Da Nang City and Hoi An Ancient Town
Area: 1, 257.3 sq. km
Population: 788.5 thousand habitants (2006)
- Districs: Hai Chau, Thanh Khe, Son Tra, Ngu Hanh Son, Lien Chieu, Cam Le.
- Rural districts: Hoa Vang, Hoang Sa.
Ethnic groups: Viet (Kinh), Hoa, Co Tu, Tay...
Danang City is located in middle of Central Vietnam, between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, separated from Laos by the western Truong Son Mountains. It is surrounded by Thua Thien-Hue along the northern border and Quang Nam on the southern border. It is embraced by the East Sea with 150km of seacoast.
Topography is rather complex. The south is impressive Hai Van Pass with Mang Mountain 1, 708m, Ba Na Mountain 1, 487m. The east is Son Tra Peninsula, an ideal site of yellow sand beaches, historical remains, and rare bird and animal species. The south is Ngu Hanh Son (Marble Mountains). The seashore is Hoang Sa archipelago with a large fishery. Climate:
Danang is located in the zone of typical tropical monsoon, temperate and equable climate. The city's weather bears the combination of the north and the south climate characters with the inclination to the former. There are two seasons: the wet from August to December and the dry season from January to July, cold waves are occasional but they are of average and short lasting. Average humidity is 83.4%.
Average temperature is about 26°C, the highest is 28-30°C in June, July, August, the lowest is 18-23°C in December, January, February. In Ba Na Mountain, the temperature is 20°C. Average rainfall is 2, 505mm per year that concentrates during October and November. Tourism
Danang is an ancient land, closely related with the Sa Huynh cultural traditions. Many imposing, palaces, towers, temples, citadels and ramparts, the vestiges from 1st to 13th are still to be seen in Cham Museum
Danang has other various interesting attractions as Ba Na Tourist Resort, Ngu Hanh Son (Marble Mountains) as well as the Linh Ung Pagoda, Han River, and My An, Non Nuoc beaches, stretching on dozens of kilometers... Transportation
Danang is 108km from Hue, 130km from Quang Ngai, 763km from Hanoi, and 947km from Ho Chi Minh City. Air:
The Danang International Airport is 2.5km south-west of the city center. There are domestic flights to some cities. There are direct flight from Bangkok, Hong Kong, Siem Riep, Taipei and Singapore to Danang City by Vietnam Airlines, PB Air, Siem Riep Air way, Far Transportasion and Sil Airway. Train:
Thong Nhat Express train, which connects Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, stop in Danang. Water:
There are marine routes to international and domestic ports. Tien Sa and Han River ports are located in a very wonderful position.
Hoi An Ancient Town
The ancient town of Hoi An, 30 km south of Danang, lies on the banks of the Thu Bon River. Occupied by early western traders, Hoi An was one of the major trading centers of Southeast Asia in the 16th century.
Hoi An has a distinct Chinese atmosphere with low, tile-roofed houses and narrow streets; the original structure of some of these streets still remains almost intact. All the houses were made of rare wood, decorated with lacquered boards and panels engraved with Chinese characters. Pillars were also carved with ornamental designs.
Tourists can visit the relics of the Sa Huynh and Cham cultures. They can also enjoy the beautiful scenery of the romantic Hoi An River, Cua Dai Beach, and Cham Island.
Over the last few years, Hoi An has become a very popular tourist destination in Vietnam.
NO FLUORESCENT LIGHTS. NO MOTORCYCLES. NO TELEVISION. ON THE 14TH DAY OF EACH LUNAR MONTH, THE RIVERSIDE TOWN OF HOI AN GIVES MODERN LIFE THE NIGHT OFF.
In a wood-fronted shops a woman in traditional dress sits at a desk, bathed in the light of a lantern made from a simple bamboo fish-trap. Outside, two old men are absorbed in a candlelit game of Chinese checkers. These scenes, straight out of the 19th century, still take place in Hoi An, a sleepy riverside town in the central province of Quang Nam.
Hoi An has long been a cultural crossroad. More than five centuries ago the Vietnamese nation of Dai Viet expanded its territory southwards, encroaching on the Indianized Kingdom of Champa, which covered much of what is now central Vietnam. Hoi An, located on the Hoai River, emerged when Japanese and Chinese traders built a commercial district there in the 16th century.
These diverse cultural influences remain visible today. Visitors will find Hoi An's Old Quarter lined with two-storey Chinese shops, their elaborately carved wooden facades and moss-covered tile roofs having withstood the ravages of more than 300 years of weather and warfare. These proud old buildings, which back onto the river, remind visitors of another era, when Hoi An's market was filled with wares from as far afield as India and Europe. Colourful guildhalls, founded by ethnic Chinese from Guangdong and Fujian provinces, stand quietly, a testament to the town's trading roots.
While Hoi An's old-fashioned charm is always visible, on the 14th of every lunar month modernity takes another step back. On these evenings the town turns off its street lamps and fluorescent lights, leaving the Old Quarter bathed in the warm glow of coloured silk, glass and paper lanterns. In ancient times, Vietnamese people made lamps out of shallow bowls filled with oil. Later, foreign traders introduced lanterns, ranging from round and hexagonal designs from China to diamond and star shaped ones from Japan.
Let there be light
When developing plans to preserve their town's ancient character, Hoi An residents decided to revive the practice of using coloured lanterns. Starting in the fall of 1998, one night each month is declared a "lantern festival". On the 14th day of each lunar month, residents on Tran Phu, Nguyen Thai Hoc, Le Loi and Bach Dang streets switch off their lights and hang cloth and paper lanterns on their porches and windows. Television sets, radios, street lights and neon lights are turned off.
In the ensuing quiet the streets of Hoi An are at their most romantic, the darkness broken only by jeweltoned lanterns in all manner of shapes and sizes.
Strolling through the lantern-lit streets is like walking into a fairytale. It is all the more picturesque since motor vehicles are banned from Hoi An's Old Quarter. On Trai Phu Street, stop at the beautifully preserved Faifo Restaurant to sample some traditional Chinese-style pastries. Or walk on to the Treated Café, where bamboo baskets, commonly used to wash rice, have been transformed into unique lanterns. These basket lamps are but one example of people's creativity as they experiment with new shapes and materials, including lights made from hollow bamboo tubes.
A Warm Glow
The 14th day of the lunar month is a Buddhist day of worship. Residents place offerings of food and incense on their ancestral altars and visit one of Hoi An's many pagodas. The scent of incense and the sounds of people singing add to the town's enchanted atmosphere. On these evenings, visitors will get a rare glimpse into another era. These nights are a welcome reminder of life's unexpected beauty