Sightseeing in Hoi An
Holy Land of Mi Son. Hoi An is attractive for tourists not only because of sea vacations, but aslo because of the ancient part of town, full of shops and restaurants. Hoi An is a place where colorful lanterns are lit in the evenings, creating a magical and festive atmosphere.
Hoi An: historical part of the city
The city of Hoi An is not too popular among tourists yet. The fact is that most tourists prefer to spend their vacations in the southern part of the country, and the center of Vietnam remains undiscovered. However, recently this part of the country have become more popular among European, American and, especially, Asian tourists. Once in the ancient part of the town, one can hear people speaking a variety of languages. This has been the case since ancient times. All because Hoi An used to be a major port city with a high concentration of foreign sailors and merchants. At the end of the XIX century, the river flowing here became shallow and the way to the sea was cut off. At present, there are also a lot of foreigners here. All of them want to feel the atmosphere of the ancient city, the buildings of which are protected by UNESCO.
The ancient part of Hoi An is located by the river, that looks very colorful because of the stretched fishing nets and a large number of boats plying the water. The low-rise houses, painted mostly yellow, have colorful shutters that give the old district a special atmosphere. You can walk around the old town by foot or ride a bike. This is a popular tourist transport in Hoi An. Many hotels offer bikes for their guests for free. You can find almost everything in the small shops of the old town. There are paintings in different techniques, in color or black and white, wind chimes, fans, carved wooden products, beautiful ceramic and lacquer ware.
One can buy some inexpensive ready-made clothes, or get a dress or a shirt sewn quickly. It can get cold sometimes in the Central part of Vietnam, so some stylish autumn coats are also sold here.
The old town also offers restaurants in addition to shops. In addition to traditional Vietnamese dishes, as well as some European dishes, Hoi An offers local popular cuisine. Be sure to try a dish called beautifully “white roses”. Small roses resemble dumplings, but they are made of rice flour and served with a special sauce.
In the evening, many lanterns are lit in Hoi An. Red and yellow, big and small; they decorate the streets and cafes and make the atmosphere truly fabulous. Travelers can enjoy an evening stroll through the magical streets of Hoi An and buy some lanterns. They don’t cost much. It’s a great colorful gift for loved ones from the Asian town. The large lanterns are foldable so they are easy to transport: they do not crumple, do not break and do not take up much space.
If you come to the river in the evening, you will see sellers, many of whom are still children. They sell paper lanterns with small candles inside. A special pole with a hook is used to put such a lantern on the water. It is beleived that if you make a wish before you put the lantern in the water, it will come true for sure. Dozens of lanterns floating on the river show that many people in our world do believe in miracles.
Japanese Covered Bridge is one of the landmarks of the old town in Hoi An. The locals associate a beautiful legend about a huge dragon with it. It was so huge that its heart was in Vietnam and its tail reached as far as Japan. As soon as the dragon moved, terrible misfortunes struck the earth. Then one day, at the place where the monster’s heart was located, the bridge was built, symbolizing the sword piercing the dragon’s chest. The Vietnamese felt sorry for the unfortunate dragon and built a temple on the bridge to pray for the soul of the mythical creature. This bridge is now the central place in the old city, a must-see location for every tourist.
Everyone can go boating on the river to explore the surroundings from the water.
Hoi An: the sea and the beach
Hoi An is not limited to the wonders of the old city. There is also a sea and a beach. The road to the sea goes among the green rice fields. There are several bars on the beach where you can spend a great evening enjoying good music and sipping cocktails. During the day, people here swim and sunbathe, as at any other resort. The beach in Hoi An is sandy. You can rent some sunbeds here.
Hoi An: historical, natural and religious attractions and handicraft
Those who like religious antiquities, once in Hoi An, can visit the Holy Land of Mi Son, where the Cham towers and temples have preserved. These are religious monuments of the ancient people, who are almost extinct nowadays. Previously, the state of Champa was quite large and was located in the coastal areas of modern Vietnam.
Near the city there is the village of Thanh Ha, where artisans have been producing ceramics for centuries. Here you can find and buy products of excellent quality, light and beautiful. Once in the village, you will learn about the secrets of pottery and will be able to try being an artisan.
There is another attraction, famous in the whole country, which is located near the city — the Marble Mountains. It takes about half an hour to get there. The Marble Mountains are famous for their caves with Buddhist temples inside of them. They look very unusual. In the temples you can see the magnificent statues of Buddha carved from stone. Previously, the Marble Mountains were mined for rocks to create sculptures and vases. Today they have become a national pride and they are considered to be a natural monument.
Hoi An is a very interesting city for travelers, where you can spend a wonderful time walking through the old districts, sunbathing on the beach or exploring cultural attractions.