The ‘must-try’ once in Hoi An
Peaceful and poetic, Hoi An charms on-lookers as a rich melting pot of cultures, dating back since 17th century. The town had been a bustling commerce port full of harboring merchant boats. Today, centuries-old stories and colorful legends still rest within those yellow ochre walls, letting Hoi An visitors step inside a world where time stands still, and picturesque landscapes inspire much romance. Strolling along ancient streets. Get submerged into history. Live and breathe in legends. Embrace nature from blooming rice paddy fields to fresh basket from the ocean and green vegetable villages. Take any of these chances to become a part of this charming town and you’d find Hoi An a once-in-a-lifetime experience no global cultural enthusiasts would want to miss.
1. Wandering around Hoi An Ancient Town
No Hoi An trip is complete without visiting the Ancient Town. Walking down Bach Dang, Nguyen Thai Hoc and Tran Phu streets, you can spot many ancient houses, precious heritage well-preserved for centuries, and take in the depth of architectural and cultural values. The most well-known ancient house is Tan Ky, recognized as a national relic and been welcoming many local and international delegates. Your ancient town must-visit stops may include Japanese Bridge, the Phung Hung ancient house, the Tran Family Chapel, or the Fujian, Chaozhou, and Quang Dong Assembly Halls. Rent a bike, sit on a cyclo, or simply take a walk. Let your eyes and soul capture these beauties and get hold of charming peaceful moments of local life. Hoi An is also famously called the lantern town and been hailed one of the most romantic destination in Asia for a reason. The view of myriad colorful lanterns on ancient streets is a feast for the eyes at both day and night time. You might find a camera essential in this expenditure, or simply let go of all things related to hectic city life, and embrace that tranquil and exotic beauty. Let your soul wander and stumble on beautiful discoveries hidden within Hoi An.
2. Seeing shows at Lune Performing Center Hoi An – A unique way to experience Vietnamese culture
As twilight drenches the old town, let’s take a stroll along Hoai river bank. And there across the river, overlooking the ancient town, the distinct half-moon-shaped dome of Lune Performing Center can be easily spotted at the joint of two rivers, by the end of Nguyen Phuc Chu Street, Dong Hiep Park.
The architecture itself is a charmer, a blend of feng shui from the east and efficient geometric structure, industrial method of the west. Thousands of bamboo rods were lined up, forming the patterned dome shell, interlacing and dancing with sunlight and limelight, making conversation with the wind and the living bamboo nest right beside the dome. Harmony created between old wisdom and contemporary approach, nature and human’s creation.
Underneath that relatively small but graceful structure, breathtaking spectacles such as The Mist, Teh Dar and A O Show are performed regularly with exotic materials and rich stage languages: bamboo cirque, acrobatics, contemporary ft neo-classic dance, live ethnic music. Visitors to Lune Performing Center Hoi An are treated to a feast of unique stage visuals, mesmerizing sounds from authentic ethnic instruments, and beautiful Vietnamese cultural stories: poetic farmers’ life in Mekong Delta, the humor and contrasting discordance of urban villages, the wild central highlands. Most nights of the week (except Monday and Thursday), the cozy auditorium is filled with robust applause and even standing ovations by both local and international visitors. Many of the audience were brought to tears of happiness and extreme excitement. As much love and critical acclaims were received during the performance stints of these shows at the Saigon Opera House, and also during their touring time to 15 countries spanning across 4 continents.
The moment you leave the auditorium, lights went out, but those images and sounds still linger in your head, and your heartbeat still rhythm with the beat of bamboo sticks, gongs, and drums. That’s when you knew you’d had an unforgettable cultural experience in Hoi An. And you’d tell your loved ones it’s a must-see, at least once in a lifetime.
Teh Dar show in Hoi An
Book ticket at: www.luneproduction.com/teh-dar
3. Have a taste of local delights
Many visitors choose Hoi An as the town with tastiest delights in Vietnam. Despite its relatively small size, the city is extremely rich in culinary culture, offering choices of cuisines ranging from street treats to 5-star feasts. From the famous chicken rice that landed brand names such as Bà Buội, to the distinguished Cao Lau which secret recipe dated back since 17th century. And don’t forget to grab a scrumptious banh-mi, recommended by Cameron Stauch, the chef who served the President of Canada. The crispy, succulentbanh mi opens up to mouth-watering flavors: bacon, paté, signature local style grilled pork, served with cucumber, cilantro, and delicious meat sauce. Fulfilling and at the same time extremely healthy, Hoi An’s secret comes from fresh ingredients straight out of the river, organic vegetable farming villages, and the An Bang and Cua Dai beaches just a few miles away. A must-try for any gastronome through and through.
