Day in the life at Trà Quế Herb Village | Live like a local

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Trà Quế Herb Village is a tourist climax that belongs to Hoian Town, Quảng Nam Province. This is one of a very few localities nationwide that has still maintained its initial organic-oriented planting technique. Lied only 3 kilometers away from Hoian Old Quarter itself, Trà Quế is a highly famed urban-like destination that you can cite in your list of the most expected Vietnam countryside tour. So, let’s draft your first image of Trà Quế Herb Village right away by taking a look down further to see what can be expected when taking a day trip to this site!

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Discover Hoian in your own way

What to expect at Trà Quế Herb Village?

Trà Quế has long been a trusted site for producing over 20 species of herbs and veggies that grow on a highly fertilized soil and especially manured with their own one-of-a-kind freshwater weed self-growing at the bottom of Đế Võng River. As a result, veggies found at Trà Quế bear an impeccably unique flavor which is mainly used in most of Hoian delicacies.

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Trà Quế herbs

Trà Quế in Hoian is one of the best tours in Vietnam where you would be warmly welcomed by the truest peasants, who are about to instruct you over the progress of hoeing up ground, growing a few beds of herbs, holes digging, seeding and altogether fishing out the organic weed. When noontime comes, prepare an authentic lunch by yourselves under your hosts’ instruction and spend a relaxing nap on a bamboo hammock amid a shady garden. Other than that, you may welcome afternoon activities such as spreading a net, fishing and so on. Trà Quế does not only give you an unexpected experience as a Vietnam tour for family, yet also delivers a feeling of a true village surrounded by the vast greenish of organic veggies.

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Trà Quế surrounding

How to get your tour started at Trà Quế within just a day?

Having your breakfast done before 8 am and have your Vietnam tailor-made tour guide pick you up at 8.30 am and start your day by heading straight to Trà Quế Herb Village on a bicycle. Sneaking through the little curving paths to reach the first venue of your trip, a local bistro for a quick serve of herbal juice and get to know about the stories behind the birth of where you are about to visit Trà Quế Village. Later on, local peasants will show you around their gardens, where each of the species would be introduced alongside with special techniques on growing an organic herb garden. This will be followed by your own practice where you would be ushered through each step of planting a type of vegetable. In the end, riding on the back of a buffalo is what you should expect to be offered.

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Learning a special technique

Pause half of your trip right here and get back to the local household for a special treatment. Soaking your feet in the warm water added a good amount of herbal medicine before having your lunch started. A cooking class is an upcoming experience. Beside Cao Lầu, a Hoian delicacy identity, here at Trà Quế, you will be taught how to make Tam Hữu, a special version of Spring rolls and Bánh Xèo, the Vietnamese pancakes. Last but not least, get to taste your own final achievements with Trà Quế locals before taking a short snap in their gardens. This trip would be finished at around 2 pm. Make a good farewell with these local hosts and drive back to your accommodation.

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Live like a local

Trà Quế Herb Village has become such a model for anyone who is desiring an ideal Vietnam tour for family. Those types of activities and experiences you are rewarded here at Trà Quế can be seen as the finest selection when having your kids around. Relaxation is not the only thing you can be offered here. Other than that, following the local citizens and learning more about a special technique of growing veggies which is solely used with organic elements are such an intellectual trip you can ever think of. Hence, do not feel like skipping Trà Quế in your next trip to Hoian.

The Cantonese Assembly Hall in Hoi An

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One of the long-history assembly halls, which has a great contribution to the bold architecture of Hoi An Ancient Town is definitely the Cantonese Assembly Hall. With the unique architectural style of the Chinese, as well as being located in the heart of the ancient town, it is not surprising that the assembly hall attracts a large number of domestic and international tourists during their Hoi An tours to visit and learn about this interesting destination.

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The Cantonese Assembly Hall

Located at no. 176 Tran Phu Street, which is close to the Bridge Pagoda, there is no difficulty for visitors to stop over in this unique architecture. In terms of the history of the Cantonese Assembly Hall, it was built around the end of the 18th century. From the 15th to the 19th century, Hoi An is one of the main ports of the country, thus, attracts a lot of Chinese coming here to settle down and start their own business. And a merchant association in Guangdong, China, once having come here, had decided to build an assembly hall in 1885 to make it a place of belief and a gathering of community activities where people can meet regularly to help each other in business as well as other life needs.

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The main hall

The Cantonese Assembly Hall in Hoi An is also known as the Quang Trieu Assembly Hall or Ong Pagoda because inside the assembly hall, people worship Quan Cong – a Chinese general who symbolizes the six words “trung, nghia, tin, tri, nhan, dung”. Those six words are the necessary ethics for the merchant to do a successful business. Being built in the unique architecture in the shape of the word – “quoc” from wood and stone materials, the Assembly Hall is a closed project with the gate, a large garden decorated with many plants, the East and West buildings, the main hall and a backyard, etc., which is quite similar to other assembly halls in Hoi An.

