Hoi An’s narrow streets are full of old historic houses that date back to the eighteenth century, a time when Hoi An was the biggest trading port in Southeast Asia. The architecture reflects the different trading partners that were here and you can see styles from China, Japan and France dotted along the streets. For 120,000 VND ($6.00 US) you can buy a ticket to a set number of houses and sights in the Old Town.
Most of the heritage-listed buildings are French, dating back to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. However some are a lot older than that. You can really appreciate the evolution of architecture when walking into a Japanese house or viewing the Japanese bridge dating back to the early eighteenth century.
Perhaps one of the best historic houses to visit in Hoi An is Duc An’s house at 129 Tran Phu Street. Unlike a lot of the houses this one is not overrun by souvenir sellers. Mr Tram, a direct descendant of the original owner, has made an effort to preserve a small piece of history and has resisted selling floor space to local vendors.
You can also visit a handful of pagodas on your tour, which have a predominantly Chinese feel to them. With bright elaborate pagoda entrances and detailed colourful panel work inside, these beautiful buildings are a cool place to spend an afternoon. Large coils of incense hang from the ceilings and each structure has multiple shrines where you can lay offerings or sit in peace contemplating the existence of man.