What better way to see how people lived than to visit their homes?
In Hoi An, you can do that. Several actual homes (people are still living in ’em) have been opened for tourists to take a peek into the Hoi An people’s dwelling areas. These homes include Tan Ky, Quan Thang, Phung Hung, Duc An, and the Tran Family Chapel.
It’s also a terrific way to see how they lived (and still living) and appreciate the architecture.
The visits to these living museums are part of the attractions you can go into if you buy the ticket as described in my previous blog post on Hoi An.
Tan Ky House
The Old House of Tan Ky is found in along Nguyen Thai Hoc Street with a windowless wooden facade facing the street.
Upon entering, you will be asked to sit by the receiving area where you will be served tea.
The host gave us a brief background of Tan Ky and showed us the decorations that adorn the entrance to the courtyard. Visiting the different homes and homes turned shops, you’d see that courtyards (pocket gardens) are part of the usual architecture in Hoi An.
I’m not sure with the other homes but Tan Ky has a water well in it’s courtyard where our host also gave a short spiel on the different zodiacs. We left buying three medallions with our zodiacs.
Because Hoi An is situated near the river, it is susceptible to flooding. As seen from the above photo, the water reached over 10 feet high during the 2007 and 2009 flooding! Scary! But our host told us that they didn’t leave Tan Ky and just went up the upper floor.
No Vietnam home is without the usual altar.
There was a wall of pictures and business cards where visitors have left their marks. It was pretty interesting seeing the hundreds of people that have already visited this ancient home. Needless to say, I stuck my name card on the wall too.
The back door of the Tan Ky House opened to the river.
So it’s no wonder that this place gets flooded all the time.
If you happen to be in Hoi An and love history, check out Tan Ky House.