Day and night in the old town of Hoi An

Many will tell you that Hoi An is Vietnam’s most beautiful city and they are probably right. True relic of the past, it is really pleasant to walk day and night. People are friendly despite the prevailing tourism.

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If you doubt to go there during your trip in Vietnam, here are some details of the old town that will make you change your mind.

A bit of history

The old town of Hoi An is from the 15th century and is a UNESCO world heritage site since 1985. It was one of the major trading ports in Asia and now we find there all the old culture and the influence of colonies (mainly Chinese and Japanese) over the centuries.

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Hoi An by day

The city center (Old Town) is located around the Thu Bon River. Many boats parked on the edge of the shore. There are the restaurant boats, transport boats for tourists, rowing boats, ferry boats for local and motorcycles …

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The yellow houses give a village appearance. Every front of house, shop or pagoda is dark wood, carved. The walls are brick and boat roofs reminiscent of the old Chinese house. Dragon statues or flowers adorn the tops of the ridges of the roofs.

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Tuk tuk bicycle make their break by waiting for customers.

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By slightly away from the old town, you will pass in very narrow streets and you can see the real local life. The houses are open to the outside, the children play, clothes dry everywhere. The roosters and geese circulate freely. With a little luck, we will be invited to drink coffee!

Hoi An by night

In the evening, the entire old town becomes a pedestrian. Only bicycles have the right to be here. It is quiet in the middle of thousands of lanterns hanging everywhere. There in the trees, on the facades of houses and even on the water.

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The main deck is lined with lanterns and also is illuminated with decorations of dragons and other symbols. Girls trying to sell you lanterns ($1) you need to have on the water while making a wish. All the shops are open, most seller of souvenirs, clothes or painting.

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The facades are then orange, illuminated by the lights of the city. The Japanese Bridge is illuminated blue, pink, red and yellow. Vietnamese in evening clothes are photographed in front hugging like lovers.

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It’s beautiful, almost magical. For more information on the lanterns in Hoi An, it’s here!

All budgets

Hoi An is a tourist town, really! With souvenir shops and tour agencies organized everywhere. However, a UNESCO heritage site, the city is high culture and has kept its authenticity. This is a nice mix between past and present! Therefore, there is something for all budgets, even if it often tend to high prices.

There are few guesthouse but there are dormitories in almost all hotels and cute little rooms in very friendly homestays. For 4 euros, you will manage.

Same to eat. There are of course a huge number of expensive restaurant which both offer local specialties (here Cao Lau) than Western cuisine. But typical Vietnamese eateries or even the central market will delight backpackers with small budget that will feed to less than one euro per meal.

Bonus, you can choose the fresh beer for 3000 dong on the banks of the river. A beer at 10 cents, it suggests the drunken parties !!

Paid or free entry?

I have read in many forums contrary opinions regarding access to the old town of Hoi An. Should we pay or not? Actually, this is not mandatory. You have the opportunity to visit without paying.

However, be aware that the money collected from the sale of tickets allows participation in the maintenance and restoration of this part of the city, a UNESCO heritage. In addition you will need a ticket to visit some sites such as Phung Hung house or that of Tan Ky. Admission costs 120,000 VND for foreigners and the ticket is valid for the duration of your stay.

So you choose to participate ornot to the conservation of this magnificent site.

 

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