Assembly Hall of the Cantonese Chinese Congregation

Pick up insights into the history of Chinese immigrants in Vietnam when you tour one of their stunning ancient assembly halls.

Venture inside the Assembly Hall of the Cantonese Chinese Congregation, once an important center for Chinese immigrants in the city. Admire the oriental art and architecture and learn about some fascinating local history.

Hoi An was a major center of trade from the 15th to the 19th century and where Chinese immigrants first settled in southern Vietnam. They built assembly halls in the city, places where they could socialize and do business. Each hall was built for a different ethnic group and five remain to this day.

The Assembly Hall of the Cantonese Chinese Congregation was constructed in the late 18th century by Chinese immigrants from China’s Guangdong and Cantonese regions. Different parts of the building were made separately in China and then brought to Hoi An to be assembled.

Your architectural appreciation starts as you enter the assembly hall via the stone three-entrance gate. Stop to look up at the figures of dragons and lions decorating the gate’s tiled roof and study the carvings on the supporting pillars.

Walk through the attractive main courtyard and up to the opulent fountain. Erupting from the middle of this magnificent water feature is a statue of a dragon entwined with a carp. View paintings and other works of art decorating courtyard walls.

Inside the main building, see the altar dedicated to Quan Cong, a respected general from Asia’s Three Kings Period. He is worshipped as a symbol of loyalty, integrity and justice. Look for other relics from the hall’s Cantonese creators, including statues, terracotta seats and a large bronze censer used for burning incense during religious ceremonies.

The Assembly Hall of the Cantonese Chinese Congregation is located in the heart of Hoi An’s ancient old town. The best times to visit the hall are mid-morning and mid-afternoon. After your tour, visit the city’s four other assembly halls, which are all within a short walking distance.