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The Future for Hoi An

Bury, manchester
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89 posts
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The Future for Hoi An

I have just returned from 2 weeks in Hoi An staying at the Boutique Hoi An. Most nights we went into Hoi An to try and enjoy the town.

If you read this forum you will invariably see it described as charming and quaint, but I would seriously exercise caution if you are willing to believe these descriptions.

I am aware that it is a world heritage sight but wonder how long that will be the case?

The problem is quite simply traffic. The narrow streets you are advised to meander down are a health hazard and you are constantly on the look out for motorbikes that drive at ridiculous speeds for the conditions, pedal cycles ridden in the main by tourists who just cant control them and the stealth like electric cycles that just appear without a sound. You just can not wander and admire the buildings because you are always on the look out for the next bike.

If you want a tailor then obviously there are endless supplies – I don’t get it myself! Why go half way round the world for a cheap outfit?

There are any number of places to eat and drink all of a reasonable standard but equally all serving much the same thing, even the menus are in the same order. Some are higher priced than others for the same thing but you can see that just from the décor and the fact that not many people are in them. One of the great things about Saigon and the surrounding area was the food, each dish served with a side order of all sorts of greens and herbs and general stuff you could try. Just not the case in Hoi An – samey, bordering on boring. Its as if they have given up their individuality to cater for the mass tourist market as opposed to retaining the culture – one of the reason we go there. Street food was restricted to banana pancakes and no savoury things in evidence in the other places we have been.

We enjoyed our time in the area but it was not what we expected at all. It was almost brash and loud and I fear it will end up like other resorts, South Goa for example, once tranquil and generally unspoilt we have decided to knock that in to touch - Hoi An is already further down the road than that.

I realise its all about personal choice and there are those who will love the place for what it is, like I used to love Goa. Good luck to them. But they will also lead to its eventual fall.

What does the future hold – well unless they are willing to restrict the traffic down the narrow roads, drag back some individuality and stop more shops selling tat and tailors then it will undoubtedly deteriorate and people will stop going.

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Hoi An
Hoi An
Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
Boutique Hoi An Resort
Boutique Hoi An Resort
1,881 Reviews
Hoi An, Vietnam
Goa
Goa
India
Melbourne, Australia
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168 reviews
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11. Re: The Future for Hoi An

We sure do Granny

How're you doing? Weather suiting you a bit more now?

Any chance you will get back to HoiAn?

Sydney
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4,072 posts
217 reviews
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12. Re: The Future for Hoi An

Hey kirby,

That has to be the best reply that I have ever read on TA. You addressed every issue perfectly and your passion on the subject is very much appreciated. (although I do enjoy CB's perfect replies:-))

Some people are either too busy or too pompous to try to find the soul of a place and that is their bad luck.

Hey Dg and Maz, any room to jump on board the Hoi an train???

Appreciate your opinion Brian but it is just that, YOUR opinion.

To everyone else, smell the roses, step outside the circle and try all those other cliches that I can't remember:-)

Hoi an has so much more to offer apart from the tailors and boring restaurants (allegedly) so go there and find them. You will be amazed!!

IMO.

Mark

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Hoi An
Hoi An
Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
Llanbrynmair...
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14,937 posts
13 reviews
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13. Re: The Future for Hoi An

"smell the roses, step outside the circle..."

Spot on Mark. It's just that the roses I like to sniff are tucked behind the ears of locals or growing in places where only locals tread, which puts this antisocial old trout well outside the (tourist) circle.

Actually I fully understand why Hoi An is so well loved, although it seems I failed to get that point across in my earlier post. However it's just not for me and the same goes for similarly popular smallish destinations in Vietnam and elsewhere in the world. Give me a small coastal or mountain village free from tourist trappings, a deserted beach, a walk in the countryside, a glass or two of the local hooch as the sun goes down - all in the company of a local person or two - and I'm a like a pig in muck.

What a dull place the world would be if everybody in it had precisely the same preferences as each other. :-)

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Hoi An
Hoi An
Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
Nha Trang, Vietnam
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7,578 posts
30 reviews
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14. Re: The Future for Hoi An

I used to love Hoi An but there became a point where it became simply too touristy, overpriced, aggressive and artificial. The "charm" dissappeared. I do recommend eveyone check it out for a night or two as there is still the town and old buildings to see and beleive it or not, old town used to have residents and not all gift stores ;) I find myself in Hoi An many times every year but I no longer even spend the night. I guess it depends what kind of traveler you are. Maz and I are friends but see Hoi An very differently. If you are a resort kind of person you will probably like Hoi An.... IF you are an adventure or off the beaten track type, you will feel like you are in disneyland.... and this from a person who lives in Nha Trang!! ;)

Owee58

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Hoi An
Hoi An
Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
Nha Trang
Nha Trang
Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam
N IRELAND
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1 post
5 reviews
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15. Re: The Future for Hoi An

Thanks for the info . I'm heading into Vietnam in a few days & was panicking a bit reading earlier posts as I had been told not to miss Hoi An.Looking forward to it again.

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Hoi An
Hoi An
Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City...
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669 posts
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16. Re: The Future for Hoi An

Yes, it is time for local authority to have a long term plan for not just Hoi An but many other old towns in Vietnam. Sustainable tourism is still much a theory but I think it requires tourist awareness too. Thank you for raising that awareness.

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Hoi An
Hoi An
Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
Sydney
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4,072 posts
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17. Re: The Future for Hoi An

Well stated Mekong,

I am sure that with more forward thinking residents like yourself and Kirby, and the wonderful students coming through, that Vietnam will flourish but retain its unique charm and individuality.

Love your work,

Love Vn

Mark

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Sydney
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18. Re: The Future for Hoi An

Hey sunflower,

Don't believe all the doom and gloom!!! Come and enjoy Hoi an, scratch beneath the surface, enjoy this riverside town and the amazing landscapes that surrounds it and let us know your thoughts afterwards.

Have fun, Mark

Mark

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Hoi An
Hoi An
Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
mui ne
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23 posts
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19. Re: The Future for Hoi An

you were here at tet when the traffic was out of control...or doidnt you realise it was tet....do u even know what tet is ????

as for the future of Hoi An, yes it is disneyland now...however when I first came here in 1998 there were open drains, sewerage, no lights at night ...6 restaurants and one bar ....poor poor, but beautiful and charming....

Im sure people would have complained about open drains....theres always something to complain about....

makes me laugh as a 15 year resident of vietnam, when years ago one couldnt buy hardly anything ( US trade embargo still in effect ) tourists come here now and complain they cant get a decent latte...

for better or for worse the country has changed dramatically...wow they even have bridges now !!! wow all the bomb craters surrounding saigon are gone now....the country rebuilt from scratch...the viets are finally the masters of their own country.....

my advice for tourists who want to experience Vietnam before it changes to much should have come here in the 90's.....you missed the boat...

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Hoi An
Hoi An
Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
Bury, manchester
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89 posts
56 reviews
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20. Re: The Future for Hoi An

No need to be patronising glenn!

But in essence your post actually agrees with mine. Hoi An is not charming and quaint, it is as you say "Disneyland" Glad we sorted that out.

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Hoi An
Hoi An
Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
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