4. Discover pottery villages, handicraft workshops and signature ‘fast-and-fabulous’ tailor services
Once an economic hub where cultures converge, the Hoi An local forms an open and progressive attitude towards foreign cultural influences and embrace diversity. Consequently, their crafts have reached a certain level of sophistication through the absorption of different cultures’ aesthetics. These traditions have been refined and passed on for centuries, resulted in a rich history of ceramics trade, silk making, Cham-influenced pottery, and woodwork.
Nowadays, a visit to Thanh Ha pottery village, Kim Bong carpentry village, or Hoi An handicraft workshop is only maximum 3 km away from Hoi An, which basically takes you a boat ride, a short journey on bike, or a quick drive from the heart of ancient town. Roll up your sleeves for fine lantern making workshops, or flex some creative muscles through a rustic hands-on pottery experience with the artisans.
Alternatively, you can simply bring home a physical piece of Hoi An memory, whether it’s wood-carved, silk-woven, earthly created carrying soul of the local soil, or the must-try fast-and-fabulous local tailoring service, which has grown so famous it’s featured on Forbes magazine and become a signature of Hoi An. A suit is said to take only 24 hours to complete. Customers can watch the making-of just like waiting to be served at a sushi bar, and by far no less interesting. High quality hand-made clothes delivered by seasoned tailors in an incredibly short time, with a smile. Guess what? Found only in Hoi An.
After so many colorful experiences and bustling activities, what would beat sitting down at a cozy place hidden in an alley somewhere at the heart of Hoi An, warming your hands and quietly sipping a cup of coffee? Smell roasted beans and fresh baked in the air, and let yourself drift into this comforting space where time sits still and whispers in your ears enchanting stories.
Once upon a time in Hoi An…
Shows by city
A vivid portrait of Vietnam in urbanization time, painted with unique stage visuals and a touch of humor.
The name ‘A O’ derives from ‘Lang Pho’, which means ‘village and city’. The show depicts the charming beauty and cultural richness of Vietnamese life in the countryside, in contrast with the nation’s racing urbanization. The show is a unique mix of bamboo circus, acrobatic acts, dance, and theatrical visual art. The live music echoes Vietnamese Southern work songs. All in all, this beautiful blend of genres creates a unique stage language, which well captures the essence of Vietnam’s fascinating culture.
Embodiment of vigorous Vietnamese tribes culture thru cirque, dance, music from tribal instruments.
Teh Dar invites audience on a venture into the enchanting world of Vietnamese highlanders. Wild animal hunts, moonlit romance, jungle's tales of death and reincarnation, are all recreated with stunning Vietnamese Bamboo Circus, daring acrobatics, and hypnotizing melody from exotic tribal instruments certified cultural heritage by UNESCO. Meaning ‘going in circle’ in the highland tribe K'ho's tongue, Teh Dar embrace and preserve beautiful and diverse Vietnamese tribal cultures. As the artists keep inspiring, the circle of tribal life keeps going, the cultures shall remain.
The poetic beauty of Vietnamese village life, recreated using iconic bamboo, breathtaking cirque and exotic live music.
Lang Toi (My Village) is a delicate merge of tradition and innovation, where poetic beauty of Northern Vietnam’s village life is presented under Vietnamese Bamboo Circus approach. Farming, building activities, traditional games, lifestyle of Northern villagers are recreated by ancestral bamboo props, breath-taking circus and acrobatics, rhythmic dance, to distinct folk music from more than 20 musical instruments.
The essence of Southern farmers’ life expressed in sensual contemporary dance language.
The Mist tells a story Southern Vietnamese farming life, expressed through neo-classic and contemporary dance by skilled artists. Using rice cultivation as a metaphor to appreciate farmers’ dedication, from their misty dawn on the fields, their hardship and will power to rise up from humble muddy soil, to brace storms, to the moment they arrive joyously like shining pearls at harvest. The Mist is an hour of emotions, with myriad ups and downs, painted by sensational live music, splendid visuals, and colorful lighting effects.
