Love amidst the lanterns, Hoi An. Greg Willis/Creative Commons.
Known for its history as an ancient trading port and its well-preserved, centuries-old architecture, the lovely riverside town of Hoi An takes on an even more enchanting atmosphere during the Hoi An Lantern Festival. Held on the 14th day of every lunar month (the largest event is the first full moon of the lunar new year), the festival seems to lure Hoi An to step further back in time as lights are switched off and the old town gets softly lit by candlelight and colourful lanterns.
The festival is a time for the Vietnamese to honour their ancestors. They put up altars outside their homes and set off lanterns down the river. It’s a popular time to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site; most visitors head to the Cau An Hoi Bridge since it has the most panoramic views of the festivities, but it also gets the most crowded. Its banks on the An Hoi side also offer a good view and don’t get as crazy. You can also take in the festival from the cafes lining the river near the Japanese Bridge on the Hoi An side.
If you want to join the Vietnamese to float your own lantern, it usually starts at around 5,000 to 10,000 VND. You can do it with the help of the lantern vendors who will lower it into the river using a long pole or you can take a sampan boat to escape the crowded riverside streets and release your lantern into the water. It’s also a lovely way to see the town get all lit up as a maze of lanterns float down the river.
Hoi An Lantern Festival. Image courtesy of the Viet Nam National Administration for Tourism.
Lantern seller in Hoi An. Neil Moralee/Creative Commons.
For similar festivals that train a spotlight on the vibrant local culture, visit Indonesia's Bali Art Festival; Malaysia's Unesco World Heritage City Celebrations; the Philippines' Bamboo Festival; Thailand's Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival; and Myanmar's Tazaungdaing Light Festival. For other festivals in the month of May, visit Laos' Boun Bang Fai and the related Yasothon Bun Bangfai Festival in Thailand; and Malaysia's Sabah Fest.
Bali's love of the arts finds expression in the Bali Arts Festival showcasing Balinese and Indonesian arts, both the well...
Tour places you right in the heart of the action: Southeast Asia's top three cities where the sun never sets on shopping,...VIEW DETAILS
Tour takes you down river currents and train tracks to Thailand and Cambodia's most authentic destinations both on and of...VIEW DETAILS
A thousand kilometers of ocean separates the capitals of Sabah, Malaysia and the Philippines – but you'll find a wo...VIEW DETAILS
One bedroom Residency Min 2 nights stay 2 breakfasts at 163 Lounge inclusive daily inclusive of one day KL tour (...VIEW DETAILS
Conveniently located halfway between the town center and Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hotel's restaurant...VIEW DETAILS
Unravel the enigma of Jim Thompson in the Jim Thompson Mystery Trail - Jim Thompson’s eye for beauty was not only confi...VIEW DETAILS
Go on an epic Asean journey with AirAsia Asean Pass, a travel pass that allows you to book our base fares at least 14 days or...VIEW DETAILS
Rent a car for 2 days or more at participating locations in Asia and enjoy up to 15% offVIEW DETAILS
Recharge and enjoy in refined, world-class accommodations and facilities of Luxent Hotel. Immerse in the feeling of home in e...VIEW DETAILS
Orchard Hotel Singapore commemorates ASEAN’s Golden Jubilee with a host of room offers and enhanced perks to celebrate ...VIEW DETAILS
Whether you are looking to get your retail fix, have a go at the iconic local dishes or discover the kaleidoscope of cultures...VIEW DETAILS