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Hoi An Assembly Halls (Cantonese, Fujian +more)

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    As the name suggests, assembly halls were built by wealthy traders for one and only one purpose, to socialise with their community.

    All of the assembly halls have a typical architecture which includes an ornate entrance gate, a vast courtyard, meeting rooms and a small pagoda towards the end of the complex.

    Of-course the whole area is richly decorated and in the courtyard you’ll see colorful dragon made with mosaic tiles standing by a beautiful fountain.

    Here’s a list of the best Assembly Halls in Hoi An:

    1. Cantonese Assembly Hall

    Another one of top things to do in hoi an is the Cantonese Assembly Hall. Also known as Quang Trieu, it was built in the year 1885 by Chinese belonging to Cantonese province.

    Cantonese Assembly Hall features a serene courtyard, great for taking pictures. Cantonese Assembly Hall follows the typical assembly hall architecture complete with dragon statues colored in pastel colors.

    At Cantonese Assembly Hall fishermen and traders used to congregate and conduct business activities. The entrance consists of triple arch and consists of the words “Quang Trieu Assembly Hall” engraved in Cantonese.

    Inside the hall you will find statues of Various Cantonese dieties as well as scene from the local life. Check out the well preserved lacquered board and the terra cotta seats.

    The Cantonese Assembly Hall holds the Nguyen lieu Festival, which is celebrated on the 15th Jan of the lunch month.

    2. Phuc Kien (Fujian) Meeting Hall

    My top pick among things to do in hoi an old town, Phuc Kien (Fujian) Meeting Hall, is also known as Assembly Hall of the Fujian Chinese Congregation.

    This hall is undoubtedly the most beautifully built assembly hall of them all, and of-course the the biggest assembly hall too. A ticket to hoi an old town well spent!

    The Assembly hall way built way back in 1690 and served as the meeting hall of the Fujian. Note that Fujian, a Chinese ethnic group, had the largest presence in Hoi An at that time.

    Thien Hau, the goddess of the sea, is the presiding deity of the temple. She was highly revered by the merchants as Thien Hau is considered the protector of the sailors.

    The stunning entrance gate was added much later in 1975. The entrance which consists of three arches is beautiful decorated with colorful tiles. As you walk through the courtyard and into the temple you will reach the chamber where statue of Thien Hau is kept.

    On the right of the altar you will see there are 3 fairies, and 12 smaller figures of ba mu (or midwives). The midwives appear to be teaching the newborns essential like skills needed such as ingesting milk, smiling, crawling etc.

    Fresh fruit are presented as offerings by couples who come here seeking blessing and good luck. As always while entering the shrine dress respectfully.

    The best time to visit Phuc Kien Meeting Hall, Hoi An is during the Chinese festival – 15th Jan, 16th Feb and 23rd March lunar year – when the hall is decorated in its full glory. A lot of tourists as well as Vietnamese, come here during the period.

    3. The Zhao Zhao Assembly Hall

    The Zhao Zhao Assembly Hall was established by the Chinese from Zhao Zhao descent (from Trieu Chau) in the year 1845. The temple inside the The Zhao Zhao Assembly Hall is dedicated to the God of Wind and Big Waves, reverred by the sailors and merchants alike.

    Things to see in the Zhao Zhao assembly hall includes exquisite wooden carvings, beautiful ceramic reliefs, and the wooden altar in the prayer room decorated with designs from the Zhao Zhao folk legends.

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