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Space to worship Quan Cong

If you go on a Hoi An tour, you will have a tour guide explain in details the Cantonese Assembly from the whole architecture to the historical points. The first one is the Tam Quan Gate on Tran Phu Street, which is made of stone and is carved very delicately with mascots such as dragons, phoenix, unicorn, etc.  and also other graphics on the pillars. Stepping into the courtyard, you will see a fountain curved in a majestic dragon statue. In addition, you can visit two East and West buildings in the quite simple architecture connecting the main hall and the front hall. The garden decorated with many ornamental trees, bonsai trees, and the fountain looks extremely cool and harmonious.

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Dragon statue fountain

In the middle of the Cantonese Assembly Hall of Hoi An, there is the main hall divided into three main areas: the middle to worship Quan Cong, two are on both sides to worship Phuoc Duc Chanh Than and Tai Bach Tinh Quan. Beside those, many history books have recorded that previously, in the year of 1885, people worshiped Thien Hau and Confucius but since 1911, they moved to worship Quan Cong and “tien hien”. The airy space, decorated in harmony with the system of large rafters is undoubtedly the highlight of this must-see destinations in Hoi An. In particular, in Cantonese Assembly Hall, there are many valuable artifacts made of ceramic such as four precious large paintings, a bronze urn in 1.6m high and 0.6m wide, simulated statues and images of plays, records of the life of the Cantonese community here.

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Precious artifacts preserved in the Cantonese Assembly Hall

Every year, on the 15th of the first lunar month of the lunar calendar, the Cantonese Assembly Hall in Hoi An holds the Nguyen Tieu festival, with traditional ritual sacrifices to wish for a successful New Year. On the 24th of lunar June, the Quan Cong festival will take place to pay tribute to the talented general. Most of the festivals are to commemorate the contributors to the community as well as to preserve Hoi An culture. Therefore, during their Hoi An group tour, many visitors have come to learn about those beliefs here.

If you have a chance to travel to the ancient town, in addition to other famous places, remember to visit the Cantonese Assembly Hall with more than 100 years of existence to be able to explore the Chinese traditions, pray peace for yourself and your family at the main hall and admire the unique architecture of this assembly hall.

“Rummage” Hoian for the most worth-visiting old Community Houses

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When you travel on Hoian group tours, you will easily notice that a program of discovering ancient “community houses” in the town is attached as an intriguing part of the trip. What makes Hoian cultural tour become attractive to tourists from all over the world is not just the beauty of an ancient town but all the wonders hidden in every corner that you can find without losing so much effort. And “hội quán” or “community house” is an example. If you are ready to be mind-opened, follow us to discover what these must-see destinations in Hoian are.

1. The history of “community houses” in Hoi An

As most of you have been told about the history of Vietnam, our country was once under the savage and consistent domination of the Chinese for over 1000 years. This, as a result, has left dozens of consequences, including the cultural effect of the Chinese over ours. It is not hard for you to notice this in almost everything in our country including constructions such as Huế Citadel with Chinese style, or even our language is also profoundly affected. The fun fact is that, after the domination, as Vietnam and China “cool down” the heat in their relationship, a part of the Chinese come to Vietnam for living and of course, vice versa. However, the Chinese influence is undeniable.

The gorgeous Hoian in the purple shade

During the century of 16th and 17th, parts of the Chinese and Japanese came back to Vietnam post-war and afterward gradually built their own “community” there. And Hoian was also in the list of their “inhabitance”. Apparently, this is not something bad and it is not like that they were going to build another empire for the next invasion or something. There can be many reasons for this such as they enjoyed living in Vietnam more than their own countries due to several personal issues or the boom in the cultural integration in the Medival period that led to the immigration of massive parts of Chinese to other countries around the world.

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The breathtaking beauty of Hoian at night

However, the most pre-eminent reason for this is that in the past, China used to be one of many developed countries with an excessively developmental and intensive sea-trading activity. In addition, Hoian at that time was a very famous seaport for trading in Vietnam and this apparently led to such massive influxes of Chinese to the city. Therefore, back to the track, it is this community of Chinese and Japanese, mostly Chinese, which immigrated here that led to the appearance of what you usually hear being introduced during Hoian day tours as “hội quán”.

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The beauty of Hoian exposed in another angle

2. General features of ancient “community houses” in Hoi An

So the question is: What is “Hội Quán”? Basically, “hội quán” is like another “ancient version” of clubs that we see these days with similar organizing method and establishing purpose, except for the fact that there are somehow lots of things not in common. First of all, hội quán is created based on the idea that this is the community of the Chinese, where they can freely live and fully inherit the right that they own as being Chinese. Hội Quán in some ways is like a mini version of China in which the Chinese live a normal life amongst Vietnamese and are protected and guaranteed both mental and material life.

