Hoi An is an ancient town located around 25 KM from Da Nang. The town is known for the laid back setup and historical importance. It is also a world heritage site. Moreover it is famous for tailor shops where you can get any clothing tailored very quickly. I had read so many such positive reviews about the place but when I reached the town it turned out to be a big disappointment.
Hoi An can be reached by taxi or bus from Da Nang city. Most of the people reach Da Nang and straight away head to Hoi An for staying there. I had decided to stay in Da Nang and make a day trip to Hoi An. I was patting my back for this decision when I reached town. I felt Hoi An is simply a tourist trap and everything is set up to lure visitors for spending in some way.
As you enter town you can see a tourist information center which guides you about the setup of town. There are more than 25 sites mentioned some of which are free to enter. For rest of the sites you need to buy a ticket using which you can choose 5 sites out of available ones . But the ticket is very expensive in comparison to what the sites have to offer. The sites are like an ancient house or Japanese wooden bridge. These are just simply ok and nothing worthwhile.
I initially thought its just me who felt like cheated but then I met more such tourists. I had seen much better sites in India and was thinking westerns might be liking it but then I met two German girls who were wondering like me why we paid so much. Moreover even you enter house there is nothing much explained. I went to an old house and they only explained about rooms of house like where was kitchen and where was drawing-room, which was anyways evident.
Hoi An Town
Description of House
Ticket for This House?
Kid Crossing the Wooden Bridge
The evening in town is pleasant though and you can see people relaxing and having drinks. There are a lot of shops from where you can buy handicraft material but again not something unique. If you like shopping then the area may interest you a lot :). There is also a beach near Hoi An but I couldn’t go there.
Bridge in Evening
Hoi An is good in some respect but overall it’s more of a tourist trap. If you have fewer days to stay and need to choose one out of Da Nang and Hoi An, I would suggest to stay at Da Nang and make day trip to Hoi An. An evening spent on banks of Han river would be much interesting than Hoi An.