Hoi An Ancient Town – UNESCO World Heritage Centre

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Referring to Hoi An Ancient Town, everyone will immediately think about a city with colorful lantern nights,  a city with cristinely old plain houses and special mysterious cultural elements, and a city with the etiquette & culturally hospitable and friendly people are warmly welcoming you.

Awaken your sense of touch as you try to feel the curves and dents of a town that dates back to the 16th century.  This section of Hoi An has surviving wooden structures and a street plan that is still original and intact and together present a traditional townscape of the 17th and 18th centuries.  It is no wonder that it has been titled as a UNESCO World Heritage Site!  To feel something so old, filled with so much history and stories, that touch is hard to describe!!!

LOCATION

Located on the banks of the poetic Thu Bon River, in central Quang Nam province, 30 kilometers south of Da Nang, Hoi An ancient town is an Eastern oriental classic captivation. With the strategic location on the banks of the great river, with one seaside border (East), it used to be one of the major trading centers in Southeast Asia during the 16th century due to the early western trader occupying period

 History

Hoi An has been through a few centuries of history, but still remains as in the very first days of its being born. Its two main historical landmarks are the occupying of the Japanese & Chinese, and the Western (Dutch and Spanish) during the 16th and 17th centuries. During the period of the China trade, the town was called Hai Pho (Sea Town) in Vietnamese. Originally Hai Pho was a divided town, because across the “Japanese Bridge”, it used to be the Japanese settlement (16th-17th century). Then it was known to the French and Spanish as Faifo, a major international port city. Thanks to these days, the foreign comprehensively possitive and special pastimes and culture had made deep influences on the today’s Hoi An.

There are approximately 1,360 relics and landscapes, especially that relics are divided into 11 categories including 1,068 ancient houses, 19  pagodas, 43 divine shrines, 23 houses, 38 pagodas minority, 5 assembly halls, 11 old wells, 1 bridge, 44 ancient tombs. Hoi An Ancient Town is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in December 1999 becomes one of the most attractive destination in Vietnam.

Culture

This reputation of Hoi An comes from many factors. However, the four most special things may be architecture, festival, food and tailor.

 

Architecture

Hoi An used to be an international commercial port, the meeting place of the merchant ships of Japan, China and the West during the 17th and 18th centuries, which affected a lot on its architecture. Hoi An’s architecture is a harmonious blend of Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese design. It is a density of many pagodas, temples and ancient houses that bear its very unique mark, which makes it very special and unlike any other places in Vietnam. Some sites in Hoi antown which reflects the history of the period tourists shouldn’t miss are  Japanese Covered Bridge, Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, Ong pagoda, Tan Ky old house, Phung Hung ancient house,….Hoi An Viet Nam is considered a living museum of architecture and urban lifestyle.

 

Food
Besides architecture, Hoi An Viet Nam is also famous as a heaven of street food. Most of the food here is sold on the streets or in small alleys. With a diverse cuisine and individual nuances, Hoi an is one of the 25 most attractive destinations for foodies all over the world. Tourists coming to Hoi an are often impressed and lured by the famous specialties like Cao Lau, HoanhThanh, Banhe bao, Banh vac … Hoi An also attracts tourists by its rustic dishes such as Banh beo, mixed mussels, pancakes, rice paper .. . and especially My Quang.If you are a food lover, do not miss these foods when you have a chance to go to this beautiful town. This is really an interesting adventure!

 

Festival

Tourists should not miss some of the great festivals of Hoi An, among which is Full Moon Festival, held on the 14th of every lunar month, one night before the full moon, when the Old Town becomes even more festive than usual, active and marvellously decorated with colorful lights and lamps along every lane. Another one is the Mid-Autumn Festival – held on the 14th of the August lunar month. Last but not least, the “lantern festival”, the most enchanting and special one of Hoi An, which is typically demonstrated with all colorful hanging cloth and paper lanterns on the 15th of every lunar month switched on altogether while all electrical equipment is off, leaving the Old Quarter bathed in the warm glow of colored silk, glass and paper lanterns.. A sparkling, romantic and mysterious view is opened, stimulating anybody’s curiosity and eye feed!