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Dreamy Hoian by day

Secondly, a reason also derived from the first reason is the construction of these houses. In most Western countries, even developed Asian ones, “club” is a term regarded as where people with the same habits, hobbies or anything in common can come to have a chat or building plans and personal projects. Hội Quán is mostly nothing in common because it is not only a place where the Chinese come for fun to express their desire or emotion but also where their most basic daily activities take place. This is why most Hội Quán are built with the typical oriental architectural style of the Chinese in the expression of curved-roof buildings, which bears resemblance to Asian temples and the like. The design is not just planned to resemble Asian style but also to remind the Chinese of their hometown and make them feel like home.

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The glowing lantern street at night

Despite having been under several reconstructions, these Hội Quán still own their unique designs and are all under the most restricted rules of the Chinese buildings. Each Hội Quán has a large entrance bearing resemblance to that of temples or shrines with curve roof and extraordinary oriental patterns such as stylized clouds, flowers, dragons, or “qílín” – the Southern Dragon. Behind the main gate is a big yard with trees and flowers planted, which is quite typical and can be seen in many movies about ancient China. On the two sides are shrines used to worship the Left-sided God and the Right-sided God, which are compulsory and very fundamental in Chinese house design. Going slightly farther is “phương đình” where ceremonial offerings usually take place and the main worshipping house, which is also the most magnificent construction of the whole house.

On your Hoian group tours, you will likely come across some ancient buildings covered outside with the most typical Chinese architectural style that you can ever find and they are all located along Trần Phú Street of Hoian. This makes them easier to be found despite whatever corner you are wandering to. The great thing about this is that it only takes you about an hour to discover the top 5 Hội Quán mentioned below.

3. Top 5 “community houses” in Hoi An

In the past, Hoian was the living place of the largest 5 parts of Chinese immigrants including Phúc Kiến, Trung Hoa, Triều Châu, Quỳnh Phủ, and Quảng Đông. This is why Hội Quán of these 5 communities are also the longest and the most pre-eminent found in the region. As you take Hoian group tours, you will be introduced more closely to these five must-see destinations in Hoian. There is a small reminder that you will be charged the admission fee around 80.000vnd for 3 out of 5 clubs here including Phúc Kiến, Quảng Đông, and Triều Châu. However, compared to what you will receive during the trip, it is a very reasonable price.

Phuc Kien Community House

Located in 46 Trần Phú Street, Phúc Kiến or Phước Kiến Community House is the biggest and most widely known by foreign tourists among the five. There are many mysterious things surrounding the existence of this house and the most famous deals with its deep-down origin. It is rumored that this area in the past was covered in trees with a huge river in the front. One day, the locals found a Buddha statue floating on the stream. As they opened it, they discovered there was lots of gold inside and so they decided to use the gold to build a wooden pagoda worshipping the Gods. Not until 1759 when some Phúc Kiến businesspersons came here for the first time, they bought the pagoda back from the locals as it got old and rundown and restored the place to worship Thiên Hậu Goddess.

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The mighty Phuc Kien Community House

Until 1792, the place was changed into Hội Quán Phúc Kiến where Phúc Kiến people have their usual communal meetings. In 1990, the house was recognized and entitled as national historic heritage with the very special “三” (san) design expresses the meaning of happiness, which deals with the ancient intellection about “the Three Perfect”.

  • Address: 46 Tran Phu Street, Hoian Ancient Town

Quang Dong Community House

The second house introduced in Hoian group tours is Quảng Đông Community House. This is also known under the name Quảng Triệu as it was built to serve Quảng Đông community. The place was first built in 1885 to worship Thiên Hậu Goddess and Confucius (Khổng Tử). Until 1911, based on the adaption of the time, it was then changed into the worshipping place of Quan Công (Zihuang) and Tiền Hiền.

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The beautiful Quang Dong Community House under the sun

What makes people remember about Quảng Đông Hội Quán is the exceptionally astounding art in the design of the house, which is filled with delicate stylized patterns carved over the perfectly harmonizing wood and stone. The beauty expressed is taken over to a level of complete state-of-art where the bolt and strong craft lines are put to place with the smooth and elegant drawing lines. The most noticeable feature of the whole house probably lies in the Dragon statue of heavenly beauty situated in the main yard. The statue, which bears the image of many dragons flying to the sky expressing the process of “Carp jumping the Dragon gate” in which the carp is regarded as a symbol of strength and perseverance.

  • Address: 176 Tran Phu Street, Hoian Ancient Town

Hai Nam Community House

Hải Nam Hội Quán is the community house of Quỳnh Phủ people in Hoian. The house is called Hải Nam because it was formed by people of Hải Nam Ward in China around 1875. The existence of the house is attached with a hurtful truth of history. In the past that the year was unknown under the Nguyễn Dynasty of Vietnam, there used to be a mistaken shooting occurred between the Nguyễn military seaforce and a ship of Chinese businesspersons. As Nguyễn soldiers spotted the ship, they thought it was of the enemies from across the border so they started shooting and killing all the people on the boat. It was counted that there were a total of 108 businesspersons were killed in the shooting and they are now worshipped and praised in Hải Nam Community House under the name “Nghĩa Liệt Chiêu Ứng” granted by Tự Đức Emperor after discovering the truth.

