As a UNESCO World Heritage Site declared in 1999, Hoi An Ancient Town encompasses many things, from well-preserved historic buildings, enchanting waterfront, colorful lanterns, rich history and culture, to its great food. Impressed by its timeless charm, Hoi An Ancient Town is often listed in the Asia's top destinations voted by the audiences of many famous magazines such as Travel & Leisure or TripAdvisor.
Where Hoi An Ancient Town Is
Hoi An Ancient Town belongs to Quang Nam province that is located on the central coast of Vietnam. The town is just about 30km (~30 minutes to drive) from the south of Danang gateway city where an international airport, a train station and a bus station are located.
The name Hoi An, translating to 'peaceful meeting place', reflects the rich history and culture of this city. During its golden days from 15th to 19th centuries, Hoi An was formerly a crowded trading port - the converging destination of merchant boats from China, Japan and Europe later. As the result of the influx of merchants from many countries, Hoi An became a mixture of different cultures.
Nowadays, Hoi An Ancient Town is one of Vietnam's foremost tourist attractions, with it own renowned housing styles, colorful lanterns, expert tailors, stunning scenery etc.
Hoi An Is Such A Picturesque Town
The Ancient Town welcome visitors from all over the world by its numerous heritage buildings, ancient-style shophouses, cafes and restaurants that are uniformly painted in cheerful mango-yellow, its multi-colored lanterns everywhere and many people walking or cycling leisurely from place to place.
Thu Bon River - The Soul of Hoi An
Hoi An Ancient Town is located by the banks of Thu Bon River and this enchanting river plays an important role in Hoi An's history and culture. It is now a iconic sight of the town and home to many exciting activities.
The Town Is Even More Stunning At Night
As the night falls in Hoi An, the town transforms into a magical wonderland of lights. The streets are all marvelously decorated with the reflections of so many colorful silk lanterns all lit up. The river is beautiful filled with lit-up sampans and cardboard lotus flower-shaped lanterns with a candle inside floating on the water. The town at night attracts a large number of visitors with its breathtaking views, its lively lifestyle and vibrant local culture.
Ancient Town's Top Heritage Buildings
Hoi An Ancient Town has a large number of heritage buildings, inclucing 1068 ancient house, 11 old wells, 38 ethnic churches, 19 pagodas, 43 temples, 23 communal houses, 44 special ancient tombs and a bridge. All of them are under the perfect preservation.
There are 22 heritage buildings in the town require a ticket to enter. The ticket costs VND120.000 and includes 5 passes for any of that 22 buildings. Here are the top 5 recommeded places to visit for the first ticket:
Hoi An Cuisine - A Fusion of Many Styles
Hoi An cuisine is unique a worth exploring at the plentiful restaurants, from savoring authentic dishes by the roadside to a luxurious dining affair in a classy eatery. The town offers not only delicious local specialities, but also international flavors such as French, Japanese, Spanish, American, and Chinese.
Hoi An dishes are typically made using only fresh flavors sourced from the surrounding farmlands or areas. Fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs are from Tra Que Vegetable Village, Cham Island. Fish and meat are from Cam Nam Village and even the water is from Ba Le Well - an acient well in the town. No tour to Hoi An Ancient Town will be complete without enjoying best dishes bellow:
Shopping in the Town
In addition to rich cultural heritage, delicious cuisine, Hoi An is a beloved destination for shopaholics to buy anything from leather, lanterns, clothing, to souvenirs. The streets are lined with lots of shop-houses. They shell a variety of items and bargain is a common practice. Tourists here can hop inside any shop when they see something that catches their eyes. Don't leave this charming town without getting something to take back home:
Hoi An Ancient Town - Need to Know
There are something you need to know for your perfect trip to Hoi An Ancient Town:
- The rainy season of Hoi An starts from August to December, and the climax is October. If you visit Hoi An in October, the weather may break your time here.
- Hoi An Ancient Town is only 4 km to the nearest beach (An Bang beach). You can decide to stay on hotels close to the beach and use shuttle buses to go to the town.
- Avoid the crowds at Japanese Bridge in the morning where most of the tour organized by travel company starts.
- The town is busiest from 3 pm until 8 pm when tour buses arrive from Da Nang city.