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Hoi An Ancient Town

Hoi An Ancient Town: A gathering place of cultural quintessence

02/07/2022 3947 views

Hoi An Ancient Town hides countless fascinating things which await tourists to come and explore. See details about what to do, what to eat and where to stay in Hoi An Ancient Town in this article.

Hoi An Ancient Town has many unique features ​​such as nostalgic architecture, folk art activities, poetic natural landscapes and special dishes. No matter how long you stay, the town will enthrall you with its unmistakable beauty. Don’t skip this article! It will give you the most detailed information about Hoi An Ancient Town for your nearing trip.

1. Where is Hoi An Ancient Town Vietnam? Some highlights about the town

Hoi An Ancient Town is a famous tourist destination which is located in the coastal plain of Quang Nam Province, downstream of Thu Bon River. It is about 30 kilometers away from the center of Da Nang City to the Southwest. Unlike the bustling atmosphere of any modern town, the beauty of Hoi An Ancient Town stems from the peacefulness with antique architectural structures, moss-roofed houses, colorful lantern streets, etc.


When mentioning Ancient Town Hoi An, people always think about the extraordinary beauty of a wide range of old houses (Source: Collected)

In addition, Hoi An Ancient Town is also well-known for its unique traditional festivals, such as the fortune god festivals, the ceremonies for craft ancestors, the celebrations for religious saints, etc., and folk games such as Ho Khoan, Ho Gia Gao, Bai Choi, etc. Especially, the locals in Hoi An are extremely friendly and hospitable. They are always willing to help you when you are in need.

Not only being immersed in the idyllic beauty of the old town, traveling to Hoi An Ancient Town, you can also have a chance to explore the convergence of Eastern cultures of the three countries: Vietnam, Japan and China. This multicultural, multi-colored town was founded 200 years ago – when Hoi An was the busiest trading port under the Nguyen Dynasty.

Hoi An Ancient Town

Coming to the ancient town, you can learn more about the history and culture of this place (Source: @thuy._.lee)

There is no entrance fee if you merely want to take a leisurely stroll through the ancient town, try Hoi An’s delicacies, or take stunning photographs. Yet, several cultural sites, ancient houses, temples, museums, and others require admission tickets. Therefore, you will need to pay money to enter, usually 80,000 VND for Vietnamese and 120,000 VND for foreigners.

With one ticket, you can choose to visit 4 places at the same time and the ticket is only valid for 24 hours. Hence, to explore more interesting destinations in Hoi An Ancient Town, you should buy multiple tickets. Typically, the time to visit the tourist attractions around the town starts at 7 a.m and ends at 9 p.m every day.

2. What to do in Hoi An Ancient Town: Top 8 attractive experiences not to be missed

In your journey to Hoi An Old Town, don’t miss out on the 5 awesome things to do below:

2.1. Go sightseeing and praying at the famous sacred pagodas

Buddhist pagodas are one of the very important cultural features that have existed for a long time in Hoi An. Thus, spiritual exploration is a not-to-be-missed activity in your trip to this land. The pagodas here not only possess impressive architecture, but are also associated with a great deal of important historical events of the ancient town.

Particularly, many pagodas have become the symbols of Hoi An and are notable throughout the Central region as well as the whole country. Some of them are Japanese Bridge Pagoda, Ong Pagoda, Quan Am Phat Tu Minh Huong Pagoda, etc. Every year, a large number of tourists from different places around Vietnam and the world pay a visit to these places to go sightseeing and pray for a better life.

Hoi An Ancient Town

Japanese Bridge Pagoda is a notable symbol of Hoi An Old Town (Source: Collected)

2.2. Learn about local culture in the traditional craft villages

Exploring Hoi An craft villages is an interesting experience which you should definitely try once in your life. Thanks to the excellent skills of local artisans, many unique handicraft products have been made in these villages to serve as souvenirs for tourists.

Kim Bong Carpentry Village, Thanh Ha Pottery Village, Hoi An Silk Village, Ban Thach Mat Village, Lantern Making Village, etc. are associated with the development of the ancient Hoi An trading port. These crafts have passed down through generations of locals. Additionally, if you love freshness and serenity, visiting Tra Que Vegetable Village and exploring its green space are also worth a try.