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Inside Hai Nam Community House

The house is built in a very special architecture symbolizing the word “国” (guo), which means “the country” in Chinese. The outstanding feature turning heads of visitors is the drawing in the main worshipping compartment. The painting has successfully and artistically described an image of a normal day in “三界” (san jie) – the Three Worlds, which includes the Sky, the Earth, and the Water.

  • Address: 10 Tran Phu Street, Hoian Ancient Town

Trieu Chau Community House

Triều Châu Community House is the only one located in Nguyễn Duy Hiệu compared to the four others, which are situated in Trần Phú Street. However, from Trần Phú, going straight to Cửa Đại Sea direction in a short distance, you can easily see Triều Châu House. The house was built by Triều Châu people of the Chinese in 1845 as a place of gathering for their community. In addition, the house was also built to worship Phục Ba God – the God of Wind and Waves with a purpose of asking for a safe and lucky voyage.

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Trieu Chau Community House with the outstanding red poles

Triều Châu is one of the five community houses that own a delicate design built from wood and hand-drawn patterns expressing significant cultures of the ancient Triều Châu. On the 16th of January according to the Moon Calendar every year, people both Chinese and a part of Vietnamese will gather at Triều Châu House to celebrate Nguyên Tiêu Festival, which is similar to Tết in Vietnam.

  • Address: 157 Nguyen Duy Hieu, Hoi An Ancient Town

Duong Thuong Community House

The last one brought to you in Hoian group tours is Dương Thương Community House. The house is quite special compared to the first four since it was built based on the contribution of all five Chinese communities including Phúc Kiến, Triều Châu, Quảng Đông, Hải Nam and Gia Ứng in 1741. For that reason, the house is also known under the name Ngũ Bang Hội Quán – the Five-Group Community House.

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The entrance of Duong Thuong Community House

Apart from the extraordinary architecture, what distinguishes Dương Thương from the four community houses is the firm existence of the 500-year-old Tripod Cauldron in the main yard, also known as “Đỉnh” in Vietnamese. There are even steles inside the house, which were carved with the history and the growth of the house itself. Besides these interesting things, you can also find a few ship models that the Chinese used sailing on their voyage of sea-trading to other countries.

  • Address: 64 Tran Phu Street, Hoian Ancient Town

Top unmissable tourist attractions in Hoi An (part 3)

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Think of Hoi An in Central Vietnam and it is likely that visions of ancient temples, small alleyways full of dimly lit historic buildings, hidden cafes, good restaurants, lovely street stalls, and cheap eateries will come to mind, set against an exceptionally well-preserved example of a Southeast Asian trading port. That is exactly what the peaceful town provides — and more! These top unmissable tourist attractions in Hoi An showcase the town’s diverse beauty.

Hoi An’s Old Town

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Hoi An Ancient Town

The poetic Thu Bon River, yellow ancient houses with moss-covered roofs, Chinese style tile-roofed wooden houses, a harmonious blend of Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese influences, colorful lanterns adorning the streets and hang in between the buildings, are not all part of Hoi An Ancient Town’s vast and diverse charm.

The perfectly secluded preserved Ancient Town and its mystique is sure to whisk you away to a time long before, make it easier to imagine the trading town’s former prosperity and glory, and transport those with a little imagination back in time, to the old countryside society of Vietnam.

Explore Hoi An’s Old Town on foot to feel like stepping into the pages of a storybook– there is no need to worried about getting lost and the photography opportunities are endless! Colorful guildhalls founded by ethnic Chinese from Guangdong and Fujian provinces, pristinely old plain houses standing quietly, old canals, these small houses decorated with lacquered boards, panels engraved with Chinese characters, wooden doors and two round “wooden house’s eyes” above – a testament to the town’s trading roots are what to capture your attention.

Hoi An Ancient Town strikingly brings to life the ancient past while at the same time showcases Central Vietnam’s sophisticated culinary art. You love Vietnamese food and food culture? Don’t miss the street food festival with diverse traditional dishes such as bánh mì, mì Quảng (Quang noodles), and cao lau noodles as well as Vietnamese cooking courses.

With something for everyone, Hoi An Old Town is unavoidable if you are going on your Hoi An group tour for the very first time.

Chaozhou Hall (Trieu Chau Assembly Hall)

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Trieu Chau Assembly Hall

Primarily a congregational hall dedicated to the God of Wind and Big Waves who the power to calm the oceans and protect sailors from the rough South China Sea and now turning into a heaven for any travelers, especially Vietnamese history and culture lovers on their Hoi An tour, the Trieu Chau Assembly Hall is more inviting than the other halls in Hoi An for distinct reasons.

