Hoi An Old Town

Hoi An

Hoi An Vietnam is a riverine town 138 km south of Hue and 30km southeast of Da Nang. Hoi An was once a major international port trading in silk, ceramics, and spices.

Hoi An Old Town
The Riverfront of Hoi An Old Town at night

The port town of Hoi An was called at frequently by merchants from China, Holland, Japan... in the 16th and 17th centuries. Merchants from China and Japan would take advantage of the spring wind to sail south to Hoi An. They would have to wait a few months until the autumn monsoon would carry them back home. Merchants from India, Arabian Peninsula and other western countries such as Holland, Portugal... would travel to Hoi An in autumn time and would journey back home in spring time.

The old merchant houses in Hoi An Vietnam
The old merchant houses in Hoi An Vietnam

Most merchants had some time waiting in Hoi An. Some merchants would stay full time in Hoi An taking advantage of trade with Vietnam or doing business with the international communities here; so they had to rent lodgings and warehouses. Hoi An formed and prospered then. And as a result, Hoi An has the fusion of international culture, especially the blend of Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese.

Street of Hoi An Old Town Vietnam
Street of Hoi An Old Town Vietnam

Much of Hoi An legacy survived time and war damages. All merchant houses still flank the narrow streets and alleys. Dotted in different corners of Hoi An are colorful Chinese Congregational Assembly Houses. The Thu Bon River still carries history flowing though the town into the sea at Cua Dai. The merchants of Hoi An are still busy with commerce keeping their century-old traditions.

Shop house in Hoi An Old Town Vietnam
Shop house in Hoi An Old Town Vietnam

Traveling in Hoi An nowadays, you can still walk in the narrow alleys, enjoy the culinary delights and get lost in the shops with fine local products, be it fine silk, fine clothes, lacquerwares or ceramics...The only difference in the shopping experience here compared to other shopping havens is the inexpensive prices for equally fine quality.

Walking amid the quaint atmosphere of Hoi An Old Town you can still be carried back in times with overwhelming shops and porters busy with hand-push carts carrying goods to the harbors. You could still hear here and there the murmuring sounds of different languages. Pervading the air is the smell of mouth-watering Hoi An cuisine...

Hoi An Vietnam
Riverfront of Hoi An Old Town

Hoi An Major Tourist Highlights
The Japanese Covered Bridge built 1593 separates the Japanese area from the rest of the town. There's a Buddhist pagoda attached to the side of the bridge. It's a nice experience touring the bridge and watch the locals busy walking or riding through.

Japanese bridge Hoi An Vietnam
The Japanese bridge Hoi An Vietnam
 
 
 
 Bridge Pagoda Hoi An Vietnam
Bridge Pagoda Hoi An Vietnam
 
 
 
 
The Japanese Covered Bridge in Hoi An Vietnam
The Japanese Covered Bridge in Hoi An Vietnam

Museums: There are Hoi An Museum and Hoi An Ceramic Museum. Lots of antiquity including some salvaged from sunken ships off Hoi An coast are found here.

Old Merchant Houses have very nice architecture and are well-preserved. Most of them built from 15-19th centuries.

Hoi An Old Town Vietnam
Old merchant houses lining the narrow streets of Hoi An still have the quaint beauty as ever...

 

Chinese Congregational Assembly Houses are where the Chinese who came from different areas of China would have gatherings.

 

Phuc Kien Chinese Congregational Assembly
Phuc Kien Chinese Congregational Assembly

The Japanese tombs

The Thu Bon River

Thu Bon River Hoi An Vietnam
The Thu Bon River Hoi An Vietnam

Hoi An Beach

Cu Lao Cham Island

Handicraft Villages

Making lantern in Hoi An
Making lantern in Hoi An

Travel and Tours
Hoi An has always been an unforgettable experience for our travelers. You may want to spend half a day for exploring the old town; from 1 to several days for shopping in the old town and for many days on the white powdery sand beach of Cua Dai. Some of you may want to use Hoi An as the base for day-tripping to My Son Cham Ruins of Da Nang City or My Lai Massacre Site.

Hoi An Old Town at night
Hoi An Old Town at night

Our tour normally starts with a walking tour of Hoi An Ancient Town. The tour would commence from the Japanese Area and the Japanese Covered-Bridge; then we continue onto an old Merchang Houses and a Chinese Congregational Assembly House. The tour would conclude at Hoi An Museum or Hoi An exotic Market. To reward ourselves for getting back to civilization after the tour back in time, we'll enjoy a cold beer on the riverfront.

Accommodation
There are many hotels in Hoi An ranging from simple guest houses to luxurious 5 star hotels, resorts and spas. There are luxurious hotels and resorts on the Thu Bon River banks and on Hoi An Beach.

An old merchant house in Hoi An Vietnam
An old merchant house in Hoi An Vietnam

Getting there and away
Hoi An is 30km southeast of Da Nang which takes half an hour drive. From Da Nang to Hoi An you can hire a private car/taxi, motorbike taxi or hop onto a local commuter bus.

There's no airport around Hoi An, except for the one in Da Nang. From Ha Noi, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City there are daily flights between Da Nang and those cities. The flight takes around 1 hour 20 minutes.

From Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang or Ha Noi there are nightly trains for Da Nang. There are soft-sleeper with air-conditioned carriages on the trains.

Hoi An is a good base for day-tripping to the Cham Ruins of My Son which is 70km away; or to the Massacre Site of My Lai which is 120km away.

Peaceful Ancient Town of Hoi An Vietnam
Peaceful Ancient Town of Hoi An Vietnam

Getting around
On foot: Hoi An Old Town is very small and can easily be explored on foot. This is also a pleasant way to experience the quaint atmosphere of Hoi An Town.

Bicycle: There are many hotels or shops renting out bicycles to tourists in town.

Motorbike: you can hire motorbikes from many shops in town for exploring the area around Hoi An. For within Hoi An area, there's no need for motorbikes. Motorbikes are not allowed in the old town of Hoi An.

Car/bus: Cars and buses are not allowed in the old town area.