By Quang Binh Tourism Department
Quang Nam Province Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism
Hoi An Ancient TownQuang Binh Tourism Department
Hoi An is located downstream of Thu Bon River, in the coastal plain of Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, about 30km to the south of Da Nang City. Hoi An ancient urban town, also known by the familiar name of Hoi An Ancient Town, is a typical example of a traditional port in Southeast Asia preserved intact and thoughtfully.
Street vendor in Hoi AnQuang Binh Tourism Department
The majority of houses and buildings such as pagoda temples here are traditional architecture dating from the 17th to the 19th century, distributed along narrow streets. Hoi An is also the land of many imprints of mixed and Eastern and Western cultural intercourse with assembly hall, temples, and shrines bearing traces of Chinese or Japanese people located beside traditional townhouses of Vietnamese people and houses with French-architectural style.
Typical house in Hoi AnQuang Binh Tourism Department
Each type has its own function, specific characteristics, and nuances. From two values, including the combination of cultures through the ages in an international port and the perfectly preserving management almost intact until today.
Traditional 'non la' in the middle of Hoi AnQuang Binh Tourism Department
The UNESCO organization has recognized the Hoi An ancient urban town a world cultural heritage on December 4, 1999.
The Japanese Covered Bridge
Japanese Covered Bridge (Lai Vien Kieu), one of the symbols of Hoi An Ancient Town with unique architecture, was built from the 17th century. The temple is located on a bridge over a small creek, built by Japanese merchants in the early 17th century, so the locals still call it the Japanese bridge.The whole pagoda and bridge are made of painted wood and sculpted with sophisticated patterns and have a bit of Japanese style. In 1653, the pagoda part connected to the north railing was erected, protruding from the middle of the bridge, hence the local people called it the Cau Pagoda. The Cau Pagoda is the only architectural building considered to have Japanese heritage left in the old town.
Roof of Cau Pagoda by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
The bridge part of Cau Pagoda is about 18m long, using yin and yang tiles in roofing, the design of a tile bridge style which is typical in Vietnamese architecture.
Roof of Cau Pagoda, view from inside by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
Cau Pagoda gate, facing from Nguyen Thi Minh Khai street by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
In the middle of the bridge, there is a roundabout passageway, divided into seven wooden sections, with narrow corridors on both sides.
Altar space of Cau Pagoda by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
In the middle space of the pagoda is the altar worshiping the North Emperor Tran Vo, the country guardian who would bring joy and happiness to the people.
Stand-to-worship monkey statue in Cau Pagoda by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
On the west side of the bridge is a stone monkey statue, and on the east is a dog statue. These two are believed to be the guardian animals of the bridge.
Stand-to-worship dog statue in Cau Pagoda by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
Although there are many myths about these statues, the most popular one saying that when the Japanese built the bridge, they want to control the Namazu, a giant sea monster in Japanese myth that cause disaster. The bridge represents a sword that pin into the back of the creature, keeping it from harming Hoi An people. Then the statues were placed to strengthen the power.
Cau Pagoda at night by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
The image of Cau Pagoda is printed on a 20,000 VND polymer bill. Cau Pagoda was granted by the Vietnamese government with a National Historical and Cultural Monument on February 17, 1990.
Phuc Kien Assembly Hall
Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, one of the most iconic heritages of Hoi An, was built in 1697 and worshiping Thien Hau Holy Mother and protective Gods of rivers, money, offsprings. This is also the place of gathering for the fellow countrymen of Fujian people from China.
Three-door gate in Phuc Kien Assembly Hall by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
The Assembly Hall has the Tam style architecture in following order: : gate - yard - lake - bonsai - two blocks of east and west - main hall - backyard - and post-hall.
The upper tower part of the gate of the three-door gate by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
Gate of Phuc Kien Assembly Hall by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
Phuc Kien Assembly Hall by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
Roof of the Assembly Hall by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
Main entrance to the assembly hall by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
Inside the hall, there are lots of worshiping statues, bronze drums, bronze bells, large incense burners, 14 horizontal lacquered boards, and many other valuable artifacts.