Believed to be built by Chaozhou people (Chinese) living in Hoi An in 1845, Chaozhou Hall, or commonly known as Ong Bon Pagoda, is an excellent sophisticated example of Vietnamese architecture. The Hall’s highlights are a sophisticated carved wooden frame; folk-legend-inspiring motifs; the works embossed with beautiful crockery; wooden patterns and embossed patterns made of porcelain pieces reflecting the ingenious talent of the ancient artists.

Trieu Chau Assembly Hall is best visited on the occasion of Tet Nguyen Tieu (full moon of the first lunar month) when the bless and ancestor worship is celebrated.

  • Location: No 157 Nguyen Duy Hieu Street, Hoi An.

Hoi An Museum of Folklore

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Museum of Folklore

One of the museums with special theme belonging to the Relic Preservation Center of Hoi An, the Museum of Folklore is on everyone’s list amongst the best places to visit on any Hoi An day tour.

The Museum of Folklore built in a typical 150-year-old Chinese trading house showcases the unique artifacts displaying the traditional cultural values as well as a long history of creation and contributions of the people in Hoi An to international friends. For many people, the collection of more than 600 objects with 4 prominent themes, namely folk oratorio art, folk shaping art, traditional folk activities, and traditional villages is a reason to go on a Hoi An group tour.

  • Location: No 33 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province.

The peaceful town in Central Vietnam, with its timeless beauty, buildings and its street plan reflecting the distinct French and local Vietnamese influences, ancient temples has no dearth of some of the best places to visit on any Hoi An group tour.

Top unmissable tourist attractions in Hoi An (part 2)

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Hoi An in Central Vietnam is a pure delight to Vietnamese history and culture lovers. There are a lot of picturesque, popular sites nestled in and around the UNESCO World Heritage charm of the Old Town that make for unforgettable holiday destinations. And they are all so spellbinding that it gets hard to compile a list of unmissable places to visit on your Hoi An tour.

An Bang Beach

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An Bang Beach

Wild, untouched, and utterly captivating, this spectacular beach located just 4 kilometers from Hoi An’s UNESCO World Heritage center and 30 kilometers from Da Nang International Airport has a 4-km wonderful stretch of fine sand so white you will even need sunglasses for the glare.

This once-underrated beach now holds the crown as Hoi An’s go-to beach and has since become a top destination for swimmer, paddle-boarders, and surfers thanks to its great shore breaks. Even though it has grown in popularity in the last few years and new resorts have cropped up, it still retains its relatively unspoiled charm and laid-back vibes at a slew of hippy Western-managed bars.

Given this stunning backdrop of an enormous horizon with less of the serious erosion evident at Cua Dai, it is not surprising that An Bang was included in CNN’s list of the Top 100 Best Beaches in the world in 2016. Whether you are endlessly searching for a spot not occupied by tourists or want to hide under a sun umbrella, hang out at one the casual bars, or experience a few watersports like parasailing and jet-skiing, make sure to reserve at least a day on your Hoi An day tour’s itinerary for some beautiful time at An Bang Beach.

Tra Que Village

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Tra Que Village

There are few better ways to enjoy your Central Vietnam group tour in Hoi An than from the busy tourist sites, and that is the perspective you get after reaching the Tra Que Vegetable Farm where a wide variety of veggies and herbs is grown in the rich soil at the top of the rice field.

Hoi An is home to numerous traditional craft villages, but this hidden spot located 3km north of Hoi An’s Old Town takes the crown for its outrageous beauty, nice weather, incredible atmosphere, and lovely farmers. Accessible only by road, by motorbike, bicycle or simply a light walk, the small village in Cam Ha Commune, Hoi An City is flanked by a few dozen hectares of cultivated land and the beautifully laid out gardens with mixed beds of vegetables and tiny flowers.

“The loveliest village on earth” – the only freshest and cleanest vegetable supporter for Hoi An local foods meets pretty much every requirement for Hoi An group tour perfection. Away from the buzz of other crowded spots, families and couples alike can spend the day seeing local farmers in their daily life to discover the art of cultivating and water plants, having lunch at a local friendly host with mouthwatering taste of Hoi An such as cao lau, Quang noodles, banh xeo, etc., bicycling around the village, and taking some cooking lessons provided by tourism companies.

Phuc Kien Assembly Hall

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Phuc Kien Assembly Hall

In spite of the various popular assembly halls in Hoi An, for show-off gorgeousness, the Phuc Kien Assembly Hall has no rival. Taking part in the embellishment of Hoi An’s architecture, the Phuc Kien Assembly Hall (also known as Fujian Assembly Hall) —makes itself outstanding for its sacredness as well as its jaw-dropping beauty and majesty in a large space with unique architecture of Chinese architectural style and the Chinese philosophy of happiness.

