Hoi An Impression Theme Park: A Step Back into Hoi An’s Golden Age

Hoi An’s Impression Theme Park transports you back 400 years to when Hoi An was one of the busiest ports in Asia. The park has themed villages, complete with stunning pagodas and bridges. It plays host to well-produced mini-shows and informative activities where guests learn all about Hoi An’s history as a vibrant trading port. 

The park aims to educate visitors about Vietnamese culture through immersive entertainment and highly detailed architecture. So it is essentially a large interactive show where each staff member is a time-period performer and each corner is a stage to tell a tale through theatre arts. 

Consequently it’s an entertaining way to spend an evening in Hoi An easily as a pre-show warm-up before the main Hoi An Memories show or enjoyed as a stand-alone attraction.

Website – Price: 100,000 VND (4 USD) – Business hours: 5:00 p.m to 9:30 pm Wednesday to Monday; Closed on Tuesdays

Theme Park Address: Con Hen, Cam Nam Ward

Boat Station Address: 159 Tran Quang Khai Str.

Hoi An Impression Theme Park Times and Ticket Information

Officially, the entry price for the theme park is 100,000 VND (4.35 USD) but upon arrival, we were told entry was free.  Therefore we were allowed to just enjoy the park. This will surely change as the popularity of the park increases but for now, it is certainly a bargain.

Hoi An Impression Theme Park – Opening Hours

The park is open from 5.00 p.m. – 9.30 p.m. every day except Tuesday. There is an opening ceremony at the main gate at 5.00 p.m. So it’s best to arrive at 4.45 p.m. to get the full experience. 

The minishows and live music performances continue simultaneously in various themed locations all around this beautifully-decorated park. They continue up until around 6.45 p.m. when the Hoi An Memories Show opens its doors.

How to Get to Hoi An Impressions Theme Park

The Hoi An Impression Theme Park is located in the area of Cam Nam on an island on the Thu Bon River and is very close to the Old Town.

The easiest way to get to the park is to follow Hoang Dieu road straight through the Old Town and across the bridge on to Cam Nam island. After crossing the bridge, take your second left onto Luong Nhu Bich and follow the road until you see large signs for the show and security waving people through. By taxi you should pay roughly 30,000 VND (1.25 USD) from the Old Town.

However, if you’re riding a bike or walking, after you cross the bridge you can take the scenic route. Firstly take your first immediate left after crossing the bridge and move along the riverbank path. Then follow the water until you reach the bridge to Impressions Island. From the Hoi An Cloth Market in the Old Town, it will take you about 15 to 20 minutes to reach the park.

 

Another lesser-known option of getting to and from the theme park is by boat. The boat ride is free and nice way to travel the short distance from the Old Town to the park. Look out for the gas station on Tran Quang Khai – you can’t miss the large Hoi An Memories signs guiding you to the pier. The boat drops you off right in front of the Hoi An Memories show venue which is to the back of the theme park.

Hidden Hint: We highly recommend taking the free boat from Old Town to the Park. It drops you right in front of the show venue and is the quickest way to the park.

The Layout of Hoi An Impressions Theme Park

The park is easy to navigate and there are signs everywhere to direct you to the various sections. Maps are available at the ticket booth area and the customer service centre. The entire park is a work in progress and there are constantly new additions. For the most up-to-date overview of the park click here: MAP

Your journey into the past begins as you walk through the entry gates built in the style of Thanh Chiem Palace. They are a national relic in Vietnam symbolising the prosperous times of the Tien Nguyen Hoang Dynasty. Past the gates, you arrive in the trading port area, representing the melding of long-standing east and west trade histories between Europe and Asia.

Hidden Hint: Arrive at the park just before it opens at 5 p.m. and be treated to the opening mini show and ushered in by the park’s cast of characters.

Vietnamese Pagoda

The first section of the park presents Vietnam through familiar Hoi An architecture. The streets emulated here represent the early days of Hoi An, as a bustling trading port. Vietnamese religious and spiritual significance is highlighted in the architecture with the prominence of pagodas, temples, and shrines. 

Love Bridge

Coming out of the Vietnamese Pagoda, you arrive at the Love Bridge – the entry to the Chinese and Japanese village. The Love Bridge is a cultural and spiritual symbol of the relationship between Vietnam, China and Japan. There was and still is a strong influence from Japanese and Chinese merchants in Hoi An. Lovers can write their names on pieces of paper attached to the bridge in hopes for their love to sustain. It is also a fabulous spot to take a photo.

Japanese Village

The Japanese village is the most recently completed section of the park. Consequently the influence of Japanese culture is significant in Hoi An and is reflected strongly in architecture, culture, and cuisine. The Japanese village represents the stories of the Japan-Vietnam relationship. The village has two very unique features, the Ninja School and the Japanese tea ceremony demonstration. 

Hidden Hint: The tea ceremony is a bit hidden behind a bamboo gate here. So you need to look out for it and participate in this free cultural activity.

Impressions Theme Park – Mini Shows

Hoi An’s Impression Theme Park boasts to be the first park of its kind in Vietnam, where you can be immersed in a space of cultural wonder. In addition, the mini-show performances are an integral part of the park’s interactions with its visitors. Similarly, the mini-shows, just like the big Hoi An Memories production, are in the style of interpretive dance and theatre arts so that you can understand the story regardless of which language you speak.

