Hoi An in Vietnam is the small and charming ancient town locates just about 30 kms from Danang International Airport. Used to be the biggest port in the central of Vietnam from 15th to 19th century, Hoi An Ancient Town was the land where three big communities of Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese living peacefully together that you still can see their influences in historical relics, life style and architecture in the town. As the port had been moved to Danang at the end of 19th century, the town was totally forgotten and have not been affected at all by two big and severe war s in 20th century, that help the town was kept mostly intact from at the end of 19th century, that created the unique character and charm for Hoi An Town.
Interest venues for taking photograph in Hoi An
Hoi An Ancient Town
You always can find in the list of the most beautiful photos or postcard of Vietnam the photos taken from Hoi An, either taken by Vietnamese or foreigner photographers. Hoi An town always keeping it’s own character and ancient atmosphere on the streets. Experience the Hoi An photography tour like just travelling back to the time of 100 years ago. In different times in the day, Hoi An will appear in your photos with very different aspects, but three best times for the perfect photos of Hoi An is early morning, late afternoon (when you have the best lighting like many other places) and at night, when Hoi An will turned to be totally different town, quiet and mysterious in late evening. There are three streets parallel in the town: Bach Dang along the Thu Bon River, Nguyen Thai Hoc and Tran Phu, the Nguyen Thi Minh Khai street that links with Tran Phu Street over Japanese cover Bridge, Le Loi and Phan Boi chau Street are the best streets to take the photos of Hoi An. The local people in the town are very friendly. It is quite easy for you to find the old lady in traditional clothes that will be very matching with the ancient background of the town. The old Chinese Temple, Vietnamese ancient house or famous Japanese Covered Bridge also are great venue for photography in Hoi An as well.
Hoi An Central Market
One of the highlights of Hoi An photo tour is the central market of the town. This is big and very dynamic market with different sections for selling dry food and spices, restaurants for local people, vegetable, flower and fruit, fresh meat and fish. The market is dynamic, quite noisy and busy, that show you allots of local product and reflect very well local culture and customs that will make the market to be very attractive to the photographers when coming to Hoi An. The fresh vegetable and spices as well as the fresh fish in their section could be the most attractive subjects for you in the market. From 6 to 8 AM and from 4 to 6 AM could be the best time to take photo of this amazing market.
The small alleys in Hoi An
Most of travelers coming to Hoi An will miss very attractive but hidden places in the town – small alleys – that would be very easy to be missed when you walking along the streets. Between the main streets of the town, there are always some tiny alleys, many of them so narrow, just can fit only one motorbike connecting different streets in the town. For the stranger, specially the travelers form USA or Europe, you may feel not very comfortable to walk in to these alleys specially at night but believe me, you can see and feel totally different Hoi An just after few first steps. It will be much quieter; most of the house in the alleys did not changed at all from the old time and the families still keeping the old life style. If you walk along these alleys in early evening, you will see most of the family having their dinner in the small living room that also can be their garage to park their motorbikes and their TV is on during the dinner. It will be great experiences of the real daily life of local in town that have not been effected much from tourism, and I am sure you can take some of the interesting photos here.
Hoi An Rural Area
The other very attractive place of Hoi An but also many travelers can be missed is peaceful and beautiful rural area of the town with the vegetable village of Tra Que or many other untouched traditional villages in Cam Nam and Thuan Tinh districts. Located not to far from the town, these areas are not much influenced by travel industry from Hoi An. You still can see the green rice field, small traditional house of local people with their daily life activities, small rivers or canals covered by green water coconut trees. That can be the great balance with the dynamic life in Hoi An.
Boat trip on Thu Bon River
Located about 5 kms from the beach, you can travel to the sea on boat along Thu Bon River. On the boat trip, you will have lots of photo opportunities of daily life activities along the river such as fishing or rising up the huge fishing net in the unique way for catching the fish. Local farmer cultivate their crop along the river bank or on the islands in the middle of river. The egret, heron or king fisher catching the fish on the river or the fishing boats are resting after the hard night fishing on the sea. It all can make your boat trip on the river worthy. The perfect time for the boat trip on Thu Bon River is about 4 PM, so you can be back to Hoi An at the sunset time.
The other boat trip you can take is the short cruise on rowing boat by local people on Thu Bon River along the town. From here, you can take very good photos of Hoi An from the river. In the evening, you can see the town shining with lit up lanterns and lights, which also amazingly reflect on the water on the same boat trip.
Hoi An Fish Market
One of the most highlights for Vietnam photo tour to Hoi An to me is amazing Hoi An Fish Market in early morning. Hoi An is very famous for the best fish in the region and this market is mostly for the wholesales to sell the fish directly from the fishing boat coming back after the night fishing from the sea. The best time to visit the market is from 5:30 AM to 6:30 AM when the sun is just rising up and the light in the market is perfect for photograph. This is very bustling and busy place, and the only way for you to come and take the photos is just to be a part of the market, just join with local people, and sometime even need to push them to get the way or getting pushed by them as well. But the photos come out after the market will definitely make you happy.
The best time for Hoi An Photography Tour
Hoi An is beautiful in all season. In the summer time, it will be very sunny with blue sky and honey sunlight. The winter time will be more illusion by the mist in the morning but the sun still appears in most of the day, not like overcast sky in the North of Vietnam.
So for me, the best time for photography tour in Hoi An is more about the different time in the day rather than in the different seasons. As I have mentioned above, the best time for taking photograph in Hoi An could be in the early morning, sunset time and in the evening in the town.
How many days you need for the photography tour in Hoi An? The answer is that you will need at least 2 days in this lovely town. You will need to spend one early morning to take the photo of the town in the dawn and one other morning to take the photograph of the Hoi An Fishing Village. One to two evenings to take the photo of Hoi An by night and take the boat trip on Thu Bon River at night. One afternoon for the trip to rural area of Hoi An and the other afternoon for the lovely boat trip on Thu Bon River. The rest of the time for other photos of the town and Hoi An market. But if you want to have very good time for your photography tour in Hoi An, three to four days can be the perfect timing for your trip.