‘Sleigh’ your Xmas in Hoi An

By Lan Huong    December 23, 2019 | 04:02 am PT
Taking selfies in Hoi An Impression Theme Park, strolling along Lantern Street, or procuring trinkets at the local night market could all round off a joyous holiday stay.

Towards the end of December, ancient town Hoi An in central Vietnam is more quiet than usual, making it ideal for a tranquil Christmas.

Hoi An Impression Theme Park.

Hoi An Impression Theme Park.

A merry theme  

Hoi An Impression Theme Park in Con Hen rolls out a gigantic Christmas tree and resplendent lights for just the occasion. On Christmas Eve, the park sells "Warm and Cozy Christmas" combos at VND950,000 ($41) per person including entry ticket, dinner at internal Non La Restaurant, and access to a Hoi An Memories show.

Besides, visitors could opt for "Flash", a mini holiday-themed quiz that takes place at night. Prizes include economy class plane tickets and wine vouchers.

Hoi An Impression Theme Park was born to restage the splendours of Hoi An's golden time - a vibrant Faifo where East met West. Hoi An Memories is a locally-made arts creation deeply embedded with Vietnamese cultural and historical elements with 500 professional performers on the stage.

Take me to church

Situated on Nguyen Truong To Street, Hoi An Cathedral is one of the remaining monuments to the 17th century Catholic introduction to Vietnam. In anticipation of Christmas, the Cathedral thoroughly transforms itself with lights, trees and a landscape depicting the cave where Jesus was born.

On December 24-25, Christmas festivals offer visitors the chance to join in services or simply admire the uncanny displays.

Lantern Street in Hoi An. 

Lantern Street in Hoi An. 

Lantern Street lit

True to its name, the town of lanterns becomes even more mesmerizing with its streets bathed in incandescent light. Along the river, one can enjoy the jolly ringing of bicycle bells and street vendors warmly welcoming tourists.

At advent, shops and cafes alike transform with ornamented trees, snowmen figures, and glittering fairy lights. Decorations accessorize iconic ancient houses lining the streets and make for a dreamy ambience. Faifo Coffee or Cocobox offer additional bird’s eye views of the ongoing spectacle.

Everything market price

Hoi An Night Market on Nguyen Hoang Street consists of over 50 local vendors, making it one of the most bustling spots in town. The market operates from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and boasts a variety of handmade goods, crafty souvenirs, and signature lanterns.

This time of year, stalls stock trinkets such as deer headbands and Santa costumes. Moreover, the area concentrates on a diverse range of food stalls serving regional specialties like cao lau, mussel pancakes, and lotus seed sweet soup.  

A bowl of cao lau features poached noodles, bean sprouts and herbs from famous Tra Que Village, garnished with thin slices of barbeque pork and crispy fried pig skin. CNN in October described the dish as a culinary symbol of Hoi An. 

Hoi An ancient town. Photo by Shutterstock/Hong Anh.

Hoi An ancient town. Photo by Shutterstock/Hong Anh.

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