Hidden Hint: Want to know where you should go next? Find staff dressed in green jackets and carrying red banners. They are extremely helpful and know the timings of all the mini-shows.

in fact, you can enjoy several mini-shows as they are scheduled every 10-15 minutes leading up to the main event, the Hoi An Memories show. The mini-shows are performed throughout the park’s various locations, starting with the opening ceremony at the entry gate. The daily schedule is posted as you walk into the park and without a doubt, you will at some point find yourself being ushered to an upcoming performance by park staff, so there is really little chance of missing a show.

Love Story of the Silkworm Goddess

This is a love story of faithful love between Prince Nguyen Phuc Lan and a lady who raised mulberry for silkworm production. However, the poignant historical aspect is that the lady, who becomes known as Silk Queen Tam Tang, is instrumental in promoting silk production and bringing Vietnamese products through the silk road to the rest of the world. 

It’s a visually stunning performance, so don’t miss it. Performances occur in the outdoor centre square only once every evening. You can get really close to the action too so have your camera ready.

Trai Ho Fighting The Tiger

This dramatic show is the first performance after entering the park. The legend tells how Trai Ho bravely battles a fierce tiger to bring peace to his people. Similarly the show symbolises the heroic traditions and courage of the Vietnamese people.

Hidden Hint: Look for the placards by each mini-show to get an understanding of the story being told.

You are first treated to a small performance outside the theatre to get your attention. Don’t think you’ve watched the actual mini show just because you see something spectacular from the outside. Inside it gets loud with dramatic sound effects – something to note if you have small children. Performances run twice daily so don’t feel compelled to rush into the first show, but it’s definitely one worth watching. 

Hoi An Performance
Performers introduce the mini show depicting Trai Ho’s fight with a tiger. Photo: Sandra Kusano

Happy Forest

Happy Forest is an art show depicting entertainment for the elite class of society back in olden days. Located in the Chinese village,  an acrobatic performance lures you in. This is a tricky one as many people leave after the acrobatics, not understanding the actual show was inside. Inside, the performance both surprises and entertains you. Not what you might expect, but an intriguing interpretation.

Acrobatic mini show
Acrobatic mini show taking place in the replica Chinese Village. Photo: Sandra Kusano

The Champa Ritual Dedicated to the God of Water

Representing the beauty and colourful culture of the Cham indigenous people from Quang Nam, this Champa ritual inspired mini-show, dedicates itself to the god of water. Therefore you are situated at an ancient well on the Cham Islands where it is believed that water is the essence of life. Similarly the mysterious prayers, beating drums, and eloquent dancing are mesmerizing. In addition, at the end of the performance, you have the chance to take photos with performers.

Hoi An Impressions Theme Park – Dining Options

Delicious and very reasonably priced local food is available in restaurants in each of the Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese themed villages within the park. There is also a fully-fledged bar and street-food-style vendors providing you with many options for a pre-show meal.

Hidden Hint: Don’t get caught out searching for a meal after the park closes. Options are limited due to the majority of the Old Town closing at 10 pm.

The most noteworthy, opulent option is an extensive buffet meal in the Conical Hat Restaurant. The buffet consists of Hoi An specialty cuisine and costs 250,000 VND (10. 85 USD). However for more Vietnamese options and a lower price point, head over to the Vietnamese pagoda.  Here, an open-air seating venue offers freshly made cao lau, com ga, bun, and more for around 50,000 VND (2.15 USD).

Impressions Theme Park – Immersive Activities

Another way to spend time in the park is to take part in an immersive activity. The tea ceremony in the Japanese Village gives just one example of the free cultural demonstrations offered. However for those that want a little bit more of an experience, there are some affordable activities suitable for all ages.

Ninja School

Walk straight into the Japanese village to the entrance to the Ninja School, guarded by stealth ninjas, obviously. The cost is 25,000 VND (1 USD) and it is open to all ages. Basically, it’s never too late to become a ninja. There are a few courses including a maze and when you masterfully complete the courses you receive a certificate and are officially a ninja.

Arts and Crafts

Closer to the entrance of the park is an area where you can paint pottery or make your own windmills and paper lanterns. The prices range from 30,000 VND to 55,000 VND (1.30 to 2.40 USD) depending on the craft. Therefore you can learn a new craft and make a unique keepsake to take home with you. 

 

children learn lantern or paint pottery at Hoi An Impressions Theme Park
Children can learn how to make a Hoi An lantern or paint pottery

Hoi An Memories Show

Finally the main attraction to the park is the Hoi An Memories Show. The Hoi An Memories show is an incredible spectacle. Due to the sheer scale of the Hoi An Memories show, it’s something comparable to an Olympic Games opening ceremony. Spread over 25,000 square metres, the stage itself is more like a Hollywood set. Boasting a cast of 500 actors and dancers using beautiful imagery so as a viewer, you are invited along a 400-hundred-year journey of the town’s growth. However, it’s an article in itself which you can read about here.

Hidden’s Thoughts

In conclusion, a visit to Hoi An’s Impression Theme Park is good for all ages and an immersive evening of entertainment. The park is still relatively unknown, so there is an added benefit that you don’t have to fight massive crowds to enjoy all the aspects of the park. The staff are incredibly helpful and dedicated, thus ensuring you have an enjoyable time. Above all, it’s easy to get to, affordable, and a nice escape from the hectic modern-day.