Phuc Kien Hall was built in the 1690s to worship Mazu and Thien Hau – the goddess of the sea and protector of the sailors, the goddess Thuan Phong Nhi, and the goddess Thien Ly Nhan and is now a place to visit on any Hoi An group tour. Inside the heritage of historical significance – once the meeting place of the Fujian living in Hoi An, you can find a plethora of statues, copper drum, copper bells, mosaic fountain bearing a fish sculpture, horizontal lacquered board engraved with Chinese characters, big incense burners, 14 paintings, and many other valuable artifacts.

  • Location: No 46 Tran Phu Street, Hoi An.

Here is an elaborate compilation of unmissable tourist attractions to visit on your Hoi An day tour.

Top unmissable tourist attractions in Hoi An (part 1)

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Have no idea on where to go on your Hoi An group tour? There is no better way to both relax and be inspired than jetting off top unmissable tourist attractions in Hoi An.

Tan Ky Ancient House

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Tan Ky Old House

A marvel of an ethnically Vietnamese family, Tan Ky Ancient House goes on to have a life of its own, becoming a central and functional part of countless people’s spiritual lives and an unmissable site on any Hoi An day tour for two hundreds of years after it was built.

An almost perfect example of a 18th merchant’s residence in this major commercial port town, the Tan Ky Ancient House is one such wonder, marking a crucial ingenious combination of 3 architectural styles, namely Vietnam, Japan, and China, from a time when the three communities lived together in Hoi An during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Tan Ky Ancient House has been in existence for at least 200 years but much of its original structure has been lovingly preserved through seven generations and still stands the test of time despite the decline in business of the town and the huge devastation of annual floods.

The highlight of the most impressive construction in Hoi An is the first pavilion and its 3 small apartments in accordance with traditional Vietnamese architecture with the yin-yang tile-covered roof, but there is plenty of other stuff to see, including Chinese poems written in inlaid mother-of-pearl hang from some of the columns that hold up the roof, the triple-beam structure (stands for heaven, earth and humans), the carved wooden balcony supporting around the courtyard, two vertical panels next to the Tan Ky House’s central courtyard, etc.

  • Location: 101 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Hoi An.
  • Opening hours: 8am-noon & 2-4.30pm

Hoi An Central Market

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Hoi An Central Market

A vast hectic hive of activity held daily, Hoi An Central Market teems with what is very likely Central Vietnam’s best selection of things: produce stall upon produce stall of everything from fresh vegetables, colorful flowers, and fresh fruits like pomelo, custard apple, etc. to chickens (still alive) being bunched onto the handlebars of motorbikes to the hair accessories and woven baskets.

This is everything Hoi An’s daily life is. Edible-food sellers proudly demonstrate the freshness of their products, tourists polish up their bargaining skills and head out shopping, and locals flock to the market to sample some of Hoi An’s food specialties – it is full of overwhelming sights, sounds, colors, and smells.

Hoi An Central Market now houses a massive food hall, where you can find so many eating spots to choose from without complaints about value for money. Expect to pay VND 15,000-20,000 per dish. Some local delicacies to try include cao lầu, mì Quảng (Quang noodles), bún bò Huế spicy soup, bánh mì, bánh bao bánh vạc (“white rose” dumplings), and bánh xèo (Vietnamese pancake). Get ready to be absolutely spoiled for choice at the decent spot for breakfast! If you don’t fancy having a proper sit down, don’t hesitate to order food at one of the street side stalls to get warmed up for some food shopping. It’s time to brave Hoi An Central Market on your Hoi An group tour!

  • Location: Hoi An Central Market is on Nguyen Hue and Tran Phu Streets stretching from the water’s edge into the town.
  • Opening hours: Early in the morning.

Thanh Ha Pottery Village

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Thanh Ha Pottery Village

3 Km to the West of the ancient quarter, Thanh Ha Pottery Village is famous for its traditional pottery production which has been practiced over the past five centuries. The Terracotta Village – a park and center devoted to all things pottery is absolutely a highlight but there is so much more to see on your Central Vietnam group tour here. The traditional and unique method of making pottery bowls, jars, pots, animal shapes, etc. – handmade and wheel thrown has had a profound impact on the UNESCO World Heritage town’s local culture.

  • Location: Cam Ha ward in the Quang Nam Province

For so many people, Hoi An is both a dream place and a once-in-a-lifetime destination to visit in Central Vietnam. If you’re planning your first Hoi An tour, you should not miss the top of the must-see list in the UNESCO World Heritage town.

What to do in May in Central Vietnam?

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May is soon coming and you are seeking the next destinations to visit in Vietnam. While many travelers are fond of seeing what May looks like in a different part of Vietnam — say, the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site of Halong Bay, for example, or a long-haul getaway at a far-flung destination in Central Highland region to get off-the-beaten-track — others are itching for a Central Vietnam group tour.

Hereunder is our recommendation on what you should be doing during that perfect May getaway.

Is May such a great time to go on your Central Vietnam group tours?

