Tan Ky Old House in Hoi An

Merchant Heritage House in Hoi An, Quang Nam, Vietnam

Rachel Tran
Rachel Tran | Published: January 31, 2020

Each house in Hoi An old town is a prominent individual of the architectural complex of the whole city. Therefore, Hoi An people still live normal daily lives in their neighborhood, they associated their lives with ancient architectures in their land. Considered the oldest and the most beautiful old house in Hoi An, Tan Ky Old House has retained a lot of precious antiques and has been an attractive destination for tourists.

    Location: 101 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Minh An Ward, Hoi An, Quang Nam
    Opening Hours: 8:30 - 17:45 daily
    Entrance Fee: 30,000 VND / foreigner

History of Tan Ky Old House

Tan Ky Old House was built in 1741. It is the place where 7 generations of Le family have lived. The name “Tan Ky” was used by Mr. Le Tan Ky (the second generation). At that time, this house was used to trade agricultural products. The front of the house is Nguyen Thai Hoc street while the back is Bach Dang street facing Hoai river. At that time, Hoi An was still a busy international trading port with many Japanese, Chinese and Western merchant ships. Therefore, the location of the house is convenient for trading goods.

History of Tan Ky Old House

For a long time, Tan Ky Old House has suffered from many floods. Especially in 1964, the flood reached the first floor of the house. However, the house has remained miraculously over the years. In the area selling souvenirs for visitors, you can see flood markers in the house.

It is not the oldest house of Hoi An but this is the first ancient house that was pointed “Cultural Work” by the Ministry of Culture and Information in Hoi An since 1985.

Architecture of Tan Ky Old House

The house is a combination of Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese architectural styles. Constructed in a special style, it consists of two overlapping columns, which symbolize the relationship of heaven-human, 5 vertical columns like 5 fingers, symbolize the five elements in nature.

The house owns the typical tubular architecture of the old town. In the house, everywhere there is no window. The unique light of the house is a space called the atrium. However, when you get into this old house, there is no feeling of stuffy at all.

Architecture of Tan Ky old house
Photo: @seizethedays_seetheworld

Wood is the main material for the house, beside the wood there are rocks and floor tiles. The stone is brought back from Thanh Hoa Province. That is the stone that makes the wooden pillars be undamaged. The floor tile is from Bat Trang, which makes the house cool in the summer, and be warm in the winter.

The distinctive point of this house is built not using a small nail. However, the house remains “self-standing” until now.

The house was designed and was built by the most skillful artisans of the famous Kim Bong village of Quang Nam Province at that time. The textures, patterns, and structures in the house have meanings and messages of Oriental philosophy.

What to See and Do at Tan Ky Old House?

The old house Tan Ky has reserved many horizontal lacquered boards such as “Tích đức lưu tôn” (teaching the children to keep virtue for the following generations); “Tâm thường thái” (keep the mind to always be quiet).

Interiors of Tan Ky Old House
Photo: @hwany_story

The area inside the first apartment is the place where artifacts and sailboats are exhibited, which is the symbol of Hoi An Port 400 years ago.

The house also retains a horizontal lacquered board “Bách Điểu ( One Hundred Birds). The archaeologists considered it a unique one in Vietnam. It is written in 100 letters, each of them is a bird which is taking off.

When coming into the house, you can see a shiny black bed, which was carved carefully or the base of a flower vessel is carved elaborately.

In many artifacts at the old house, you cannot miss “Confucius Bowl”, which is invaluable treasures tied to the ancient remnants of Confucius. It advises humans to refrain from their behaviors, keeps themselves in a neutral state, not outrageous activities.

Inside Tan Ky old house
Photo: @lalylezhava

In the house, there is a translation of the inscription of Mr. Le Tan Ky Stele, who established Tan Ky business. It summarizes the story of an orphan boy Cong by his own self-independence that becomes the person of fame, loving, helping the poor and the respect from the people.

Apart from the exhibition space with many priceless antiques in the living room, the house has two cute little corners of homeowners to exhibit small gifts of tourists visited the family as a souvenir gift.

The old house also has space for tourists all over the world to leave the card visit to save his memories when visiting the old house.

How to Get to Tan Ky Old House?

If you are in Chua Cau Hoi An, you can go along Bach Dang Street to Nguyen Thai Hoc Street. The distance is not far, so you can walk slowly to enjoy the beautiful scenes here.

Tips on Visiting Tan Ky Old House

If you have the opportunity, you should visit Hoi An from February to April. Hoi An is the most beautiful, and the most sparkling city at this time.

Visitors are advised to wear polite costumes. There were many cases where visitors were refused to visit because they wore clothes that were too short and impolite.

In this house, there is space for selling souvenirs for visitors. Do not forget to buy some items for your relatives!

Let’s get your feet at Hoi An once in your life, do not forget Tan Ky Old House, breathe the peace of the city and listen to past sobbing in each roof tile and feel authentic beauty of the ancient, full vicissitudes of small streets along Hoai River. I’m confident that you will have an unforgettable experience when coming here!

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