Roof of main hall of Phuc Kien Assembly Hall by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
Painting decorating on the left side of the main hall entrance by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
Statue of Arhat by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
Statue of Arhat by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
The main altar of Thien Hau Goddess by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
The main hall worships Thien Hau Holy Mother, Avalokiteśvara, God of wealth, 3 princesses giving birth and 12 midwives.
The altar of Six Ming's generals (Luc Tanh Vuong Gia) by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
Annually, in the Lantern Festival (on the 1st or 15th of the lunar month), Six General Luc Tanh’s birthday (16th of February lunar year) and Thien Hau Goddess’ birthday (23rd of March lunar year), many activities are organized in Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, attracting a lot of foreign as well as domestic tourists.
Incense rings hanging with wishes by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
On the 17th of February 1990, Phuc Kien Assembly Hall was listed a national historical-cultural heritage.
Tan Ky Ancient House
Locating in the middle of the Hoi An Ancient Town, Tan Ky Ancient House is the first place to be recognized as the national historical-cultural heritage of Vietnam. Tan Ky Ancient House has the honor to be visited by many domestic and foreign leaders, as well as being the theme and context for many movies.
Horizontal lacquered boards and distich in Tan Ky Ancient House by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
Tan Ky Ancient House was built in 1714, home of 7 generations of Le family. The house was designed according to typical Hoi An ancient tubular houses,
using wood as the main material. Bat Trang stones and bricks were also used.
Interior of the main living room of Tan Ky Ancient House by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
This design keeps the house warm in winter and cool in summer. The house’s structure uses the side of the house to be the link between the rafters through the connection of bars, rafters, ke (wooden bars connecting two pillars) or con ruong (wooden box girders).
Living room in Tan Ky by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
Ancient roof of Tan Ky by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
The roof of the living room is made of jackfruit wood, with the architecture style that helps to visually expand the living room space. Many floral motifs are intricately carved, full of humanistic meanings such as the scroll poem, pen, book chest, etc. in which the owner wished
Items in Tan Ky Ancient House by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
Inside, the ancient house displays a lot of antiques and sailboats, symbolizing a crowded Hoi An port 400 years ago. The interior is also decorated with many horizontal lacquered boards, distichs, paintings of the four spiritual animals, carved paintings,...
Pillar to record flood levels rising in Tan Ky Ancient House by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
Pillar to record flood levels rising in Tan Ky Ancient House
Painting of the four spiritual animals by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
Bed and curtain by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
Hoi An cuisine
Besides the poetic and ancient streets of Hoi An, Hoi An cuisine is also equally unique with delicious between the ingredients, highlighting the charming features of Vietnamese cuisine.
Cao Lau of Hoi An 1 by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
Cao Lau is one of Hoi An signature dishes. The yellow noodle is served with prawn, meat, herbs and little broth. The name Cao Lau, means ‘upper floor’, as originally, this dish was only ordered and served to the wealthy merchants and high-profile guests who would be seated on the upper floor of the resto.
Quang Noodles 6 by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
Along with Cao Lau, Quang Noodles is a typical dish of Quang Nam province, Vietnam. Noodles are usually made from finely ground rice flour and spread into thin layers, then slides horizontally into thin stripes.
Chicken rice of Hoi An 7 by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
Chicken rice is a popular dish in Vietnam, either white or fried rice is served with chicken drumsticks or wings. Hoi An is famous for its chicken rice dishes with its own special flavor.
Hoi An sandwich 5 by Tran Tuan VietQuang Binh Tourism Department
Banh mi (baguette) is a popular street food in Vietnam, also said to be one of 10 best street-foods in the world.
unlike ordinary banh mi, Banh mi Hoi An has a secret sauce made with a unique recipe. Crispy bread crust, mixed with the scent of grilled meat, patties, pate, cheese, added with a little cucumber, herbs, hot peppers, makes up "the world's best bread".
Photo: Tran Tuan Viet