Jun 5, 2011

Vietnam - Hoi An

In the middle of Vietnam, the Unesco World Heritage city of Hoi An charmed us. This ancient city was a powerful harbour in world trade between the 16th and 19th centuries. Since then the city centre has remained more or less intact so that Hoi An enjoys a tourism holy land!

What can someone visit today in this city? Mainly old houses, assembly halls and communale houses, mixing vietnamese, chinese and japanese architectures.

Houses were built lengthwise: the narrow facade of the shop was hidding a succession of buildings and courtyards, separating two areas, the working area in the front and the living area in the back. But the most important room for the family was the one dedicated to the ancestors, usually located above the shop.

Duc An Old House

Tran Family's Chapel

Old house of Tan Ky

The communale houses and assembly halls are places to gather. They combine four main functions: administrative (political management of a district, of a foreign community), religious (worship of a precise divinity), social and cultural (community events).

Phuc Kien Assembly Hall

 Phuc Kien Assembly Hall

The Japanese covered Bridge is the most famous monument in the city. The main reason is maybe the story behind it. It was believed that a huge dragon monster had its head in India, its tail in Japan and its back over Vietnam. The movements of its tail were responsible for all hearthquake happening in Japan. So the idea behind this solid construction was to maintain the dragon still!


However what we did prefer in Hoi An was walking around its lively streets:

Thu Bon River

Street restaurant

The local market is organized around an empty covered market. In fact, the whole city centre is a market insofar as every old house or assembly hall open to the public displays some souvenirs to sell. If you do not pay attention you visit a museum thinking it is a gift shop! 

Where is Wally? ;)

Handcrafted lanterns at the night market

Some souvenirs

Someone misses school..

1 comment:

  1. Claire-EmmanuelleJun 8, 2011, 9:41:00 PM

    C'est magnifique. C'est je crois les photos que je préfère jusqu'à présent: ces anciennes maisons, les lampions, plein de couleurs et de charme partout. Trop cool! Bisous de Paris ;)