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Review of Hoi An ancient town - A journey to discover Asian cultural heritage

Content 23/02/2024 14

Hoi An Ancient Town is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Central Vietnam and is considered one of the most beautiful old towns in Southeast Asia. The old tiled roofs covered with moss over the years, the streets filled with the red color of lanterns at night, the intricately carved horizontal panels by artisans—all seem to take us back to the past a world from several hundred years ago. Let’s join HoaBinh Tourist to discover more about this place through the article below.

Introducing about Hoi An Ancient Town: World Cultural Heritage

History of Hoi An ancient town—an unbelievably beautiful city

Hoi An ancient town used to be a busy commercial port, with many merchants from all over coming to do business. This place was once an important commercial center of Southeast Asia, belonging to the former Champa kingdom, then to Dai Viet.

During the early 17th century, Hoi An was an important stop on the trade route between Japan, China, India and European countries. The city flourished and became a center for the production and export of fine silk, fabrics, ceramics and other agricultural products.

In 1999, Hoi An ancient town was recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site and became an attractive tourist destination in Vietnam. Currently, the street still retains ancient houses and unique architecture, along with small roads, canals and ancient bridges, creating a romantic and extremely poetic atmosphere.

Traditional architecture of Hoi An Ancient Town

This is famous for its traditional, harmonious architectural beauty of houses, walls and roads in every corner of the neighborhood. Having gone through many ups and downs of time, until now the street still retains its ancient, quiet, moss-covered beauty on every tiled roof, from brick to the rows of trees along the road. This rustic beauty is like the simplicity in the personalities and pure souls of the local people.

The most common housing type in the old town is mainly a tubular structure with only one or two floors with a narrow width and very long depth. Because the climate here is quite harsh, most houses are made from materials with extremely high durability and strength. Each house in Hoi An ensures harmony in color and structure between living space and nature, forming an extremely attractive overall beauty.

The most beautiful time to visit Hoi An ancient town

The ideal time to travel to Hoi An ancient town is open from February to April every year because this time is quite cool with mild sunshine and little rain, making it very suitable for tourists to visit and explore this place.

When visiting Hoi An ancient town in the fall, from September to November, visitors can also participate in the Mid-Autumn Festival with sparkling lanterns and traditional art performances.

Besides, tourists can also visit Hoi An ancient town in the summer to enjoy the beautiful Cua Dai beach and participate in water sports activities such as surfing and scuba diving. However, the weather in the summer in Hoi An can be quite hot and humid, so you need to prepare all the essential items to make the trip as convenient as possible.

Means of transportation in Hoi An ancient town

How to get to Hoi An ancient town

When traveling to Hoi An ancient town, you can choose to travel by many different means of transport, such as a bus, personal vehicle, train, or plane.

  • Plane: To get to Hoi An ancient town the fastest, you take a flight to Da Nang airport because this is the closest airport to Hoi An. If you want to hunt for cheap tickets, you should do research and book tickets about 3–6 months in advance.
  • Train: The second option you can consider when traveling to Hoi An ancient town is to take the train to Da Nang station. If the departure point is from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, the travel time lasts about 14–17 hours. Train ticket prices range from 400,000–1,800,000 VND, depending on seat prices and different types of trains.
  • Passenger car: The third option for you if you want to save money is to take a bus. However, traveling from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City will take 17–20 hours. One-way ticket prices range from 400,000–500,000 VND.
  • Bus: Because the airport or train station to Hoi An are both in Da Nang, there will be very convenient bus routes to travel between these two locations.
  • Personal vehicle: If you want a more active trip, you can choose to ride a motorcycle or car. Hoi An is about 30km from Da Nang; the road is flat and easy to go.

Common means of transportation in Hoi An ancient town

The means of transportation in Hoi An are quite diverse and abundant. To easily explore Hoi An ancient town along with surrounding areas, you can:

  • Walking: This is the most popular means of transportation in Hoi An, allowing visitors to enjoy the small streets and admire the ancient architecture, along with many restaurants, cafes, and shops. souvenir.
  • Bicycle: This is considered an ideal choice for visitors to explore Hoi An ancient town and surrounding areas, which is especially interesting in the morning or evening. Some hotels have free bicycles available for your stay, or if necessary, you can rent a bike for 40,000 VND per day.
  • Motorbike: If you want to explore the areas around Hoi An ancient town, visitors can rent a motorbike to get around because this is also the personal vehicle you should prioritize. With only 120,000–150,000 VND per day, you can create your own Hoi An tour according to your wishes and comfortably check in anywhere you want.
  • Cars and taxis: Cars and taxis are also available in Hoi An ancient town, to serve the transportation needs of tourists. If you know your way around and don't spend too much time finding your way, choosing a car or taxi is the most ideal choice for you to travel to famous tourist destinations here.
  • Pick-up and drop-off buses: Many hotels and motels provide shuttle services from the airport or surrounding areas to Hoi An ancient town.

