Hoi An in Vietnam - World Cultural Heritage

Hoi An in Vietnam, the World Cultural Heritage, is an ancient town located downstream of the Thu Bon River, the coastal plain of Quang Nam province in the center of the country. Due to favorable geographic and climatic factors, Hoi An was a thriving international commercial port where ships of goods from Japan, China, Europe... gathered to practice commerce together. Here, there were traces of a commercial port of the Champa Kingdom with the Silk Road on the sea.

Hoi An today preserves the traditional aspects of a commercial port in South Asia. Most houses here dating back from the 17th century to the 19th century were built along the narrow streets between which there are the monuments dedicated to religions, beliefs ... to show the process of formation, development and decline of this town.

Hoi An in Vietnam

Hoi An is also the land of cultural exchange where you will see the Chinese meeting rooms next to the houses of the Vietnamese, French architectural style... Besides the cultural values ​​through the architectures, Hoi An still preserves a rich immaterial cultural diversity. Daily life of the inhabitants of the old city with the customs, religious, folk art, cultural festival…is still preserved and developed. If travelers want to experience a living museum of architecture and urban lifestyle of the past, they would go to Hoi An.

Summarized history of Hoi An:

Hoi An between the 2th and the 15th century: The ancient town of Hoi An began to be prosperous from the 2nd century AD with the development of Champa kingdom linked to My Son Sanctuary.

The objects found in archaeological excavations: Arab and Chinese porcelain, ornamental objects from the Far East, India ... prove that this town was a prosperous trading port which helped to develop flourishing Champa kingdom at that time.

Hoi An between the 15th and 19th century: Since the descent of the Viet people from the north of Vietnam in the center of the current country, several villages were created, several craft trades were invented in the ancient town of Hoi An.

With the openings of the policy, Chinese, Japanese, European merchants ... settled in the town today.

With its convenient location: At the Thu Bon River, 4 km from the sea ... this ancient town has reached its zenith of prosperity between the 15th and 19th century. Since the 19th century, the Thu Bon River was blocked by silt. The navigation was difficult.

The French people built the port city in Da Nang, 30 km from the ancient town today. Because of the limited political economy of feudal dynasties…Hoi An abandoned the role of a trading port after 2000 years of its history of creation and development.

Fortunately, this ancient city has escaped the destruction of three successive wars: wars of Indochina and Vietnam War to leave us its streets of business, worship, home of the former international traders as Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, European people ... with the typical cultural values ​​through this cohabitation. In 1999, UNESCO recognized Hoi An as the World Cultural Heritage.

Hoi An in Vietnam

Hoi An in which moments?

The best times to go to Hoi An is between November and April each year. It rains less and the climate is pleasant. It is hot in summer, between May and September. During the rainy season, especially in September and October, there is the risk of flooding.

Do not forget to go to there in the 14th and 15th day of the lunar month to attend the unique atmosphere when the old town is lightened with lanterns as in the past. On this occasion, you will immerse yourself in the magical light of multicolor lanterns suspended through the streets to create a typical scene in Hoi An.

Destinations not to be missed in Hoi An:

Hoi An is situated on the road of World Cultural Heritages in the center of Vietnam which keeps images of a simple but poetic beauty. Whether day or night, the town is beautiful in a different way.

In addition to the cultural values ​​through architectural diversity, Hoi An still preserves the values ​​of a priceless immaterial culture. The daily lives of residents with customs, religious, folk art, cultural festivities…with romantic natural landscapes, the variant gastronomy ... make Hoi An more attractive.

Hoi An preserves thousands of vestiges proving a successful time as a commercial port - one of the largest in South - East Asia. The Tran Phu Street in the old town center has the largest concentration of major architectural works, as well as old houses of the typical architecture of this town. The most important are the Chinese assembly halls built in memory of their native country. If you start your walk from the famous covered bridge, you'll see: Hall of Guangdong, Fujian hall, Quynh Phu Hall and Chaozhou hall.

At the corner of Tran Phu and Nguyen Hue streets, the Guan Gong temple characterizes the Chinese temples in Vietnam. Next to the temple, in the north, you will see the Museum of History - Culture of Hoi An which was formerly a Buddhist temple. The Museum of Sa Huynh Culture and the Museum of Ceramics are also located on this street. The traditional houses here are restored and very well preserved. From the covered bridge, if you turn right, you will see the Nguyen Thai Hoc Street populated of old houses of oriental style next to the houses of the French architectural style. The Hoi An Folklore Museum located in this street is the biggest old house in the historic old town of Hoi An with 57 meters long and 9 meters wide…

In the east of the old city, this was the area of ​​European traders with the houses in the western style. The street of Phan Boi Chau is also populated by houses of western style that was the residential area of French people during the colonial times ... Here are some destinations not to be missed in Hoi An:

Hoi An in Vietnam

The destinations in the Old Town:

Covered Bridge: The covered bridge is the jewel in the heart of Hoi An and also the symbol of the city. Built in the late 16th century, the bridge called the Japanese bridge was the border between the Chinese and the Japanese Streets. In the middle of the bridge, there is a small temple. The decoration of the bridge shows the harmony between the Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese architectural style who were also the three main communities of traders in Hoi An in the past.

