And finally we’re down to Hoi An, where I put up at The An Hoi Hotel (Hoi An, An Hoi, yeah I didn’t mix that up) was booked by my Hanoi Guesthouse in Hanoi for me, so I only found out where I was staying after they gave me the contact details when leaving Hanoi.
An Hoi Hotel is on the An Hoi peninsular on the opposite side of the river from the main Hoi An city centre. While it’s not quite in the centre of the tourist hubbub, it’s good because it’s a little quieter (there are quite a lot of tourists walking around), but near enough – you just need to cross a small bridge to get to where the action is. I quite liked the relative peace of the hotel!
An Hoi Hotel is also by the river bank, the dining room and lobby have a nice view, while most of the other rooms are in the back. It also means it can be prone to flooding, especially during the monsoon period. Like in Hue, I was very lucky to just miss some major flooding, where the water level reached halfway up the first level stairs! I noticed that the furniture in the rooms on the first level were elevated on scaffolding for protection.
I took a bus from Hue booked via Sinh Cafe Travel (or you might see them in the guidebooks as Sinh Cafe) which had been arranged by my Hanoi Guesthouse. It left Hue at 8am and reached Hoi An at 1230pm and we were dropped off at the Sinh Hoi An branch which is a little distance outside the main city centre (about 1km?). They have lots of taxi drivers and all waiting to take you somewhere. I’m personally a little wary of taxi touts, so the Sinh people helped me called the hotel and they sent along a taxi to pick me up… for free!
The nearest train station and airport is in Danang, about an hour’s car ride from Hoi An, which is where I headed to on my return trip.
The room I was in (#204) was pretty nice – Large double bed, TV, fridge, similar to the other hotels that I lived in. The bathroom was a bit more spacious with a bathtub (but no plug!), and there was a little balcony and a window above it, but it was locked.
The room cost me US$22, pretty on par with the other hotels I stayed in. I think it comes with breakfast as well, but it was just a baguette with some condiments and didn’t look particularly appetizing, especially when I was craving local cuisine.
Oddly enough there weren’t any eating places along that road I was on (just Bia Hoi’s, and there’s a roadside stall in front of the hotel that’s only open at night), so I ventured into the lane behind the hotel and found me some really cheap and tasty noodles for less than a dollar. Local food FTW!
You can rent a bicycle for US$1 per day, which was a great help in getting me around Hoi An quickly, especially since I only had a day to explore the place. It also made it possible for me to get out to Cua Dai beach 4km away.
You can also rent motorbikes – Hoi An is not a bad place to brave the roads of Vietnam as it’s a lot less hectic than Hanoi!
This hotel also has a pretty decent-sized pool in the back of the hotel too. I didn’t have the chance to use it though. Wonder if it gets flooded when the river overflows?
Overall my stay was quite pleasant, but perusing the TripAdvisor reviews, it seems that service and standards is a little uneven. There’s also some mention of touting and tour pushing but I didn’t get that. I did however, ask for a tailor and shoe maker recommendation; Kimmy Tailor and Happy Soles Shoe Maker, which… eh~ you have to wonder if the hotels get any sort of commission for recommending… more on that when I talk about my exploration of Hoi An!