Hoi An Museums - review by Rusty Compass
Hoi An | see and do guide

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Hoi An Museums

| 17 Nov 2011
Our rating
17 Nov 2011

Hoi An’s old town has three museums covering history, culture, ceramics and the ethnology of the Sa Huynh people. They’re all small and close by so there’s no harm poking your head into all of them. To see all three, you may need to buy a second day tour ticket - depending on how many other sights you visit.

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Hoi An's museums are located in some lovely old town spaces. Regrettably, they're as lacking in context and information as the other sites of this historic town. But you might pick up some interesting morsels so swing through during your exploration. Their modest collections have some nice pieces and it's always good getting inside the original old buildings.

Hoi An Museum of History and Culture 

Hoi An’s History Museum is perhaps the most eloquent testament to the town’s grudging interest in communicating its rich story to visitors. If the name creates an expectation of an expansive evocative experience, you’ll be sorely disappointed. The collection, ranging from Cham times to the trading heyday that ended in the 19th century, is meagre and information is scant.

Hoi An’s lucrative tourism boom has not yet inspired a major effort to add historical and cultural substance to the travel experience.

The museum’s setting at the back of the seventeenth century Chua Ong Temple is pleasing.

Address: 7 Nguyen Hue St, Hoi An

Museum of Trade Ceramics

Hoi An,Museum of Trading Ceramics,Vietnam
Photo: Mark BowyerMuseum of Trading Ceramics, Hoi An

As the name suggests, the collection here showcases Hoi An’s time as a centre of trade in Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese ceramics between the 16th and 18th centuries. There are some nice pieces - at least to the untrained eye - but information is limited.

A small display out the back is helpful in explaining the old town’s different architectural styles.

Address: 80 Tran Phu St, Hoi An

Museum of Sa Huynh Culture

The Sa Huynh civilisation was an ancient culture that flourished in this part of central Vietnam (emanating from Sa Huynh town a few hours south of Hoi An) between the 2nd century BC and the 2nd century AD. This small museum houses a number of artefacts from the Sa Huynh. 

The museum also exhibits an incongruous collection of items from Hoi An’s contribution to Vietnam’s communist revolution.

Address: 149 Tran Phu St, Hoi An

Travel tips
All of these museums are close by one another in the small centre of the old town. You will pass them as you wander.


Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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