here that’s out of the question with the obstacle of the main road traffic.

We have taken them to pottery classes, Vietnamese lessons, bike tours, shows, cookery and painting sessions. They enjoy them once we get them there. They enjoy riding the bikes, they like Vietnam and adore Vietnamese food, but it wasn’t very exciting for them at first because we weren’t doing enough and were initially too isolated in the house.

It’s one of the reasons I’d rather stay in a hotel or guest house, being in a house puts you behind high walls. After a few months that all changed and we had far too many social opportunities, how you live your life changes with duration of stay. We have a full post on things to do in Hoi An with kids.

Is Slow Travel Necessary as Digital Nomads?

Yes it is. It’s very, very hard to travel at any kind of pace and work at the same time. Although this slow, 5 months plus in one place, isn’t required.

Generally, if I’m working I feel bad that the kids are doing nothing (they’re perfectly happy, it’s a mum thing). But quite honestly I’m hardly doing anything you could call work even though my days are relatively empty.

When we travel faster I seem to be more productive. It must be the pressure.

Hoi An destination for slow travel digital nomads full time travel

What Do Our Future Travels Look Like, Will They Be Slow?

I doubt it. When we travel, we travel fast, but sometimes we stop to live-a-while. Hoi An has certainly become one of our living places and we will be back.

I was incredibly sad to leave our new home and honestly wondered why we were leaving. Yet again, we’ve lost our hearts to a destination.

More on Hoi An life and things to do soon ( this post will be updated and others added)  For now we’re busy creating our complete Vietnam travel blog and guide, check it out.

How are your plans looking and have you tried slow travel or settling for a while? Do you dig it?

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Alyson is the creator of World Travel Family travel blog and is a full-time traveller, blogger and travel writer. A lifetime of wanderlust and now over 7 years on the road, 50+ countries allowed the creation of this website, for you. She has a BSc and worked in pathology before entering the travel arena and creating this website. World Travel Family Travel Blog has been helping you travel more, better and further since 2012, when Alyson and James first had this life changing idea. On this site you can find endless travel information, tips and guides plus how to travel, how to fund travel and how to start your own travel blog.

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ella harris

Wednesday 23rd of October 2019

Would the landlady understand English if I email her through her facebook page? Do you know if she has 2 bed houses? How feasible is it to travel from Hoi An to Halong bay? My husband has limited mobility, I don't know if he would come with us. Do you think SEA is generally unsuitable for ambulatory wheelchair users?

Alyson Long

Wednesday 23rd of October 2019

Most houses in Vietnam are tall, 2-3 stories, lots of steps. The house we stayed in had a downstairs bedroom, but there were steps to get to the front door. You can easily get the bus up to Hanoi. We were on that bus yesterday halfway. The semi sleepers, you kind of lie down, they're very comfortable if you're able-bodied. The train goes from Danang which is about 45 mins away. Dao speaks very good English. Try her, I know she has more houses now but you need to commit to 3 months or thereabouts. She knows everyone, she'll probably be able to help you. Wheelchairs would be an absolute nightmare. You can rarely even walk on the pavement, we generally have to walk on the road, but the traffic, although it looks chaotic, we find actually pretty safe and courteous, nobody wants to kill you and scooter drivers just go around you.

Kim

Thursday 27th of September 2018

Great article! I was in Hoi An last fall and am planning on returning in 2019 with my family and your article has given me some ideas about how things will be different with kids along. I love The Happy Buffalo shout out, my sister and her husband used to own it.

Alyson Long

Thursday 27th of September 2018

The Happy Buffalo has now changed hands and we've heard it's lost it's ...everything. So are you related to Evan and Lyndsay, Lydnsay is your sister? I hear a rumour they were expecting a baby, that true?

Jolanda

Sunday 8th of July 2018

Great post! We're from Sydney are planning to travel round the world for a year in 2019. We intend to go through SE Asia for at least 5 months and were wondering - what did you do about protecting yourselves from mosquitoes and malaria? Thanks!

