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Hoi An Lantern Festival

Street Photography in Hoi An
The Old Quarter of Hoi An is incredibly well preserved and photogenic. Head there at nightfall when the lanterns are lit and begin snapping some incredibly beautiful photos. Between the lanterns, the gorgeous architecture, the boats, and the bridges, there are an endless amount of perfectly composed photos to be taken. Don't forget to bring a tripod of some sort to handle the long exposure shots.

Lovely Lanterns All Aglow in Hoi An
Hoi An's mustard-colored old town is plentiful with relaxing activities. One afternoon, we hired a private little boat for two hours. The ride took us past hard-working fisherman, and we even had the chance to ride in a basket boat that we'd serendipitously encountered on the backwaters! On another morning, we learned how to make mouth-watering Vietnamese spring rolls, banana pancakes and jeweled rice at a small restaurant cooking school. Each night, we strolled along the waterfront, watching as the colorful lanterns danced on the water.

A visit to the historic city is not complete without launching paper lanterns once the sky is cloaked in darkness. Vendors of all ages sell them along the water's edge. If you're feeling romantic, also take an evening boat ride on one of the small vessels. The locals are eager to rent them for half an hour or more. From there, you can send the delicate luminaries off on a late-night journey.

Lantern Boy in Hoian
Hoian is well known for its lanterns.
There are so many handcrafts lanterns shops, which add colors and light to that small town.
This picture was taken in an afternoon, before the city is getting lit and alive with tourists crowd. If you visit Hoian, you might see a lot of lantern guys like this one

New Moon Festival
Each month on the night prior to and night of the new moon, locals and visitors alike are invited to buy a paper lantern, make a wish, and send the lantern down the river toward fulfillment. For two hours each night, the roads close and the power is turned off, creating a magical ambience that leads you to believe your wishes really may come true! #CatchDecember #vietnam #hoian

Lantern festival
On the 14th day of each lunar month, Hoi An turns into a fairytale village of colorful lanterns. Residents in the old quarter switch off their lights and hang cloth and paper lanterns on their porches and windows, and the noise of TV and radio is gone for the night.

Wandering the quiet, romantic streets is like a dream.

A Perfect Day in Hoi An
To be honest, Vietnam can be frazzling. Continual bombardments of traffic, noise, hawkers, and people can really take a toll on a weary traveler from a small town in Wyoming. I was worn out by the time we hopped off the train from the north but quickly found solace in Hoi An. Albeit just as touristy as Halong Bay and Sapa, the city has a certain quiet charm about it; it is a breath of fresh air. By far my favorite town in Vietnam, it has enough activities to entice you to stay a little longer than planned.

A perfect day in Hoi An would be bookended with Cao lầu for breakfast and dinner. Cao lầu is the local specialty noodle dish, only authentic when made from a certain well in the city. In between bowls of Cao lầu, head for the very clean and quiet An Bang beach. Tour the historic sites in town. (It is a UNESCO world heritage site after all) Get your fill of shopping; the town is packed with quirky souvenir shops and custom tailors. As the sun is setting on your perfect day in Hoi An, you should make your way down to the Thu Bon River. Here the waters sparkle with lanterns from all the trees and shops. Rogue food vendors appear alongside the Thu Bon with miniature tables and stools, serving a soup du jour. So go ahead, grab a child’s size stool and enjoy your over heaping bowl of noodles (Cao lầu, of course) under the lantern lit trees and relax. Enjoy the less frazzling side of Vietnam in the lovely little town of Hoi An.

Once in a Full Moon
Hoi An is an ancient town in central Vietnam, located only 15 miles southeast of Danang. For several centuries Hoi An was one of the most important trading ports in Southeast Asia and an important center of cultural exchange between Europe and the Orient.
The town is a mix of Japanese, Chinese and French cultures. The Old Quarter is divided to West-Japanese Quarter, where you can walk along the Japanese Covered Bridge (from the late 16th century) and the East-French Quarter, where you can walk beneath the colorful market and street-side shops.
For me, Hoi An was the Vietnamese version of Venice, but without the gondolas on the canals. There was something very magical to walk along the narrow streets of this town, with its yellow-colored walls of the old buildings and the colorful lanterns, which are the trademark of this town.
It was a very magical night for me both as a photographer and a tourist to experience the Full Moon Festival, which is held on every 14th day of the lunar month. The old town is completely transformed into something else. There is no access to motor vehicles but only to pedestrians (locals and tourists) who are holding these brightly colored lanterns to sail them on the river and ask for the gods for prosperity and good luck for the New Year.
If you plan a trip to Vietnam, I encourage you to visit Hoi An and not to skip its Lantern-Full moon-Festival.

Illuminating the River
At night Hoi An sparkles. The riverside businesses set up lights along their store fronts and locals sell lanterns for tourists to float down the river. An hour after sunset, the river is illuminated with these lanterns as they slowly float away, becoming flickers of light in the distance.

288 Nguyễn Duy Hiệu, Cẩm Châu, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
+84 235 3914 345
Sun - Sat 6am - 12am