Tucked away in Central Vietnam, a just step away from the South China Sea and brimming with tradition and heritage is Hoi An. For some, other than the usual suspects of Hanoi, Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and Halong Bay, little is known about this UNESCO Heritage Town. Not to worry. Read on if you fancy walking up and down the streets of 17th century Vietnam.
Hoi An was once a very prominent port city. It rose to prominence mainly due to its importance as a trading passage between Europe, China, India and Japan. Shipwrecks containing goods (especially Asian and Vietnamese ceramics) have been discovered trading as far as Sinai, Egypt. However, with the fall of the Nguyen dynasty, all ship and trade routes have been diverted to nearby Danag, where it continues to be a major port city.
What makes Hoi An stand out from the cluster of alluring Vietnam travel destinations is its Oriental feel and appeal. Many have commented how it felt like it was walking around in 1800’s Vietnam and you may just agree with them. A lot of the buildings, Chinese style shophouses and winding lanes have been restored. This holds especially true at the heart of the city, also known as the Old Town. Try wandering its streets in the evening. It truly is atmospheric!
Attractions are everywhere to be seen in Hoi An. The Japanese Covered Bridge, located on the west end of Tran Phu Street was constructed in the early 17th century by Japanese settlers in Hoi An before moving back to their home country. Hoi An is also home to numerous museums including the Museum of Folk Culture, the Museum of Trade Ceramics and the Hoi An Museum of History and Culture. And as mentioned before, the restored structures and even houses are attractions in themselves. And yes, there are people living in them!
Hoi An could very well be your beach escape as well. There are two beaches, each are calm, serene and very peaceful. These are certainly excellent venues to enjoy a nice plate of zesty Vietnamese seafood. A recommendation is to rent out a bicycle and pedal your way to one of these idyllic spots from the Old Town.
Hoi An is also quite close to the ancient Champa ruins of My Son. Here, in a lush green valley are dozens of red brick towers and sanctuaries dating from between the 7th and 13th centuries. And don’t forget Hue, the former Imperial Capital and home to past emperors’ tombs and the Imperial Citadel where the fabled Nguyen Dynasty ruled. Capture the best of Central Vietnam with our Discover Hue and Hoi An tour.
Don’t forget there’s also the north and the south of the country. See, feel and experience of the country via our Vietnam tours. Be inspired!
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