When it comes to “where to go in Vietnam”, Hanoi capital city, Ho Chi Minh City, or the UNESCO World Natural Heritage of Halong Bay have long been in the spotlight thanks to their worldwide recognition. Meanwhile, first in the list of “top places to visit on a culture tour in Vietnam”, we have an ancient house named Tan Ky, which is believed to exist for more than 200 years and is thought to be one of the oldest homes in Vietnam.
Tan Ky Old House Hoi An
Found in the lovely ancient town of Hoi An, the Old House of Tan Ky is a gem of a house built by an ethnically Vietnamese family and has been dedicatedly preserved through seven generations in spite of the huge devastation of strong floods hitting the town every year and the decline in the town’s business situation. Given to the house by the 2nd generation of the owners to express their wish for a prosperous business, the name the Old House of Tan Ky – meaning “Progress Shop” itself, suggests that this building is one of the remotest historical buildings in Hoi An.
Built at the end of the 18th century with the first purpose of business, and agricultural product trade, recognized as cultural and historical relics in 1985 by Ministry of Culture, and now becoming an extremely trendy travel destination, the Old House of Hoi An is a must-visit place on your Vietnam culture tours.
What to see here?
Tan Ky Ancient House-a place to visit on Hoi An tours
A major tourist venue in Hoi An Ancient Town established perhaps 4 or 5 centuries ago, the Tan Ky Ancient House is an almost perfect example of an 18th merchant’s residence in this major commercial port town in Central Vietnam.
As the most well-preserved house in Hoi An, this building at no 101 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street is where you can find the interior design and furniture as well as many relics of the prospering trade and cultural exchanges among Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese from a time when the three generations lived together in Hoi An during the 16th and 17th centuries.
Recognized as a national historical-cultural relic in Vietnam, the house strongly represents features of Oriental philosophy, which can be seen through the curve triple-beam structure (standing for humans, heaven, and earth) displaying some Chinese information in an elaborate way, the five-round blocks (representing metal, wood, water, fire, and earth – the five basic natural elements in Eastern philosophy), and several beautiful decorative carvings of crossed sabres wrapped in silk ribbon on the edge of the house’s roof and furniture.
Inside Tan Ky Old House
This avenue appears to be divided into 4 rooms with their own functions, which mostly have remained unchanged to this day. All of these 4 rooms are in pretty small size but packed with various impressive antiques, durable stone floors, and exterior decoration brought from Bat Trang, Thanh Hoa, and Non Nuoc.
What makes this old house an all-year-round destination on any Vietnam culture tours? It is the excellent design – the roof’s exterior made of tiles, the inside furniture made from jack-fruit trees, ironwood, and peck-wood, thick roofs, wooden walls decorated with unique mosaic arts, and the ceiling consisting of wood that keeps the house cool in summer and warm in winter. Therefore, unlike other pipe-shaped houses in new urban zones in Vietnam, the Old House of Tan Ky never makes you feel stifling.
What to see inside Tan Ky Old House Hoi An
- Address: 101 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Hoi An Ancient Town, Hoi An, Quang Nam.
- Entrance fee: Free
- Telephone number: 0235 3861 474
- Opening hours: 8:30 a.m. – 5:45 p.m. daily
As fun as it is to visit the newest theme park or to sample some of the most local quintessential culinary delights, there is nothing like the goosebumps you might get from something that has existed for more than 2 centuries like Tan Ky Ancient House in Hoi An. A visit to the Old House of Tan Ky in your Hoi An tours is a journey steep in history and beauty.