what to pack?
Hats, thongs & plenty of Dong
ummertime and the livin' is easy.. We've given May an entire page to itself because it is the most beautiful time of the year in Hoi An.
The weather is perfect, it's not too hot; not to humid. The rice fields are ripe, the trees in full bloom. The warm days, cooler nights combined with it being outside of the school holidays means discounted stays and a quieter vibe in the city and at the beach. Splash out for a pool - you'll use it!
Perfect! Daytime temps hover around the late 20's and as the sun drops, so does the ambient temperature. Towards the end of the month, the humidity starts to rise bringing with it the chance of an occasional 5pm monsoon shower (you can almost set your watch by them) to freshen things up.
TIP: The dive season (and Cham Islands) may have been underway for several weeks by now, but it's not until May that the visibility really begins to clear, the deep water warms and the ocean settles to allow for a smoother journey. As the Vietnamese school holidays don't begin until the end of June, during weekdays (outside of national holidays, of which there are a few) you'll practically have the whole island to yourselves.
accommodation: where to stay:
Anywhere with a breeze! Which brings you to river or beach.
In the countryside, the areas:- Tra Que, Cam Chau and Cam Thanh, are best avoided in May. The reason for this is that it's a harvest month - beautiful to watch and photograph, but due to crop burning (which is scattered throughout the month), these areas don't make for the perfect stay.
In the old town, It's discount time, so don't be afraid to search a star or two above your normal budget, especially if you are staying longer than a couple of days. To make your search even easier, you'll need a pool. As far as neighbourhoods go, consider An Hoi, but discount any properties lacking a river view - actually, discount some of those too, you want to be positioned to the rear of the island for the breeze and the sunsets. Use the Hoi An Silk Marina as a location pin.
The Beach: If your plan is to invest plenty of time in beach relaxation, don't consider staying anywhere else. It may only be six-kilometres from town (most hotels in town even offer free regular shuttles, but don't let this mess with your decision), but shuttles work to an annoying timetable, a return taxi fare will cost in the region of $8 a day and the cycle ride through the smokey rice fields is hard work on your lungs. A pool is nice, but the ocean, far better; if you prefer an ocean lookout with out sand in your knickers, go resort, for all other beach lovers - An Bang.
the happy clam Airbnb house rental, an bang beach
The Sunrise Resort, Cua Dai
festivals & Traditions
National holidays, International Labour Day (yes we know, celebrate working with a day off! 1st May). Buddha's Birthday (8th day of the 4th Lunar month - this is a big one in Hoi An), Dien Bien Phu Victory Day (7th May), and Ho Chi Minh's birthday (19th May). Other than the crowds, most of the above will pass by unnoticed by the western eye; all except Buddha's birthday, a celebration of love, peace and harmony where the towns temples overflow with Buddhist followers and the river and town decorated by lanterns and giant lotus flowers.
a May day itinerary:
morning: Start the day on a glorious sunrise; picture a glassy calm ocean with an island backdrop and throw in a dramatic red sky as the sun climbs the sky. It's beautiful, and it's free! Just grab your sunhat and camera and head down to the beach, or for an even better view point, hook up with SUP Monkey for their Aloha Sunrise stand-up paddle board tour of the coastline, an easy paddle suited to all abilities with breakfast thrown in.
Tip: Early risers only, to catch the best of it you'll need to be at the beach before 5am