Hoi An, situated in the lower section of Thu Bon River in Quang Nam province. This is a famous tourism city known as 'Hoi An ancient town'. Throughout up and down times, Hoi An still covers itself with ancient and moss-grown beauty. The city seems to be stayed out of the modernize flow and the destruction of time. It still stands proudly before the severity of weather. Without any car roaring noise and city lights, Hoi An is lit up with the brilliant lanterns sparkling from the locals’ houses. Declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Hoi An was once the major Vietnamese trading centre for silk, porcelain, pepper, cinnamon and medicinal plants.
Coming to Hoi An, tourists will surely have a great time immersing in traditional cultural atmosphere as travelling through many traditional villages. Hoi An old town presents a traditional architectural style, many relic sites and a lot of standard cuisines, especially amazing sense of taste. Being one of the most tranquil lands in Vietnam, Hoi An itself bears not only an ancient beauty, but also gentle and righteous people. Yet not everybody can realize its hidden beauty which just cannot be seen in the naked eyes, but is felt it in the heart of a lover.
Typical for the tropical climate of Vietnam, Hoi An possesses warm weather the whole year with its average temperature of 29 Degree Celsius. The city only has two main seasons: rainy season and dry season instead of four seasons like in Northern Vietnam.
It is rarely to find out another place having a dense density of relics like Hoi An which has more than 1,350 relic sites including 1,273 architectural monuments of the civil constructions, religious buildings and specific ones. Each type of those architectures has its owns features and nuances that contribute to Hoi An’s cultural diversity. Above all, the major element playing the most important role is exactly the old town itself which is considered as a “living museum” that the locals still “live with the old town, live for the old town”. It doesn’t exaggerate that the town reflects perfectly the locals’ typical way of living.
Hoi An is also a destination of people from many classes, many sources and many nationalities come to meet others; a meeting place of many civilizations like Cham – Viet – China – Japan – India and Western countries going through a selection process, then forming a unique nuances of intangible cultural heritage for the town.
Since Hoi An is an old Town, its sites of interest are full of historically meaning. Hoi An symbol, the most popular remnant is the Japanese Covered Bridge (Chua Cau or Lai Vien Kieu), located on the west end of Tran Phu Street. The bridge was built in the early 1600's by the Japanese community. Tourists should spend time on visiting Quan Cong Temple, Musium of Culture, etc. Many ancient styles - oriented architects come here to have a direct look into the ancient houses of the town, among which are Phung Hung House, in the west of the Japanese Bridge, Quan Thang House, or Tan Ky House. The design of the houses presents the way local architecture incorporated Japanese and Chinese influences. Cantonese Assembly Hall (Quang Dong) has a calm courtyard with ornate statuary. You could take a look at the half-hidden back yard and its kitschy pastel dragon statues. Meeting Hall (Phuc Kien) and Chinese All-Community Meeting Hall (Trieu Chau), are also spanning the block. If you are Buddhist, there are a lot of pagodas to visit such as Ong Pagoda, Quan Am Phat Tu Minh Huong Pagoda, etc.
There are traditional festivals all year round in Hoi An, including Ca Ong festival – this is an occasion for fishermen to pray for the sea and a good year of fishing; Tai Than, Thien Hau Thanh Mau, Bon Dau Cong and Luc Tanh Vuong Gia festivals are for traders; Lunar New Year, Nguyen Tieu, Mid-autumn festival for farmers, etc. Apart from that, there are also many other festivals that are celebrated ceremonially to wish for good things come.
It is such a pity if you miss dropping by many traditional villages like Kim Bong Carpentry village; fishing villages of Thanh Nam, De Vong, Phuoc Trach, Bai Lang, Bai Huong; trading villages of Hoi An, Minh Huong, Cam Pho; Thanh Ha Pottery village, Phuoc Kieu bonze casting village, Tra Que vegetable village and so on. Also, these villages own featured food culture resources that are abundant and famed.
After reading this article, if you ever make up your mind to visit Hoi An, please do not forget to come over souvenir shops, street food shop, meet vendors and ride cyclo to get happiness from the locals’ smiles on their faces. In a world that the boundary line is only seen on map, the sentiment-cross occurs right here, in this land of harmony, between locals and tourists.