Hoi An ancient town was once a busy international trading port, a meeting place for Japanese, Chinese, and Western merchant ships. This place records intercultural architectural imprints that are preserved intact and thoughtfully. It also maintains activities imbued with the rich tradition of local people.
To explore the Charming Port City of Hoi An, Vietnam, full of history, culture, and excitement, we will take you through small, ancient alleys and classic dark yellow houses by bicycle to exciting tourist attractions and experience thrilling traditional activities. We will discover the delightful charm of its rich heritage together, where every corner has a story to tell from days gone by and gives each of us a nostalgic feeling. Get ready for an unforgettable adventure!
Japanese Covered Bridge
To have a good start on our memorable trip, we will visit the Japanese Covered Bridge, an iconic symbol of Hoi An. You will wonder why it is not an authentic Vietnamese name. It gets its name because the bridge was built by the Japanese merchantmen in the 16th century to connect them with the Chinese area on the other side of the canal. In addition, there is also a legend attached to this bridge about a giant Japanese catfish-looking creature called Namazu that causes earthquakes when it wriggles. It is said that its head is in India, its body is in Vietnam, and its tail is in Japan. Hence, with this construction, the bridge symbolizes a knife through its back, preventing it from causing earthquakes and keeping the people safe.
With gracefully arched curves and delicate details, this iconic sight transports you to an earlier time. You can stroll across its old planks, feel the cool breeze, and absorb the rich history woven into its structure, not to mention the admiration of the breathtaking view of the Hoai River from the bridge.
Old House of Tan Ky
Only two to five minutes from the Japanese Covered Bridge, we will take you to one of the oldest houses but not less attractive in Hoi An, the Old House of Tan Ky. Located amidst the vibrant streets of Hoi An, this centuries-old residence stands as a magnificent example of cultural fusion between China, Vietnam, and Japan.
When you get to the house, a tour guide will show you around and explain a tale of history and cultural exchange through each wooden beam, antique furniture, and pictures on the wall. It is really amazing to learn more about Oriental philosophy from artifacts everywhere in the Old House of Tan Ky.
Hoi An’s Trieu Chau Assembly Hall
The last location you cannot miss out on is Trieu Chau Assembly Hall, roughly 650 meters away from the Old House of Tan Ky. This hall has been a living architecture for over 170 years, inviting visitors to explore the fusion of Chinese and Vietnamese influences. It is a place where local people come to pray for their favorable crops and smooth sailing for maritime trade.
The main hall is adorned with intricate artwork and vibrant colors. From ornate decorations to the peaceful courtyard, Trieu Chau Assembly Hall is a captivating journey through time, an enriching experience that beckons curious minds and cultural enthusiasts alike. Especially, when coming to this location on the 16th day of the first lunar month every year, you can also participate in the Nguyen Tieu worshiping ceremony and the death anniversary of their ancestors.
Besides these old houses, we will suggest some traditional but full of exciting activities you cannot miss out on once you get to Hoi An.
Become a Farmer
With the experience of being a farmer, you will have options such as buffalo riding, growing vegetables, and sowing rice. For example, with the buffalo riding option, you will have an opportunity to ride the buffalo through the fields or wade into the pond to cool off. As for planting and harvesting plants or rice, under the dedicated guidance of farmers, you will experience being a real farmer by directly carrying water, watering vegetables, growing vegetables, sowing rice, and harvesting agricultural products. What’s more? You have the opportunity to enjoy the agricultural products you harvest. These activities will become one of the most memorable things in your trip to Hoi An, Vietnam.
Hoi An Water Puppet Show
“Water puppetry” is a type of folk performing art typical of the long-standing wet rice civilization of the Vietnamese people. The characteristic feature of this art form is that there are performances of puppets made from wood in exquisite shapes on water. If you have a chance to visit Hoi An, you cannot miss these excellent shows of colorful puppets dancing to lively music organized every night.
With many elaborately choreographed performances about the agricultural life of the people topics by experienced, professional artists, you will truly be immersed in the nostalgic art space imbued with Vietnamese cultural styles in images of traditional activities such as catching fish, cultivating crops, playing folk games, and so on.
Drop Water Lanterns
As night falls over Hoi An, it is a good time for you to experience and immerse yourself in the indispensable enchanting ritual of dropping water lanterns into the picturesque Hoai River. Each lantern carries a wish, a dream, or a moment of reflection and nostalgia. The peaceful waters reflect the flickering lights, creating a delightful scene. With a reasonable price for the boat seat, you will join the locals and experience a profound sense of unique culture as the river glows with a myriad of floating lanterns. In addition, you will have time to admire the view of Hoi An along the river with beautiful old houses, take photos, and listen to locals telling attractive stories about this nostalgic ancient town.
Hoi An Memories Show
Last but not least, if you want to find out more about the Vietnamese tradition in Hoi An, the “Hoi An Memories Show” is the one you cannot miss out on. It is a spectacular cultural extravaganza that unfolds against the backdrop of Hoi An’s ancient beauty. This dazzling performance weaves together history, music, and vibrant visuals to create an unforgettable experience. When sunset falls, the show illuminates the city with a tapestry of lights, immersing the audience in a journey through time. From ancient legends to modern tales, the “Hoi An Memories Show” is a celebration of the city’s rich heritage, leaving you with lasting impressions of this enchanting destination.
Life is constantly evolving and improving, which has resulted in a growing disconnection between city-dwelling people and traditional rural values. As a result, many people are no longer familiar with childhood activities and gradually forget how wonderful their memories were when they were with the buffalos through the vast rice fields, with the line of trees full of succulent fruits, or with friends on a bicycle riding around the old alleys and dark yellow houses. So, we hope this ancient town of Hoi An trip is a perfect opportunity for your family and friends to enjoy fun and memorable adventures together.