Hoi An Things to Do

  • ENTRANCE TO BRIDGE
    ENTRANCE TO BRIDGE
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  • CHINA BEACH
    CHINA BEACH
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  • The japanese bridge in Hoi An.
    The japanese bridge in Hoi An.
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Most Recent Things to Do in Hoi An

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    Phuoc Lam Pagoda

    by Willettsworld Written May 8, 2010

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    Phuoc Lam is located about 2km north of the Old Town, not far from the Chuc Thanh Pagoda. It's home to a large group of monks plus features many different renderings of the Buddha, including a gold-covered 'Buddha as a boy'.

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    Chuc Thanh Pagoda

    by Willettsworld Written May 8, 2010
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    Located about 2km north of the Old Town, this is the oldest Buddhist temple in Hoi An, originally built in 1454. An extensive renovation was begun in 2005, along with the erection of a new building. The first thing you see upon approach is a very ancient-looking gateway - to the left of which are three much newer pagodas. The temple itself isn't mind blowing so don't bother coming if your time is limited.

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    Museum of Folk Culture

    by Willettsworld Written May 8, 2010

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    The Museum of Folk Culture is notable for its eerie-looking plaster statues of Vietnamese peasants in various kinds of traditional garb, engaging in various peasantry undertakings. The point here is to document the physical culture of the people - wooden threshers, shovels, ploughs and so on. Of course, it all comes off a bit kitschy. Not a bad choice if you have to pick one from the list of museums to visit.

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    Old House of Quan Thang

    by Willettsworld Written May 8, 2010
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    This one storey old house was built over 300 years ago, in early 17 century. Its first owner was a Chinese man who came from Guangdong and who opened a Chinese herb shop here. This narrow-front wooden house has an architectural design in the Chinese style. It has a tube-shaped structure with double Walls (with an inner brick wall and an elaborately carved wooden wall). The first room (formerly used as the store), now reserved for worship, is followed by the sitting room, yard, and the last room intended for the family's daily activities.

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    Museum of Trade Ceramics

    by Willettsworld Written May 8, 2010

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    This museum was opened in 1975 and now displays 430 pottery exhibits that date between the 8th to 18th centuries. Most of them come from the Middle-East, India, China, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam. Among them are some antiques that were picked up from a wrecked ship in 1733. Others were collected by archaeologists in the excavations carried out at the sites of Hoi An. These include pottery of the Chinese Tang Dynasty (7th-10th centuries), of Middle East countries in the 7th-10th centuries and of Vietnam in the 15th century.

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    Trung Hoa Assembly Hall

    by Willettsworld Written May 8, 2010
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    Established in 1741, it was then called Duong Thuong Assembly Hall. However, many people think that it was built in the 15th century. Anyway, it is also one of the oldest assembly halls in Hoi An. It was the home of Chinese immigrants and dedicated to Thien Hau Holy Mother.

    In 1928 it was renamed Trun Hoa Public Assembly Hall, then Chinese School, and finally Le-Nghia School. The house is a place for worshipping and for gatherings. It is also a school for Chinese overseas in Hoi An. Besides worshipping Then Hau Holy Mother, the house is also dedicated to other people such as Confucius, Son Yat-Jen (a leader of the Chinese revolutionary movement in the early 20th century) and soldiers killed in the anti-Japanese resistance war. The full text of Son Yat-Jen's Testament is found on the wall, in the backyard of the house.

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    Phuc Kien Assembly Hall

    by Willettsworld Written May 8, 2010
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    Originally, the hall was a thatched pagoda called Kim Son, which was built by Viet people living in Hoi An in 1692. The pagoda was dedicated to Buddha but, over the course of time, it was damaged. In 1759, the owners had to sell it to the rich Phuc Kien traders from China who came to Hoi An, so that it could be restored. After the restoration, the pagoda was renamed "Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall" and was dedicated to the Worship of Buddha, gods and former sages.

    The main hall is dedicated to the statue of Avalokitesvara sitting in mediation in a glass cage. On the left of the incense table is the statue of the God of Thien Ly Nhan (thousand-mile vision) and the right is the God of Thuong Phong Nhi (thousand-mile hearing). These are masterpieces of the skilled workers of Kim Bong village. These gods are believed to have assisted Thien Hau Holy Mother in saving victims on the sea.

    The rear of the main hall is dedicated to the worship of Thien Hau Holy Mother. Her statue sits in mediation. On the left, there is a model of an 1875 sailing boat. Behind the main hall is the back sanctuary and at the front is a small pond of ornamental fish.

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    Central Market

    by Willettsworld Written May 8, 2010
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    If you see one Vietnamese market, make it this one, by the river on the southeast side of the city before the Cam Nam Bridge. It has all of the cheapster t-shirts and bog-standard souvenirs you've seen at every other stop in Vietnam, but it also has plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, seafood, and all of the other stuff they use in Hoi An's terrific restaurants. There are endless stalls of exotic foodstuffs and services, and a special big shed for silk tailoring at the east end. Check out the ladies selling spices, curries, chilli powders, cinnamon, peppercorns, and especially saffron.

