Tips and Essentials
Welcome to your Hoi An Guide. Here you will find everything you need to know for your Hoi An, Vietnam travel. Let’s start with our Tips and Essentials – Top Tips…
First things first, the roads. Be you a pedestrian, cyclist or motorcyclist, always remember that nowhere is safe! Traffic in Vietnam goes both ways, down both sides of the road. No one looks before they leap, traffic lights are more of a suggestion than a law and pedestrians have no right of way at marked crossings. See Road Safety.
Always check your bill, the Vietnamese do. It is often miscalculated. Don’t worry, you won’t cause any offence by taking a second look.
Beware Vietnam currency, the 500,000 and 20,000 vnd notes are very similar, as are the 100,000 and 10,000 – double check what you are handing over and what you are getting back!
If you venture into Hoi An markets, try to avoid buying convenience items; toilet paper, coffee etc. You will see the glee in the store lady’s face as she rips you off. These kinds of items can be purchased at a mini mart for a much more reasonable price.
Hoi An is a sleepy town. Between 11.30am and 2pm the town goes quiet and people start snoring. To buy anything or to do business go outside of these hours.
Interested in motorbike rental whilst in Hoi An? Think your motorbike will be roadworthy? Think again! Always check brakes, tires and lights before you ride off. It is very possible nobody else has!
Getting clothes made up? If it’s not one of the very big Hoi An tailors (Be Be, Yaly…) Get the tailor to write down the agreed cost before the work commences. There has been a small amount of cases where the tailor charged higher than was agreed. To find the best Hoi An tailors in town check out our section on Tailors.
Learn a little Vietnamese, it goes a long way.
Running out of petrol. No petrol station in sight. Fear not, bottles of petrol are sold at many corner shops for around 25,000 vnd. Ask for ‘Mot chai xang’ (Mawt chai sang).
Vietnamese culture: avoid getting angry. The Vietnamese consider Westerners to be a very polite society and it comes as a big shock to them when foreigners lose their tempers. Apart from it not being a good look, you also lose face which won’t get you very far in Vietnam.
As far as currency goes: don’t be caught out, Hoi An isn’t quite there yet in terms of credit cards. For things like massages, tailors, souvenirs and many restaurants you will usually be asked to pay cash.
Save money by checking out our Quick Guide to Money Saving. You’ll be surprised by the great opportunities there.
Buying a SIM card is easy in Vietnam . You will need to present your passport. You can buy them at electrical shops with the following signs: ‘MobiFone, Viettel and Vinaphone’.
A small amount of money on your card will last a long time. If you need to put more money or add data on your SIM you can do this at most corner shops (look for the signs: MobiFone, Viettel, Vinaphone or SIM)
To check how much credit you have left: dial *101#