WHERE'S MY BAG: HOI AN, VIETNAM
The “Where’s My Bag?” series highlights Clark & Mayfield bags in interesting locations around the world. This is a guest post by Michelle C. of IntentionalTravelers.com. Michelle and her husband are "digital nomads," running their business online as they travel. Michelle shares about some of the destinations she's visited with her Clark & Mayfield bag in tow.
Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An was once an important trading port in Central Vietnam. Today its well-preserved Old Town has earned it a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage list. With picturesque yellow stone buildings, a lantern festival during each Full Moon, streets lined with affordable tailor shops, beaches just a bike ride away, and plenty of restaurants, Hoi An is a must-see when visiting Vietnam.
Hoi An is certainly a well-touristed area with attractions and restaurants catered to Westerners, yet the old world charm still shines through and just a couple minutes outside of town, you can find yourself biking across open rice fields.
Why We Went
This was our fourth trip to Vietnam and our third return to Hoi An. Thanks to some friends living in Hanoi (see the previous Where's My Bag: Hanoi post), we had a great introduction to Vietnam in 2016 and have come back almost once a year since then.
On our first stay in Hoi An, we booked a nice room in a homestay for about 10 days. Back then, I had the Stafford Pro in black. This time around, I'm using the new Morrison vegan leather bag in taupe.
Our homestay was less than $20 a night on Airbnb. It includes breakfast and coffee, bikes to ride around town, good internet, and a bed/bath suite that looks like a hotel room. The family is keen to practice their English and share their culture - they took us on motorbikes to nearby temple ruins and the wood carving village where they grew up. For $5 a person, they gave us a tour of the local produce market, taught us how to cook a local specialty, and we all shared a huge Vietnamese dinner together. It was such a special experience, we keep going back. This recent stay with them was for more than two months!
We have really fallen in love with this town - the people, the food, the ease of life. We can do our work online, eat breakfast at the homestay, go out for cheap meals, join a gym, take a scooter out for day trips, all for a fraction of the cost of living back home.
For this visit to Hoi An, we tried something new: hosting our first small group tour. We had six travelers join us for a week of cultural exchange, local food, sightseeing, and choose-your-own-adventure time. Below are two of our trip participants ordering a custom tailored suit (less then $150 US and done in two days).
For more details about our tour and upcoming opportunities to join us in Vietnam, visit our blog.
- Michelle Chang