Vietnam 2017: Hội An (Hoi An)

Well, we are already on our way to Hoi An.

July 19

About 3 and a half hours later we arrive in Hội An. We get off the bus in a park and as we take our bags, the universal deluge begins to fall. As we ran in search of a roof, we ended up completely drenched down to our underpants. What a way to fall water. When it stopped raining about 5 minutes later, we took a taxi and went to the hotel.


The hotel we chose is called Hoi An Silk Luxury Hotel & Spa. A 4-star that cost us a whopping €28 ($30.25) per night, with breakfast.

Find your ideal hotel at the best price on Agoda:

Hotel in Hoi An

We left our things and went for a walk through the old town of Hội An, which is gorgeous.

One of the strengths of the local economy is the manufacture of dresses in 24 hours. You take a photo of any of those super expensive brand dresses and in 24 hours you have an exact copy and very cheap. And it seems to be of acceptable quality. This is noticeable because there are about a thousand clothing stores per square meter in the city.

The truth is that the city has a lot of charm, especially with the illumination of thousands of colored lanterns.

Japanese Covered Bridge (Chùa Cầu)

Walking through the center we approached a restaurant that had been recommended to us for dinner before going to rest. The place is called Blue Dragon and for 130,000VND (€5 – $5.50) they have a menu with 5 dishes and a dessert that was very tasty.

After dinner we went for a walk to the hotel to rest because we had to get up very early.

July 20

We wake up bright and early and eat till we drop, which is going to be a long, sweaty morning. It’s time to visit the ruins of Mỹ Sơn.

Around 8 o’clock the tour bus that we had previously booked picks us up at the door of the hotel. The guide whose name I don’t remember but who we nicknamed Miami Vice because he looked like a character taken from the mythical series of the 80s. He was very funny and you laughed a lot with him.

During the approximately hour and a half that the journey lasted, he told us a little about the history of the ruins, gave us various instructions and collected the money for the tickets to the site, which was priced at 150,000VND (€5.90 – $6.50).

You can comfortably hire the tour to the ruins of Mỹ Sơn with entrance included with Civitatis:

The shrine is a set of abandoned and partially ruined Hindu temples, built between the 4th and 14th centuries by the Champa kings. The temples are dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva.

ruins of Mỹ Sơn

The temples date from the period between the 4th and 14th centuries, but according to some inscriptions it is believed that there may be older constructions.

With the fall of the Champa, the complex fell into disuse and was forgotten until 1898 when it was rediscovered by the French.

One of the curiosities that Miami Vice explained to us is that, if we look closely, all the sculptures are missing their heads. It turns out that they are all very well preserved in the Louvre museum in Paris. The plunder arrives.

ruins of Mỹ Sơn

The ruins were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.

It is said to be the little sister of the Angkor Wat temples in Cambodia. The truth is that it is really impressive and is nestled in a spectacular jungle setting.

The bad thing was the heat. While you were in the jungle, the humidity was enormous but when you went out to an esplanade, the sun would burn you in a way…

During the Vietnam War, the ruins were a Viet Cong headquarters. In 1969 the Americans bombed the entire area, reducing many of the restored buildings to ruins. Miami Vice told us that his father was there as a combatant but he was saved because seeing them coming, he went up the mountain.

Many craters produced by the bombs can still be seen. It is also recommended not to leave the marked paths since the area is still partly mined and you can jump into the air.

ruins of Mỹ Sơn
ruins of Mỹ Sơn

It was an impressive visit and I think essential in Vietnam. It was worth the early start and the past heat.

At 12.45 our bus left for the return. About halfway there, those of us who had taken the boat ride got off the bus and were taken to a pier. There we took a boat that took us down the river to the old town of Hội An.


Along the way they gave us a small agape based on a plate of rice with vegetables that was quite good.

Hoi An
Hoi An

Already in the city, we bought a pass that is worth entering 5 different monuments for 120,000VND (4.70€ – $5.20).

The first place we entered was the Japanese Covered Bridge (Chùa Cầu). It was built in 1593 by the Japanese merchant community of Hội An to link their commercial district with the Chinese commercial district.

Inside there is a small Buddhist temple where you can buy some souvenirs and postcards. In my opinion, it is not worth entering since the impressive thing about the bridge is its exterior façade, but, I repeat, it is my humble opinion.