What is special about Hoi An ancient town? A must-visit place when traveling to Hoi An Ancient Town

The ancient houses are imbued with the beauty of old Vietnam

Hoi An Ancient Town is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Vietnam, with many ancient houses built from the 15th to the 19th centuries. These ancient houses are often built of brick or wood and have architectural features.

The architecture blends Asian and European architectural styles, creating a unique beauty imbued with ancient Vietnamese beauty. Ancient houses in Hoi An often have deep colors and are decorated with simple but sophisticated patterns. The rooms in the house are arranged around a small garden, creating a quiet and airy space.

Phung Hung Ancient House

This is known as the largest and tallest house in the region. It was designed based on the popular merchant house model of the early 19th century. A tubular house with a wide frontage means opening the door wide to welcome fortune into the house.

The main materials used in construction are good ironwood and rare wood, so after more than two centuries, Phung Hung still retains its beauty as intact as the first days.

Duc An ancient house

The house was built nearly 190 years ago, during the reign of King Minh Mang of the Nguyen Dynasty, in 1830. This is the place where the Phan family's ancestors left for their descendants to make sugar and incense smoke until now.

When entering this house, the first highlight that visitors see is the two words "Duc An" which means "preserving morality for peace". This is also the name of the bookstore founded by the 3rd-generation patriarch in the late 19th century. It is known that this was the only bookstore specializing in selling Han-Nom books and stationery in Quang Nam province at that time.

Cau Pagoda 

The reason it is called a Japanese bridge pagoda is because the architectural style of the building bears a strong Japanese impression. The pagoda is made of wood on brick and stone pillars with a width of 3m and a length of 18m. 

The pagoda's roof is covered with yin and yang tiles, and on the main door hangs a large sign with the three Chinese characters "Lai - Vien - Kieu" carved. This is evidence of a period of architectural exchange between Vietnam, China and Japan, which is also expressed through the extremely delicate and sharp lines of East Asian character.

In 1990, the pagoda was recognized as a National Historical-Cultural Monument, and its image also appears on Vietnam's current 20,000 VND polymer banknote.

Phuc Kien Assembly Hall

The overall architecture of the Phuc Kien Assembly Hall has many unique and Chinese features thanks to its intricately carved lines. When coming here, visitors can admire the historical and cultural relics of the old town and participate in the ceremony to pray for good things for the family.

The assembly hall is built based on the letter Tam, arranged in order of gate, yard, miniature landscape and 2 rows of houses, east and west, front, backyard, and rear. The Tam Quan gate is covered with yin and yang tiles with a curved roof that bears the traces of time.

Tan Ky ancient house

Tan Ky ancient house is located at 101 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Hoi An ancient town, Quang Nam province, about 200m north of the Japanese bridge. The front of Tan Ky ancient house faces the busy Nguyen Thai Hoc street, used by the homeowner as the door of the shop, while the back of the house faces the river bank on Bach Dang street, which is the door used to import goods conveniently.

This is one of the famous historical architectural works in Hoi An ancient town, built in the 18th century and belonging to the traditional Vietnamese ancient house, is well preserved and restored, bearing bold features of local architecture and culture.

It has typical architecture with a large front yard, a spacious and airy living room, and bedrooms decorated with sculptures and typical patterns of the region. Besides, the old house also has a small backyard with lush green trees.

It uses the main materials of wood and precious stones to build, such as ironwood, trusses, jackfruit wood, Thanh Hoa stone, and Bat Trang bricks, to help add value and beauty to the ancient house.

What are some delicious things to eat in Hoi An?

Hoi An ancient town not only attracts tourists with its ancient architecture and quiet beauty bearing the mark of the past, but also captivates many tourists with its unique cuisine.

Hoi An chicken rice

Hoi An chicken rice has a very special flavor that probably cannot be compared anywhere else. Delicious, sticky, fragrant rice is served with shredded chicken, onions, herbs, and sour papaya, along with a bowl of rich soup to help make the dish more attractive.

Dam cake – stir-fried mussels

Dam cake is made from fragrant glutinous rice and grilled to a crispy texture. Fragrant stir-fried mussels with rich flavors combined together are the most popular dish in Hoi An.

