Hoi An Ancient Town is located on the lower section of Thu Bon River, belonging to the coastal plain of Quang Nam province. This old town is recognized by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage. It was once a major trading port in South East Asia in the 16th and 17th centuries, a living museum of ancient architecture. The Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese used to trade together here so the houses are still bearing the mark of the three ethnic groups. This is one of the best recommended tours by locals.
The best time to visit the Old Quarter is from February to April annually as it is the most appropriate time to enjoy the whole beauty of the surrounding area. Weather is cool, little rainy and not hot as summer heat. Alongside with other culture & heritage of Vietnam, Hoi An is proud of its own beauty. You can take a walk through the corners to discover the ancient town from the smallest things.
Hoi An’s architecture
Hoi An is famous for its traditional beauty from the harmony of the houses and the roads. Life is growing, houses are gradually replaced by skyscrapers. However, Hoi An still retains the ancient beauty clinging moss on every roof tile, brick and tree. The people here do not want to change anything about the inherent ancient of this town, because it is the long-standing living witness that books cannot be recorded accurately.
Hoi An’s house architecture is mainly a pipe house or two stories which is narrow in width but very long in depth. The house is made of good and durable materials due to the extreme weather in the area. The walls are mostly of a distinctive yellow color that is not found in anywhere else. The streets are arranged in a chessboard style with short and small ones which embraces whole houses. All make a peaceful life with a quiet and simple scene.
Hoi An’s well-known lanterns
The beauty of tradition is still alive in the Old Town. Even though many of the old shops have been transformed into modern businesses pointed at tourists including countless tailors, souvenir shops, art galleries, restaurants and coffee shops, everything have been converted carefully to preserve the past.
During the day, you can take a stroll to discover the scenery of the street. The Old Quarter is quite small so you can either visit by walking or renting a few small bicycles to explore around. In the evening, Hoi An brings a very different color. There are many colorful lanterns. On the 14th or 15th of every Lunar month or every Saturday, local people will turn off all the lights and just hang a lantern in front of the house to catch the light. Let’s try sitting on a small boat and dropping the lights on the surface of the river for praying the good things that will come to you. Walking around Hoi An’s ancient town during the night is a highly recommended tour by local.
It will be a mistake if you do not visit Cau Pagoda, also known as Japanese Pagoda – a symbol of Hoi An. The pagoda is a unique architectural work which is typical for Japanese style. It was built in the middle of the 16th century. The bridge is curved with wooden planks, crossing the canal through the Hoai River. It is 18m long with roof covered with yin and yang tile, facing Thu Bon river. Experiencing the ups and downs of history and many times of the restoration, this place retains the unique beauty of Vietnamese style.
Hoi An’s cuisine
Come to Hoi An to enjoy all the specialties here. Old Quarter cuisine is special thanks to the diversity of the dishes. Let’s try Phuong bread, Ba Buoi chicken rice, corn sweetened porridge, Banh Dap, Quang noodles or Cao Lau – a signature dish when referring to this old town.
For those who love Hoi An, they will want to keep the oldest thing so that the next generations have the opportunity to admire the full quintessence of the ancient town. After coping with heavy pressure of work, we always need a place to go, to return, to preserve the most beautiful memories. And Hoi An is one of those places which is really worth visiting. It is a recommended tour by local because of its beauty, culture and cuisine.