Hoi An of Vietnam - 10 things to do in Hoi An
- on Oct 30, 2019       By: Bảo Ngọc
This charming little town classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site is sure to appeal to travellers. Indeed, Hoi An has a considerable number of tourist attractions that deserve a stop there for at least two days. Here are some of the many activities to discover, the top 10 should not to be missed on your trip to Hoi An.
Top 10 things in Hoi An
This is a must-see cultural spot in Hoi An. The Japanese Covered Bridge, located in the ancient town, is Hoi An's oldest bridge. Built in the 1590s by the Japanese community of Hoi An to create a link with the Chinatowns of Hoi An. On the other side of the river, this bridge also houses a pagoda. You will find different statues at each end of the bridge: dogs on one side and monkeys on the other which symbolize the 3 lunar years of work for the construction of the bridge, the year of the monkey to that of the dog.
The fusion of the different cultures that shaped Hoi An gave the city a remarkable cultural, historical and architectural heritage. The city has a well-preserved ensemble of 1,107 buildings, including beautiful traditional timber-framed houses, a few communities halls of Chinese congregations, numerous temples and pagodas. Hoi An is a surprisingly beautifully preserved example of a traditional Asian trading port.
Every 14th day of every month on the lunar calendar, all the lights of the ancient city are extinguished so that only the lanterns illuminate Hoi An. A magical moment during which songs, dances and traditional folk games take place. The Vietnameses honor their ancestors by burning counterfeit banknotes and paper, and small candle-lit lanterns are placed on the river to make a vow.
The best time is to get there at dawn when the fishermen come back from their fishing night and unload their cargo that is sold directly on the market, guaranteed the freshness! After that, the merchants of fruits, vegetables, flowers and victuals of all kinds take over. It’s a very colorful market and full of animation on which we can feast of some culinary specialties of Hoi An.
Hoi An city is a real paradise for travellers who like to go shopping. Sharpen your sense of negotiation and conquer the central market and countless shops in the city. Silk, cotton, leather, custom clothing, shoes, spices, food products, lanterns and souvenirs of all kinds, a vast choice that will make you turn your head!
In the surrounding area of Hoi An, there are myriads of artisan villages that perpetuate ancestral traditional craftsmanship. It is very interesting to discover the work of its eminent craftsmen by going to their workshops. There are more than a dozen traditional crafts in the area of Hoi An including pottery, carpentry, rattan, wood carving, lacquer, weaving, embroidery... and of course the craft specialty of Hoi An, making of lanterns.
The beautiful countryside of Hoi An is a treat on a bike. By small roads, you will discover another facet of Hoi An. It is the Hoi An countryside with its beautiful stretches of rice fields, its small low houses, its small fishing villages where it reigns a pleasant quietude. It is also an opportunity to discover the vegetable gardens that have made the reputation of Hoi An, like that of Tra Que where the peoples perpetuate their ancestral gardening techniques.
Hoi An have a beautiful coastline with two beautiful beaches, An Bang and Cua Dai, which are easily accessible by bike. You can enjoy the seaside pleasures and taste some Vietnamese specialties when submerge in the water. For those who have a little more time, we’ll invite them to take a boat trip on the Cham Islands located off Hoi An. It’s a beautiful marine park that delights lovers of diving, snorkeling or lazing on the sand.
To the delight of gourmet travellers, visiting Hoi An gives you the chance to enjoy excellent cuisine. Whether served on the sidewalk, in a street restaurant or in the charming setting of a beautiful traditional house, the discovery of small culinary treasures remains the same. Among all the specialties of Hoi An, do not miss the Cao Lau, a typical dish of the city consisting of yellow pasta, shrimp, lean pork meat, some freshly cut aromatic herbs, rice cakes and a sauce sweet and sour that will make you unable to forget.
Located about fifty kilometers from Hoi An, this archaeological site, from the 4th to the 13th century, was the religious and political capital of the kingdom of Champa. The UNESCO-listed My Son Sanctuary brings together the remains of an impressive series of sanctuary towers in the heart of a lush and beautiful nature.
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