Just over the river from the Old Town, Hoi An Memories Show exists in a magical world on its very own island (attached to Cam Nam Island). Across a beautiful outdoor setting that replicates medieval Hoi An Old Town and its rivers, a cast of hundreds of actors and performers bedazzle the audience alongside a life-size ship and elephant.
Through music and dance, the Hoi An Memories show takes the viewer through the city’s colorful history. A series of stories showcases the region’s farming heritage, its place on the Silk Road and importance as an international trading port.
In a clever move by the show’s creators, narratives are briefly expressed before each scene, allowing the performance to take center-stage. This results in an evening that all can enjoy and understand, regardless of age or interests.
It’s rare to see a theater-piece of such scope and ambition, and Hoi An Memories feels every bit like a gateway to another world. The action is exciting and varied, and the music a cinematic backdrop to an ever-moving stage. Like all the best theater, life can be left at the door and a better one picked up on the way out.
A real celebration of Hoi An’s culture and traditions, no visit to this part of Vietnam should omit this delightful haven on the Thu Bon River. And for those tough guys with hearts of stone, don’t forget your handkerchief.
Impression Theme Park
The wider island of Con Hen also hosts the Impression Theme Park, which can be enjoyed on its own or as a taster for the main event. The park combines famous elements of Hoi An in miniature with music, shops, play areas, street food and a choice of drinkeries. Performances from the actors and dancers throughout give the park a real carnival feel. See Trai Ho take on a ferocious tiger; the love story of ‘Silk Queen’, Tam Tang; the wedding of Princess Ngoc Hoa and many more folk tales performed at set times around the park.
Newcomers to Hoi An will find the Impression Theme Park a perfect introduction to the area, and there’s plenty to tire out the little ones too. The park is also expanding, meaning a second visit to the island is unlikely to be the same as the first.
Transport to Impression Theme Park
Given it’s outside of the Old Town, arranging transport to Impression Theme Park is essential, unless you’re already based on that side of the river.
- The island is easily reached via motorbike, scooter or bicycle
- If arriving by taxi, try to book a return trip in advance
- There’s also a free shuttle boat service from the Cam Chau side of the Tu Bon River.
If you’re new to Hoi An, you’ll find the area across the Cam Nam Bridge to be much quieter than the Old Town, although there are several restaurants and spas just across the river and beyond.