The Fantastic Hoi An Temples of Central Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam

A day spent visiting the Hoi An Temples are a day well spent in Central Vietnam

Buddhist influences are felt far and wide throughout Southeast Asia, but perhaps the most beautiful and unique are the Hoi An Temples. Thanks to a combination of Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and even French architecture notes, the temples are a stunning part of Central Vietnam’s ancient capital.

For all my travel blog posts on Vietnam: Click Here

For all the high-resolution photos from Hoi An, Vietnam: Click Here

 

Hainan Assembly Hall

Hoi An, Vietnam
Fancy fresh durian or bananas? A lady seller in a rice hat poses in front of the Hainan Assembly Hall

SInce I’ve already written at length about Hoi An this post will stick primarily to the brilliant Hoi An Temples and their overall vibes, architecture and general design.  First up in the Ancient Town of Hoi An is the Hainan Assembly Hall. It was built in 1851 by the Chinese of Hainan to serve both the Hainan and Jialing communities. The story behind this temple is that it is in memorium of 108 Chinese merchants who were mistakenly killed when locals believed them to be pirates. These merchants were named deities by King Tu Duc, who donated the money in order to build it.

Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam

Chua Phap Bao Pagoda

Hoi An, Vietnam

The Chua Phap Bao Pagoda is the only temple in this mini Hoi An – Vietnam Travel Guide – that is located outside of the Ancient Town. The well-kept modern pagoda (relatively speaking, that is) is named after its founder and the 34th Chaplain Lam Te Chanh. Three famous Buddha Images are located in the compound – Shakyamuni Buddha, Amitabha Buddha and Maitreya Bodhisattva – and it was completely renovated in the year 2000 by Thich Hanh Niem. It was originally built in 1981.

Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam

Cantonese Assembly Hall/Quang Trieu Assembly Hall/Hoi Quan Quang Dong

Hoi An, Vietnam

Built in 1885 by Guangdong/Cantonese Chinese immigrants, the Cantonese Assembly Hall is one of Hoi An’s most famous temples. Filled with statues made of pottery and mythical characters from Chinese and Vietnamese lore, the Assembly Hall has so much to see. Some of the temple compound was actually built in China and transported to Hoi An. For a bit of history, the Hall used to be located on a wharf and it was a meeting point for local fishermen and merchants to buy/sell/exchange goods. Festivals are held at the Hall several times a year so make sure to plan your trip around the festivities if possible!

Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam

Trung Hoa Assembly Hall/Trung Tam Hoa Van Le Nghia

Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An’s oldest assembly hall, built in 1741, is the Duong Thuong Assembly Hall. Built with money from local traders of the five Chinese counties of Fukien, Zhao Zhou, Canton, Hainan and Jiain. Filled with history, it has been dedicated to a number of different people along with soldiers killed in the “anti-Japanese Resistance War.” It was renamed the Trung Hoa Assembly Hall in 1928, served as a public school for the Chinese and then named the Le-Nghia School. Today is serves as a school for children of the diaspora and is dubbed the Truong Le Nghia. Fun fact: there was a stone stele called “Duong Thuong Rules” which stated the 10 principles for the Chinese immigrants to do business in Hoi An.

Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam

Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall/Fujian Assembly Hall

Hoi An, Vietnam

I’ve already said that the Duong Thuong Assembly Hall is the oldest temple in Hoi An, however some argue that the Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall was actually built in 1690 and is the oldest. Regardless, the large temple is not to be missed when visiting the Ancient Town of Hoi An. Also known as the Fujian Assembly for having been built to serve the Fujian Chinese community, it was sold to traders from Phuoc Kien after some damage from earthquakes and was restored around 1759.  The architecture of this temple is tremendous and its images and sculptures are some of the finest in the city.

Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam

Quon Cong Temple

Hoi An, Vietnam

The Quon Cong Temple is another example of Chinese craftsmanship and architecture in the Hoi An Ancient Town. Named after a successful Chinese general and sometimes referred to as the Ong Pagoda, it has been reconstructed several times and also features major sculputres, perfectly-manicured bushes and trees, and several prominent Buddha Images.

Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam

Tu Do Tham Quan

Hoi An, Vietnam
The entrance to the Tu Do Tham Quan from Tran Phu Road

Hoi An, Vietnam

The Tu Do Tham Quan is yet another example of brilliant architecture in Hoi An. The humble entranceway gives way to a quiet and peaceful courtyard with perfectly-manicured trees, clean paths and floors, and well-cared for statues and sculptures.

Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam

I hope you all enjoyed the photo drop and breakdown of some of my favorite Hoi An Temples! Don’t forget to follow the links below to read more about the stunning Hoi An Ancient Town and the rest of my travels in Vietnam!

For all my travel blog posts on Vietnam: Click Here

For all the high-resolution photos from Hoi An, Vietnam: Click Here

Hoi An, Vietnam

Exploring Authentic Hoi An, Vietnam

Japanese Covered Bridge

There are few pristine travel destinations left like Hoi An, Vietnam.

Brilliant architecture, perfect canals, clean coastline with immaculate sandy beaches and more history than you can shake a stick at make Hoi An, Vietnam, a gem of Southeast Asia.

For all my travel blog posts on Vietnam: Click Here

For all the high-resolution photos from Hoi An, Vietnam: Click Here

Hoi An, Vietnam

While modern cities like Ho Chi Minh City (and even more photos here) and Hanoi see a great leap forward in FDI, architecture and technology which is reshaping them to their very foundations, Vietnam’s ancient cities of Hue and Hoi An are still raising the flag so to speak of traditional Vietnamese culture and identity. Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a wonder of central Vietnam.

Hoi An, Vietnam
Crossing the Ho River into Hoi An from China Beach

Hoi An, Vietnam

And that’s just the view on the way in to Hoi An! The drive from Danang to Hoi An is a roughly 30-kilometer drive along the quiet and peaceful coastline. Spanning the length of My Khe Beach, the infamous stretch of sand used to be referred to as “China Beach” by American GI’s during the Vietnam War. It’s quite a weird thing, passing Danang, cruising past the Marble Mountains and heading inland towards Hoi An and imaging how different a sight this place must have been only 30-some years ago.

Hoi An, Vietnam
The famous Chinese Lanterns of Hoi An
Hoi An, Vietnam
French Colonial Architecture lines the Ancient Town of Hoi An

Hoi An, Vietnam

The Iconic Japanese Covered Bridge of Hoi An

Hoi An has long been an international city and not to get too bogged down in history, but the Japanese community in town wanted to link up with the Chinese quarter therefore they began bridge-building over the natural canals. The first bridge built here was in the 1590s with updates and upkeep taking place frequently since then. Keeping faithful to the original Japanese design, during the French Indochina days they flattened out the roadway for cars and the bridge, especially its arched shape, was completely restored in 1986. It is now an icon of the city.

Hoi An, Vietnam
To make a local smile, ask in Vietnamese for the “Cau Nhat Ban”
Hoi An, Vietnam
“Lai Vien Kieu” = “A bridge for passengers by from afar”

Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam
The bridge’s “Pagoda” section, the Cau Chua Pagoda

Hoi An, Vietnam

The Streets and Local Vibe

After the Japanese Bridge, the streets are lined with cafes, restaurants, local shops and handmade goods stores. Primarily a tourist city, Chinese lanterns line the city streets and are available for purchase for tourists who want a trademark souvenir.

Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam
Handcrafted goods line the alleyways

Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam
Expert craftsmanship, done the old way

Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam
The Cau An Hoi Bridge over the Thu Bon River

Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam
Riverboats are always available for cruises up and down the canals

Hoi An, Vietnam

 

The Central Market

The busy little Central Market  is essentially a large food hall surrounded by small shops, tailors and restaurants. If you’re looking to save a bit of Dong vs. the rest of the city’s tourist spots, this is the place to go in the Ancient Town for a good local meal for a fair price. I recommend the Cau Lau or the Mi Quang, but my favorite is the fried beef with noodles.

 

Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam
Always busy and seemingly always open (officially at 6:30am)!

Keep checking the site for more on Hoi An, as the Temples and Assembly Halls are up next… and you don’t want to miss them!

For all my travel blog posts on Vietnam: Click Here

For all the high-resolution photos from Hoi An, Vietnam: Click Here