The Phuc Kien Assembly Hall can be found over on Tran Phu Street in Hoi An Ancient Town and it is filled with unique architectural features and history. This building was built back in 1692 and it was originally a Buddhist pagoda that was named Kim Son. The building was damaged badly at one point and the new owners, rich Fukian merchants from China, restored it in 1759. The old building had been completely constructed out of wood, but the restoration process ensured that it would last much longer, since bricks were used.
It was at that time that the name was changed to the Phuc Kien Assembly Hall. It is dedicated to the ancestors of the owners, as well as Thien Hau Holy Mother, who happened to save and protect those traders who escaped all those years ago.
The locals call Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, Fujian Assembly Hall, as well, and it is one of the five assembly halls used in Hoi An. The other four include Trieu Chau, Quang Dong, Hai Nam, and Hoa Van Le Nghia.
The gate has three entryways and it is completely covered in tile that is bright blue. There are many intricate details within the Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, but the ones that you must take the time to truly appreciate include the symbols of many sacred animals. Those animals are dragons, unicorns, fish, turtles, and phoenixes. It is said that those animals relate to the Oriental philosophy of achievement, endurance, power, nobility, and knowledge.
Just past the gate, you will see the courtyard, followed by the lake, an ornamental plant, two corridors, the front yard, and finally the backyard.
There are four statues inside the mainhall, and they are Avalokitesvara, Thien Ly Hau Holy Mother, the God of Thuong Phong Nhi, and the God of Thien Ly Nhan Thien Hau. The statues of six generals and the three most infamous Kings of the Ming Dynasty can be found in the middle of the back sanctuary.
Another altar in the back of the sanctuary is dedicated to three Sanh Thai goddesses, as well as twelve midwives. This area is popular amongst those who want to have children.
On the other side of that same altar, you will find the God of Wealth statue and many merchants can be seen there wishing for wealth.
As you wander through the Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, you will find yourself stopping to see the bronze drums, bronze bells, and the statues mentioned above.
Events occur at this assembly hall throughout the year, but the most popular ones are in the middle of January, February, and March, on the lunar calendar. Therefore, you may want to plan your visit accordingly, so you do not miss out on any of the festivities.
There is an entrance fee for the Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, and it is part of the price that you pay for tickets when you enter Hoi An Ancient Town. You gain entrance into five different attractions, once you pay 120,000 VND for tourists, and 80,000 VND for locals.
If you use one of your tickets for this assembly hall, you may think that you do not need to see any of the other four. However, each one is unique in its own way, so you may want to use all five of your tickets on the assembly halls and then purchase more tickets to see the rest of attractions on your list.
In case you need a little encouragement to see the others, let’s delve into the best of the other four assembly halls.
Hoa Van Le Nghia is the oldest of them all and it dates back to 1741. Hai Nam was constructed in 1875 to honor more than one hundred Chinese merchants that were killed for the sole reason that they were thought to be pirates.
Trieu Chau was built in 1845 and this is the best place to visit if you are looking for good luck and wealth in the future. The last one is Quang Trieu and it has held many different distinctions over the years, when it comes to who it has helped.
As you can see, each assembly hall is truly different and while you may prefer one over all the others, each one can actually share something wonderful with you during your visit. And, if nothing else, they will each allow you to see the true beauty and intricate details that have carefully been placed inside and out.
If you have not spent any time inside the Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, or the other four, then a visit must be on your itinerary for your next trip to Hoi An. You will definitely not be disappointed, and you will learn so much during your time there.