Alyson Long for World Travel Family

Sunday 8th of July 2018

We haven't been in an area with a malaria risk in the last 5 years Jolanda. Hoi An is low risk, most of Vietnam is. Google for " Malaria Map whatever country" It's pretty rare to need antimalarials now. We have a post on avoiding mosquitos, but being Australian you should know the ropes. Here's the Vietnam malaria map, https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/asia-east/vietnam/vietnam-malaria-map

Meaghan Janisse

Wednesday 9th of May 2018

Hello, this is such a great article, thank you for sharing! I have lived and worked in Vietnam for over a year and a half now (both in Hanoi and HCMC), as well as traveled around the country north to south. My friend and I are looking to go to Hoi An in a week and a half for a month. We have also moved our livelihood to online work and so we've decided that we should try to enjoy somewhere nice after being a bit worn out of the big, crazy city! We are very interested in finding somewhere with stable wifi for work and a kitchen we cook in for a reasonable budget. The house you found sounds amazing! We are only two working girls, so we wouldn't even need that much. If you could put us in contact with anyone you know or help us to find something for a months' accommodation, we would be so grateful! Any information you have would be wonderful! Please let me know! Thanks, Meaghan :)

Alyson Long for World Travel Family

Wednesday 9th of May 2018

Did I not put our landlady's contact in this post? I thought I did. If not, I know for sure her Facebook page is mentioned in at least one of our posts. If you can't get hold of her try the Hoi An Expats Facebook page. But be warned, there are some really grumpy bitter people in there. Best of luck !

Phuoc Thanh Nguyen

Tuesday 13th of March 2018

I'm sorry about your accident and it's great you were not seriously injured. As a Vietnamese myself, I just want to add my view about Nomadic Matt's article. I'm sure part of his story was true but some was exaggerated beyond the truth. He wrote while in Nha Trang, he was told high school student in Vietnam are taught to hate Americans. This is a total BS! Nha Trang, South Vietnam used to be American navy and military base in Vietnam war. Nowadays, a lot of Vietnamese Americans are from there. South Vietnamese people prefer Americans to Russians. There was a time especially when Russia was still a Communist state, Russians were called Americans without dollars by Vietnamese. I did a bit of research and there's proof that he wrote that article two years before it was officially posted. Some said he needed money and he had to do something to draw attention or money, I don't know. Back to the topic, I have to say the truth at least to me that Matt doesn't have a friendly face. He came to Vietnam with an attitude "I bring business to you, I have a right to be treated accordingly". In Vietnam, change less than 5 or 10 cents equivalent in US dollar, normally buyer leave it as a tip. Matt was mad when he didn't get his 5 cents change. Seller got mad and gave him attitude. Vietnamese are not like Thai people have much experience with foreign tourists. They wouldn't care if one tourist has a bad experience would affect tourist business. I'm just don't understand that he, as an experience traveler, didn't do his homework before travelling to Vietnam. A smile is usually a great ice breaker, respect local people and culture as a visitor is a must. It seems to me he didn't pay much attention to this trait of culture. I'm sure there are scams and bad people there but be cool to deal with it. Ask the price first before buying is that so difficult to do for Matt. And he should know the proverb:" if you make a fist to talk with me, I will do the same in return".

Alyson Long for World Travel Family

Tuesday 13th of March 2018

Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I fully agree, the Vietnamese are wonderful people and we've never had any experiences such as Matt describes. Some tourists however are very new to Asia, I can understand that to them the Asian way is alien, haggling over prices and so on is something they will never have experienced in their home countries and they freak out or do it all wrong and there are a LOT of first time Asian tourists in Vietnam these days. I just hope they don't find Matt's post first because it must change their experience if they come here expecting to ripped off. Another saying, a fool and his money are soon parted. So long as buyer and seller come out of the transaction happy, who cares if you spent an extra 10,000 Dong!

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