The ancient town of Hoi An in the central province of Quang Nam came in 15th on a roughguides.com list of the world’s top “20 unforgettable things to do at night on your travels.”
“Banish thoughts of glow paint ravers on crowded Thai beaches, Hoi An’s full moon festival is a much more sophisticated affair. Every month on the fourteenth day of the lunar calendar, the town switches off its street lights as glowing silk lanterns, performers and food stalls fill the cobbled streets and the Thu Bon River is lit up with beautiful floats,” gushed the popular British travel site.
The Hoi An Lunar Full Moon Festival feature activities recalling the real life of Hoi An people centuries ago.
For the locals the night of the full moon is the time to honor their ancestors, setting up alters laden with fruit, flowers, candles and incense outside homes and businesses, and burning votive paper as offerings in exchange for good luck and prosperity.
The temples in town are awash with activity, monks hold candlelit ceremonies and the Fujian Assembly Hall on Tran Phu Street fills with local fishing families honoring Lady Thien Hau, the goddess of the sea who protects sailors from danger.
Hoi An was recognized by the UNESCO in 1999 as a World Cultural Heritage Site. The town sits on the ocean around 700 kilometers south of Hanoi. The nearest airport and train station are in Da Nang, a 30km drive away.