Hoi An ancient town - The facts you might have never known
hoi an ancient town and the amazing facts you might not know

Amazing facts about Hoi An ancient town

Hoi An ancient town is famous around the world with its old beauty, peace, and friendliness. However, there are amazing facts about this old town that might have never heard about them.

The city has been through more than two thousand years, Hoi An has so many changes in its culture, lifestyle, and architecture. Some still remain until today while others disappeared. Hence, there are things that you cannot see when reading about it on the internet or even traveling to the old town. Moreover, this was a prosperous trading port in the past. It contacted with different cultures in the world such as Japanese, Chinese, and French cultures. Therefore, there are unique things in the local culture which is mixed by different pieces from different countries. And there are only the locals who could recognize it but not all the tourists.

hoi an ancient town and the amazing facts you might not know

Boat tour on Thu Bon river in Hoi An – Image: Frank Verlinden.

Hoi An ancient town was named Faifo before

People found that Hoi An ancient town has appeared for more than two thousand years ago. They found out the exhibits which prove that the locals have started developing agriculture, fishing, and handicraft. However, there is no document about when people have called this place Hoi An.

The old western people called Hoi An by Faifo. Related to this name, there are so many hypothesises. In a Dictionarium Annamiticum Lusitanum et Latinum which was published in 1651, Faifo is a place in Cochinchine where the Japanese live. The Japanese businessmen came to Hoi An trading port to develop their business here. In 1967, the Japanese town has established and grown-up prosperously in Hoi An for the Japanese living.

hoi an ancient town in the rainy days

Hoi An town on a rainy day – Image: Hai Trinh Xuan.

Another hypothesis stated that Hoai river was the name of Thu Bon river before. Thus, people called Hoi An by Hoai Pho (means Hoai Town). It then changed to Phai Pho and it was the origin of Faifo. Since in Vietnam, Phai Pho has the same pronunciation as Faifo. (Ph and F has the same way to pronounce in Vietnam).

Flood in Hoi An ancient town: Dangerous but beautiful

The flood is not a strange thing in Vietnam. Hoi An ancient town also has flood season. It is usually from August to December. It is not that Hoi An is in the flood in all those months. However, it is rainy and stormy seasons. Therefore, the change for flood is higher than other times in a year. Even though it is not a great idea to travel, Hoi An in the flood is beautiful, but dangerous as well.

hoi an ancient town in the flood

Hoi An in the flood – Image: Di Rong Da Nang.

When the flood comes, there are just a few restaurants open that you can come to find food. You will not have the chance to try all the best street foods ever in the old town. Additionally, if you are not familiar with Hoi An maps, it is so dangerous if you walk or ride on the streets without help from the locals. Falling down to a hole or stucking in a gap in the streets will be a normal thing in the flood condition.

"Hoi An ancient town has a romantic but sad beauty in the flood."

However, visiting Hoi An during the flood would be a wonderful experience. However, make sure that the flood is not too high that you still can also move among Hoi An and other cities. These days, there is a new tour in the old town that attracts so many tourists not only from the world but also from the other places in Vietnam. It is to take a tour around the ancient town by boats.

There are 100+ festivals in a year

The traditional festival is a wonderful thing in Vietnam. There are thousands of festivals across the country a year. In Hoi An ancient town, that number is bigger than 100.

Due to the long period of development pluses the combination of different cultures from different countries, Hoi An has so many festivals in a year.

lantern festival in hoi an ancient town

Lantern festival in Hoi An – Image: Vinh Bui.

There are the Fisherman festival, the Traditional Villages festival in February. Besides, there is a Full Moon festival which local people also celebrate this month for the very first full moon in a lunar year. Additionally, the Lantern Festival in Hoi An is the most famous one that is in the list of the best festivals in Vietnam by Wonderlust.

Furthermore, the Autumn Festival is also an interesting activity for tourists to come and see the beauty of Hoi An in the lantern lights. The old town also has tons of different festivals for different Gods in the spiritual life of the locals. 

Cua Dai beach is encroached and threatened to disappear

cua dai beach is located 7 km away from hoi an ancient town

Cua Dai beach is in the encroachment – Image: Bui Dac Ninh.

Cua Dai beach is an interesting destination which is 7 kilometers away from Hoi An ancient town. This was one of the most beautiful beaches in Asia. However, since 2007, it has been threatened to disappear by the encroachment. Although the government is investing billions of VND to prevent the beach from encroaching, there is no good result. The beach has been eroded to the mainland by up to 200 meters.

"One of the most beautiful beaches in Asia is threatened to disappear."

There are more than 100,000 bikes on the roads

In order to satisfy the demand for a huge number of tourists coming to Hoi An ancient town, the local bike providers offer more than 100,000 bikes in total. Additionally, it is also a goal of the local government in developing the old town to become an ecocity in Vietnam.

take a bike tour in hoi an ancient town will be an interesting experience

Bicycle tour in Hoi An is an interesting experience – Image: @tschuli0089.

Taking a bicycle tour around the city always is a wonderful experience. Moreover, you also can ride a bike to the traditional villages around the town to explore the local tradition.

Only 5,000 VND per dish of street food (correlatively 0.2 USD)

Besides the unique architecture and impressive culture, Hoi An ancient town is also famous for street foods. The most amazing thing in Hoi An cuisine is that you just need to pay 0.2 USD to try a dish of street food. The most popular ones are mango cake, potato cake, water fern cake, and so many other dishes.

street foods in hoi an ancient town is super cheap

Street foods in Hoi An are so cheap but tasty – Image: @marisasukosolnunbhakdi.

Hoi An ancient town is a wonderful destination for culture and cuisine. It gives tourists the awesome moments to save the best memories of the Vietnam trip. However, if you know more about this place, it would be more interesting that every corner has its own stories that only the locals know. Are you ready for an amazing trip to this thousands of years old city?