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May in Central Vietnam

If you have been waiting to knock Hoi An and Da Nang off your Bucket List, May is a damn good time to do it. The hordes of tourists have not reached these best places to visit in Central Vietnam, the June scorching heat has not hit these places, and the skies are usually blue.

The beginning of summer promises pretty nice and travel-friendly weather, charming scenery, top-down road trips, and famous events like the Da Nang International Fireworks Festival. Basically, May is the perfect time to get out of town and get ready to say goodbye to the cool weather before the summer heat comes.

What to do in May in Central Vietnam?

Go on your Central Vietnam tours and you will definitely love May in Hoi An and Da Nang — it feels like we are in the Most Worth-Living Places in Vietnam.

Walking almost everywhere

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Walk around Hoi An Streets

Words that come to mind when we think of Hoi An during the month of May are charming and flourishing: the entire city feels a bit like a hive of excitement and a beguiling place to spend a few days. Tourist season is about to be at its peak, and even locals start to really see their lovely town again. If you are looking for a taste of the ancient town you have seen portrayed in countless travel magazines, then walking almost anywhere in the city is a delight.

The best part of your travel to Hoi An in May is the easy access on foot or by cyclo to its lazy river lined with mustard-yellow merchants’ houses, and its well-preserved mix of Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese, and French architecture thanks to the pedestrian-friendly streets.

Sample local food

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Hoi An food

Go on your Central Vietnam group tours before the sweltering days of summer so you can spend time sampling local culinary highlights as many as possible rather than simply baking on the beach. With the sunny and dry weather, it is highly recommended to visit a local market to feast on a culinary festival!

Hit the beach

The crowds at the Fujian Assembly Hall, the Japanese Bridge, the Marble Mountains, or the Lady Buddha are always big, and that is particularly true during the sunny days of May. Since we know you do not want to spend your valuable time in Central Vietnam stuck in the terrible crowds, we strongly recommend you hit the beach less than an hour away.

The beaches of An Bang, Non Nuoc, and Cua Dai are prime targets, but there are a lot of less-known romantic getaways with beautiful surroundings like Tien Sa Beach.

Da Nang International Fireworks Festival

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Da Nang International Fireworks Festival

There is no better month to catch Danang people in a cheerful mood. Not only the mild sunny days that are sure to enchant but there is also a raft of public holidays giving locals a welcome break from the busy daily work. April 30th – the Reunification Day and May 1st – the Vietnamese answer to Labor Day are sacred holidays. Da Nang’s other attractions spring to life this time of year, so plan on working your way to Han River and joining crowds along the waterfront for Vietnam’s largest annual fireworks display.

Where should I go in May in Vietnam? No place can beat Da Nang and Hoi An. May in Central Vietnam is the classic shoulder season gamble: nice weather, but the promise of much smaller tourist crowds.

Dress code temple in Vietnam: Things Every Visitor Should Know

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Vietnam is a small predominantly Buddhist country with a long history of many religions including Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam extending for centuries and millennia. If you are looking for temples, pagodas, or sacred places to visit on your Vietnam culture tours, you are definitely not going to be disappointed. There are over thousands of pagodas and shrines dedicated to the reserved icon in this small country in Indochina.

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Temples are everywhere in Vietnam

The most famous, important, and iconic temples are the Perfume Pagoda, the Temple of Literature, the Yen Tu Pagoda, the Thien Mu Pagoda, etc. One thing you need to be aware of if you are visiting these temples on your Vietnam culture tours is the strict dress code. If you are visiting any temple in Vietnam, whether it is in Northern Vietnam, Central region, or cities in the South, the dress code is always enforced and you are expected to dress respectfully.

Temple Etiquette is something difficult to master for visitors, both men, and women, especially first-time ones, to Vietnam. All already know that dressing properly when visiting temples or other sacred places in our S-shaped land is compulsory. But dressing properly can be interpreted in so many ways.

GENERAL STYLE TIPS

Prepare your own right footwear

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Prepare your own right footwear

Probably the easiest thing to make a mistake with is your feet. In Vietnam, you will not need to remove your shoes at any point in either Buddhist or Taoist temples, except the main worshiping area. In addition, some pagodas like the Perfume Pagoda require an uphill walk of about an hour and things can get slippery. Thus, it is wise to do bring along enough of the proper shoes to wear. Buying shoes in Vietnam can be difficult if you have larger feet. Make sure you have at least one pair of good, comfortable walking shoes. Buying brand new shoes to break in while you are on your travel to Vietnam is not a good idea.

Opt for neat, clean, and tidy conservative clothing out of respect for the monks and locals

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General style code

Not all temples, shrines, or sacred places follow the same dress code rules. But you might feel out of place in shorts, sleeveless tops, or any outfits with modest skin coverage. Therefore, short summarized: cover up your shoulders, cleavages, legs, ankles, and knees (both sexes), and no tight-fitting trousers such as leggings, top with sleeves rolled up, and see-through or belly showing clothing. Your chest should also be well covered.