This was an excellent show that depicts Vietnamese life in a most original way. If we had 1 more night in HCMC, we would definitely have seen the show again. It came highly recommended by my niece who had watched the show earlier this year (2016). We...Read more
“A O Show - Brilliant Depiction of Vietnamese life”
This was an excellent show that depicts Vietnamese life in a most original way. If we had 1 more night in HCMC, we would definitely have seen the show again. It came highly recommended by my niece who had watched the show earlier this year (2016). We would highly recommend this show. Only an hour long and very energetic. Well done to the cast.
What an amazing show! It is a definite must see in Hoi An. The performers are so athletic and their skill is exceptional. It is fast paced and enthralling. A lovely touch is their willingness to be photographed afterwards whilst singing. The cheaper...Read more
What an amazing show!
What an amazing show! It is a definite must see in Hoi An. The performers are so athletic and their skill is exceptional. It is fast paced and enthralling. A lovely touch is their willingness to be photographed afterwards whilst singing. The cheaper seats are great - we were in the front row!
I don't think we completely understood the story line, however the show was very well done! It was organized, well performed and included everything from funny moments, to acrobatics, to dancing. The opera house where it is held is stunning and in a...Read more
I don't think we completely understood the story line, however the show was very well done! It was organized, well performed and included everything from funny moments, to acrobatics, to dancing. The opera house where it is held is stunning and in a very french area of Ho Chi Minh city. I wouldn't call it a must see, but anyone who enjoys performance art will definitely appreciate it and I'm glad we went
This universal Form of art is an overwhelming display of the essence of Vietnam's culture. From the begining in natural atmosphere to the noisy urban-motorcycling. Beautyful poetic and HiPro Performance.
This exceeded my expectations, which were not low. Both my 19-year-old daughter and I really enjoyed this 1-hour show. Though we were certainly impressed by the performers, it was less "Aaahh" and "Ooohh" for us, and more interesting, fun and...Read more
This exceeded my expectations, which were not low. Both my 19-year-old daughter and I really enjoyed this 1-hour show. Though we were certainly impressed by the performers, it was less "Aaahh" and "Ooohh" for us, and more interesting, fun and entertaining.
Go and see the amazing ao show at the opera house in hochi min city. Great venue and amazing show. Lets you in on some Vietnamese traditions with fantastic music and acrobatics. Not to be missed.
My family and i absolutely loved this show was mesmerized and amazad at the tallents these people possess . "Truly a cut above the rest" Thank you so much for the experience, the only down fall is it had to end. Hope you bring your show to...Read more
Truly a cut above the rest
My family and i absolutely loved this show was mesmerized and amazad at the tallents these people possess . "Truly a cut above the rest" Thank you so much for the experience, the only down fall is it had to end. Hope you bring your show to Australia one day...........from the Bailey family kalgoorlie australia
I went along with no expectations and I was blown away by the talent of the performers and the choreography. A must see for people in the area.
This is a wonderful 1-hour show, that includes modern acrobatics, Vietnam-style. The main theme of the show are traditional Vietnamese baskets and big sticks. The acrobats do an absolutely WONDERFUL job in entertaining the audience, while...Read more
A great show and VERY talented acrobats.
This is a wonderful 1-hour show, that includes modern acrobatics, Vietnam-style. The main theme of the show are traditional Vietnamese baskets and big sticks. The acrobats do an absolutely WONDERFUL job in entertaining the audience, while performing jaw-dropping acrobatic routines. While there is very little connection between the different acts, the enthusiasm of the dancers make up for it. We got seats C1 and C3, which are on the 3rd row of the theater (they are called "Ohh" tickets). The tickets were 840,000 VND (apx. 37US$) and were totally worth it. Notice that photography is not allowed during the show (distractions from the audience might literally endanger the acrobats). Do not miss taking a photo with the performers when the show is over - the entire cast comes down to the entrance of the opera house and is more than happy to take photos and selfies with the audience. Bottom line - an absolute MUST attraction to enjoy while in Ho Chi Minh.
One of the most fascinating shows i have ever seen. Well done!!
Despite some noticeable flaws, this show reflected Vietnam's modern culture with quirky and cheerful atmosphere to it. À Ố has the potential, if not one of the must-watch show if you ever come to Saigon. This show is recommended for families as this...Read more
A "new" type of circus
Despite some noticeable flaws, this show reflected Vietnam's modern culture with quirky and cheerful atmosphere to it. À Ố has the potential, if not one of the must-watch show if you ever come to Saigon. This show is recommended for families as this show have minimal to none verbal context, and at its core, a "new" type of circus
The Saigon show was splendid. It had a meditative quality. Haven't seen such choreography of late in India. The youthful energy was rewarding and inspiring