AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Hoi An: Old Town

The old town of Hoi An is about a 5 minute walk from our hotel. There are a few houses classed as ‘ancient’ houses which were built by merchants in the 17th century. A few temples, meeting halls for the sailors and merchants, etc. Basically, all the buildings you would expect to find in a busy port with people from all around the region sailing in and out. Many Chinese and Japanese influences in the buildings.

Hoi An, once known as Faifo, with more than 2,000 years of history, was the principal port of the Cham Kingdom, which controlled the strategic spice trade with Indonesia from the 7th-10th centuries and was a major international port in the 16th and 17th centuries. The foreign influences are discernible to this day.

We visited a large ancient house of Tan Ky, a house which seems to be very famous, PMs and presidents from around the region have been shown around this house and the family still live there. Unfortunately all we could see were a few downstairs rooms, which still looked pretty good.

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We also visited the Phung Hung house and we were taken round by a younger member of the family, the 8th generation to live in the house. Although we had paid for the ticket the downstairs had an embroidery shop and upstairs had a small tat shop of the usual gifts (in Vietnam no opportunity to sell is missed). The house had some really nice looking features and was an amalgamation of Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese architecture. It was also large, the front would’ve been a shop front, the middle for daily life and the back was the kitchen. Upstairs was for storing stock.

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The Japanese covered bridge is the symbol of the town and a very important building. Built by Japanese traders in the early 1600s to link two parts of the city so they could trade easier. It’s very short.

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The Chinese communal house is very colourful and has a ornate dragon fountain say the centre of the small courtyard.

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It is winter here and many of the locals are wrapped up in jumpers or jackets, they complain they feel a  bit chilly. We’re here in T-shirts and dripping with sweat. It’s in the high 20 degrees and about 75% humidity. In the summer it can hit 40!

Posted from tp. Hội An, Quang Nam province, Vietnam.

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