Time allowed to stand still in 18th century Hoi An house

The 240-year-old Phung Hung House in Hoi An stands virtually as it did when it was first built, incorporating Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese designs.

Hoi An, ancient house, tourism, ancient port

The house stands at No.4 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street in the ancient town near the Chua Cau (Pagoda Bridge). It was built in 1780 by a Vietnamese merchant when Hoi An, a national trading port, was at its peak. In the past, the place used to sell forest products like cinnamon, pepper, salt, silk, chinaware and glassware.
The present owners and residents are the eighth generation descendants of the merchant, continuing to preserve the house close to its original state.

Hoi An, ancient house, tourism, ancient port

Like the town of Hoi An in general, this house with its various cultural influences has been well preserved. It has a solid structure of wooden frames and floors, brick walls and double tiled roofs. Wooden pillars and beams carry exquisite carvings.

Hoi An, ancient house, tourism, ancient port

The two "eyes" at the front door, a cultural heritage from Chinese people, is both a decoration and a spiritual token guarding the house.

Hoi An, ancient house, tourism, ancient port

The furniture and interiors are well maintained.

Hoi An, ancient house, tourism, ancient port

A curtained door lined with decorations separates the front and the back of the house.

Hoi An, ancient house, tourism, ancient port

Inside, a large space gets natural light from the Japanese style roof. The house has a total of 80 pillars made of precious solid wood.

Hoi An, ancient house, tourism, ancient port

The innermost room is a bedroom with a staircase leading to the second floor.

Hoi An, ancient house, tourism, ancient port

The front room on the second floor is an altar room dedicated to the owner’s ancestors and "Thien Hau Thanh Mau", a Chinese deity. It is also a gathering space for the family. The roof, floor structure and the frame on this floor are done in traditional Vietnamese style.

Hoi An, ancient house, tourism, ancient port

The square "window" on the floor tells the story of how its inhabitants cope with seasonal flooding. Commodities are shifted to the upper floor through this window.

Hoi An, ancient house, tourism, ancient port

Wooden doors have bars on the upper part and solid wood planks on the lower to ensure both ventilation and privacy

Hoi An, ancient house, tourism, ancient port

The arched porch on the second floor has carved decoration featuring the carp, a fish considered a symbol of luck in China, prosperity in Vietnam and power in Japan.

Hoi An, ancient house, tourism, ancient port

Centuries-old chinaware in a glass cabinet.

Hoi An, ancient house, tourism, ancient port

The Phung Hung Old House was recognized as a national relic in June 1993. Its design and opulent interiors are evidence that Hoi An was a culturally rich trading port.
Admission tickets to Hoi An cost VND80,000 ($3.5) per person. Each visitor can choose three of 21 sites including ancient houses, museums and assembly halls. One of the popular attractions is the Phung Hung Old House.
The town is offering a 50 percent discount on admission tickets until March 31.

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