Tan Ky Old house is an almost perfect example of a 18th merchant’s residence in this major commercial port town.
Over 200 years, Tan Ky ancient house located on Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Hoi An city has retained the intact structure and architecture as the first day of construction. The name Tan Ky, meaning “Progress Shop”, was given to the house by the second generation to express the owner’s wish for a prosperous business. This is an interesting stop on the journey to discover the ancient features of Hoi An.
Wood is the main material used by the homeowner to build a house; apart from wood, there are also stone and brick tiles. Stone which was brought back from Thanh Hoa, it was the stone that helped the wooden columns not be rotted after all this time. Brick of floor tiles is a type of Bat Trang brick, they are cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Being the combination of Vietnamese, Japanese as well as Chinese elements, from a time when the three communities lived together in Hoi An during the 16th and 17th centuries, the house strongly represents features of Oriental philosophy, such as the the triple-beam structure (stands for heaven, earth and humans), the five round blocks (represent metal, wood, water, fire and earth – the five basic natural elements in Eastern philosophy) and several decorative carvings on the edge of the roof and furniture. Amongst several pieces in the house, the most famous one is two vertical panels next to the Tan Ky House's central courtyard, which are inscribed with parallel sentences. What surprising about this piece is that each stroke of writing is an illustration of a bird. One hundred birds in total represent perfection.
Another special thing to make the name of Tan Ky ancient house, this is the first ancient house honored to become the national heritage and also the only ancient house in Hoi An honored to welcome the domestic and foreign Heads of State and politicians. Many film crews also filmed here.