That could take you a week or longer to pack right there and think how little room that would take up in your suitcase. But if you follow our top instructions, you will definitely be dressed properly enough for visiting temples, pagodas, or other sacred places to know more about the cultural identity of Vietnam.

GENERAL BEHAVIOR TIPS

The first thing to know is that you should respect those who are worshipping. Never get in the way of people who are actually there to worship. It is not uncommon to see Vietnamese or even tourists (for religious purposes) gathering to make merit, pray, give offerings, and more at any one of the popular temples.

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General behavior tip

The feet are furthest from your head and touch the ground, so the feet are believed to be the most disrespectful part of someone’s body in Vietnam. Be sure not to point your feet at anyone. Another thing to bear in mind – never use your finger to point at people, the images of Buddha, or any religious imagery.

Do not run around, talk loudly, and spit inside the worshiping place. Feel free to speak in low voices. You should also take rowdy or unhappy children out of the worship area.

Vietnam’s temples and pagodas – known as “đền – chùa” — are literally everywhere. For many Vietnamese culture enthusiasts, temples win the battle in many ‘what to do in Vietnam guides’! It is arguably the best place to learn about Vietnamese religion and spiritual life and there is no doubt that they should be on your list of top attractions to visit in Vietnam. But what you should do or should avoid when visiting a temple in Vietnam?

A visit to Tan Ky Ancient House

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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.

Why visit?

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

Central Vietnam group tours to Tam Hai island – give it a try

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Do you want to have a wonderful Central Vietnam group tours? You do not know where should you go? Then Tam Hai island is definitely a great destination for you to discover. Why? Let’s find out in this writing.

About 40 km south of Tam Ky city, Nui Thanh district, Quang Nam province, Tam Hai island is surrounded by sea around the year so people always enjoy a peaceful life. This is definitely an answer to your question of where to go in Central Vietnam.

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Tam Hai beach

Tam Hai Island is separated from the outside world by the romantic Truong Giang river. To get here, you can go by motorboat from Tam Tien Commune to the north or go along the National Highway 1 and turn to the seaside for about 10 km, then get on a ferry at the mouth of the Ky Ha River. Because the road is not favorable, it is very difficult for this island to develop in terms of tourism potential. It is really a central Vietnam hidden gem, right?

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Coconut tree in Tam Hai beach

The cultural life here has been remained through generations. Therefore, you can still find somewhere the unique traditional in the daily life of the local people. The hospitality, friendliness, and enthusiasm have made many visitors who come here fall in love with this place.

Tam Hai island as a hidden gem in the shell that has not been honed. But perhaps its wild beauty appeals to those who love to explore the world and who like new sensations. Together with a peaceful life here, the landscape covered with a wonderful sense of the coconut palms under the sun and white sand beaches. You might now understand why this is the top islands in central Vietnam.

Tam Hai island is more special because of its seafront and three sides of this island face the river. And that is the reason why people here have the unique culture of the sea regions. On the beach, besides large and small boats, you can find the unique rowboats of this region that anchored on the blue ocean.

For those who like to discover the new things in the world, Ban Than rapids is a must go destination. This place is more than 1km in length and surrounds a small mountain that is made up of sparkling black stone. Due to the change during the time and the invasion of the sea waves, Ban Than rapids owns much unique stone sculpture of nature, which will surely bring excitement to visitors. From the stone strip, you can visit many small islands, which are the ideal tourist destinations for seeing coral reefs in special shapes in the island such as Hon Mang, Hon Dua, Hon Da Chim.

The next destination is Cua Lo, which is one of the relics left after the training of the King Hong Duc. Standing on the mudflats here and looking straight ahead, you can see the magnificent view of the landscape. It might feel like standing on the back of a large fish in the middle of the ocean.

Your day in Tam Hai Island can begin with watching the dawn in the early morning. Then you can prepare the gear bringing on fishermen boat and going fishing on the ocean. The boat will take you offshore for a few miles and then anchored between the immense waves. You can enjoy the moment when the sky stretches like endless.

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The picture in the village

Perhaps, the sentiment of the island people here is the most attractive thing here when visitors have Central Vietnam group tours in here. They rely on others and willing to help other like family members. Here the evils or thefts do not seem to happen. Local people will warmly welcome you by inviting you to enjoy the specialties of coconut water. Fresh coconut juice is cool and slightly fizzy enough for you to remember it for the rest of your life.

If Cu Lao Cham has long been a tourist destination chosen by many tourists, Tam Hai is a place where will bring you the most peaceful moment. Nature has given the island its smooth sand, glistening in the sun, which is overwhelmed with those who first visit this region.

After the moments buried at work, you probably find Tam Hai island as an attractive destination to have moments of relaxation in your group tour in Quang Nam. You can feel harmony in nature and heaven and forget about the worries of life.