Monday, June 11, 2018

Central Vietnam (2018): From Da Nang to Hoi An Old Town

I'm quite dilemma actually; whether to continue to blog my old travel backlogs, or just to ignore them. Guess I defer it first, and will continue to blog about them later when I have nothing more to share with. 

So now, let me share my first ever trip for this year - a trip to Vietnam. Why Vietnam again?

I heard a lot about Hoi An and those who went before will eventually comment this place with one word, "Beautiful!". That's cause me so eagerly to scout for cheap fares and I glad I managed to secure the fares within my budget last year, which was not more than RM300 for a return ticket.

At this period, there is no direct flight to Hoi An from Kuala Lumpur, hence you need to fly in to Da Nang first. And so far, AirAsia is the only airlines that flying directly from Kuala Lumpur with 7 flights weekly.

2018 Vietnam Da Nang 00
#1: Flying with AirAsia to Da Nang

The flight duration takes about 2 hour and 35 minutes. As Vietnam time is an hour behind Malaysia, by the time we reach Da Nang, it was around 11.50 am local time. But in order to get through the immigration and custom clearance, picked our luggage to be collected from the belt conveyor and purchased local sim card, by the time we came out from the arrival hall it was almost 1pm - that's like almost 2pm in Malaysia time.

2018 Vietnam Da Nang 01
#2: Da Nang International Airport after 2 hours and 35 minutes flight

SIM CARD IN VIETNAM
My friends and I bought sim card with unlimited data for US$7 or 150,000 dong (approx. to RM28) which I believe it could last for a month. As required by the government, a sim card is compulsory to be registered and therefore as for foreigners like us, passports are required upon purchase. The procedures are pretty simple and hassle-free, nothing to worry about. I forgot which telco I bought from but I believe each and every of them are equally good in terms of coverage and data speeds. I don't bother to check the price in the town but directly bought in the airport because I don't want to waste my time by just scouting around.

HOW TO GET TO HOI AN FROM DA NANG AIRPORT
Hoi An is located less than an hour drive from Da Nang and because there is no railway station in Hoi An, hence you can only either opt for travel by public bus or hire a private car. Since there are four of us, we opted for the latter one. We booked from VM Travel Hoi An for the price of US$20 (approx. to RM80), and we specially requested for SUV type of vehicle which it's relatively larger, more comfortable and most importantly, fits all our luggage bags perfectly. This airport transfer included services pick us up directly from the airport and drop-off us straight to our hotel in Hoi An.

When you are travel in a big group, try to find other alternative mode of transportation rather than relying on taking public transport because it might be cheaper to hire private car sometimes. Plus, you might save more of your time instead of looking and waiting for public transportation instead. 

OUR STAY IN HOI AN
I insist to stay within Hoi An Old Town for one main reason - to experience the dreamy and magical nightlife. I rather fork out extra dollar to stay closer to the ancient town rather than being scammed by the taxi drivers which they are famous for when comes to Vietnam. I chosen to stay at Homestay May Trang - a budget homestay with simple and basic necessity and it comes with breakfast too but I found nothing to shout about except for its excellent and great location.

2018 Vietnam Hoi An Homestay May Trang
#3: Homestay May Trang

Date Stayed: 14 January - 16 January 2018 (2 nights)
Rate We Paid :  US$20 for a deluxe double room (Booked via Agoda.com but full amount paid upon check-in). Approx. to RM80 per night, that's like RM40 for a pax. Consider pretty cheap I should say.

EXPLORING THE OLD TOWN
We decided to spend a good two days and two nights in Hoi An alone. Within these two days, we just strolling around this UNESCO World Heritage Site without the desire to go out of the town. Regardless whether during daytime or nightime, this ancient time is simply magnificent and I feel like the whole town is resembles to a real life painting. No wonder many visitors claimed Hoi An to be one of the most beautiful cities in Vietnam and I personally acknowledged this as well.

Each and every corner of this ancient riverside town is virtually picturesque and attractive. No surprise this place has been one of the favourite spots for wedding photoshooting. All these mustard-yellow ancient houses here are beautifully well-preserved and maintained in such a good condition. The ancient houses were extensively converted into coffee houses, restaurants, bars, tailor shops, art galleries, boutiques and more which causing this place to be overcrowded with large number of tourists from all over the world. Guess what? Majority of the tourists I bumped into are from Korea apparently and they dressed up themselves in Ao Dai, the traditional garment to blend into the dreamy atmosphere.

2018 Vietnam Hoi An Old Town
#4: Hoi An Old Town

2018 Vietnam Hoi An 02
#5: Riverside bar and restaurant

2018 Vietnam Hoi An 01
#6: Mustard-yellow ancient houses overlooking the river

2018 Vietnam Hoi An 04
#7: Hoi An Bridge that connect to the old town

2018 Vietnam Hoi An Old Town 02
#8: Abundant of souvenir shops within the ancient town

2018 Vietnam Hoi An Old Town 03
#9: Designer boutique shop

2018 Vietnam Hoi An 07
#10: Ao Dai, Vietnamese traditional garment which can specially custom made within 1-2 days

2018 Vietnam Hoi An 15
#11: Japanese covered bridge - famous bridge in Hoi An which constructed by the Japanese community. 

2018 Vietnam Hoi An Old Town 04
#12: When the day turns into night, the old town lights up with all the beautiful and colourful lanterns. 

2018 Vietnam Hoi An 09
#13: Hoi An is also known as City of Lanterns. You can find and see lanterns everywhere.

2018 Vietnam Hoi An Night Market
#14: Hoi An Night Market - One of the reasons why I insist to stay closer to the old town.

2018 Vietnam Hoi An Old Town Nightime 02
#15: A trip with my mom and friends

2018 Vietnam Hoi An Old Town Nightime
#16: Strolling along the riverside at night with my newly bought shawl

ENTRANCE FEE OF 120,000 DONG
We didn't aware that in order to enter into Hoi An Old Town, we are required to pay entrance fee of 120,000 dong per person (approx. to RM21). I found out that this fee being charged upon us as the tourists is absolutely ridiculous and not worth to pay for because we are not interested in any of the museums, old houses, assembly halls, the handicraft workshops, traditional theaters and etc within the ancient town. They should separate the entrance fee into two different charges at least; one mainly just to enter into the old town and the other one which  includes fee to enter into those attractions mentioned earlier. Feeling really cheated with all these "rip-off the foreigners attitude" in Vietnam.

Despite this absurd issue, I still enjoying visiting Vietnam. My next post is about What I Ate In Hoi An

1 comment:

  1. Please share all your trips, beautiful photos and whatever skeletons in your closet. Muahahaha! I love to read them and plan my trips too when time & money permits as you would only carefully travel to exotic places. I have learnt so much from your posts.

    I really love to walk by the rivers like the Bunds in Shanghai where I walked for 3 nights in a row. Now this Mustard-yellow ancient houses overlooking the river is attracting me too!!

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