Japanese Covered Bridge (Chùa Cầu)

From here we approach the nearby Cantonese Assembly Hall (Hội Quán Quảng Đông). Built in 1885 by the Chinese community to become a place of worship and for community activities, business and other necessities of daily life.

Cantonese Assembly Hall (Hội Quán Quảng Đông)
Cantonese Assembly Hall (Hội Quán Quảng Đông)

The fountains with sculptures of dragons in the patios are spectacular, especially the one in the second patio, the largest.

Cantonese Assembly Hall (Hội Quán Quảng Đông)

The compound was full of people but, curiously, the second patio was empty. So we sat down to rest in their gardens and it was very quiet.

We took advantage of the fact that there was a bathroom and I changed my shirt because the other one couldn’t take it anymore… “water”.

The break was so short that time had to be rushed. We left and headed for the Fujian Assembly Hall (Hội quán Phúc Kiến). It is famous for its magnificent, majestic and majestic beauty in a large space, its unique Chinese architecture and its sacred character.

Fujian Assembly Hall (Hội quán Phúc Kiến)

Built in 1757 the Fujian Assembly Hall is a place of worship Thien Hau Thanh Mau and the gods of river protection, money, children, ancestors and a meeting place for countrymen and helps unite Fujian people.

The decoration of the door is a real wonder. Crossing it we come to a patio with many plants. On the other side is the entrance to the assembly halls.

Upon entering, we find the meeting room. From the ceiling hangs gigantic incense in the form of cones that visitors leave as offerings, since this is a sacred space. Inside, paper labels are hung with the data of the people who make the offering. These incenses burn for about a month. After that time, the monks will burn the paper.

Fujian Assembly Hall (Hội quán Phúc Kiến)

In the background is the altar dedicated to Bodhisattva Quan Am and the Goddess of the Sea «Thien Hau Thanh Mau».

Fujian Assembly Hall (Hội quán Phúc Kiến)

Since it was already late (everything closes at 5:00 p.m.), we went for a walk to the hotel to rest. A shower and a bit of relaxation in the pool.

At night, rested, we went for a walk through the charming streets of the old town enjoying the lively atmosphere there.

Once a month there is a lantern festival, in which thousands of paper lanterns are released into the river and carried away by the current. But now you can see them to a lesser extent every night as the locals sell them to tourists. The truth is that it creates a very cool atmosphere.

Through tripadvisor we located a restaurant with a good appearance. It’s called Nữ Eatery. It’s quite hidden but the food was great. They also make an exquisite and very refreshing lemonade.

After dinner, return to the hotel to rest because we had to get up early to take advantage of the last morning in Hội An.

July 21

After breakfast, we walk towards the center.

Hoi An

We arrived walking to the Old House of the Tan family (Ky Nhà Cổ Tấn Ký). Built over 200 years ago as the home of the Tan Ky merchant family. Tan Ky Old House is a combination of Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese architectural styles.

Old House of the Tan family (Ky Nhà Cổ Tấn Ký)

For my taste a bit ornate but the truth is that it is impressive. Before leaving they caught us by band and convinced us to buy some lucky charms.

We went to browse the local market where we also bought a Vietnamese coffee maker to make Vietnamese coffee that we were going to buy in Hanoi to bring to Spain and then to the post office to send a couple more postcards.

The post office is also a really nice and well-kept building. The funny thing is that the stamps here cost us less than in Huế. Hội An’s things in life came before.

We continued walking through the spectacular and charming Hội An until it was time to leave for the Đà Nẵng airport.

I can say that to this day, it is the most charming city I have ever visited.

Hoi An
Hoi An

To go to the airport we hired a transfer service that took about 40 minutes.

Hire your transfer service from the following link:

Đà Nẵng airport is the main airport in the center of the country, so it is very large and very crowded. We went to the counters and checked in. Curiously, we touched emergency exits again. I think they saw us as big compared to the Vietnamese and assigned them to us.

Before getting on the plane, we ate something at a fast food place and at 1:40 p.m. we took off for Hanoi. The tremendously bustling capital of the country.

Find a multitude of activities to do in Hội An with Civitatis:

What to do in Hoi An


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