2.3. Admire the unique architecture of ancient houses

Hoi An ancient houses still exist over the centuries, retaining their original architectural beauty. Visiting these places, you will feel like being immersed in the bustling commercial port of Hoi An in the past. The most common type of ancient houses is the one or two-storey tube house, which is narrow in width and very long in depth. Due to the harsh climate, the main materials used to build the ancient houses here have good bearing capacity and high durability.

As the first house in Hoi An to become a national heritage site, Tan Ky Ancient House – which was built in the 18th century, is one of the most famous places to visit. In addition, you should also visit Phung Hung Ancient House, Quan Thang Ancient House, Thai Phien Ancient House, etc. to explore their architecture and history as well.

Tan Ky Ancient House

Tan Ky Ancient House attracts a lot of tourists thanks to its remarkable architecture (Source: Collected)

2.4. Participate in major traditional festivals of the year

Coming to Hoi An during the festive season, you will not only have a chance to admire the ancient beauty of the old town, but also immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere in a unique setting. The Full Moon Festival, or The Lantern Festival, has become a symbol of the old town. Its highlight is the brilliant space of colorful lanterns, garlands and many meaningful activities along Hoai River.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is also the occasion when Hoi An shines brightly with lanterns on the brightest full moon day of the year. All the streets are decorated with brilliant lanterns, and locals and tourists will have a chance to join in the procession of lanterns as well as see lion dance troupes on the streets. Besides, Nguyen Tieu Festival, Thanh Ha Pottery Village’s Festival, Thien Hau Lady Festival, etc. are also impressive festivals for tourists.

Hoi An Ancient Town

Ancient Town Hoi An has a lot of festivals throughout the year (Source: Collected)

2.5. Explore the well-known assembly halls on Tran Phu Street

In the late 16th century to the early 17th century, many Chinese and Japanese came to Hoi An to settle down. Staying here, the Chinese built many valuable architectural works, notably the assembly halls in Hoi An, to serve as a place for gathering compatriots and worshipping their ancestors. Today, these assembly halls are still carefully preserved and have become must-visit attractions in Hoi An.

Cantonese Assembly Hall, Fujian Assembly Hall, Trieu Chau Assembly Hall, Quynh Chau Assembly Hall, etc. are the most well-known halls that attract a lot of tourists in their trips to Hoi An Ancient Town. Each of them has its own feature, yet, they always catch the attention of many tourists thanks to their unique architecture and offer a great background for taking photos.


The assembly halls are among the most famous Hoi An Ancient Town attractions (Source: @zen_mew)

2.6. Release flower garlands on Hoai River

If you have an opportunity to visit Hoi An Ancient Town, remember to capture the sparkling scenery of garland releasing on Hoai River. This river is associated with many cultural activities of the locals. It is inherently calm and peaceful, however on full moon nights, this place will become more bustling and poetic because hundreds of visitors flock to send their wishes through the colorful garlands.

Releasing garlands is considered as a feature in the spiritual culture of the people of the old town in particular and of the Vietnamese in general. It is believed that when the garlands drift along the current of the river, they will bring health and fortune to people. When the garlands are lit up, it means that they brighten the hope of a future full of luck and peace for your family and loved ones.

Hoi An Ancient Town

Many tourists love releasing flower garlands on Hoai River in their Hoi An trips (Source: Collected)

2.7. Enjoy unique foods at Hoi An Night Market

For tourists who are curious about what to eat in the ancient town, Hoi An Night Market is an unmissable place! This is a culinary paradise where you can find many rustic and delicious dishes to enjoy with your companions. It is worth mentioning that the foods here are unbelievably cheap and there are a lot of street vendors for you to choose from.

The plenty of foods at Hoi An Night Market cannot be found anywhere else. Cao lau, banh mi, Quang noodle, water fern cake, Vietnamese spring roll, and more unique foods of the ancient town are always available here. All of them are worth a try and will make you unable to forget their taste in Hoi An Ancient Town at night.

Hoi An Ancient Town

You can find plenty of tasty specialties at Hoi An Night Market (Source: @__maiquynh)

2.8. Drop by some well-known coffee shops around the town

After you explore every alley in Hoi An Ancient Town, call a halt and come in a coffee shop for a cup of drink. The town has countless coffee shops with different styles. Some highly recommended shops for you to visit are U Cafe, The Deck House, Roastery, Lavie Tea Fresh Fruit, Faifo Cafe Hoi An, etc.

