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Section in Hoi An
Do & See
Apart from old merchant homes and assembly halls of various Chinese congregations that are some of the Ancient Town's highlights, Hoi An enjoys a fortunate location within a short distance from the beach, and even has a small island archipelago to its name: the laid-back Cham Islands are only a short ferry ride away, and are a great place for a relaxed getaway from the tourist masses. Cycling tours of the surrounding rice fields and Vietnamese cooking classes are some of the most popular activities in Hoi An, and the former French colonial port of Da Nang is an easy day trip from here (so are the Ba Na Hills with their stunning Golden Bridge held up by two enormous sculpted hands).
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Hoi An Ancient Town

Hoi An Ancient Town

The part of Hoi An most sought-after by visitors is its incredibly photogenic mustard-coloured old town, a UNESCO-listed collection of beautifully preserved buildings; some of these still function as private homes, while a total of 22 are open to the public and operate largely as museums. Of particular interest are historic merchant residences, some of which offer short guided tours (the Old House of Tan Ky is among the most interesting), and Chinese assembly halls used for gatherings and celebrations by individual ethnic groups. Visiting each attraction will require one of the 5 admission slips that come with a general Hoi An Ancient Town entry ticket.
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Japanese Covered Bridge

Japanese Covered Bridge

One of the Hoi An Ancient Town's most emblematic structures, the Japanese Covered Bridge dates back to the early 17th century, when it was first constructed by the Japanese community as a link to the Chinese quarters of Hoi An. Much of the original ornamental wood carvings remain preserved, and so do the sculptures of two dogs and two monkeys on either end of the bridge. Although the exact reasons for this particular animal selection isn't clearly identifiable, some explanations include the sacred status of the two in Japanese culture and birth years of Japanese emperors predominantly falling on either that of dog or monkey. Inside the bridge there is a tiny temple of the northern god Tran Vo Bac De, who is believed to hold powers of controlling weather. The Japanese Covered Bridge is included on the list of attractions one can visit on an Ancient Town Entry Ticket.
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Rice Filed Tour

Rice Filed Tour

Cycling through the rice paddies in the surroundings of Hoi An is a popular day trip from town. Organised tours may include visits to rice farms and guides that walk you through the entire process of rice cultivation; tours are organised by multiple local providers and can be arranged privately or as part of a group. If you choose to go it alone, follow Cua Dai in the direction of Cua Dai Beach, and you will eventually end up in the rice fields traversed by bike paths. You're likely to encounter rice farmers and water buffalo that plough rice paddies along the way. Continue along Hai Ba Trung Street to reach the An Bang Beach.
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Chinese Assembly Halls

Chinese Assembly Halls

The Chinese who settled in Hoi An identified themselves according to their province of origin. Each community built its own assembly hall, known as 'hoi quan' in Vietnamese, for social gatherings, meetings and celebrations. The Fujian Assembly Hall is, perhaps, the best-known one; the Cantonese Assembly Hall stands out for its beauty and contains a tranquil inner courtyard, while the 19th century Hainan Assembly Hall functions, in part, as a memorial to the 108 merchants from Hainan who met a tragic fate being mistaken for pirates – the entire story is narrated via wall posters.
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Cycling in Hoi An

Cycling in Hoi An

Although Hoi An is perfectly walkable, cycling an easy way of getting around if your itinerary extends beyond the old town (including An Bang Beach). The Hoi An Old Town is closed off to all motorised traffic (including motorbikes) on most days, between 8.30 and 11.00 and then again 15.00 to 21.30, which means streets can be comfortably navigated by cyclists and pedestrians. Many hotels and guest houses offer bike rental services (or even complimentary bicycle use in some cases), but multiple bike rental shops operate throughout town as well. Prices are normally very reasonable and can be as low as 1 USD per day (depending on the bike). Single-gear bikes will suffice for cycling through town, but mountain bikes are recommended for those who wish to venture into the country side. While locals will often be seen riding without helmets on, we recommend asking for one at your bike hire provider to ensure safety.
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Beaches Close to Hoi An

Beaches Close to Hoi An

If time allows to squeeze in a trip to the seaside, An Bang Beach is the best stretch of sand within easy reach from Hoi An. The beach is well-equipped with sunbeds and umbrellas, and is reachable by bicycle. There are multiple cafes and restaurants peppered along the coast, as well as a few locales that offer water sports equipment rental. Another option is Cua Dai Beach, which is less busy and less convenient to swim at due to significant soil erosion, but the rapid development of nearby An Bang has helped Cua Dai become increasingly re-discovered by those looking for more privacy.
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Phan Boi Chau Street (Rue des Arts)

Phan Boi Chau Street (Rue des Arts)

Formerly the main street of Hoi An's French Quarter, Phan Boi Chau is currently going through a renaissance: art galleries, exhibition spaces and sophisticated craft boutiques have opened here, bringing the street to the forefront of the town's cultural life. If you only have time for one gallery visit, make it the Precious Heritage Art Gallery Museum. Brainchild of the acclaimed travel photographer Réhahn, the space contains an exhibition of his finest work – photographs taken across Vietnam that seemingly lay bare the souls of their subjects – as well as an impressive collection of authentic garments worn by various ethnic groups across the country. There is a printed guide to the area's venues that can be picked up free of charge at many locations across town.
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Old House of Tan Ky

Old House of Tan Ky

Seven generations saw to the Tan Ky house remaining in the excellent condition it welcomes visitors in today, as it continues to stand as an excellent example of the confluence of cultural influences that define Hoi An. This 18th century merchant home combines elements of Chinese and Japanese design, and even features elements of European influence (such as the grape leaves carved into the courtyard balcony). The house comes furbished with original period pieces and contains a small gift shop; there is an open courtyard at its centre which brings in light and air, creating an organic link to nature and preventing the structure from flooding (although this isn't a remedy in extremely high water).
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