Celebrate The Full Moon At The Hoi An Lantern Festival!

This little town lights up every full moon, head to Hoi An!

Feel free to share my Hoi An favourites…


Oh Little Town Of Hoi An…


The evening of the Full Moon in Hoi An is a spectacular sight for full moon celebrants.

One night a month, this UNESCO World Heritage site fills with locals and tourists, honouring la lune in style.

Also called the Hoi An Lantern Festival, as this ancient town is lit up with multi-coloured lanterns (even more than usual!) Electricity is used to a minimum in the old quarter and fluorescent lighting is totally banned, so there is a truly magical charm about this historic place, which is already loaded with bags of beauty.

You can partake by sending paper lanterns with a candle passenger down the river, or simply soak up the atmosphere, wandering the streets of this tiny town.


Lunar Lanterns

On the full moon night too not even bicycles are allowed in the narrow, pretty streets of Hoi An. Usually only reserved for motorbikes and bikes, on the full moon evening, transportation is limited to walking on foot. This is definitely a positive – you can discover the magical town in peace – without fear of a wayward motorist taking you down! See The Top 5 Things To Do On A Full Moon, here.

Traditions for this festive night include offerings to shrines and burning incense to pay homage to the ancestors, and performances line the riverside. Old men play Chinese chess in front of their houses, bands play on bamboo flutes, drums and fiddles on the banks of the river and couples wander with starry eyes and hope of true love in their hearts.

Why Celebrate The Full Moon?

This local tradition derives from the light of the silvery moon brightening the pathways for the people of Hoi An in days of yore. Recreating life as it was, with minimal electric and motors, offers a deeper appreciation this town as it would’ve been over four centuries ago.

What better place to spend one of the many moons in a lifetime? It full moon-tastic!

Where? Hoi An, a World’s heritage ancient town in Central Vietnam. Beware – the celebrations don’t actually fall on the full moon but two days before…

When? The Hoi An Full Moon Festival is held on every 14th day of the lunar month

Hoi An Best Bits…

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GAM, the Gemstone Art Museum


130 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street

Stuffed full of incredible rocks, crystals and gemstones, this is a somewhat of a hidden treasure in Hoi An – if you don’t know about it you might miss it, despite its central location…

GAM houses the most extensive collections of rare minerals, gem sculptures and cut stones in Vietnam but it also doubles as a charming resting place, away from the hustle and bustle of the main street.


Sit beside the most beautiful wall set with exotic rocks, there’s a cafe / bar tucked away at the back.

Reaching Out Arts & Crafts

103 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street


I challenge you to visit the Reaching Out teahouse and not be totally overwhelmed with an amazing experience.


With the most gorgeous drip coffee sets in town, visiting this place is such a treat.

Peaceful (and its totally silent inside), you can feel truly serene during your experience, as the cafe employs only hearing impaired staff. Check out their shop too, with handicrafts made by disabled artisans.

Accommodation: Luxe Hotel And Hostel

I stayed at the cheap as chips hostel Hoa Binh, a short walk from the old town. At $8 a night for a cosy dorm room it’s a terrific option for travellers on a budget.

I splash out at the Essence Spa and Hotel, away from the hustle and bustle (it has views over rice paddies if you request a room in block B). The spa is highly rated on TripAdvisor too, bliss….

If you plan to spend time in Hoi An over the full moon Lunar Festival earlier booking is recommended.

Tips: This town has more seamstresses and tailors than you can imagine, food beyond compare and beaches to free your mind, or reflect on how many dresses to order!

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