Take a leisure walk in Hoi An

Visit to Hoi An, taking a leisurely walk is the most ideal way to discover the ancient beauty, historical value and the local life and of this town that dates back over 4 centuries.

For almost two centuries (17th and 18th century), the town has served as one of Vietnam's most important trading ports. It was occupied by Chinese, Japanese, and European traders, and their influence can be seen throughout the Old Town, particularly in the temples and residences erected by businessmen who came to trade but decided to stay. The river gradually silted up towards the end of the 18th century, resulting in the loss of trade but also helping to conserve the town, which was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.


Wandering around Hoi An is the most ideal way to learn about the city. There are temples, museums, and preserved houses to visit in what is essentially a maze of a few streets. The Japanese Covered Bridge, also known as the Lai Vien Kieu (Japanese Pagoda), marks the beginning of the Old Town. The beautifully arching brick and timber bridge was built in the early 17th century, although it had to be repaired several times due to floods and fires.

A dog (the year the bridge was first erected) stands at one end, while a monkey stands at the other (the year in which the bridge was completed). The little stream beneath the bridge reflects how much the river has silted up over the ages. A modest shrine dedicated to Tran Vo Bac De, God of the North, who regulates the weather, is located halfway across the bridge.


The structures bear the distinct impact of Chinese and Japanese traders (many of whom became immigrants), particularly along Tran Phu and Nguyen Thai Hoc. Most are two floors, with tiled roofs and a distinctive skyline resulting from the fusion of Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese architecture. A huge internal space is topped by an upper gallery on the inside. The rooms have gorgeous inlays and intricate craftsmanship, as well as hand-carved woodwork. The main area looks out onto a sunny (or rainy!) exterior patio.


Colored lanterns decorate each house in Hoi An's ancient quarter, and at night, the town is bathed in the soothing glow of candlelight. Every full moon, the lights are turned off and a procession leads to the river, where the lanterns are released.

The tailors, of obviously, are another option. Hoi An is a shopper's paradise. Everyone has a favorite stall, and hotel concierges often make excellent suggestions. Clothes can be created in 24 hours, although a fitting is recommended. The simplest method is to have a perfectly fitting dress or outfit and have them imitate it.

It's touristic, and the touts can be obnoxious at times, but venture just a few minutes outside of the city center, and things begin to change dramatically. The visitors and touts vanish, and you're free to enjoy the peace and quiet. The nearby surroundings of Hoi An looked fascinating, and if I'd had more time, I would have rented a bike and spent a few hours exploring them. It's a location that's perfect for such an activity.

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