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Hoi An history takes the stage in outdoor spectacle

By Giang Huy   June 7, 2022 | 06:59 pm PT
A one-hour show called ‘Hoi An Memories’ recreates the 400-year history of the town from its early days as a small village to its golden era of a busy trading port.
Hoi An history takes the stage in outdoor spectacle

With 500 actors and actresses, the show is performed on an outdoor stage covering an area of 25,000 square meters at the Hoi An Impression Theme Park on Hen Islet in Cam An Ward.

The stage is capable of accommodating 3,300 people at a time.

Hoi An history takes the stage in outdoor spectacle

The show is divided into five parts, with the first showing how first Hoi An settlers came and set up a village.

Befitting its fame as a traditional fabric maker, the show starts with the image of a woman wearing ao dai (traditional Vietnamese long dress) and sitting by a weaving loom.

Hoi An history takes the stage in outdoor spectacle

Then comes a dazzling stroll down the catwalk by more than 100 actresses wearing the ao dai and non la (conical hats).

Hoi An history takes the stage in outdoor spectacle

This scene is part of describing how the first inhabitants of Hoi An started building their homes and making a living.

On the stage, the images of planting rice, sifting sand, sawing wood, building houses and catching fish are reproduced in a realistic way by professional actors.

Hoi An history takes the stage in outdoor spectacle

The second part of the show enacts the wedding of Noble Princess Huyen Tran and Champa King Jaya Sinhavarman III (also called Che Man in Vietnamese).

The princess was the daughter of King Tran Nhan Tong who pledged his daughter’s hand in marriage to the Champa King to strengthen bilateral relations.

Hoi An history takes the stage in outdoor spectacle

Another scene showing the wedding ceremony with traditional dances and the royal couple seated on an elephant.

Hoi An history takes the stage in outdoor spectacle

In the third part of the show, this is a scene depicting a local legend. A wife waits for her husband with a lantern.

In the 16th century, Hoi An was well known as the busiest trading port in Southeast Asia. Merchant ships from many countries passed by the town.

Around this time, Hoi An residents also started setting sail.

The scene of Hoi An women walking amidst windstorms with lanterns showcases their courage and resilience in bearing life's hardships and being a spiritual support for their husbands and lovers.

Hoi An history takes the stage in outdoor spectacle

The part is the love story of a Faifo girl waiting for her lover, a merchant ship sailor.

The girl worries about her lover as the weather turns stormy and ends up waiting for so long that she turns into a stone statue. The above scene shows the man returning and hugging the stone statue that his lover has turned into.

Hoi An history takes the stage in outdoor spectacle

The fourth part of the show depicts the hustle and bustle of the busiest international port in Southeast Asia during the 16th century.

Hoi An history takes the stage in outdoor spectacle

To complete the show, the author combines Vietnamese traditional customs and modern contemporary dance.

Hoi An history takes the stage in outdoor spectacle

"Hoi An Memories" is staged every day of the week except Tuesday from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Ticket prices range from VND480,000-1.2 million ($20.58-51.45).

 
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