'Most beautiful place': Hoi An through a traveler's eyes


During Tet, Indian tourist Sunita visited Hoi An, where, despite the crowds, she found it to be the most beautiful place she's been to.
Sunita and her husband chose Hoi An to experience its culture and food during the Lunar New Year, admiring its vibrant atmosphere and noticing similarities with Vietnam and India.

"Hoi An is really beautiful, maybe the most beautiful place we've ever visited," Sunita said. She mentioned that she and her husband spent three days there during Tet, experiencing the fun and lively atmosphere of the Lunar New Year in Vietnam.

Sunita, an Indian traveler, is in Hoi An during Tet, February 2024. Photo by Tran Trung Hieu

Sunita and her husband explored the old town, visited temples, and sampled local cuisine. They were disappointed to find that some museums and souvenir shops were closed for Tet, but they were thrilled by the lively atmosphere.

Despite the crowds, Sunita found the festive atmosphere reminiscent of celebrations in India, which are also bustling.

"I enjoy this buzz because I get to meet numerous people, the atmosphere is joyful, and the colorful lanterns everywhere are beautiful," she added.

Sunita and her husband pose for a photo by the Hoai River in Hoi An, February 2024. Photo by Tran Trung Hieu

As someone who loves to travel, Sunita has visited many countries in Southeast Asia. She finds Vietnam to be a lovely country and recommends that everyone should visit it at least once. Sunita notices that Vietnam and India both highly value family bonds, so she plans to return with her own family and hopes to take her children on a trip to the northern part of Vietnam.

During Tet, Hoi An is busy with lots of visitors. Minh Thu, who works at a hotel, said it can be so crowded during the holiday that providing good service becomes difficult.

Hotel room prices have gone up by around 30% compared to before the pandemic. Some hotels don't charge extra during Tet but offer special deals like food combos and day tours to attract tourists.

Hoi An is packed with tourists on the third day of the Lunar New Year, Feb. 12, 2024. Photo by Tran Trung Hieu

The Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Quang Nam, home to Hoi An, said during the Tet holiday from Feb. 8 to 14, the province saw a total of 305,000 visitors and tourists staying in the area, with Hoi An being the main destination. This marks a 35% increase compared to the same period in 2023.

The number of international visitors to Quang Nam rose by 42% and Hoi An 31%.