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Hoi An, Vietnam

A Gem In Central Vietnam: Hoi An

Located less than an hour from Danang, the town of Hoi An is a gem on the central coast of Vietnam. For travelers, it is one of a handful of must-see destinations on the Southeast Asian grand tour. The old downtown is a unique mix of perfectly preserved ancient Chinese and Japanese architecture harkening back to a time long ago when it was a major trading port.

Vietnam is one of the most energetic countries in the world, and finding a tranquil spot can be a challenge. This is one of the reasons why visitors find Hoi An so charming. It isn’t on a major highway, and it’s almost an hour’s drive to the closest airport or train station.

The Cham Islands, a UNESCO Global Biosphere Reserve, lie 13 miles northeast of Hoi An and are a chain of mostly undeveloped islands with lush forests, coral reefs, a couple of small fishing villages, and numerous remote, unspoiled beaches.

There are mountains to the north and west of Hoi An, the most beautiful of which are the ones just north of Danang. The mountains to the west are only a short distance away and offer many opportunities for exploration, as this part of Vietnam has seen only minimal development. Peaks in this area reach almost 2,000 meters (6,000 feet), offering views to the ocean on the east and the Laotian wilderness to the west.

South of Hoi An, the land is generally flat and agricultural. A drive through the countryside here will treat travelers to the sight of verdant green rice paddies and patches of diverse tropical flora. Ladies wearing the iconic cone hats work year-round, alongside their husbands and children, preening the fields. Small villages and communes dot the land, and a few ancient Cham towers can still be found near the coast.

Cost Of Living In Hoi An

Most people, when they first arrive in Hoi An, will stay in a hotel or guesthouse while they look for a place to stay long term. An almost unlimited number of short-term rooms are available ranging from less than US$15 per night to US$100 or more. Many guesthouses are happy to negotiate a discounted rate for weekly or monthly stays. It is unlikely that you would have a kitchen, but with so many options for eating out, this is hardly an inconvenience.

Currently there are no apartments and very few condominiums in Hoi An, so if you decide to stay here long-term, you’ll need to find a house to rent. Hoi An enjoys a very low cost of living, and you can expect to find comfortable homes here for an affordable price. Houses range in price from around US$250 to US$1,000 per month, though the average house rental is about US$400 per month.

Most homes are rented fully furnished. Unfurnished homes cost less, but are a little harder to find. Utilities and housekeeping are paid separately from rent.

There are several Internet service providers in Hoi An, offering both 3G and ADSL connections. Generally they offer several Internet plans, start at around US$9.50 per month.

The largest provider of cable television in Hoi An is the Vietnam Multimedia Corporation, or VTC. A one-year subscription to their plan, which features 70 channels, including several premium English-language channels costs about US$34.

Monthly Budget For A Couple Living In Hoi An, Vietnam

ExpenseMonthly CostNotes
RentVND 11,494,500 
GasVND 104,496Used for cooking.
ElectricityVND 1,044,950Moderate air conditioning use.
WaterVND 417,982 
TelephoneVND 104,496 
InternetVND 313,487Unlimited access.
Cable TVVND 626,973 
GroceriesVND 3,134,870 
EntertainmentVND 5,224,780 
TotalVND 22,466,534 

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