Thanks to the awe-inspiring design of the exterior and interior, each of the coffee shops makes a unique feature for Hoi An Ancient Town and allures numerous tourists each year. Not only do they have a diverse menu, these coffee shops are also the ideal places where you can find great backgrounds for taking hundreds of nice photos.

3. Hoi An cuisine: Explore plenty of specialties of the ancient town

Hoi An Ancient Town captivates many tourists not only with its peaceful beauty but also with its unique cuisine and innumerable mouthwatering dishes:

  • Cao Lau: A dish that dates back to the 17th century and is significantly influenced by Chinese and Japanese cuisine. Its good taste comes from the rich flavor of meat and shrimp mixed with delicious noodles.
  • Pho Hoi chicken rice: Compared to other chicken rice dishes, Pho Hoi chicken rice has a very different taste. The delicious sticky rice served with chicken, onions, Tra Que herbs and sour papaya, along with a cup of rich soup, make the dish unique.
  • Hoi An pancake: Hoi An pancake will satisfy your eyes and taste buds with its crispy golden appearance and fragrant smell. The dipping sauce is skillfully processed from rich soy sauce and peanuts, making you fall in love with the dish after only one try.
  • Quang noodle: At first glance, Quang noodle seems like Cao Lau, but after the first bite, you will immediately feel the difference between the two dishes. Quang noodle has a rich flavor and is served with meat, shrimp, quail eggs and typical side dishes such as grilled rice paper and vegetables.
  • Water fern cake: A thin steamed rice cake with minced shrimp, scallions, green bean paste, and crispy fried shallots piled on top. It is sure to whet anyone’s appetite, especially with its sour and spicy sauce made of fish sauce, sugar, garlic, chili, etc.
Hoi An Ancient Town

Cao Lau is sure to tickle your fancy in your Hoi An Ancient Town tour (Source: @hoianquan.htx)

4. Where to stay in your Hoi An Ancient Town travel?

For the most convenient trip to Hoi An Ancient Town, you should choose to stay in nearby hotels or resorts to travel with ease. Along with the location, the facilities and service quality are also what you need to consider carefully before making a decision.

An accommodation system that many tourists highly appreciate when traveling to Hoi An Ancient Town is Vinpearl Resort & Golf Nam Hoi An. This resort is designed in a modern style and have fully equipped bedrooms with romantic views, offering a great number of high-end amenities like spas, tennis courts, swimming pools, etc. to meet the demands of any tourist.

Hoi An Ancient Town

Vinpearl Resort & Golf Nam Hoi An is a good choice for your accommodation

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When staying there, tourists can also have a chance to visit VinWonders Nam Hoi An, an entertainment paradise of the Central region, with ease. Here, you will find tons of fun and excitement through several exhilarating outdoor games, water music shows, art performances, or have a chance to ride a boat and see wild creatures at the exclusive first River Safari in Vietnam.



VinWonders Nam Hoi An is an ideal stopover with your friends

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5. The best tips to have a perfect trip to Hoi An Ancient Town

Anyone would like a trip without any trouble. For that, take note of the tips below:

  • Clothings: No matter what the weather is like, you will need to dress appropriately. Jeans, T-shirts, skirts, dresses, etc. are excellent choices for you. If you go to a religious site, though, remember to dress modestly with clothing that covers your legs and shoulders. Try to put on ao dai – the national traditional dress of Vietnam, once.
  • Means of transportation: You can choose bicycles, cyclos or motorbikes to get around the town. Note that there are roads where vehicles are prohibited from passing at certain times. Tran Phu Street, Nguyen Hue Street, Cong Nu Ngoc Hoa Street and the entire road along Hoai River prohibit motorbikes from 3 p.m to 9:30 p.m daily.
  • Tickets and room booking: If you go to Hoi An Ancient Town in the festive season or on holidays like Tet, it is important to book tickets and hotel rooms in advance to avoid bad experiences.

When you come to Hoi An Ancient Town, you will be greeted by a lot of amazing things in terms of architecture, culture and cuisine. Hopefully, the most important facts about Hoi An listed above will be useful for your first-time trip to this wonderful land. Along with getting around the town, you should try some entertainment activities to truly relax before going back to the busy life.

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