 

Tailor

This used to be a major port on the silk route, Hoi An is very well-known for silk and tailor. In this small town, there are about 400 cloth shops and tailor shops.  Lots of tourists even come to Hoi An just to buy clothes, vests,..and see how the clever tailors produce excellent quality clothes.The tailors of Hoi An are known for being very fast. You can have a vest or suit with a very reasonable price only after some hours sewing.

 

HOI AN WEATHER

Unlike Northern Vietnam, Hoi An is a city of two seasons with warm weather averaging 29°C dominating for most of the year. The wet monsoon season spans the months from September through to January with a dry season for the rest of the year. Most days temperatures average between 25°C and 30°C with the hottest months being June and July.

 

PLACES MUST GO AND THINGS MUST DO IN HOI AN

Since Hoi An is an Old Town, its places of interest are of full historically classical meaning and image. Hoi An symbol, the most popular remnant is the Japanese Covered Bridge (Chua Cau or Lai Vien Kieu), on the west end of Tran Phu Street. The bridge was constructed in the early 1600’s by the Japanese community. Tourists should spend time on visiting Quan Cong Temple, Museum of Culture… Many ancient style – oriented architects come here to have a direct look into the ancient houses of the town, among which are Phung Hung House, just west of the Japanese Bridge, Quan Thang House, or Tan Ky House. The design of the houses show how local architecture incorporated Japanese and Chinese influences. Cantonese Assembly Hall (Quang Dong), has a calm courtyard with ornate statuary. You could take a peek at the half-hidden back yard and its kitschy pastel dragon statues. Hokien (Fujian) Meeting Hall (Phuc Kien) and Chinese All-Community Meeting Hall (Trieu Chau), are also spanning the block. If you are Buddhist, there are a lot of pagodas to visit. Ong Pagoda, Quan Am Phat Tu Minh Huong Pagoda, etc. are premium places to get in.

 

Travel tips in Hoi An

To help ensure that your experience in Hoi An is as great as possible, we suggest a few things that may be overlooked, but in fact very important. Scroll down and feel free to take note of our recommendations.

 

  1. Wake up early to avoid traffic, lines and bring the best out of Hoi An

Although delicious cuisine can be found anytime in Hoi An, mornings are still the times for the best tastes. Many more local stores offering highly rated dishes only operate from the first sunlight till noon. Hence, get off your bed early and venture out to the amazing streets of Hoi An for the best of what it can offer.

In addition, waking up early can help avoid long lines of visitors at attractions, saving time and leaving room for more exploration.

 

  1. Shades, hats, sun cream and light clothing are highly recommended

Apart from the rainy season that lasts from October to February, Hoi An is teemed with sunlight. Daylight in the morning or late in the afternoon is mild while the sunbeam around noon usually goes sultry and extreme to a point that sensitive tourists can get sunburn easily. Hence, stock hats, shades and sun in your luggage to protect yourself from the extreme sun.

As a nice stroll around the lovely streets of Hoi An is the most popular activity, beware to don casual and light clothes for the best comfort.

 

  1. Look up for the full moon date calendar

Known as the town of lanterns, Hoi An looks the best at night when lanterns glimmer in front of houses and stalls. During the full moon nights, as a long-standing tradition, local citizens flock to Thu Bon River and gently lay small shining lanterns on the beautiful water to wish for luck and health.

Numerous Hoi An’s signature pictures are taken on such nights. Make sure you look up for the full moon calendar and attend one of those surreal moments

 

  1. Divide and store your money into different places

Investment bankers usually say: don’t put all your eggs in one basket. We would say: stash your cash to multiple places. Hoi An is a safe destination with an admirably low record of thefts and crimes. However, it’s advisable that tourists stash cash to wallets, luggage, pants and even room safes since prudence is never excessive.

