For many centuries Hoi An was one of South-East Asia’s most important ports. Fortunately Hoi An was spared much of the destruction of the Vietnam war. No other town in Vietnam has such well-preserved ancient buildings. Today Hoi An is unsurpassed for its charm and has blossomed into artists” colony. Hoi An reveals but one layer of the region”s history. From the 2nd to 15th centuries, the land around Da Nang was ruled by Chams, an Indianite people who built brick temple towers in honor of Hindu Gods. The ruined temple complex of My Son, a World Heritage Site just 60km from Hoi An, provides visitors with a fascinating glimpse into this ancient culture. Cham statues of graceful dancing girls and awesome deities create a lasting impression.
In the little riverside hamlet of Hoi An, time has stood still. You will find yourself strolling past houses the colors of after - dinner mints - lavender, canary yellow, pink. You will pass galleries, tailors” shops and pagodas with clay-tiled roofs. Peer into the windows of an old shop-house and the scene is straight out of the 19th century: Around Chinese cloth lanterns, dark wooden beams, intricately carved teak furniture, lacquer screens, an ornate, gilded altar…
Three centuries ago, this little town in central Vietnam was a bustling port, full of traders from Japan, China and beyond. Today, this World Heritage Site is a living museum. A 40 minutes drive from ancient Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture and traditional Vietnamese hospitality.
1/ JAPANESE BRIDGES
Japanese bridges long have a reputation for their pure beauty of being graceful curves and the inspiration from Zen spirit. It”s no doubt that the most famous bridge of this kind in Vietnam is the one in Hoi An – the historic riverside town in the Central Part.
2/ PHUC KIEN ASSEMBLY HALL
The photogenic Fujian ( Phuc Kien ) assembly hall was created as a place in which residents from Fujian in China could meet up and socialize whilst living or visiting Hoi An. Built around 1690 with the main gate added much later, the assembly hall is also a World Cultural Heritage site and is much visited today by those seeking a glimpse of this superb piece of architecture. The inside of the assembly hall contains the Jinshang Golden Mountain temple dedicated to Thien Hau, the goddess of the sea and caretaker of sailors, featuring altars adorned with delicately carved dragons. There is also a fertility shrine to help answer the prayers of childless couples who visit.