Highlight: Hoian Homestay Experience
Hoi An, a World Heritage Site
Location: Hoi An is an old town down the Thu Bon River, on the coastal plain of Quang Nam Province, about 30 km south of Danang.
Characteristics: The architectural significance of Hoi An has been recognized by UNESCO, during the 23rd Congress which took place in Marrakech (Morocco) from the 29th of November to the 4th of December, since the town was officially listed as a World Heritage Site.
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 15TH 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 15th 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 15th 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 Caf6, 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 15th 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.
My Son, a World Heritage Site
Location: My Son lies in a narrow valley in Duy Tan Commune, Duy Xuyen District, Quang Nam Province. 70km southwest of Danang City, 20km away from the Tra Kieu Citadel, and 40km away from the ancient town of Hoi An.
Characteristics: My Son is a group of temple-towers of Cham people. With its great value, in December 1999, the complex of My Son Cham Towers has been recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Various researches by archaeologists and architects have revealed that at the beginning, there was only one small wooden temple built by King Bhadresvara I in late 4th century. In the 7th century, King Sambhuvarman had it rebuilt, using more durable materials From then on, successive Cham kings, when enthroned, had their temple-towers constructed as offerings to their gods. During seven centuries (7th to 14th century), such temple-towers mushroomed in My Son, turning this land into a cultural, and religious center of the Cham Kingdom.
My Son was a complex of constructions, including different temple-towers and stela in various architectural styles. French researchers listed some 70 temple-towers there. However, time and war together have taken their toll on these relics. Now, only 20 temple-towers remain almost intact. The rest have been reduced to ruins. These vestiges are valuable treasures of information for studying the development of Cham culture. During its seven centuries of development, Cham arts produced many works equal to masterpieces of the world. Though less impossing than the Angkor in Cambodia and less diversified than the Pagan site in Myanma, My Son is unique of its kind in Southeast Asia.
Hoian Homestay Experience
Day 1: Da Nang – Hoi An
Arrive at Da Nang Airport . Our transfer service will collect you there and take you to your ost family at Thanh Nam village in Hoi An. Relax and settle into your new surroundings. tart to learn about Vietnamese culture, customs and language.
Day 2: Hoi An local tour
Take a bicycle trip or walk around the village amid the cool shady surrounding. Watch the ice paper making method. Visit the villager's agricultural plantations. Practice making rice aper with your host family and go to the market with the host and buy ingredients , then ave cooking lesson . Enjoy the meal which you have helped to prepare. We can adjust chedules accordingly to suit your needs.
Day 3: Hoi An – My Son – Handicraft villages
We recommend you visit Hoi An ancient town, My Son Temples & towers, Marble Mountains traditional craft villages like vegetable village, pottery village or carpentry village.
Day 4: Hoi An Departure
Pack up and prepare for your flight back to your next destination. You are transferred to the irport. Savor the experiences you have had on this action packed and very different trip. ou can of course extend your homestay or rebook for another time.
This is a sample itinerary so the cost really depends on your hotel choice, number of people in your group and time of travel. An indication of the cost for this itinerary is between US$325 -US$918 per person based on four people travelling in high season.
We act responsibility by contributing to local communities, ensuring we work with reliable suppliers and paying our staff and guides a fair wage, so that you, the traveler, can sit back and enjoy your holiday in the knowledge that you have booked through a well established, professional, reputable and responsible tour operator. For more information about us please click here.
Our teams are well trained, bursting with information and eager to help put together a customized quote for you so please inquire us.
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7. When and where to end your travel.
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||2 - 3 pax
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|Hoian Homestay Experience
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Our Homestay customers as "Guests" stay inside the private homes of people in a village & you join & participate with the family in preparing & eating meals, local activities including fishing & harvesting food, etc. Meet, see, feel & learn direct from the source about Vietnam - the people, community, religion, culture & environment.
Participate with the Vietnamese people & their community lives while living inside their homes in an unspoilt village in Vietnam in a way which maximizes your & their total benefits (education, karma, financial, etc.). Prepare & eat meals together.
Please be open! please join & participate with others in a community which for a few days includes you inside a Vietnamese village. Respect & trust the process & the people. Join in to be included.
Homestay IS NOT about false smiles for an unreal & hyped experience based on a business model of greed. If you are open then Homestay IS real & simple - it is in your face & difficult sometimes because finally it is YOU that you & others are experiencing! you are then participating in the community.
* Karma Waters operates at UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Cu Lao Cham (*Cham Islands) our Cham Islands Homestay Open Tour with at least 60% of daily rate paid by our customers paid direct to Cham Islands
* At least 25% of daily rate goes direct to the household providing Homestay
* Additional 10% of total income from Homestay received by Karma Waters is donated by us on community projects. We do not give cash handouts, we develop programs and then we invest resources of knowledge, people, money, etc. direct with those who are getting the benefits. Our focus is childrens education.
* For Cham Islands we are paying 40,000 VND for each Guest (included in daily rate) snorkelling & sightseeing fees to the Cham Islands Marine Park Administration (5% of income) which is used for marine conservation.
* At least 30 minutes per day volunteer community service is requested from each customer. This can be cleaning up, teaching English to household & community, etc.
We provide personal development & management training programs based on Homestay with "Karma Investment".
To support Homestay & our tours Karma Waters also arranges package tours & Hotel accommodation in Hoi An.