 

  1. Sign-up for classes to learn more about local culture

A land rich with cultural heritage, Hoi An offers a variety of activities that can acquaint international guests with the local lifestyle and traditions. Whether you want to sign up for a cooking class to produce a local dish on your own, make a lantern with your deft hands under experts’ guidance or pick up farming skills at Tra Hue Vegetable Village, there is always something to excite you in Hoi An.

 

 

7 BEST NIGHTLIFE YOU MUST ENJOY WHEN YOU VISIT IN THIS TOWN

Hoi An is beautiful no matter the time of the day, but it’s especially spectacular at night. When the sun sets, the pedestrian-friendly streets of  Hoi An turn into a sparkling display of colorful lanterns, as well as folk dance and live music performances. Watch as candle-lit lanterns float down the Thu Bon River. Here are our favorite things to do in Hoi An at night.

 

 

1.STROLL AROUND THE ANCIENT TOWN

The Hoi An Ancient Town is beautiful at night. There is nothing more peaceful than strolling through the big and small alleyways of the town, each unique and colored by the lanterns strung above from wall to wall. Explore the streets and hop in and out of shop houses. There are no vehicles to bother you—just other curious souls.

2.MARVEL AT THE JAPANESE COVERED BRIDGE

Must visit Japanese Covered Bridge’s Pagoda, an emblematic symbol of Hoi An. The Japanese Covered Bridge is located in the heart of the Old Quarter. It was built in the 17th century by the Japanese as a way of getting to the Chinese quarter. When darkness falls, the bridge gets illuminated by colorful lights which get reflected on the water, making it an even more beautiful spectacle. It’s also a popular spot for engagement photo shoots.

3.Take a Leisurely River Cruise

The rivers and canals in and around Hoi An are full of life and color, and what better way to explore this than on a sunset cruise around the Thu Bon River.

4.SHOP AT THE NIGHT MARKET

The Night Market is just across the bridge over the Hoai River, in An Hoi island. This is where you find most dining and drinking venues. The market is full of stalls, stacked high with souvenirs, from clothes, to accessories, shoes, handbags, lacquer wear, lanterns, and jewelry. If you’re looking to buy some gifts for your friends back home, buy them here. There are plenty of street food vendors around too, so grab some snacks such as a banh mi (Vietnamese baguette sandwich) as you jump from stall to stall. Make sure to try the famous coconut popsicle ice cream too!

 

  1. DRINK CHEAP BEER

Squeezed between the river and the Hoi An Market on Bach Dang Street is a row of simple beer stalls that have some of the best river views in town. If you’re a little broke and can’t afford the sunset cruise price tag, then this spot is ideal. After a long day of being a tourist, you can grab a few cheap pints and watch as the sun sinks below the hills. You will most likely be surrounded by locals, as this spot is relatively unknown by tourists, so it’s as authentic as it gets.

 

 

 

6.Play Bai Choi

Bai Choi is a traditional Vietnamese game. By the Hoi An bridge, there’s a wide yard with a daily crowd playing what looks like a card game. If this ignites your curiosity, join them; they are very welcoming. Buy in and get some cards, and they will teach you how to play. All you have to do is listen to the Hoi An folk songs the locals sing. At the end of each song, you’ll hear the name of the card you have to play. If you get three, you get a gift!

7.The Outdoor Entertainment Show: Hoi An Memories

Be stunned by Vietnam’s largest art show where 500 performers take over the outdoor stage in their traditional ao dai costumes and modern staging techniques. Travel back in time as you explore the traditional themed village that represents the port town’s 400-year history. Learn and understand the deep spiritual connection of Vietnamese people when you visit the pagodas, temples, and shrines inside the Spirituality Section of the park.

