Hoi An, Vietnam is a special, magical town that is always a favourite spot for visitors to spend extended time in. The quaint old streets are filled with bars and cafes, art shops, tailors and a myriad of restaurants. Once a month Hoi An Full moon Festival takes place and adds an even more memorable night out.
Hoi An celebrate the full moon by banning all motorized vehicles and asking all residents to turn off electric lights. Instead, colourful lanterns provide the lighting on the streets. The action is centered in the area between the Japanese Covered Bridge and the Cau An Hoi Bridge, which connects Hoi An with An Hoi, the new area filled with restaurants and resorts across the river from Hoi An.
Vietnamese and tourists purchase lanterns (they cost around 50 cents) and release them on the river. The sight is beautiful and you can even take a sampan boat ride on the river floating through the lanterns.
The festivities kick off at dusk and the action on the Hoi An side wraps up between 9 and 10pm. An Hoi, on the other side of the Cau An Hoi Bridge, is a little more lively and the fun can continue a little later into the evening. It’s best not to leave it too late to join in so start exploring at dusk to make the most out of the Full Moon evening!
Good viewing points are the many cafes lining the river near the Japaneses Bridge on the Hoi An side or a seat on a restaurant balcony overlooking the river.
It is busy on these nights and hotels fill up, but if you want to witness a special part of Vietnamese celebrations make your plans around the full moon nights.
Dates for 2016 are: 20th April, 20th May, 18th June, 17th July, 16th August, 14th September, 14th October, 13th November and 12th December.