Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Frustrations In Hoi An

Hoi An

Hoi An today is far different to the Hoi An I knew in the past. Compared to even a few years ago, it is full of shops and hotels. In a hundred metre stretch of road, there are more than 10 shops selling the same stuff and making the same clothes. It's a bit annoying as the old ancient town is slowly disappearing, replaced by these modern activities.

Sign - Hoi An

Most of the hotels in Hoi An call themselves "Resorts" but the quality is far away from the meaning of the word. Basically it means they can create their own prices, mostly really over the top expensive. I don't know how they can get their permits to do business. I remember 2 years ago, the hotels usually started at between $15 to $25 per night with a swimming pool and breakfast included but these"Resorts" are charging up to $56 to $85 per night which is too much. I refused to pay that much not because I cannot afford it, but rather that they are not worth that money at all.

Tie shop

Unfortunately, these days small Hoi An old town has far too many tourists. The big tour groups, buses and noise makes it feel like I am in Hanoi or Saigon. Of course, in the short term its good for the local people as tourism has created jobs and improved their standard of living. But sooner or later, Hoi An might suffer as most of the interesting parts are slowly disappearing and people may lose their interest in visiting there.

Hoi An

The number of tourists is increasing so fast which means Hoi An people are getting more commercial minded and not always in a good way. Even though they remain friendly and nice on the surface, I still there is something different in their talk and their reactions when people shop. The charm of the Hoianese is disappearing step by step and is being replaced by modern, western thinking. I hope Hoi An local council considers limiting the numbers of shops, bars, restaurants and "Resorts" and tries to maintain the great old houses around.


schiehallion said...

But hey god, what you describe is maybe frustrating but nothing else than capitalism and a market economy. Supply and demand will eventually get away with the outliers but the low prices are a thing of the past - unless thers is this other nice little seaside resort that has been undiscovered so far. When I visited Hoi An 5 years ago, you could feel that it was so eager to grow and get more tourists into the city. We slept in a nice hotel with pool for 15$ per room incl. breakfast. Welcome to the markets!!

Anonymous said...

My clothes didn't last long after all but they were really cheap. The lady was very friendly and she seemed a bit chicky. It was too hot in Hoi An last may.
Aussie VK

Anonymous said...

if you can afford $60/night hotel, please let them have a chance to be able to afford that too. it's too selfish to have everybody else to stay the same...just so we can enjoy the "same old" Hoi An. Don't worry for being too crowd. When it comes to the time that it is so expensive that places like Phuket and/or any other sea side resorts in Asia would make Hoi An looks like a joke, then you would have your "old" sleepy Hoi An back. Be careful of what you wish for....cheers.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so what I get is this: you don't like the fact that there's a lot of tourists but you're afraid that "interesting parts are slowly disappearing and people may lose their interest in visiting there." Hoi An is evolving. You obviously do not live in that small city else you would feel the eagerness that people want business, jobs, money to come into town. May I remind you that you are a tourist yourself, but a whiny one it seems.

Anonymous said...

I just got back from a trip across Vietnam including Hoi An, and I have to say that VG is correct. I was not particularly impressed with the town...it feels far too commercial, like a huge dressed-up shopping mall rather than a center of culture. Stores and money are all it is about. I did buy a suit but just to try and see the vaunted Hoi An tailor quality. I wouldn't be all that surprised if it is disappointing in the medium/long run...didn't seem that special as I was being fitted. And it's true that the hotels are not cheap. Personally I much preferred the north and south of the country.

Jessie said...

Some resorts include kitchens of various sizes in all of their units.

Hoteles En Cordoba

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