Hoi An

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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Hoi An Has Seaside Splendor

Hoi An, Vietnam

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Currency Exchange

Stepping off the plane in Danang, the air was sultry. Ky Ky, Madame Cuc’s sister, (Hotel 127) was there just as promised. In no time, we were escorted the 30 kilometers to Hoi An, a World Heritage site, located on the South China seacoast about half way between Saigon and Ha Noi.





We promptly settled into our room at the Thanh Binh III, a new and beautiful hotel that was recommended to us by Ky Ky. Large lacey mosquito nets dangled over each bed in our room, and there was a balcony overlooking quaint roadways. For $16 USD, a breakfast buffet was included, and a sparkling pool downstairs in the center of the hotel, beckoned.


Japanese covered bridge

Wasting no time, we quickly walked through the historic town, making our way to the ancient Japanese bridge. Sturdy and graceful despite its age, this bridge is a tribute to the Japanese who lived and traded here in Hoi An centuries ago.

The Chinese influence is noticeable in this town as well, with pagodas on many streets, and Chinese writing scattered here and there. The architecture is varied, with a mixture of French colonial, Japanese, Chinese, and old moldy buildings of unknown origin. All of this is placed charmingly on winding streets, with small narrow alleyways connecting them.


Boutiques are everywhere; tailors, silk tie makers, wood carvers, and hand embroidered silk purse shops, just for a start. This town certainly has its allure. Anyone interested in painting, photography, souvenir hunting, or having clothes made would be in paradise!

Contrasting all of this this enticement, however, was the incessant honking and motors gunning on the small streets in town. Although we tried, it was hard to ignore these continuous loud distractions, or to have a conversation at any of the open air restaurants situated on the streets when traffic was going by. Which was most of the time.

In the early mornings, tour busses came to pick up passengers from the hotels, and instead of sending someone in to collect travelers, they would just honk. At each of the hotels, one after another, all lined up on the roads, they would lay on their horns for the passengers to come and board for their tours. This proved to be more than bothersome, as our room’s balcony was right at street side. There wasn’t a moment’s peace.


Handmade silk and bamboo lanterns

After three nights and mornings of this, moving around the corner and taking a back room at Hotel Pho was a gratifying decision. The tranquility found there soothed our nerves, and our temperaments improved dramatically. At least for the moments resting in our suite, we could chat, think, read and write.





Meanwhile, a noodle shop was found just doors away that served up delicious full meals and salads for a pittance. And although it took a few days, we discovered  “our” vendor with the right prices for beer and drinking water. Things were looking up!

Hoi An is quite clean and walking around viewing the sites was a delight. Dozens of restaurants in all price ranges abounded, especially down by the river. Fresh seafood, fruits and vegetables are of the highest quality, and the Vietnamese served them up in creative and tantalizing ways.

The weather had been fabulous. Sunny, clear skies with reasonable humidity greeted us without fail, so we decided to venture to the beach. For pocket change, each of us rode on the backs of motorbikes, and zipped through the countryside for 4 kilometers towards the South China Sea. Arriving at a pristine beach, white sands, calm sapphire seas, restaurants and beach chairs were all lined up just waiting for us!  Settling in, it felt like home.


Beach at Hoi An

Almost immediately, a cold beer, an iced coffee, and two foot massages were ordered up. Then it was sitting back in the beach chairs to enjoy our slice of paradise. We watched the calm seas lap against the sugar white sand, the fishermen throwing out their nets, and the vendors who presented freshly cut fruit, candies, conversation, jewelry, and other sundries. Relishing the promised land works up an appetite quickly, so from the simple kitchen, we requested plates heaped with humongous grilled shrimp and a whole fresh fish with ginger and garlic. So delicious, just the bones could have been savored! 


Verdant rice paddies

After an afternoon of feasting, sunning, relaxing, swimming and foot massages, it was time to return to the town of Hoi An. Walking back, there were workers managing the endless brilliant, deep green rice paddies. For miles as far as one could see, the fields were spotted with laborers planting rice in rows, or rhythmically scooping out water from irrigation ditches. The image is unforgettable, and one that is repeated incessantly throughout Asia.

Evening again found us at our favorite noodle shop where overflowing plates of sautéed vegetables, spring rolls, and crispy fresh salads were our dinner choice.

Satisfied with the day, we turned in to our peaceful out-of-the-way hotel room with dazzling images to fill our dreams for the night.

Vietnam was proving to be filled with variety, alluring in its beauty, and seductive in its charm.

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For more stories and photos of Vietnam, click here

About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on Amazon.com.

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