Vietnam is in tropical Asia beside Cambodia and facing the Philippines across the South China Sea. Hoi An is located at east central Vietnam, a seaside city in the province of Quang Nam. It is a few kilometers from Da Nang, the fourth biggest Viet city, and Hue, the ancient capital city. Since it is very near the equator, expect hot and humid weather in Hoi An.
It is definitely warm in Hoi An, but surprisingly, it can be biting cold in December. Although some Decembers are not as cold as others, there have been records of very cold winter with freezing rains, in place of snow. It is good for tourists to know this so that they could pack warm clothes when visiting in December. The cool weather could trickle until mid-way January.
For the rest of the year, it is very hot and humid, with an average temperature of 29 degrees Celsius. The warmest months are June and July. This is when tourists must always have a bottle of mineral water in hand, since the number one health problem for western travelers is dehydration.
As in most Asian countries, there are no real seasons in Vietnam, except for the dry months and wet months. Monsoon winds bring in the rains from September to January. These are the least favorite months of tourists. The best months to come for vacation in Hoi An are from March to July, when temperature is Summery pleasant, no rains, and the waves are steady. These months have soothing tropical temperature. The worst months are October and November, when it is almost always raining hard.
About Hoi An
Hoi An is an intriguing little city. It used to be a flourishing port in which seafarers from China, Japan, India and Thailand came to trade. Trades along the Thu Bon River began as early as the 1st Century when the ancient Sa Huynh people dominated this part of Vietnam. The port flourished until it became the most important nautical highway in Southeast Asia in the 17th and 18th Centuries. Likewise, Hoi An, which was then known as Fai Fo, was a developing urban center. The popularity of Fai Fo even reached the Dutch, Spanish and French people. That was an amazing feat in those times when there were no modern methods for communication.
Strangely, all of the hustle and bustle in Hoi An came to an almost instantaneous halt when nearby Da Nang and other Vietnamese ports gained popularity as well. It was this halt that preserved the old town into what it is now – a living museum.
Inside the Old Town are 18th century homes and streets, as well as beautifully preserved structures such as the Japanese Covered Bridge and Quan Cong Temple. Walking through this ancient pedestrian-friendly town is surreal. The town is like a Hollywood movie set and is, in fact, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Hoi An is also rich in natural wonders. Nearby are three amazing beaches – the peaceful An Bang Beach, the activity-laden Cua Dai Beach, and the popular China Beach, which inspired the TV series of the same title. Also nearby are the My Son ruins, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These are all must-see sites whether there is good or bad weather in Hoi An.