ALY Spa is located in 556 Hai Ba Trung st., Hoi An Town, which was recognized one of the World
Cultural Heritage in 1999 by UNESCO and is honourably ranked one of the
Asian top ten interesting and attractive places in 2009. It will take
you a few minutes to walk to Aly Spa from the town center.
Lying on the banks of the Thu Bon
River, Quảng Nam province ( in the South Central Coast of Vietnam), Hoi An
Ancient Town is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East
Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century.
Over the last few
years, Hoi An has become a very popular tourist destination in Vietnam. Its
buildings and its street plan reflect the influences, both indigenous and
foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage site. In 1999, the
old town was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO under the criteria C (II)
and criteria C (V):
Hoi An is an outstanding material manifestation of the fusion of cultures over
time in an international commercial port.
Hoi An is an exceptionally well preserved example of a traditional Asian trading
Occupied by early
western traders, Hoi An was one of the major trading centers of Southeast Asia
in the 16th century and 17th centuries, where Chinese from various
provinces as well as Japanese, Dutch and Indians settled down.
No fluorescent lights, no motorcycles, no
television, on the 15th day of each lunar month, the riverside town
of Hoi An gives modern life the night off.
In a wood-fronted
shops a woman in traditional dress sits at a desk, bathed in the light of a
lantern made from a simple bamboo fish-trap. Outside, two old men are absorbed
in a candlelit game of Chinese checkers. Hoi An, a sleepy riverside town in the
central province of Quang Nam. In the air of legendary, just experience the
existence by tasting and feeling.
Hoi An has long been
a cultural crossroad. More than five centuries ago the Vietnamese nation of Dai
Viet expanded its territory southwards, encroaching on the Indianized Kingdom of
Champa, which covered much of what is now central Vietnam. Hoi An, located on
the Hoai River, emerged when Japanese and Chinese traders built a commercial
district there in the 16th century.
cultural influences remain visible today. Visitors will find Hoi An's Old
Quarter lined with two-storey Chinese shops, their elaborately carved wooden
facades and moss-covered tile roofs having withstood the ravages of more than
300 years of weather and warfare. These proud old buildings, which back onto the
river, remind visitors of another era, when Hoi An's market was filled with
wares from as far afield as India and Europe. Colourful guildhalls, founded by
ethnic Chinese from Guangdong and Fujian provinces, stand quietly, a testament
to the town's trading roots.
While Hoi An's old-fashioned
charm is always visible, on the 15th of every lunar month modernity takes
another step back. On these evenings the town turns off its street lamps and
fluorescent lights, leaving the Old Quarter bathed in the warm glow of
coloured silk, glass and paper lanterns. In ancient times, Vietnamese people
made lamps out of shallow bowls filled with oil. Later, foreign traders
introduced lanterns, ranging from round and hexagonal designs from China to
diamond and star shaped ones from Japan.
Let Hoi An be light
When developing plans to preserve their town's ancient character, Hoi An
residents decided to revive the practice of using coloured lanterns. Starting in
the fall of 1998, one night each month is declared a "lantern festival". On the
15th day of each lunar month, residents on Tran Phu, Nguyen Thai Hoc, Le Loi and
Bach Dang streets switch off their lights and hang cloth and paper lanterns on
their porches and windows. Television sets, radios, street lights and neon
lights are turned off.
In the ensuing quiet the streets of Hoi An are at their most romantic, the
darkness broken only by jeweltoned lanterns in all manner of shapes and sizes.
Strolling through the lantern-lit streets is like walking into a fairytale. It
is all the more picturesque since motor vehicles are banned from Hoi An's Old
Quarter. On Trai Phu Street, stop at the beautifully preserved Faifo Restaurant
to sample some traditional Chinese-style pastries. Or walk on to the Treated
Caf6, where bamboo baskets, commonly used to wash rice, have been transformed
into unique lanterns. These basket lamps are but one example of people's
creativity as they experiment with new shapes and materials, including lights
made from hollow bamboo tubes.
A Warm Glow
The 15th day of the lunar month is a
Buddhist day of worship. Residents place offerings of food and
incense on their ancestral altars and visit one of Hoi An's many pagodas. The
scent of incense and the sounds of people singing add to the town's enchanted
atmosphere. On these evenings, visitors will get a rare glimpse into another
era. These nights are a welcome reminder of life's unexpected beauty
Tourists can visit the relics of the Sa Huynh and Cham cultures. They can also
enjoy the beautiful scenery of the romantic Hoi An River, Cua Dai Beach, and