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    Old Town Architecture

    by Willettsworld Written May 8, 2010
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    Most of the buildings in the Old Town date from the 18th or 19th century after the originally wooden buildings were destroyed by the tropical climate of monsoons, floods, wars and fires. You'll still find a few of the older wooden buildings dotted about the place.

    The Old Town covers about 2 sq km where the streets are very narrow. Parallel to the river are three main streets : Tran Phu (leading to the Japanese Bridge), Bach Gang and Nguyen Thai Hoc. Perpendicular to the river are Nguyen Hue, Tran Quy Cap, Le Loy and Nhi Trung Street.

    The buildings of the Old Town were constructed with traditional materials such as bricks and wood. The old houses play an important part in the overall architecture of the town. Most of them follow the same model, built on two levels, and are very long, stretching between two streets. The front room, generally 6m wide, is used as a shop. Then, there is a small yard leading to the back-house, where the family lives and the goods are stocked. Beyond the back-house, another yard opens onto the street behind or on the river.

    The main structure of the house is its wooden framework, the pieces of which are assembled with tendons and dowels. Then, the house is made of bricks, but the inside walls are covered with wood. The roof is tiled with "yin-yang" pan tiles. Old houses also have "eyes", wooden circle blocks engraved with a yin-yang symbol, the diagram of the eight divinatory signs (Bat Quai), the tiger the dragon, etc. Inside, the houses also have fine pieces of furniture.

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    Handicrafts & Tailor Workshop

    by Willettsworld Written May 8, 2010

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    This place is set in a 200 year old building, the interior of which is mostly a souvenir shop, but on any given day you're likely to see actual artisans at work, and the goods on offer are, in fact, made by them. The quality is generally quite high. You'll find pieces here that aren't available elsewhere in town, and the prices, even before bargaining, are not outrageous by Western standards. There's a lot of intricate work in metal, porcelain, and soap stone, as well as some larger terracotta pots and sculptures. A good stop if you've got a lot of shopping on your to-do list and you're looking for unique gifts.

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    Trieu Chau Assembly Hall

    by Willettsworld Written May 8, 2010
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    This assembly hall was built by Chinese overseas coming from Trieu Chau (China) in 1845. It is dedicated to the God of Wind and Big Waves. The house's owners hope this God will always bring luck to them and help them travel smoothly on the sea. Formerly, people often went to the house at night to pray because they thought that all their wishes would come true. The most outstanding features of the house are a sophisticatedly carved wooden frame, decorative designs, beautiful wooden patterns and embossed patterns made of porcelain pieces.

    The main hall is dedicated to General Phuc Ba (Bon Dau Quan), a god of mastering waters. The two sides of Phuc Ba's altar are refined for worshipping the Gods of Wealth and Luck. The east-wing house is dedicated to former sages, chiefs and deputy-chiefs of the house. Every year, descendants of the Trieu Chau people gather at the house from the 1st to the 16th of the first lunar month to worship their ancestors.

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    Hai Nam Assembly Hall

    by Willettsworld Written May 8, 2010
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    This assembly hall was built 150 years ago in memory of 108 Chinese people who were killed when crossing the sea. Passing through the metal gate and the square pavilion considered as a sitting room, you reach a large courtyard where many ornamental trees are planted, and where the east-wing and west-wing houses and main hall are located. The founders of the house are worshipped on the left of the main hall, and of God of Wealth is honoured on the right. The house is roofed with tube-tiles and its frame is made of wood. A quan ban (a kind of hanging) was transported to Hoi An from China.

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    Quan Cong Temple

    by Willettsworld Written May 8, 2010
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    Built in 1653, this temple is dedicated to Quan Cong, a highly esteemed Chinese general who became the symbol of loyalty, sincerity, integrity and justice. Highlights inside are two gargantuan 3m-high (10-ft.) wooden statues flanking the main altar, one of Quan Cong's protector and one of his adopted son. They are fearsome and impressive. Reportedly the temple was a stop for merchants who came in from the nearby river to pay their respects and pray for the general's attributes.

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    Hoi An Museum of History and Culture

    by Willettsworld Written May 8, 2010

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    Opened in 1989, the building used as the museum today is a former Pagoda and contains 212 exhibits and documents concerning the formation and development of Hoi An. The exhibits include pottery, ceramics, bronze, iron, paper, wood and so on, which are classified into three eras - prehistory, Champa Period and Dai Viet Period. These phases correspond to Sa Huynh Culture (before 2nd century AD), Champa Culture (2nd-15th century AD) and Dai Viet, Dai Nam Culture (16th-19th century) respectively.

    The documents displayed here constitute a numerous and diverse cultural treasure that testifies the formation and development of Hoi An through the great creativity of many generations of local residents.

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    Dinh Cam Pho Communal House

    by Willettsworld Written May 8, 2010
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    This house, located on the road to the west of the Japanese Covered Bridge, is in a rather disused state of habitation but was, in fact, used as a small factory for making the famous lanterns that Hoi An is famous for.

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