Hoi An Ancient Town is very well preserved, considering it has been around since the 15th century. This area can be found within the Quang Nam Province right near the northern banks of the mouth of the Thu Bon River.
Hoi An Ancient Town was a trading port many years ago and the cultures and traditions of the locals live on there to this day. There are more than one thousand timber-framed buildings, as well as a Japanese covered bridge that was constructed a few hundred years ago.
This area was a major stop on the Silk Road and there was a time when this was the most popular place to be when it came to trade. Artisans still create many unique items in this part of Hoi An, so it is easy to see how the traditions have been passed down through the years.
One of the first things you should do when you arrive in Hoi An Ancient Town is walk around the narrow streets. It is the only way to begin learning where everything is, while also having the opportunity to explore the shops, stalls, and cafés. The streets are filled with features that look stunning during the day, but those features take on a whole new meaning when the sun sets, and the lanterns light up the nighttime sky.
There are a few Hoi An Ancient Town heritage sites that you must take the time to visit and they include the Chinese Assembly Halls, Quan Cong Temple, as well as the pagoda next to it, and the Japanese covered bridge. There are also numerous museums and old houses that require more than a moment’s glance, so be prepared to spend a few hours in this part of the city.
The museums that should be at the top of your list include the Museum of Folk Culture, Trade Ceramics, and Huynh Culture and Folk Culture. While you should get to as many of the old houses as you can, the one that you simply cannot miss is Tan Ky House, due to the incredible fusion of Japanese and Chinese features. The Duc An House is another old house that you should take the time to see, especially since the current owners live there and they are known to come out and share the history of the home.
If you are not sure where to start in Hoi An Ancient Town, you may want to take one of the many walking tours that are available. These tours will show you the best of the best, while sharing the history of every location that you visit.
There is a charge to enter Hoi An Ancient Town, although some people try walking through without purchasing a ticket. While it is possible to walk through this area without a ticket, you will need one if you want to enter any of the attractions.
The current ticket price is 120,000 VND, but starting in 2020, that price will go up to 150,000 VND. There are many ticket booths to purchase the tickets from, but the easiest ones to find are at the Hoi An Office of Tourist Services on Le Loi Street and on the An Hoi side of the Japanese covered bridge.
Once you pay the ticket fee, you will have access to the twenty-two historical sites that include historic houses, heritage museums, and temples. However, your ticket will only get you into five of them, so if you want to see them all, you must purchase more tickets.
A few other things that you might want to consider doing when in Hoi An Ancient Town is visiting both the Central Market and Night Market. They are both open every day and you can find plenty of things to purchase, including food, when you are at either of them.
If possible, you should plan your time in Hoi An Ancient Town to coincide with the Full Moon Lantern Festival. This event occurs on the fourteenth night of each lunar moon and it is a magical event that should not be missed!
One of the best things about Hoi An Ancient Town is that most of the streets are considered vehicle free. That means that you can easily walk around without worrying about major traffic jams or getting struck by a car. It makes walking much more pleasant and you can also choose to ride a bike around if you want to see everything at a faster pace.
Hoi An Ancient Town is such a remarkable destination and it is one of the first things you should see when you arrive in the city. Once you have explored every inch of this area, you can then venture further out on the city streets to see what else Hoi An has to offer.