Hoi An is an ancient town located downstream of Thu Bon River, delta area of Quang Nam province Vietnam, about 30km from Da Nang City in southern direction. Thanks to its favorable geographical factors, Hoi An was a thriving international commercial port, the meeting place of merchant ships as: Japan, China and the West during the 17th and 18th centuries. From the late 19th century, due to the impact of many unfavorable factors, Hoi An degraded and lost the bustle, transfer its historic role to Danang mechanical port. But so. Hoi An was protected from distortion of a latter-day town under the influence of modern urbanization to become an ancient town with unique and great architectural ensemble .
Streets of Hoi An
Old town is located in Ming An ward, about 2 km2 of area with short and narrow streets, which runs vertically and horizontally in the chessboard style. Old houses are interspersed with religious buildings on small and simple streets created quiet beauty for Hoi An ancient town.
Streets of Hoi An Ancient town seem to be covered colors of moss looks magical and dreaming such a vivid picture. The existence of an old town such as Hoi An is the only case in Vietnam and also rare in the world. This is considered to a living museum of architecture and urban lifestyle.
At night, the old town becomes more shimmering and mystical by candles lighted in the Chinese style lantern or lantern have shapes of pumpkin or the oval covered with colorful silk pieces hanging at the top of each house porch.
When somebody tell about Hoi An ancient town, they could not forget to mention Cau pagoda as a representative architecture for the image of Hoi An. Pagoda is on a bridge which is about 18 meters long, covered by the roof, cross over Thu Bon River. Cau pagoda is one of special architectural monuments. Pagoda’s roof was covered by Yin and Yang tiles covering entire bridge. On the main door of Cau pagoda has a large nameplate, embossed 3 kanji is “Lai Van Kieu”.
Cau pagoda was made from painted wood, carved meticulously, front side of pagoda turned toward the river. Two bridges have wooden statues of animals stand adoration, one side is a dog statue (Thien Hau), another side is monkey statue (Thien Cau). Thien Cau is represented in the year of construction, Thien Hau is represented in the year of ended works.
Although it is called pagoda but inside have no Buddha statues. In the middle of main hall worship a wooden statue “Bac De Tran Vo” – protector of the land, giving fun and happiness to people, expressing spiritual aspirations that people want to send to the heaven to pray for good things.
Hoi An is attractive by characteristic architecture of old houses in tubular shape, the width of 4 m to 8 m, from 10 m to 40 m deep. Main materials were used to build houses here have bearing capacity and high stability due to its harsh climate and annual flood of this area.
The structure of the house is divided as follows: sidewalk, patio, main house, outbuildings, porch, toilet and inside patio, behind part. House is divided into three main spaces including: business space, living space and worship space. This divide is suitable for narrow space and incorporates features of the house.
Truss system carry the roof is carved exquisite patterns. The roof is covered with yin and yang tiles, curly tiles, one up side rows next to another down side row form a line along the pitch of the roof.
Tiled floors, wooden column systems in the house are put on rocks. Most tiles, bricks were brought from the North. Wooden structure of the house is harmonious in architectural style and decoration.
Space ancient houses in Hoi An is airy creating harmony with nature by an open terrace, rockery, pool of water … to get the light. It make houses in Hoi An is cool in summer and warm in winter.
Chinese Assembly Hall
Hoi An have five Chinese Assembly Halls: Ngu Bang, Phuoc Kien, Trieu Chau, Quynh Phu, Quang Trieu. Ngu Bang Assembly Hall is located in the heart of Hoi An ancient town, is one of five Chinese Assembly Halls was built by Chinese who was original from Fujian. Despite undergoing a lot of times for restoration but it still retains original architecture beauty.
On August 24, 2000, Hoi An boasts noble title “Cultural Heritage of the World “. Through the ups and downs history, Hoi An ancient town still retains its taciturn and ancient features. Architectural ensemble of the old town there is harmony between space, layout and architecture ingeniously interwoven between architectural styles of Vietnamese – Chinese – Japanese – Western. It is a unique relic, diverse, representing wisdom, talent and creativity of our forefathers in history. As the integration and cultural exchange process, although there is overlap, blending cultures, but Hoi An ancient town is still imbued with national identity.