Built nearly 200 years ago, Tan Ky Old House is one of several oldest houses in Hoi An. Retaining unique features in the interior decoration and objects from ancient times, the old house is recognized as a national historical-cultural relic in Vietnam.
Located at 101 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, in the Old Quarter of Hoi An Ancient Town, Tan Ky Old house is an almost perfect example of a 18th merchant’s residence in this major commercial port town. The name Tan Ky, meaning “Progress Shop”, was given to the house by the second generation to express the owner’s wish for a prosperous business.
It is an ingenious combination of 3 architectural styles, namely Vietnam, Japan, and China. The old house was built in late-18th century with the first purpose of business, and agricultural product trade. Tan Ky Old House, the first old house in Hoi An Old Town together with Cau Pagoda and Fukian Assembly Hall was recognized as cultural historical relics in 1985 by Ministry of Culture. Despite undergoing nuch fluctuations, Tan Ky still retains almost intact values on architecture and culture.
One of Vietnam’s most iconic attractions, Hoi An’s Japanese covered bridge dates back to the 18th century and is a beautiful historical piece of Japanese architecture. It is claimed that it was created by the Japanese then living in Hoi An as a way to reach the Chinese quarter across the water.
Inside the Japanese Covered Bridge lies a temple of the northern God Tran Vo Bac De. This God is considered the God of Weather.
One theory of the bridge’s religious purpose is that it was built to subdue a world-spanning “mamazu” dragon monster, whose head was located in India and its tail in Japan. The movement of the tail was believed to cause earthquakes in Japan. As Vietnam was located in the area of the mamazu’s back, the bridge was intended to pin the mamazu down, thus preventing any earthquakes.
Location – The bridge is located at the west end of Tran Phu Street in Hoi An and is easily reached from the town center.
Note – There are no restrictions with regards to dress code and the bridge is always open.
Six families from the Ming dynasty fleeing the Manchurians arrived by boat from China in the middle of the 17C and built this assembly hall. Dedicated to the worship of their ancestors, but mainly to the goddess of the sea, Thien HauThanh Mau, from the province of Fujian, the temple houses attractive paintings and the model of a boat symbolizing the initial journey to Vietnam.
The penultimate chamber contains a statue of Thien Hau. To either side of the entrance stand red-skinned Thuan Phong Nhi and green-skinned Thien Ly Nhan, deities who alert Thien Hau when sailors are in distress.
The statues of heavenly midwives and the lords of Fertility attract couples keen to have children.
Hoi An Ancient Town is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Its buildings and its street plan reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage site.
Hoi An Ancient Town has retained its traditional wooden architecture and townscape in terms of plot size, materials, façade and roof line. Its original street plan, with buildings backing on to the river, with its infrastructure of quays, canals and bridges in its original setting, also remains. The historic landscape setting is also intact, consisting of a coastal environment of river, seashore, dunes and islands.
An entrance ticket for the sights within the UNESCO World Heritage old town is required.
No one has the courage to state which exact place in Hoi An is most ancient and beautiful, but many people know the Tran Family Chapel is one of the oldest and most historical houses in this city.
The house is a place for all family members of the Tran clan to worship their ancestors. Like other family chapels in Hoi An, the Tran house is situated in the middle of a 1,500 square meters garden with a gate and high surrounding walls.
The architecture of the house has remains the same as two centuries ago. The house is made of precious wood. It is divided into two parts: the main one is used as the worshiping place, and the other one as the living space for the clan’s head and for receiving guests.
Location – 21 Le Loi Street in Hoi An
The Quan Cong Temple, also called Ong Pagoda, is a very famous temple in Hoi An and it stands at on Nguyen Hue Streets (No 24, Nguyen Hue Str), near the central market. This temple, typical of ancient architectural constructions, was built by the Minh Huong people (Chinese immigrants) together with Viet people. It was recognized as a “National Historic and Cultural Site” on 29 November 1991.
The Quan Cong temple festival is held twice a year according to the lunar calendar: the birthday of the genie (on 13 of the first lunar month) and the death anniversary of the genie (on 24 of the sixth lunar month). These festivals attract a lot of believers and pilgrims from all over the country.
The statue of Quan Cong is nearly 3m high. The face is red with phoenix-like eyes and a long beard. On the right, stands the statue of Quan Binh and on the left side, the statue of Chau Thuong, a civilian mandarin and a military mandarin, as well as Quan Cong’s fostered children. They stand in a posture that shows that they are ready to die for their master.
Phuoc Lam Pagoda was established in XVIII century with ancient East Asia style. It includes the main gate, main palace, Dai Duong palace, worshiping palace. In the Dai Duong palace now has still kept a lot of precious antiquities.
Phuoc Lam is known for the history of one of its monks, An Thiem, who was a local prodigy. When his brothers were drafted into the army, he asked instead to take their place. Upon returning, he felt so remorseful for those he had slain he cleaned central market for 20 years without pay.
There’s a whole block of colonnaded French colonial buildings on Ð Phan Boi Chau between Nos 22 and 73, among them the 19th-century Tran Duong House. It’s still a private home, so a family member will show you around.
There’s some antique French and Chinese furniture, including a sideboard buffet and a sitting room set with elaborate mother-of-pearl inlay. By contrast, the large plain wooden table in the front room is the family bed.
Cam Kim Island is a beautiful slice of rural life a short ferry ride from the centre of Hoi An. It’s a great place for an early morning or late afternoon cycle.
Cam Kim is also famous for its wood carving. You’ll likely be invited in for a look as you ride past the workshops in Kim Bong village that supply carvings for shops in Hoi An.
Not far from Hoi An’s central market, packed wooden boats shuttle people, bicycles, motorcycles and produce across the Thu Bon River between the old town and Cam Kim Island. Grab a bicycle or motorcycle and climb aboard. An early morning or late afternoon spent cycling around Cam Kim Island is a delight.
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