 

8.VISIT AN BANG BEACH

Everybody loves going to the beach at night —the weather is cool, the sounds of the waves are extra soothing, and you’ll have the beach all to yourself! Grab a bicycle and cycle your way through Hai Ba Trung Street into An Bang Beach. Find an entrance where you can be alone. There is barely any light pollution in Hoi An, so you will see plenty of stars. Sit on the sand and contemplate the amazing journey you just had.

 

Referring to Hoi An Ancient Town, everyone will immediately think about a city with colorful lantern nights,  a city with cristinely old plain houses and special mysterious cultural elements, and a city with the etiquette & culturally hospitable and friendly people are warmly welcoming you.

Location

Located on the banks of the poetic Thu Bon River, in central Quang Nam province, 30 kilometers south of Da Nang, Hoi An ancient town is an Eastern oriental classic captivation. With the strategic location on the banks of the great river, with one seaside border (East), it used to be one of the major trading centers in Southeast Asia during the 16th century due to the early western trader occupying period.

History

Hoi An has been through a few centuries of history, but still remains as in the very first days of its being born. Its two main historical landmarks are the occupying of the Japanese & Chinese, and the Western (Dutch and Spanish) during the 16th and 17th centuries. During the period of the China trade, the town was called Hai Pho (Sea Town) in Vietnamese. Originally Hai Pho was a divided town, because across the “Japanese Bridge”, it used to be the Japanese settlement (16th-17th century). Then it was known to the French and Spanish as Faifo, a major international port city. Thanks to these days, the foreign comprehensively possitive and special pastimes and culture had made deep influences on the today’s Hoi An.

There are approximately 1,360 relics and landscapes, especially that relics are divided into 11 categories including 1,068 ancient houses, 19  pagodas, 43 divine shrines, 23 houses, 38 pagodas minority, 5 assembly halls, 11 old wells, 1 bridge, 44 ancient tombs. Hoi An Ancient Town is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in December 1999 becomes one of the most attractive destination in Vietnam.

Culture

This reputation of Hoi An comes from many factors. However, the four most special things may be architecture, festival, food and tailor.

 

Architecture

Hoi An used to be an international commercial port, the meeting place of the merchant ships of Japan, China and the West during the 17th and 18th centuries, which affected a lot on its architecture. Hoi An’s architecture is a harmonious blend of Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese design. It is a density of many pagodas, temples and ancient houses that bear its very unique mark, which makes it very special and unlike any other places in Vietnam. Some sites in Hoi antown which reflects the history of the period tourists shouldn’t miss are  Japanese Covered Bridge, Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, Ong pagoda, Tan Ky old house, Phung Hung ancient house,….Hoi An Viet Nam is considered a living museum of architecture and urban lifestyle.

 

Food
Besides architecture, Hoi An Viet Nam is also famous as a heaven of street food. Most of the food here is sold on the streets or in small alleys. With a diverse cuisine and individual nuances, Hoi an is one of the 25 most attractive destinations for foodies all over the world. Tourists coming to Hoi an are often impressed and lured by the famous specialties like Cao Lau, HoanhThanh, Banhe bao, Banh vac … Hoi An also attracts tourists by its rustic dishes such as Banh beo, mixed mussels, pancakes, rice paper .. . and especially My Quang.If you are a food lover, do not miss these foods when you have a chance to go to this beautiful town. This is really an interesting adventure!

 

Festival

Tourists should not miss some of the great festivals of Hoi An, among which is Full Moon Festival, held on the 14th of every lunar month, one night before the full moon, when the Old Town becomes even more festive than usual, active and marvellously decorated with colorful lights and lamps along every lane. Another one is the Mid-Autumn Festival – held on the 14th of the August lunar month. Last but not least, the “lantern festival”, the most enchanting and special one of Hoi An, which is typically demonstrated with all colorful hanging cloth and paper lanterns on the 15th of every lunar month switched on altogether while all electrical equipment is off, leaving the Old Quarter bathed in the warm glow of colored silk, glass and paper lanterns.. A sparkling, romantic and mysterious view is opened, stimulating anybody’s curiosity and eye feed!

