A center of spiritual tourism in central Vietnam

Hoi An Ancient Town is home to plenty of historic and cultural relics including places in association with faith and religions. For this reason, the ancient town has been a venue for spiritual tourism.

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Spiritual tourism is in fact a kind of cultural form that satisfies spiritual needs of travelers. Spiritual tourism activities are based on inner factors as well as tangible and intangible cultural values related to the history of human perception of the world, beliefs, religions, faiths and other mental values.

Hoi An Lantern Festival. – Photos: Hieu Truong/SGT

Travelers have gained interesting feelings and experiences that are brought forth by spiritual tourism. Therefore, some say this category of tourism helps people find peace of mind.

Two kinds of spiritual tours can be cited. The first features visits to religious complexes. The second one highlights religious rituals, such as praying and worshipping aside from the visit.

Ancestor worship is a ritual practice that is very popular in Hoi An. That is the reason why visitors to the town can see hundreds of relics of temples and communal houses worshipping ancestors. 

An important part of spiritual tourism in Hoi An involves rituals honoring soldiers and those who have sacrificed their lives for the sake of the country, local Gods, etc. The town is the cradle of the first Lam Te Chuc Thanh Zen which was popular in the first half of the 17th century. At the same time, Catholicism also entered Hoi An and

Danang very long time ago.

Hoi An has a mix of Vietnamese and Chinese religions and is home to other religions such as Buddhism, Caodaism, Protestantism, etc.

Religious festivals and rituals celebrating the Lunar New Year in Hoi An have attracted tourists nationwide.

One of those religious festival most well-known is Hoi An Lantern Festival, which often takes place on the 14th day of the lunar months. The festival is even more grandiose on Tet, the Lunar New Year, and the Mid-autumn Festival. What is special about the lantern festival is that locals and visitors drop lanterns in the Hoai River to pray for the deceased whose souls rely on warm light to be liberated from all suffering and anxieties. Dropping lanterns when enjoying a boat trip on the Hoai River is also an interesting experience with double excitement. The beauty of Hoi An in the festival is so luring that many travelers nationwide come there to enjoy the view of colorful lanterns sparkling on the Hoai River.

All conditions considered, Hoi An has been a spiritual tourism spot attracting pilgrims across Vietnam.

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