Take a Culture Trip through Ancient Town and experience the vibrant atmosphere. This UNESCO heritage site lies just across the riverside, separated by a bridge and is filled with picturesque streets, old merchant houses, quirky shops, museums and old temples, along with the famous “Japanese Bridge”.
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Numerous shops and restaurants operate out of the restored and preserved heritage sites. Chinese and Japanese elements have influenced the architecture, along with colorful lanterns hanging all over town making it beautiful and brightly lit at night.
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Sites To Visit:
While there are a number of Heritage sites present, only 5 can be visited using the entrance ticket. So what 5 sites should you visit ?
This little bridge, with it’s arched shape is symbolic of Hoi An and is a major tourist draw . Built by the Japanese to be connected to the Chinese quarters on the other side, the Japanese architecture has been beautifully preserved and it houses a shrine inside. However, it can get really crowded, so its best to visit it first thing in the morning.
Fujian Assembly Hall:
This was by and far, our favourite heritage site in the Ancient Town. The beautifully constructed triple gateway leads to a hall which houses a shrine dedicated to Thien Hau (a deity from the Fujian province of China) and is one of the best examples of Chinese architecture in Hoi An. The interiors have been richly restored and house murals depicting the story of Thien Hau.
Quan Cong Temple:
This little Chinese temple houses both a temple as well as a Buddhist Pagoda and is dedicated to Quan Cong, a Chinese general. The altar is housed at the back of the sanctuary with a koi pond and small garden overlooking it.
Tan Ky House:
Chinese and Japanese elements have influenced this beautifully preserved merchant house. Walk through the rooms and take a look at the furnishings and ceiling. Also, the descendents of Tan Ky still live in this house upstairs.
Hoi An Folk Museum:
Occupying a simple restored wooden house, this little museum houses a number of artefacts and pictures depicting the culture and living of the people.
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How much Time to spend:
Take a half day to walk around the streets and enjoy the atmosphere by getting lost in the alleys and chance upon something new ! Cyclo tours are available which cost 400,000 VND (20 USD) and cover 5 of the sites. It can be good option during summer, when the heat and humidity gets unbearable.
The pretty streets are filled with numerous shops selling various souvnirs. Vendors selling pop up cards, a Hoi an speciality are found everywhere. In addition, silk scarves, wooden puppets, quirky posters and frames are some of the items to buy. We also came upon a beautiful shop selling wooden carved boats of every size and design!
Hope you enjoy your day exploring Ancient Town !
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