Hoi An Lantern Festival is one of Southeast Asia’s most popular events. For centuries, the Vietnamese have considered the full moon a time to pay their respects to their ancestors, hold candlelit ceremonies at temples and generally make merry. In recent years, the quaint port town of Hoi An has taken this to the next level, switching off its fluorescent lights and raising its coloured lanterns for one night every month – when the streets are filled with crowds of locals and tourists, games, festival food and music.
To make the most of your Hoi An Lantern Festival experience, follow these tips:
Visit in February for the Hoi An Lantern Festival at its most brilliant – the first full moon of the lunar new year is the biggest celebration of them all.
Expect crowds and arrive early to get a good spot. – it’s a popular event with locals and tourists so Hoi An’s river banks fill up with people quickly hoping to secure a good view of the candle-lit water.
If you want to escape the crowds, take a sampan ride on the river – you can watch the festivities away from the masses and more easily place your own lantern on the water’s surface (expect to pay around USD $5).
Buy handmade lanterns locally for a cost of around 50 cents – the vendor will usually lend you a long pole to lower the lantern onto the water.
Use a wrist strap on your camera and attach your phone to a lanyard – you don’t want your expensive items accidentally knocked out of your hand as you’re taking photographs close to the river.
Wear sturdy shoes – there’s a good chance you’ll have your feet trodden on as you navigate the busy streets.
Now, you can book a Hoi An tour and make useful tips for your experiences in Hoi An Lantern Festival !