 

Tailor

This used to be a major port on the silk route, Hoi An is very well-known for silk and tailor. In this small town, there are about 400 cloth shops and tailor shops.  Lots of tourists even come to Hoi An just to buy clothes, vests,..and see how the clever tailors produce excellent quality clothes.The tailors of Hoi An are known for being very fast. You can have a vest or suit with a very reasonable price only after some hours sewing.

 

HOI AN WEATHER

Unlike Northern Vietnam, Hoi An is a city of two seasons with warm weather averaging 29°C dominating for most of the year. The wet monsoon season spans the months from September through to January with a dry season for the rest of the year. Most days temperatures average between 25°C and 30°C with the hottest months being June and July.

 

PLACES MUST GO AND THINGS MUST DO IN HOI AN

Since Hoi An is an Old Town, its places of interest are of full historically classical meaning and image. Hoi An symbol, the most popular remnant is the Japanese Covered Bridge (Chua Cau or Lai Vien Kieu), on the west end of Tran Phu Street. The bridge was constructed in the early 1600’s by the Japanese community. Tourists should spend time on visiting Quan Cong Temple, Museum of Culture… Many ancient style – oriented architects come here to have a direct look into the ancient houses of the town, among which are Phung Hung House, just west of the Japanese Bridge, Quan Thang House, or Tan Ky House. The design of the houses show how local architecture incorporated Japanese and Chinese influences. Cantonese Assembly Hall (Quang Dong), has a calm courtyard with ornate statuary. You could take a peek at the half-hidden back yard and its kitschy pastel dragon statues. Hokien (Fujian) Meeting Hall (Phuc Kien) and Chinese All-Community Meeting Hall (Trieu Chau), are also spanning the block. If you are Buddhist, there are a lot of pagodas to visit. Ong Pagoda, Quan Am Phat Tu Minh Huong Pagoda, etc. are premium places to get in.

 

Travel tips in Hoi An

To help ensure that your experience in Hoi An is as great as possible, we suggest a few things that may be overlooked, but in fact very important. Scroll down and feel free to take note of our recommendations.

 

  1. Wake up early to avoid traffic, lines and bring the best out of Hoi An

Although delicious cuisine can be found anytime in Hoi An, mornings are still the times for the best tastes. Many more local stores offering highly rated dishes only operate from the first sunlight till noon. Hence, get off your bed early and venture out to the amazing streets of Hoi An for the best of what it can offer.

In addition, waking up early can help avoid long lines of visitors at attractions, saving time and leaving room for more exploration.

 

  1. Shades, hats, sun cream and light clothing are highly recommended

Apart from the rainy season that lasts from October to February, Hoi An is teemed with sunlight. Daylight in the morning or late in the afternoon is mild while the sunbeam around noon usually goes sultry and extreme to a point that sensitive tourists can get sunburn easily. Hence, stock hats, shades and sun in your luggage to protect yourself from the extreme sun.

As a nice stroll around the lovely streets of Hoi An is the most popular activity, beware to don casual and light clothes for the best comfort.

 

  1. Look up for the full moon date calendar

Known as the town of lanterns, Hoi An looks the best at night when lanterns glimmer in front of houses and stalls. During the full moon nights, as a long-standing tradition, local citizens flock to Thu Bon River and gently lay small shining lanterns on the beautiful water to wish for luck and health.

Numerous Hoi An’s signature pictures are taken on such nights. Make sure you look up for the full moon calendar and attend one of those surreal moments

 

  1. Divide and store your money into different places

Investment bankers usually say: don’t put all your eggs in one basket. We would say: stash your cash to multiple places. Hoi An is a safe destination with an admirably low record of thefts and crimes. However, it’s advisable that tourists stash cash to wallets, luggage, pants and even room safes since prudence is never excessive.

