Surviving a Typhoon in Hoi An

Hoi An Temple gate with busy street

Location: Hoi An, Vietnam

As we arrived in Hoi An the heavens opened! (you can see our previous post on how we got there using the local bus here.) We decided to walk to our guest house as it really wasn’t that far away from the bus stop, although we did get very wet.

From looking at the guesthouses further out from old town Hoi An were slightly cheaper, hence why we stayed out of the town. We stayed at Horizon Homestay and we can thoroughly recommend them. The family who ran the homestay were friendly and saw to all our needs. They also have free bikes that you can ride in to town or to An Bang beach. The walk to town really wasn’t that long, maybe 10-15 minutes to the river.

On our first day in Hoi An it was actually sunny, which if you have seen our previous post from Hue made us very happy. We took the free bikes from the homestay and rode to An Bang beach. This took about 20-30 minutes on a flat road. The beach wasn’t anything special but just to see a beach was rather exciting after the miserable weather we had. If you are coming from Thailand or the Philipines, don’t expect a beach like those you have left. Think more ‘British beach’. The ride there was lovely though, cycling past open rice fields and water buffalo munching away was quite something.

Hoi An at night with lanterns in busy street

Hoi An at night with lanterns and Vietnamese lady

That evening we visited the Old Town of Hoi An. As you enter you will need to pay a fee of 120,000 VND. This will cover you for the duration of your stay and means you don’t have to pay everytime you enter. This ticket will get you in to all the attractions in Hoi An old own. We got asked for this ticket for every single one so be sure to keep it on you.

When the sun goes down is definitely the best time to see old town. With all the lanterns linking all the buildings and the river lit up by floating lanterns, it felt like the Disney Epcot version of a Vietnamese town. It was surreal. We weren’t too impressed with the food in the centre of Old Town, and it was also expensive (for Vietnam) thanks to it being a tourist hub. We did love our food from Morning Glory, especially the pumpkin dish, but it was pricey compared to what we had eaten in other cities. Unfortunately we didn’t get to explore as many food places as we would have liked to because of *DUH DUH DUHHHHHH* THE TYPHOON! However we have heard there is some amazing veggie food if you find the right places.

Hoi An Temple with blonde girl

The next day the rain had caught up with us again, with it drizzling on and off. We continued to make a day of it though, wanting to see all the sights that old town held. A little rain wasn’t going to hold us back. Visiting all but one of the museums, open homes and temples that our entrance ticket provided. The temples are small and serene, the museums weren’t that great really, mainly showing old pottery pieces, but the views over the streets and the river from their first floor galleries are great for people watching in this old town. The rain started to get heavier again so we made our way back to he accommodation, have a break and venture out later for the night market.

So after watching some Netflix and drying off slightly we made our way back to Old Town, the rain had FINALLY stopped for now. The night market wasn’t anything special and is similar to a lot of night markets in SE Asia where they are selling a lot of the same things. This is where you can find the lantern shops that everyone takes pictures in front of. So if you want this shot head towards the night market!

Because this night was a full moon we were told that it was good luck to release the flower lanterns that night. The bridge, which is usually lit up, and the rest of the lights in the town had been tuned off and the flower lanterns lit up the river. These flower lanterns apparently carry the wishes of people. We took the plunge and decided to release one which was such a cute and magical experience. You will get asked by these ladies to buy lanterns whatever time of the day or month it is but if you can go when it is a full moon or the new year festival, it is that much better.

Hoi An Lanterns

Woman steers boat in Hoi An river

By our third day in Hoi An the typhoon had arrived. We heard it all through the night, it kept both of us awake with its strong winds and unrelenting rain. By the morning we decided to stay in and see how the weather would go. Little did we know that it wouldn’t stop all day. Our lovely hosts at the homestay and the other guests were all stuck inside, we ended up watching Netflix. However, in the evening, after not eating anything all day we knew we needed to brave the outside world and get some food. Lets just say it was an experience.

Both of us had wrapped ourselves up in our waterproof coats, shorts (so that they wouldn’t take so long to dry), flip flops (because we knew our feet were gonna get wet anyway) and an umbrella. Well, five minutes in there was no point in having the waterproof coats or the umbrella, we were soaked through. Literally. We were soaked through. Where we were staying the roads weren’t too badly effected but as soon as we got to the main road, they became rivers. Hence the flip-flops. We decided to stop at the first place we saw for food an refuge from the rain.

Wading our way back through the roads/rivers, which were about lower calf-height now, we stopped at a convince store to pick up supplies for the next day as it didn’t look like anything was stopping. Stocking up on all the important stuff (water, Fanta, instant noodles and Oreos – obvs). This meant that our final day was mainly spent inside with a brave venture for Bahn Mi in the afternoon to one of the most highly rated spots in Hoi An Madam Khanah, The Banh Mi Queen. Other than that we didn’t get very far. For these final days we were either in dry pyjamas or in damp clothing, as we didn’t want to make more clothes wet. Those clothes didn’t dry out easy either.

Hoi An street

Thanks to the Typhoon it meant we couldn’t explore the town of Hoi An as much as we wanted to, there is still so much we need to see. But for now it just means that we will have to visit again, in better weather, to explore even more of this charming old town. We would still recommend this place to anyone! Just maybe keep an eye on the weather if visiting in the wet season as we did.


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