After spending three months in Da Nang as a digital nomad, I was craving a change of scenery and pace. I knew Hoi An was less than an hour away, offering a quaint, rural feel compared to Vietnam’s sleek third-largest city. And with the new Hoi An co-working just completed, it seemed like good timing to check it out.
As someone drawn to lesser-known destinations, I wondered if Hoi An could provide an authentic Vietnamese experience away from more high-powered nomad hotspots. So I decided to give the sleepy village a trial run, excited by its potential as an under-the-radar nomad base.
If you want to be within walking distance from Hoi An’s co-working hub and don’t plan to rent a motorbike, I suggest finding a place near the co-working itself. One option some nomads that I met recommended is B.S Jade Home Hoi An Villa. This villa complex offers spacious, modern apartments with fast WiFi, desks, and a pool – perfect for remote work. While on the pricier end, the convenience can’t be beat.
I stayed at Joe’s Hostel The bright, modern hostel has comfortable communal spaces and a lobby where I could occasionally work. Located near An Bang Beach, it was great for meeting fellow travelers and was a quick 15-minute walk or short bike ride to the Old Town. So Joe’s Hostel is a solid pick if you want social vibes on a backpacker’s budget.
Coworking: Hub Hoi An Coworking
The highlight of my time in Hoi An was in Hub Hoi An. This coworking space recently reopened in a stunning rice paddy location.
Hub Hoi An offers impressive 300 Mbps WiFi, indoor and outdoor seating areas, free coffee/tea, shared lunches, and various membership options from daily to monthly. Between the fast internet, nomads, and picturesque views, it was the ideal setup for productive and enjoyable work days. I’d highly recommend Hub Hoi An to any digital nomad coming to Hoi An looking for a collaborative yet inspiring place to get things done!
Here is my video of the place the coworking space:
Cost of living
Compared to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and other major Vietnamese cities, Hoi An offered a very affordable cost of living for my time as a digital nomad there. While not as cheap as in more rural parts of Vietnam, the prices in Hoi An were lower than in touristy towns like Nha Trang or Phu Quoc Island.
By choosing a hostel dorm bed, eating local food at street stalls, and not going out drinking much, I was able to get by comfortably on around $800 USD per month. My biggest expense was the coworking membership at Hub Hoi An, but the community and amenities were worth the cost in my opinion.
Things like grocery shopping at the central market, grabbing breakfast pho, and taking advantage of happy hour beer prices allowed me to fully enjoy Hoi An without breaking the bank. For budget-minded digital nomads, you’ll appreciate how far your money can go in this historic town.
Check out: How to save money on the road as a digital nomad.
One of the great perks of Hub Hoi An was how easy it was to meet digital nomads there. I got to know many of them through chatting in the coworking space and joining the community events.
A few of us would go on weekend excursions together, whether hitting up An Bang Beach or taking a day trip to My Son Sanctuary. We also coordinated homemade dinners where we would each cook traditional dishes from our home countries and share stories over meals.
I recommend joining the Hub Hoi An Community Facebook group to stay updated on events and meetups being organized by members.
Pros & Cons
- Charming, quiet town with a rich history and culture
- Affordable cost of living
- Great coworking community at Hub Hoi An
- Easy to meet fellow travelers and nomads
- Fantastic local cuisine (ca phe trung!)
- Limited Western food options
- Can feel too quiet or isolated at times
- Lack of robust public transportation within Hoi An
- Flooding/bad infrastructure in poor weather
Overall, the huge pros, like the low cost of living, coworking scene, and welcoming community, outweighed the cons for me. Hoi An was a place where I could live comfortably and focus on work while enjoying the slower pace and charm of this historic town.
- Definitely get a bicycle – it’s the easiest way to get around Hoi An and see more of the surrounding countryside.
- Try to negotiate lower long-term rates on Airbnbs – hosts are often open to providing discounts.
- Visit the local markets like Hoi An Central Market to get produce, meat, and spices – way cheaper than supermarkets.
- The Banh Mi Phuong stall by the market is famous – try the banana flower banh mi!
- Don’t miss the opportunity to get custom-made clothing in Hoi An – you can get anything tailored.
- Make time to visit My Son Sanctuary and An Bang Beach while you’re there.
- Be prepared for the rainy season – floods are common and can prevent getting around.
- Check the Hub Hoi An Facebook group for events and meetups happening in the community.
- Check out my guide on Grab App: Hacks, Tips, and Money Saving Tricks.
Is Hoi An worth it for digital nomads?
For remote workers seeking an authentic and cultural experience in Vietnam with a low cost of living, Hoi An is absolutely worth considering. The historic small town charm, growing coworking scene spearheaded by Hub Hoi An, and abundance of social opportunities make it appealing over faster-paced cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. While Hoi An may be too sleepy or isolated for some nomads, its laidback vibe fosters focus on work.
If you prioritize immersing yourself in local life in Vietnam versus hopping nightlife or transit options, Hoi An offers huge potential as an off-the-beaten-path home location. Though still emerging as a nomad destination compared to bustling hubs like Bangkok, Hoi An has all the essentials covered – comfortable living, modern cafes/coworking, fast internet, and community.
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