Located on Nguyen Thai Hoc in the Old Town of Hoi An City is the popular Hoi An Handcraft Workshop. This is a unique shop because it does not only sell colorful silk lanterns and beautiful embroidery, but also allows guests to see how these are made. At the back of the shop are artisans and workers skillfully fashioning the silk, employing traditional embroidery techniques.
Other souvenir items and handicrafts are also for sale. Beginning at 10:15 AM, a cultural show takes place until 3:15 PM in front of the shop to keep guests and tourists entertained. The shop is closed on Mondays.
The traditional embroiderers, singers, and dancers in the workshop provide a refreshing break from the sightseeing and shopping in this popular Vietnamese destination.
More about Hoi An
In 1999, UNESCO named the Old Town of Hoi An a World Heritage Site. This means it is an important site for all mankind and must be preserved for many more years. It is a living museum in which tourists get to feel how it was like living here in the 17th Century. With a total population of only 120,000, even the locals can’t get enough of the old cobblestone streets in the Old Town. A walk on these streets at night under dimly lit lanterns is very sacred and romantic.
The well preserved city is a reminder of Hoi An’s past success and failure. It used to be a successful, flourishing port, one of the most important harbors in Southeast Asia. But when Da Nang rose up and competed in trade, Hoi An got left behind and remained in a virtual economic and social stalemate through the centuries.
Today, its Old Town is an intriguing tourist attraction. A stroll along the town’s narrow streets is free. The ticket allows admission into five of the 18 different sites within the town. For example, a tourist might want to check out the museum, assembly hall, an old house, the Japanese Bridge or the performance at the Hoi An Handicraft Workshop. A ticket costs US$4.50 or about 92800 dong and may be purchased from official tour offices on Hai Ba Trung Street or Hoang Dieu Street. Other sites to choose from are the Quong Cong Temple, the peaceful street of Nguyen Thi Minh Khai and its art galleries, a traditional theater that showcases live presentations beginning at 9:00 PM onwards, Museum of Trade Ceramics, Museum of Sa Huynh Culture and different historic houses, among others. The most popular ancient home is the 200-year old Tan Ky House.
A day or two inside Hoi An’s Old Town is very educational and reflective. It makes one think of the value of life, cultures and cities, and becomes thankful that the Vietnam-American War left this city unscathed.
Besides the Hoi An Handicraft Workshop, there are tons of tourist destinations inside and outside the city that could keep a tourist engaged and at awe for days. The most popular ones are the Marble Mountains, Cham Islands, the old imperial capital of Hue a couple of hours away by bus, and the My Son Sanctuary ruins, which is another UNESCO World Heritage Site.