Hall of Fujian: Fujian hall is used as the temple to worship the Goddess Thien Hau (Goddess Protector of traders against the waves of the ocean) and the meeting place of Chinese people from Fujian province in China. With many restorations thanks to the main contribution of overseas Chinese people from Fujian province, the Hall is a place not to be missed in Hoi An.

Chaozhou Hall: This hall was built in 1845 in the center of the old town of Hoi An by the Chinese people from Chaozhou province in China to worship the God Protector of traders at sea.  The hall has a special value of architectural structure with finely carved wooden frame and decorative patterns in porcelain.

Hall of Guangdong: This hall was built in Hoi An in 1885 by the Chinese people from the Guangdong province in China to venerate their Protector Goddess at sea and Confucius, and later to venerate their holy Quan Cong and the ancestors of the Chinese people from Guangdong. The reasonable use of wood and stone in the structure, decorative patterns ... have created to this temple an imposing beauty. The Guangdong hall is place of ceremony in June 24 (lunar calendar) of populations in Hoi An.

Temple of Tran lineage: Built in 1802 according to the traditional principles of Fengshui on an area of ​​1500 m2, the temple - house has several functions: place of residence, altar of ancestors and family-related exhibitions ... In reality, there are many other temples to venerate the different lineages in Hoi An.

Hoi An in Vietnam

Hoi An Museum - Culture Museum: Founded in 1989, the museum displays 212 original objects in ceramic, bronze, iron, paper, wood ... that reflect the different stages of development of Hoi An commercial port from the 2nd century AD, between the 2nd and the 15th century and between the 15th and 19th century.

Tan Ky ancient house: The former house of Tan Ky keeps the typical architectural style of Hoi An. The interior of the house is divided into several parts and each has its own function: Store, ancestral altar, altar of Buddha, reception room, warehouse of goods, rooms...

This house or the others in this charming old town were built by local craftsmen with traditional materials to create distinctions elegance, finesse.... February 17, 1990, the house of Tan Ky in Hoi An was ranked as the historical and cultural vestige of Vietnam.

Hoi An Handicraft Center: This workshop shows together most of the traditional crafts of Hoi An and Quang Nam province as carpet weaving, weaving, pottery, lacquer ... During the workshop visit, visitors will find a peaceful landscape of the Vietnam countryside, witness the manufacture of skilful hands and of great competence of local craftsmen to create exquisite and unique handicrafts. Travelers can also participate in some stages in the manufacturing process and buy some products for the memory of the trip in Hoi An.

Hoi An Market: If the historical and cultural relics in Hoi An tire you, do not hesitate to stop in its typical market where there are all kinds of goods to serve the local community and foreign travelers: Food, souvenir objects... in a special atmosphere. If you are brave, you get up around 5am to participate in the fish market when the fishing boats return here after a working night in the sea to sell the fish to Hoi An

The destinations outside the ancient city:

The village of Kim Bong: Village of Kim Bong is located in front of Hoi An. This village is known by woodworking craftsmen who participated in the construction of Hue ancient capital and the restoration of palaces, mausoleums of emperors in Hue. Accessible from Hoi An by boat across the river of Thu Bon, travelers can discover many wood products manufactured in a very sophisticated way. The village of Kim Bong is an ideal destination to participate in rural life in the countryside of Hoi An.

Hoi An in Vietnam

Thanh Ha Pottery Village: Since the 16th century, Thanh Ha was very prosperous, famous ... for ceramics, terracotta…products. The products are mainly utensils to serve the activities of daily life, such as cups, bowls, pots, jars, vases... with a variety of models, colors and above all they are lighter than the same products of other localities. The Thanh Ha Village is located 3 km from Hoi An.

The village of Tra Que: At about 3km from Hoi An, The Tra Que Village is known for vegetables culture. Vegetables and fragrant herbs of this village help to enhance the local cuisine and Quang Nam province. With only a few dozen hectares but vegetable growing has become a major profession of the villagers for generations. When this town develops tourism, the Tra Que village becomes more prosperous. At Tra Que, visitors become real farmers when they participate in the works with the villagers. After the break, they have the chance to taste dishes prepared from vegetables with typical dishes of Hoi An.

An Bang Beach: In An Bang Beach, 3 km from the center of the old town of Hoi An, you will have the chance to feel the wonderful freshness during a walk on the sand by enjoying the pristine beauty of the Orient sea ​​at dawn.

Cua Dai Beach: At 5km from Hoi An Center,  Cua Dai is a beautiful beach with white sand, blue and clear water, small waves, small restaurants serving fresh seafood at very affordable price. The Cua Dai Beach in the evening which is excellent with vast shimmering beaches under oil lamps will create a romantic evening in Hoi An.

