Inside the Old House of Tan Ky in Hoi An, you'll find an exceptionally unique architectural design

The Old House of Tan Ky in Hoi An is a clever and harmonious combination of three architectural styles from Japan, China, and Vietnam. It preserves a significant collection of precious antiques with profound philosophical and moral values, reminding future generations of valuable lessons in ethics and values. As a result, this ancient house has become a captivating tourist destination for both domestic and international visitors, including government officials who come to admire and explore its unique features.

Overview of the Old House of Tan Ky in Hoi An

  • Address: 101 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Minh An Ward, Hoi An, Quang Nam, Vietnam.
  • Opening Hours: 08:30 AM – 05:45 PM
  • Admission Fee: 35,000 Vietnamese Dong per person, per visit
  • Tickets are only valid for the day of purchase. Guided tours are free for groups of 8 or more members.
  • Duration of Visit: Approximately 20 minutes
The Old House of Tan Ky in Hoi An

The Old House of Tan Ky is located right in the heart of Hoi An’s ancient town. Its front faces Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, a bustling commercial area, while its rear overlooks the tranquil Thu Bon River. Finding your way to visit this ancient house is quite easy due to its prominent location.

History of the Old House of Tan Ky in Hoi An

The Old House of Tan Ky in Hoi An was built in 1741, toward the end of the 18th century. As of the current time, this ancient house has stood for over 200 years and has been inhabited by more than seven generations of the Le family. The name “Tan Ky” was given by the second-generation owner with the meaning of wishing for prosperity and facilitating a more successful business and trade.

In 1964, Hoi An experienced a historic flood that completely inundated the ground floor of the Tan Ky house. Fortunately, the architectural and cultural elements of the house remained intact. In 1990, the Old House of Tan Ky was honored with UNESCO recognition as a World Cultural Heritage and designated as a National Historical and Cultural Site.

Directions to Visit the Old House of Tan Ky in Hoi An

The distance from Da Nang to Hoi An is approximately 35 kilometers to the south, and the drive takes about 60 minutes. There are several ways to reach Hoi An’s ancient town:

  • You can ride a motorcycle from Da Nang city, following National Highway 1A to the south for about 27 kilometers until you reach Vinh Dien Road, then head to the center of Hoi An.
  • From the central bus station in Da Nang, you can take a bus to Hoi An for a very affordable fare of 30,000 Vietnamese Dong per one-way trip, and you’ll arrive in Hoi An after an 80-minute journey.
  • If you prefer a quick and convenient service with door-to-door transportation, you can book a tourist car rental service with a driver in Hoi An from VnCarRentals.com. With a professional driver team and a range of new vehicles with seating options from 4 to 45 passengers, this will make your journey more comfortable. Book a car rental service from Da Nang to Hoi An today to explore the Old House of Tan Ky.

Special Features of the Old House of Tan Ky

  • The Old House of Tan Ky is a private residence that was constructed over 200 years ago, and it has been home to seven generations of the same family.
  • The current owner still resides on the upper floor of the house, while the lower floor is open to visitors.
  • This two-story house features three sections designed in a harmonious fusion of three distinct cultural styles: Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese. It reflects the presence of the Japanese community in Hoi An during the 16th and 17th centuries, complete with Yin and Yang roof tiles.
  • Notably, the entire structure relies on interlocking beams and columns without the use of nails for support.
  • The living room exhibits Japanese architectural influences, designed according to Feng Shui principles (Wood, Water, Fire, Earth, Metal).
  • The house is built in a tube-like shape, long and narrow, with no windows. In the middle of the house, there is a courtyard to allow natural light to enter.
  • The back of the house faces the river, so during flood seasons, the house can be inundated with water.
  • A particularly precious artifact within the house is a unique item, of which only one remains: the Cup of Confucian (Chen Khong Tu).
The Cup of Confucius

When water is poured into the Cup of Confucian and reaches 80% of its capacity, the water remains inside the bowl. If more than 80% is poured, the excess water spills out. This unique feature is due to a small hole under the figure of Confucius in the bowl.

The significance of the Confucian bowl is to remind people to live in moderation, which holds great philosophical and moral value.

