If you’re considering signing up for the Hoi An Mates free walking tour, we highly recommend it. Visiting at least 5 different landmarks in Hoi An, we really enjoyed our time with Hoi An Mates. Here is our review of each place you’ll visit on your tour.
Who are Hoi An Mates?
Hoi An mates are a not for profit organization in Danang and Hoi An that give English tours of the city. Their aim is to help practice their English by taking English speaking tourists around the city.
Hoi An Mates free walking tour
The tour begins opposite the famous ‘BEBE’ tailors, located on ‘Trần Hưng Đạo’ where we also got some clothes made. Then you’ll be taken around the city to places like, the Fujian Assembly Hall, the Tan Ky Heritage House and much more. The tour lasts for about two and a half hours, and starts at either 8:30am or 3:30pm.
Get Out With Kids Tip: We recommend booking weeks in advance, as this is a free tour, and it often gets booked out.
Fujian Assembly Hall
First on our tour, the Fujian Assembly Hall. Originally a traditional assembly hall, this structure was later transformed into a temple for the worship of Thein Hau, a deity from Fujian province. The green-tiled triple gateway dates back to 1975. The mural on the right hand wall depicts Thein Hau the Empress of Heaven, her way lit by lantern light as she crosses a stormy sea to rescue a foundering ship. Opposite this, we found a mural of the heads of the six Fujian families who fled from China to Hoi An in the 17th century.
Tan Ky Heritage House
Next on your tour, the old Tan Ky Heritage House. The four rooms in the Old House of Tan Ky, are all very small, but they are packed with various beautiful antiques mainly made of wood. These four rooms have four different purposes, one is for welcoming the Chinese merchants and the others are the living room, courtyard and the bedroom. You can enter three of the rooms, but not the bedroom, as it is a personal space.
At Kazik Park, you can learn more about Mr. Kazik and his contribution in preserving Hoi An Ancient Town. The park boasts a gigantic statue of Mr. Kazik standing 2.5m high. He lived in Hoi An for over 15 years and helped to strengthen the relationship between Vietnam and Poland. Kazik was highly respected amongst Vietnamese people, which is why local sculptor Phạm Hồng carved this statue of him.
Japanese Covered Bridge
This beautiful little bridge is emblematic of Hoi An. The bridge was first constructed here in the 1590s by the Japanese community to link it to the Chinese quarters. Over the centuries, the ornamentation has remained relatively faithful to the original Japanese design. The French flattened out the roadway for cars, but the original arched shape was restored in 1986.
Phung Hung Heritage House
The house was built in 1780 – when most houses in Hoi An were being built. The first owner of this house was a Vietnamese merchant. He named the house “Phung Hung”, meaning “Prosper” with the desire to be always successful. In the past, the house was a shop selling forest products such as cinnamon, pepper, salt, silk, chinaware and glassware. The present owner is the eighth descendant who is still living in and preserving the old house. We thought this was one of the most impressive architectural buildings in Hoi An.
Boat trip, (Optional)
This is an optional activity that we didn’t partake in, so we can’t comment on it, but here is our basic understanding.
You can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and the living rhythm of locals with the flow of Hoi An river for the morning tour, or enjoy sunset on the Hoi An river and drop some paper lanterns into the for the afternoon tour.
How to book a Hoi An Mates walking tour
To book your Hoi An Mates free walking tour, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can view the website here.