Excursion on the river of Thu Bon: The river of Thu Bon runs along the Hoi An. The vicissitude of this antique town is related to the river where you can take a boat trip along. Both sides of the river are surrounded by beautiful sand dunes, scenes of rural life, picturesque mountains ... Especially, the sunset on the river of Thu Bon can satisfy the most difficult travelers during the journey in Hoi An.

Excursion to Cu Lao Cham Island: At 18km from Hoi An, Cu Lao Cham Island consists of 7 small following islands: Hon Lao, Hon Kho Me, Hon Kho Con, Hon Tai Hon, Hon Dai, Hon Mo, Hon La and Hon Ong. Cu Lao Cham has been classified by UNESCO as a World Biosphere thanks to its exceptional biodiversity of natural forests, beautiful beaches, coral reefs and many species of valuable fish.

Hoi An in Vietnam

To get there, you should buy the ticket to take the fast boat (30 minutes), the wooden boat (2h) from the Cua Dai Beach. It is important to note that there are no hotels on the island. You should go camping or you can stay in homestay. Otherwise you can do Cu Lao Cham and Hoi An round - trip in one day.

Shopping during trip in Hoi An:

Hoi An in the center of Vietnam is a paradise of local crafts. It's difficult to choose. But below, there are souvenir products that travelers often buy during stay in this charming town:

• Lanterns: This is one of the specialties of this small and dreaming town. The lanterns here are lightweight and foldable. You can find them everywhere in the center of the old town.

• Customized clothes are inexpensive and very quickly made in just a few hours. If you cannot wait, you just let the measure and address. The store will deliver your products to your address. You easily find shops of this kind of service everywhere, especially in the center of the old town of Hoi An.

• Shoes can be easily customized there. Many stores do it quickly like tailored clothes. You can do the same things with handbags, glasses...

• Other things like silk, wood carving, embroidery objects ... are also the local specialties of Hoi An.

Some of our activities in Hoi An:

Hoi An is one of the key destinations while travel in Vietnam. Depending on your availability, we offer a wide choice of activities as follows:

The first day: You will discover the ancient town of Hoi An with a walk. You will have many stops to visit: Chinese pagodas, old houses inhabited by merchants as: house of Tan Ky, house of Phung Hung ..., museum of history of the ancient town, the famous Japanese Bridge...

In the afternoon, according to you time, your needs, your physical conditions ... we offer a boat ride to the island of Kim bong known by carpenters... where you make a bike or a scooter ride or a walk at your choice to discover the real local life.

Hoi An in Vietnam

We'll stop in families to share a moment of life together. Contact with the local population is an essential aspect for any trip in a foreign country. At night, this is admiration of nightlife in Hoi An ancient town which is cleared by the lanterns: A magical atmosphere!

The second day: We take you to Hoi An market where you ingredients with a family from the village of vegetables of Tra Que. We take a quiet bike ride to go to the village. Upon arrival, a family will welcome will you to show you the techniques of cultivation of fragrant herbs, the life of the village...A cooking class is organized in family before tasting your dishes prepared by you. After lunch, we quietly return to the ancient town. You are free or accompanied as you want for shopping. Hoi An is a paradise for shopping of local crafts: Lanterns, woodcarving, silk ... especially tailored clothing.

The third day: This is the trip to Cu Lao Cham Island: A whole day for Cu Lao Cham is really interesting. At 18 km from Hoi An ancient town, the island of Cu Lao Cham is ideal for a discovery outside urban area, contact with the local fishermen, and rest on pristine beach...

The fourth day: This is a boat trip to the village of Bay Mau beside a forest of water coconut where you learn to ride round bamboo boat. You take a walk in the village of fishermen and meet families.

You go to the estuary of the Thu Bon River where you learn technique of local fishing with a meal of seafood on the beach. In the afternoon, an extraordinary experience in Hoi An: The technique of rice culture. You'll plow, harrow ... rice fields with buffaloes and learn other harvesting techniques...For travelers who like to discover a thriving but lost civilization, the My Son Sanctuary located at 70km from Hoi An is proposed...

Hoi An in Vietnam

Getting to Hoi An:

Hoi An is located at 3 hours drive from the Hue Forbidden City. So you continue your trip in Vietnam through the serene countryside of the center and especially the famous Ocean Cloud Pass to go to this antique town.

On arrival at Da Nang - Vietnam's fourth largest city - we often suggest visiting the museum of sculpture of the Cham people. This is a very informative tour session: these sandstone statues carved by the Cham people between 3rd and 13th century to tell the religious life of the Champa kingdom.

Da Nang, a young economic city, at 30km from Hoi An, is equipped with an airport that has daily flights to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang Beach, Siem Reap in Cambodia (where the Angkor temples are located). This dynamic city has also a railway station for trains from north to south…

You can send us an email to: info@guideduvietnam.com for more free information about Hoi An in Vietnam.