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Happiness is Hoi An

by | Mar 7, 2017 | CITY GUIDES, Travel, TRAVEL TIPS & ADVICE, Vietnam | 2 comments

I was prepared to write Vietnam off as not a great country for me and head to Cambodia early. Hoi An changed all of that for me. I absolutely loved my stay and could have easily stayed another week.

Hoi An at night = magical

The cute cafes, the beautiful lanterns, and wonderful people hade me falling in love with the city. Another reason I loved it was my homestay was about a 15 minute scooter ride out of town, meaning I was right by the beach! Because of the location, it meant everyone at the hostel typically hung out together, making it incredibly easy to meet and make friends.From card nights, to BBQs and bonding over beach bonfires, my joy for traveling was restored fully by the amazing people I met in Hoi An.

I am determined to come back to Hoi An, mostly because while I adored my time there, I’d do things a little differently next time. Plus I want more clothes!


Reminders to self:


DON’T leave your key in the scooter and walk away. I did it, and when I realized 6 hours later, my fear had me practically running back to the bike. Thankfully, a lovely old lady had been keeping an eye on it so it was right where I left it. But if not for my friend, Sarah, reminding me to breathe I’m pretty sure I’d have had a panic attack!

DON’T stay anywhere but Ha My Seaside Hostel. Ok, well, spend 2 days in town to get your clothes made, but then head straight to Ha My to enjoy an awesome atmosphere and a private beach less than 2 minutes away.

Bon fire at the beach <3

DON’T be afraid of driving a scooter. My first three days I was worried to drive to I took taxis to and from town. Once I braved it, I was SO glad I did. I love the freedom of whizzing down the road on my own.

DON’T leave your exploring of the town too late. I spent my first two days at the beach, which, while I loved, it meant there was less time for tailoring and visiting all the adorable looking coffee shops. I wish I started in town and then headed to the beach.



Beautiful still in the daytime


DON’T be afraid to barter. By total accident, I talked my tailor down from $80 per dress to $40. I really just wanted to go budget before committing, but she just kept going lower! Play around with it and have some fun. After that experience, I got a kick out of it each time.

DON’T stick to just the tourist spots. One of the highlights of my time there was the 2 hours I spent driving around Cam Nam Island.

DON’T be afraid of driving a scooter. My first three days I was worried to drive to I took taxis to and from town. Once I braved it, I was SO glad I did. I love the freedom of whizzing down the road on my own.

DON’T tell your tailors the actual time you need to leave town. Give them at least a 2 hour window, if not a whole day. I didn’t get to do a final fit of one of my dresses because they were late. I wasn’t too concerned about my timeline, but my poor friend Sarah said her German need to schedule couldn’t handle the stress of knowing that I might be late ?

Sarah and me at the tailors


DON’T rush your time in this beautiful city. I am so glad I opted to spend 4 nights here. It meant I could have lazy days of going coffee shop hopping with friends.

DON’T forget to think about your next steps. I’d gotten so accustomed to planning one to two days in advance that I almost got stuck in Hoi An. I thought I could take an overnight bus to Ho Chi Ming City, turns out it’s a 24 hour trip MINIMUM. Thankfully a fellow traveler clued me in just in time for me to make it, but I had an hour of frantic googling trying to sort it out.

DON’T get only a one month visa to Vietnam. Turns out, I could have gotten a 3 month Visa for the same price. I wish I’d done that, so I could have stayed longer. I can’t wait to go back to Hoi An!

DON’T expect to be comfortable on the bus from Hoi An to Nha Trang. There will be Vietnamese people playing music and games loudly on their phones and people sleeping in the aisles.

So many different songs playing at once!


I’m not usually a “don’t” kind of girl. In fact, if someone tells me not to do something, I’ll usually go out of my way to do it. I just couldn’t help but laugh at all the tips I wrote in my journal. They seemed too good not to share!


  1. Emily

    You got a dress made for you?! That sounds so awesome!! Did you get to pick fabric? I definitely need a picture of this!!

    • Susie

      I got TWO dresses! I’ll take pictures next time I wear them and send them to you. I picked the fabric and told them exactly what I wanted. It was both awesome and overwhelming at the same time. You would love it!


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Hi, I'm Susie! Welcome to my travel blog. Join me as I travel SE Asia and reconnect with myself - body, mind and soul!

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