For centuries, assembly halls have been a place where migrant Chinese communities socialize and pass on the regional traditions of their home to future generations. With a population that’s over a quarter ethnic Chinese, Hoi An’s Cantonese Assembly Hall is one of five such hubs in town.
Founded in 1786, at the Cantonese Assembly Hall (Hoi Quen Quang Trieu), the colorful building materials you see today were first put together in China then shipped to Hoi An before being reassembled into the assembly hall, which has typical grand entrance gates that lead onto an ornamental garden, followed by a main hall and elaborate altar room.
Look out for the Cantonese Assembly Hall’s special flourishes, like the main altar dedicated to a red-faced Quan Cong, who symbolizes loyalty and righteousness. Also keep an eye out for the mosaic dragon statue by the entrance hall, and the even bigger dragon statue in the garden. In Cantonese lore, the fiery creatures are said to signify power, stability, and prosperity.
Hoi An’s Cantonese Assembly Hall (Quang Dong) is on 176 Tran Phu Street. Admission is by old town ticket (120,000 VND, valid for 10 days), and the hall is open from 8am - 5pm. Guided tours are available.