Hoi An of Vietnam – Top 10 things to do in Hoi An
- on Oct 30, 2019       By: BN
This charming little town classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site is sure to appeal to many travellers. Indeed, Hoi An has a considerable number of tourist attractions that deserve a stop for at least two days. Here are some of the many activities to discover, the top 10 things to do in Hoi An.
Top 10 things to do in Hoi An
TThis is a must-visit 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, it was constructed 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. There are dogs on one side and monkeys on the other which symbolise the 3 lunar years of work for the construction of the bridge, from the year of the monkey to that of the dog.
The fusion of 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, and 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. This is a magical moment during which songs, dances and traditional folk games take place. The Vietnameses honour 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 to get there is at dawn when the fishermen come back from their fishing night and unload their cargo that is sold directly on the market, freshness guaranteed! After that, the merchants of fruits, vegetables, flowers and victuals of all kinds take over. It’s a very colourful market and is full of opportunities to 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 with the possibilities!
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, the making of lanterns.
The beautiful countryside of Hoi An is a treat when experienced 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 and its small fishing villages where it reigns a pleasant quietude. It is also an opportunity to discover the vegetable gardens that have helped make the reputation of Hoi An, like that of Tra Que where the peoples perpetuate their ancestral gardening techniques.
Hoi An has 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 submerged in the water. For those who have a little more time, we invite you to take a boat trip to the Cham Islands located off Hoi An. It’s a beautiful marine park that delights lovers of diving, snorkeling or lazing around 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 and rice cakes. A sweet and sour sauce that you will be unable to forget ties the dish together expertly.
Located about fifty kilometres 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 natural setting.
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