About the Architecture of the Old House of Tan Ky

From the outside, the Old House of Tan Ky prominently displays a distinctive tube-shaped architectural style with traditional Yin and Yang roof tiles, blended with common decorative elements seen in Chinese culture. The large signboard carved with Chinese characters and a Vietnamese description below is a common feature, introducing the name of the house.

Inside the Old House of Tan Ky in Hoi An, you'll find an exceptionally unique architectural design
Inside the Old House of Tan Ky in Hoi An, you’ll find an exceptionally unique architectural design

The Old House of Tan Ky consists of a total of three sections: two side sections and a central section, featuring an architectural fusion of Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese cultures. Notably, this house lacks windows, and natural light enters through courtyards, verandas, and the open layout.

There is also a skylight area to make the house more airy.

Inside Tan Ky house, you can easily spot Han characters inscribed on columns and the intricately carved floral patterns on the guest reception furniture and tea-serving sets, displaying both antiquity and elegance. It is worth mentioning that the wood used for these furnishings is of rare and precious quality, such as Lim wood, symbolizing the wealth of the owner. Instead of modern electric lights, lanterns with golden light adorn the space and illuminate the wooden structure, contributing to the classical aesthetics of the interior design.

All the antiques inside the Old House of Tan Ky in Hoi An are valuable artifacts specific to this historic house

One of the most valuable relics on display at the Old House of Tan Ky is a unique and ancient Confucian bowl, dating back 550-600 years, believed to be the only one of its kind in Vietnam. It is housed in a glass case for visitors to come and admire.

Some other nearby places near the Old House of Tan Ky that you might be interested in

Japanese Covered Bridge

Address: 186 Tran Phu, Minh An Ward, Hoi An, Quang Nam

Visiting Hours:

  • Morning: 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
  • Afternoon: 3:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Admission Fees:

  • 80,000 VND/person (Vietnamese visitors)
  • 100,000 VND/person (international visitors)

You know, the Japanese Covered Bridge is a popular check-in spot for many young people when they visit Hoi An’s ancient town. The bridge boasts a distinctive architectural style with its Yin and Yang roof tiles and spans across the Hoai River, deeply connected to the history of the local people. This place is considered an emblem of Hoi An’s prosperity, with a history spanning 400 years and enduring many historical ups and downs.

Phuc Kien Assembly Hall – a historical and spiritual destination in Hoi An.

Address: 46 Tran Phu, Hoi An City, Quang Nam

Opening Hours: 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM (Monday – Sunday)

Admission Fees:

  • 80,000 VND/person (Vietnamese visitors)
  • 150,000 VND/person (international visitors)

The Phuc Kien Assembly Hall is a well-known historical and spiritual destination in Hoi An’s ancient town. It primarily worships the Lady Thien Hau, attracting a large number of tourists who come to make offerings and explore the assembly hall’s courtyard. The architecture is rich with Chinese influences, featuring a signboard with Han characters at the entrance, red lanterns, intricate yellow floral patterns, and columns inscribed with Han characters.

Phuc Kien Assembly Hall is a spiritual architectural work with bold colors of Hoi An culture

Hoi An Lune Center.

If you’ve come to Hoi An to enjoy the scenery, the beach, and the local cuisine, don’t miss the cultural experience at the Hoi An Lune Center – the first and only bamboo performance art theater in Hoi An. Its prime location at the confluence of the Thu Bon and Hoai Rivers, combined with its unique design, makes Lune Center an unmissable destination.

  • Address: 1A Nguyen Phuc Chu, Minh An Ward, Hoi An, Quang Nam.
  • The shows start at 6:00 PM.
  • Some internationally renowned performances include Teh Dar Show, À Ố Show, and more.

Some notes when visiting the Old House of Tan Ky:

  • When visiting, please minimize noise as the lower floor of the Old House of Tan Ky is open to the public, while the upper floor is still inhabited by the owner’s family.
  • To avoid damaging precious artifacts, please do not touch the exhibits.
  • After your visit, you can stop by the souvenir counter to purchase gifts for your loved ones and friends.

People often liken the Old House of Tan Ky in Hoi An to a “Living Museum.” When you visit this 200-year-old ancient house, it feels like stepping back in time to the life of the people of Hoi An in days gone by. If you have the opportunity to visit Hoi An’s ancient town, be sure to explore the Old House of Tan Ky, which has witnessed seven generations of the same family living in it. Discover the history of this first nationally recognized historical relic.

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