Photo: Looking into Ba Le Well.

The Ba Le Well

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Of the 80 or so ancient wells located in Hoi An, Ba Le Well is the most well known because it was once considered key to the town's signature cao lau noodle. Thought to have been built in the 10th century by the Cham people, an entire mythology has blossomed around the well, with fanciful stories of mystical connections and fairies.

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Ba Le Well is located down the alley running north behind 45 Phan Chai Trinh Street, just up from the popular and tasty Ba Le Well Restaurant. Once a hard to find spot, now you can't miss the easy-to-see UNESCO sign.

The well itself. Photo taken in or around The Ba Le Well, Hoi An, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

The well itself. Photo: Cindy Fan

Ba Le Well is looked after by Mr Ba Lo Le, a rather ancient, and maybe a little away-with-the-fairies himself guardian who plunged (sorry) all his money into restoring the well. Every day Mr Ba Lo Le takes the water from the well and delivers it to poor families nearby, who use the sacred water for making tea and cooking traditional medicinal watercress soup xi ma, which without this special well water is said to be tasteless.

One family we spoke to tried to convince us that the keeper of the well was almost as old as the well itself, with the strong medicinal powers of the water and its spirits acting as a youthful elixir to keeping him strong and healthy even at the ripe old age ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 300 words.)


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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Hoi An.
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