Spotlight Travel Vietnam

The Ancient City of Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An represents simplicity, an ancient destination of historical value frozen in time. Read more...

There are many articles with countless information about this wondrous city on Vietnam’s central coast, and rightly so. Hoi An is an exceptional city that deserves the recognition it receives. The ancient town of Hoi An, now a UNESCO world heritage site, does not boast the usual skyscrapers or transmit the heavy amounts of pollution as your regular cities do. Instead, it uniquely preserves ancestry and tradition, which in turn attract tourists from around the globe by the thousands.

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Dissected with many canals, the city which was once a major port prides the Thu Bon River as the centerpiece of this gracious city. Once upon a time, international traders from far exotic countries would travel to Hoi An harbor, a key stop on the Silk Road, to purchase fine ceramics. A glimpse of the rich ceramic history of Hoi An can be appreciated at the Museum of Trade Ceramics. Over the years as the French gained the rights for the next major port of Da Nang, Hoi An ceased it’s busy port by the end of the 18th Century, resulting in the preservation of the ancient city for over 200 years.

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The stunning architecture, influenced by many different era’s and cultures are clearly visible. The iconic 18th-century Japanese covered bridge, with its ornately carved woodwork Pagoda features, represents the Japanese heritage of Hoi An.

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Chinese temples and quaint wooden shophouses, such as antique tea warehouses, demonstrate how important the Chinese influence once was. One of the most famous historical Chinese buildings is The Quang Trieu (Cantonese) Assembly Hall, where many local festivals are held each year.

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The impressive French colonial buildings, some of which were once lodgings to old Colonial officers, are evident in the Old Town. Though over the years the French styles were updated or modified by Vietnamese architects, the provincial style still remains. Tall, double story mustard terrace buildings with grand arches on porches emanate the French style facades.

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The electrifying atmosphere of Hoi An at dusk is indescribable. Thousands gather in the Old Town along the banks of the river each evening in anticipation for a spectacular apparition of luminosity.  Sipping on cocktails in the nearby funky bars or classy restaurants overlooking the river enables a prime position to take in that special moment. Local Vietnamese boats drifting up and down the river illuminated by lamps and pretty colored lanterns creates that unforgettable magical atmosphere. At certain times of the year, you can also buy beautiful floating lanterns and release them onto the river at night, commemorating particular festivals or offering worship to ancestors or certain Gods.

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Explore this foodie paradise by bicycle. Most accommodation in Hoi An offer bicycles to residents as the main center of Hoi An is car and motorbike free.  The fantastic fresh food and flavorsome dishes of this region are imperative to taste, such as the famous Banh Mi (Vietnamese Baguette) or Cao Lau (pork broth with vegetables and noodle). Why not try a cooking class while in this culinary capital?

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Upon visiting Hoi An, be prepared to be bewildered by the number of tailors within the city. It is relatively cheap to have clothes individually made by skilled tailors, who use quality fabric from all areas of the world. Among the tailors are also shoemakers, but make sure you do your homework as there are also plenty of scammers out there who will take you for a ride!

For me, Hoi An represents simplicity. An ancient destination of historical value frozen in time. Its beauty and charm are mesmerizing, capturing the hearts of each and every one of its visitors. Its friendly people are enduring, sharing their unique individual stories and offering a little piece of their remarkable world with us.

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Quick Guide…

When to travel:

February to May as the best time to visit. Hoi An is relatively mild and experiences hot, dry weather from May to late August with more rainfall from September to January, with the wettest months being October and November. Vietnam has a tropical climate.

How to get there:

Hoi An is 45 min (29.3 km) via Lạc Long Quân from Da Nang airport.

Language: Vietnamese. English is spoken and understood in most tourist destinations and attractions.

Electricity: 220 Volts AC

Currency: Vietnamese Dong (VND)

Accommodation:

Palm Gardens Hoi An

Address: Lạc Long Quân, Hội An, Quang Nam Province 560000, Vietnam

Phone: +84 235 3927 927

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58 comments on “The Ancient City of Hoi An, Vietnam

  1. Looks and sounds fabulous. On top of everything, a good place to have some clothes tailor made! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You have such a lovely way of describing the places you visit. What a beautiful looking city, you can really see the tradition & pride there along with such colour. Would love to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Stunning images of a beautiful place and some good travel tips 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hoi An ! My favourite place in Vietnam. I hope to return one day and really get to explore it. Your photos are fabulous and you captured it so well. Lyn

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You’re right- it’s been written about many times, but you still make it sound magical. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. paigechanel

    Looks gorgeous ! Thinking about visiting for my next trip. 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, how wonderful Paige. Good luck with all your planning. That’s the exciting part! Will you just travel to Vietnam?

      Liked by 1 person

      • paigechanel

        Probably Vietnam, Cambodia and if time permits Laos. Are you just visiting Vietnam?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Awesome. I have a friend looking into a tour for exactly those same countries. I would love to see Cambodia. We were in Vietnam earlier this year. Only spent 4 days there as it was a short trip to Hong Kong and Vietnam without my children!! But would definitely go back to explore more of the country. It’s beautiful and the people are so friendly. You’ll love it. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  7. There’s something so magical about towns and cities with canals! Thanks for all the tips

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The mix of styles from the different cultures and time periods makes this so interesting to learn about. It’s also nice to see all the color they add to the streets with the decorations.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Looks like a fun place!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Looks like a superb location for my type of travelling. Definitely, I will keep this place in my mind when I plan my next vacation.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank You presenting this place. I love Your photos, which felt me like being with You.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. That better go on the wish list.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Lovely travelogue on such a dream and historic place……the pictures make the post come alive…..

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hou An was most probably one of my favorite spots in Vietnam. I loved exploring the little alleyways in the Old Quarter. Sadly I didn’t get a chance to pop into a tailor, guess I might just need to go back. Lovely post with great info!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This is an informative and well covered article on one of our favorite places! We have stayed in Hoi An several months and are looking forward to going back early next year (we’re even hosting our first group tour there)!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This must have been a really lovely experience. Love how you write , I feel like I was there too….detailed post

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Looks absolutely amazing, Lorelle! ❤ Vietnam is on top of my list of countries to visit… Thank you for sharing, Lorelle! 🙂 Your posts are inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. There will be more tourists plying these footpaths after your article, Lorelle! I am sorely tempted to book a trip there!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Pingback: Hoi An Life… – a mindful traveler

  20. bavariansojourn

    Hoi An is so beautiful. I loved wandering around at night when all the lanterns and the twinkling lights were so atmospheric. I really need to go back! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Pingback: Where to Eat in Hoi An, Vietnam – a mindful traveler

  22. Amazing history/knowledge/information and stunning photos!!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Pingback: Vietnamese Beef Salad – a mindful traveler

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