It’s something we say when parting from one another. “Mind yourself” or “Take care” or something to that effect. But how many of us truly look after ourselves as much as we deserve, or indeed, as much as we we look after others?
Whether you’re traveling or living in Hoi An, we think you should mind yourself. Because in the midst of all the sightseeing and shopping, after a day’s dodging wayward motorbikes or over-enthusiastic market ladies, it’s time to take a time out.
Maybe your way to unwind is by pumping some iron at the gym. Or maybe it’s soothing your mind and stretching your body with yoga. Or there’s nothing wrong with spending your downtime getting well and truly pampered.
Whatever you’re into, this section will help you to recharge those batteries. Soothe your body, mind and soul and re-laaaax. There. That’s better.
Relax and Rejuvenate
Hoi An has managed to maintain an ideal balance between offering a variety of things to do and possessing a peaceful charm that’s hard to come by in most tourist-friendly cities. Despite the numerous activities at hand, there’s a atmosphere of tranquility that makes Hoi An somewhere that you can easily reconnect with yourself and exercise some self-care.
However you prefer to rejuvenate, there’s a plethora of options, from spa and beauty treatments to holistic therapies to mindfulness meditation to assist you with your mental and physical well-being. We hope our guide can help you navigate your way around and ease your spirit in this relaxing little city.
Where to Find the Best Hoi An Massage
If massages are your non-guilty pleasure then Hoi An spas are the ideal destination for you. With a myriad of Hoi An massage choices, there’s no shortage of places to recharge those batteries with a good rub down.
The family-run, Five Senses Spa, is a great spot in town to get pampered with its mouth-watering menu of massage therapies, facials, body wraps, body scrubs, nail treatments and ‘signature’ spa day packages. Five Senses enjoys good word of mouth, in particular, for its attentive and personable staff and for offering top-notch services at extremely affordable prices.
Other wallet-friendly spas in Hoi An include the Hoi An Blind Massage Center, which has a ‘no frills’ approach but does result in a resoundingly good massage. Alternatively, take a short walk around town and no doubt you’ll stumble upon a massage parlour that offers a 20 or 30% discount during its the quieter hours, but quality and prices markedly vary so we recommend that you do a bit of research beforehand if you want to guarantee a truly rejuvenating experience.
Hoi An is also home to plenty of ‘day spa’ options (these are our favourite). They offer a similar pampering experience to hotels but without the price tag. Here you’ll walk into low lit rooms, beautiful décor infused by swirling incense and mellifluous music. Day Spa options, include La Luna Spa, Citrus Spa, Phuc Lavender Spa, NaChi Spa, Palmarosa Spa and more. Whilst they may be a little bit more expensive than the corner spas, you’re still likely to pay less than you would back home so why not take advantage of those low prices and indulge?
If you fancy a splurge, there are various boutique hotels and resorts sprinkled across town, where you can find an extensive list of face, body, feet and hand care services.
Wax and Threading
Let’s be real, hair removal is an intimate, sometimes unnerving experience hence finding somewhere decent, cheap, and comfortable hasn’t always been easy when living a peripatetic life, that was until I arrived in Hoi An, where I was pleasantly surprised by the number of salons providing low-priced yet more than satisfactory waxing services.
A scarce achievement in some parts of South East Asia has been finding a salon that also offers threading, an ancient and all-natural hair removal method. It feels like a rare, highly sought-after art form in some cities that I’ve visited, but in Hoi An ‘threading’ can be spotted on a few menus across town, such as Five Senses Spa and Ba-Le Well Beauty where I was relieved to find professional eyebrow threading and waxing at pleasing prices. Both spas have English-speaking therapists at hand, so you can easily communicate your preferences and needs to help achieve (or avoid) a specific look.
A Shave and a Haircut
Finding a good hairstylist whilst travelling or living abroad can be similarly challenging. What’s considered to be ‘good’ is somewhat subjective, so whilst we can point you in a sensible direction, finding a salon that you’re happy with is ultimately a game of trial and error.
