I am going to spend 3 days in Hoi An - famous travel spot in the Middle of Vietnam... I am Vietnamese, but never been there before, and I know most of you guys here once travel to Vietnam will visit that place. So I have some questions and need your help.
Well, my budget is pretty tight....I spent most of money for booking flight from Hanoi to Da Nang (return ticket) and 3 nights in hotel. Then I need to manage my budget for meals and travel-around expense.
I think if I consult you guys - foreign tourist, I would know how much money I should spend for different items (because you guys are charged more than me native Vietnamese will be, he he.... I just need know how to bargain with the seller..... just below what you had to pay.... lol.... )
ok, then can you kindly let me know about followings:
How much did you spend for a casual meal you have in Hoi An ? Can you describe what did you have with that price?...he he... or just give me an average number?
What is the best food in Hoi An that I MUST try?
Where should I visit if I stay in Hoi An? What about that town at night? lanterns everynight or just few a month?
Beside Hoi An, I think I will visit Da Nang city for a day, do you have any suggestion?
Son Tra semi-island, what do you think?
Many thanks for your all answers,
[ Edit: Edited on 21-Dec-2009, at 07:53 by 7coloriris ]
Hehehe... when you say "Hoi An", AUTOMATICALLY what comes to mind is all the TAILORS! They're everywhere! Believe me, I went there thinking, "Nah, I'll just say no, I don't need any custom made dresses.. I won't buy any!" but before you know it, I ended up with 4 custom made silk cocktail dresses and a winter coat! So that's an automatic extra expense right there... but don't worry, you can bargain HARD with them. You give a price you'd be willing to pay (it mostly depends on how quality the material is) and they will work with you to find a price in the middle. Also, since you speak Vietnamese they will give you a much better deal, I'm sure!
Why would you book a FLIGHT from Ha Noi to Hoi An?? I took the train and it was lovely, and so much cheaper! Hoi An was of course a little bit more expensive, especially for food, because there weren't as many street vendors selling goi cuon and pho as there are on the streets in Ha Noi.. it was mostly restaurants, and those are always expensive. But I would say an average meal at a decent restaurant was no more than 100-120,000 VND, and that would include maybe like a bun ga, a couple cha gio, a little banh dessert, and a bottle of Tiger Beer At least that was in the tourist area.. you can probably go to some of the local areas for cheaper food but nobody speaks English there so I didn't have that option he he. My FAVORITE restaurant was called Cargo and it was right near the famous Japanese Bridge.. it was such delicious food.. Western food, unfortunately, but so delicious!
Of course, you must go to the beach in Hoi An, and that is free! Besides that, the countryside around Hoi An is so very beautiful, so I rented a motorbike and went for a long drive... that was so fun :D But scary for me, as I have never driven a motorbike before! There wasn't a whole lot to do at night, a lot of older European tourists there so there aren't any clubs or anything that I can remember. I believe they do have the lanterns on the river all year round! And they are beautiful.. maybe there are MORE lanterns at certain times of the year, but when I went, I saw at least 8-10.
Enjoy your time in Hoi An!! It is such a beautiful old city, so much history... old beautiful buildings. Most buildings in VN are so new, but there was so much history! You will have fun.
thanks Emily, your information is very helpful.
I booked the flight long time ago to get the cheap one, but also because I can arrange only 3 days off from work to travel.
I have decided to quit that job couple days ago...he he....then time isn't my prob, just money is...lol........
I have called to booking agency and asked for ticket cancellation, they said they will charge me 25% of the total price. If I change from plane to train right now, I can save up 500K VND, which is enough for hotel... but some people told me that going by train is so tiring and uncomfortable...do you think so? at least you have experience about this....I am going to book a ticket with a bed, it is much better than sitting in chair, right?
Anyway, I think I will need a companion to travel to HoiAn, take the same route, it is kind of cool....anyone?
Wow, I found the trains in VN to be the most comfortable trains in all of SE Asia! I don't remember how much it cost for the soft sleeper beds, but it wasn't too expensive at all. And if you have extra time now, the train is actually quite fun.. and not tiring because you can just sleep, or read, or look out the window. Plus you can buy food on the train as well, and if I remember, it was quite delicious! I recommend the train so much, especially if money is a bigger issue than time. I don't know how long the train is between Ha Noi and Hoi An is though, because I stopped for a night in Hue in between. I thought it was very comfortable though. It's just interesting, because probably about half of all the trains in Vietnam are very new and clean and extremely comfortable.. and the other half are quite old and not completely clean. So they are both the same price, but sometimes you get lucky with the nice train, and sometimes you don't! But even the older trains are still not bad at all, if you pay the little bit extra for the ones that are only 4 beds to a compartment. Also, 500k VND is alot of money to save by taking the train! You can use the money you save to have a nice suit made for you by one of the many tailors!