A layer of wet rice paper alternating with a layer of grilled cake and rich mussels, all mixed together and dipped in a bowl of sweet and spicy fish sauce fragrant with chili, is truly irresistible. The reference price for this dish ranges from 15,000–50,000 VND.

Hoi An pancakes

Hoi An pancakes are definitely a dish that tourists should not miss when exploring Quang cuisine when visiting Hoi An ancient town. With a delicious, attractive flavor, the hot cakes will captivate even the most demanding diners when enjoying this dish for the first time.

Hoi An beo cake

Hoi An beo cake is a rustic dish that attracts the hearts of many food enthusiasts. Banh Beo is made from very soft and smooth rice flour, combined with familiar fillings such as minced pork, shrimp, green onions, and pork rinds, and mixed with sweet and sour fish sauce to make an extremely attractive dish. makes you unforgettable.

Corn sweet soup - Delicious Hoi An snack

Corn sweet soup is a rustic dish with a naturally sweet and fragrant taste from Hoi's famous Cam Nam corn. Unlike Southern corn sweet soup, Hoi An corn sweet soup is only sprinkled with coconut water when eaten to increase the flavor, so the taste of the sweet soup always retains its original flavor when enjoyed.

Things to note when going to Hoi An ancient town that you must know

To make your trip to Hoi An ancient town smoother and more convenient, join HoaBinh Tourist by pocketing some notes and experiences below:

  • Some tourist attractions will have entrance fees, so when visiting inside, you should actively research information and buy tickets at the Hoi An tour guide office.
  • Every early morning, Hoi An is extremely quiet and peaceful because this time is when only Hoi An people prepare to welcome the new day. Catch this golden moment to enjoy the cool, airy air and simple beauty here.
  • You should proactively book rooms during holidays and the New Year because this is the peak time when the number of visitors is extremely high.

The location to take check-in photos is only in Hoi An ancient town

Lantern Street 

Lantern Street is located at 87 Tran Hung Dao, Quang Nam province. With a large old town space, Lantern Street is brightly decorated with thousands of lanterns of all different colors and sizes, creating a very beautiful and magical scene.

When coming to Lantern Street on a full moon night, visitors can see thousands of lanterns on the small street and participate in cultural and traditional activities such as lion dancing, talisman dancing, and playing folk games, immersing themselves in the jubilant atmosphere of the festival.

At this time, you will certainly be extremely overwhelmed by the colorful red, yellow, and blue lights spreading throughout the small neighborhoods. And this is also the right time for tourists to take commemorative check-in photos to capture this magical moment.

In addition, if you don't have time to visit Hoi An's lantern street during the festival, you can still check-in to the lantern street during the day, which is also great.

Release lanterns and take a boat trip on the Hoai River

Releasing lanterns is one of the most mysterious night activities in Hoi An. It has been held since 1998 and has received a lot of attention from domestic and foreign tourists participating in releasing lanterns. The festival not only brings visitors memorable memories of this place but also helps them understand more about the people and life of Hoi An's ancient town.

Every night, there are hundreds of thousands of flower lanterns lit by yellow candlelight, becoming extremely sparkling. Although these simple lamps are not made from high-quality, luxurious materials, only through the handmade hands of artisans in the old town, they still carry bold traditions here, from color to pattern to design. Extremely simple and rustic.

Folk games: the beauty that Hoi An ancient town always preserves

Bai Choi

This is a cultural performance activity that takes place every night near Cau Pagoda or the surrounding area along Hoai Hoi An river on Nguyen Phuc Chu street. The game attracts a large number of visitors because of the extremely catchy, smooth singing voice and the very affectionate shouts from the hostess along with the flexible and rhythmic hand and foot gestures.

Hit the pot blindfolded

Blindfolded pot smashing is a famous folk game in Hoi An that makes players extremely excited every time they participate. At first glance, the game seems quite simple, but when the player is blindfolded and then performs the task of raising a stick to break a clay pot, more than 90% of the players will fail because they go in the wrong direction and miss the target space, or beat too lightly so the pot doesn't break.

Human flags - a unique folk game

This is a type of performance imbued with national identity and is often held during festivals and Tet holidays. This game is played with the participation of two teams, each team member will represent chess pieces in Chinese chess. Team members are only allowed to move when the player makes the corresponding move or can leave the field if that piece dies.

Hoi An Ancient Town will always have an extremely unique beauty in every street corner, green tree canopy, every small nook on the familiar road, along with the warmth and closeness of the people here, making it unforgettable for visitors. HoaBinh Tourist hopes the above sharing will help you gain more useful information for your upcoming trip to the old town. If you have any questions, please contact our hotline 0939.311.911 - 0913.311.911 for advice and support from A to Z.

 


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