A popular hair salon with expats is Ba-Le Well Beauty Salon, which is run by the wife on an expat. Ba-Le Well Beauty Salon has several English-speaking staff and offers a range of services in an affordable price range for both men and women, including haircuts, colouring, hair removal, spa packages, body therapy treatments, and nail care.
- Nho Hairdressing Salon & Spa has rendered good results with staff at Hoi An Now in the past. It’s worth mentioning that Anh Nho, owner and stylist, doesn’t speak much English so a picture of your desired outcome may come in handy – alternatively, he can always call his wife who is fluent in English.
Thanh Barber Shop is where men on a budget can go to get a decent barber shop experience including haircut, shave and ear cleaning.
Maybe your way to unwind is by pumping some iron or hitting the treadmills at the gym. If so, there are a few good gyms and health and fitness clubs where you can keep up your workout routine and release some endorphins whilst in Hoi An.
Good things have been said about Tuấn Toàn Fitness Center, an affordable and fully-equipped gym that hosts a wide selection of machines and weights and is run by an ex-bodybuilder of the same name. Superfit Gym is slightly on the costly side in comparison, but offers deals for short-term visitors and is geared towards a Western clientele. Here you can find a varied collection of cardio equipment and weights or attend their daily yoga or corefit classes. If you don’t mind breaking a sweat in a low-cost, no-frills gym that is pretty old-school but has sufficient equipment for a weights workout, then Son Phong Gym (also owned by Tuấn Toàn) might be what you’re looking for.
But if you’re looking for great equipment in air-conditioned rooms and life’s little extras like picturesque swimming pools, saunas and steam rooms well try some of our listed hotels. You can get a day pass if you’re only in town for a short time.
Likewise, you’ve got several options if finding somewhere to practice yoga is high on your list. A few classes in Hoi An have been favorably-reviewed but none as extensively as the classes available at Nomad Yoga. Nomad has a variety of classes suited to avid practitioners and casual yogis alike, ranging from Ashtanga, Hatha to meditation, as well as offering a 200-hour yoga teacher training course.
Annen, located in central Hoi An, is also comprised of a yoga studio and restaurant. A quaint and simple space where you can practice Sivananda Yoga and enjoy a tasty selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes. Classes take place three times a day (everyday, except Sunday) and tend to be small and intimate, with two classes at 9:30am and 5:30pm for English-speaking students.
Another place where you can get your yoga fix is Superfit Gym, and for those willing to travel further afield to Da Nang, Chopstick Yoga has Vinyasa, Hatha and Gentle Flow classes for all levels, whilst Aro Yoga offers a wide range of styles including beginners yoga, pre/ post-natal yoga and anti-gravity yoga for more daring enthusiasts.
Lastly, if you’re an independent yogi looking for a serene spot to unroll your matt, we recommend An Bang beach as a great place to escape the hustle and bustle and breathe in that fresh sea air. It tends to be reasonably uncrowded, depending on the time of day.
Spirit and wellness
Whilst Hoi An isn’t yet known for being Asia’s spiritual and holistic heart, it’s beginning to get a reputation for being a hot new destination for health and wellness enthusiasts with numerous spas, yoga classes, fitness centers and healthy vegan and vegetarian cafes on every corner.
There are a variety of alternative stores for more conscious, bohemian and spiritually-minded shoppers, including plenty of fair-trade and charity shops and health and wellness stores such as Essensian, where you can get natural skincare products, essential oils and enjoy rooftop yoga.
When it comes to meditation and spiritual retreats, choices still appear to be somewhat limited but are steadily increasing. There are, however, weekly guided meditation classes and regular weekend retreats held at Nomad Yoga Studio, as well as healthy living and alternative healing workshops run by international teachers. You can also find niche modalities like Reiki, sound baths and foot reflexology in their Nomad Healing Room.
A Luminary Life has several options for body and spiritual wellness, such as Reiki, osteopathy and acupuncture. Classes may also include yoga, meditation, breathwork, dance and movement, chakra balancing, and crystal healing depending on the schedule. Their packages are geared towards catering to tourists though not necessarily designed with the budget-traveller in mind.