 

  1. Sign-up for classes to learn more about local culture

A land rich with cultural heritage, Hoi An offers a variety of activities that can acquaint international guests with the local lifestyle and traditions. Whether you want to sign up for a cooking class to produce a local dish on your own, make a lantern with your deft hands under experts’ guidance or pick up farming skills at Tra Hue Vegetable Village, there is always something to excite you in Hoi An.

 

 

7 BEST NIGHTLIFE YOU MUST ENJOY WHEN YOU VISIT IN THIS TOWN

Hoi An is beautiful no matter the time of the day, but it’s especially spectacular at night. When the sun sets, the pedestrian-friendly streets of  Hoi An turn into a sparkling display of colorful lanterns, as well as folk dance and live music performances. Watch as candle-lit lanterns float down the Thu Bon River. Here are our favorite things to do in Hoi An at night.

 

 

1.STROLL AROUND THE ANCIENT TOWN

The Hoi An Ancient Town is beautiful at night. There is nothing more peaceful than strolling through the big and small alleyways of the town, each unique and colored by the lanterns strung above from wall to wall. Explore the streets and hop in and out of shop houses. There are no vehicles to bother you—just other curious souls.

2.MARVEL AT THE JAPANESE COVERED BRIDGE

Must visit Japanese Covered Bridge’s Pagoda, an emblematic symbol of Hoi An. The Japanese Covered Bridge is located in the heart of the Old Quarter. It was built in the 17th century by the Japanese as a way of getting to the Chinese quarter. When darkness falls, the bridge gets illuminated by colorful lights which get reflected on the water, making it an even more beautiful spectacle. It’s also a popular spot for engagement photo shoots.

3.Take a Leisurely River Cruise

The rivers and canals in and around Hoi An are full of life and color, and what better way to explore this than on a sunset cruise around the Thu Bon River.

4.SHOP AT THE NIGHT MARKET

The Night Market is just across the bridge over the Hoai River, in An Hoi island. This is where you find most dining and drinking venues. The market is full of stalls, stacked high with souvenirs, from clothes, to accessories, shoes, handbags, lacquer wear, lanterns, and jewelry. If you’re looking to buy some gifts for your friends back home, buy them here. There are plenty of street food vendors around too, so grab some snacks such as a banh mi (Vietnamese baguette sandwich) as you jump from stall to stall. Make sure to try the famous coconut popsicle ice cream too!

 

  1. DRINK CHEAP BEER

Squeezed between the river and the Hoi An Market on Bach Dang Street is a row of simple beer stalls that have some of the best river views in town. If you’re a little broke and can’t afford the sunset cruise price tag, then this spot is ideal. After a long day of being a tourist, you can grab a few cheap pints and watch as the sun sinks below the hills. You will most likely be surrounded by locals, as this spot is relatively unknown by tourists, so it’s as authentic as it gets.

 

 

 

6.Play Bai Choi

Bai Choi is a traditional Vietnamese game. By the Hoi An bridge, there’s a wide yard with a daily crowd playing what looks like a card game. If this ignites your curiosity, join them; they are very welcoming. Buy in and get some cards, and they will teach you how to play. All you have to do is listen to the Hoi An folk songs the locals sing. At the end of each song, you’ll hear the name of the card you have to play. If you get three, you get a gift!

7.The Outdoor Entertainment Show: Hoi An Memories

Be stunned by Vietnam’s largest art show where 500 performers take over the outdoor stage in their traditional ao dai costumes and modern staging techniques. Travel back in time as you explore the traditional themed village that represents the port town’s 400-year history. Learn and understand the deep spiritual connection of Vietnamese people when you visit the pagodas, temples, and shrines inside the Spirituality Section of the park.

 

8.VISIT AN BANG BEACH

Everybody loves going to the beach at night —the weather is cool, the sounds of the waves are extra soothing, and you’ll have the beach all to yourself! Grab a bicycle and cycle your way through Hai Ba Trung Street into An Bang Beach. Find an entrance where you can be alone. There is barely any light pollution in Hoi An, so you will see plenty of stars. Sit on the sand and contemplate the amazing journey you just had.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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