Hoi An is the best example of a traditional trading port in South-East Asia. It is the result of a fusion of cultures over time, from the 15th – 19th century.
Hoi An attracted ships and traders from the rest of Asia and Europe. Its architecture is of traditional Vietnamese design, with Chinese and Japanese influences.
Comparisons are made with Vigan
(Philippines), which however has a Spanish colonial street plan as in the Americas where Hoi An organically evolved. It is also exceptional for the use of wood as a building material.
Visit March 2011
Not many WHS, especially in Asia, come as touristy as this one. It attracts bus (and probably plane) loads of western tourists, mainly on group tours. They behave like they're in Thailand, and have come for the shopping, the beach, the beer.
I had a hard time seeing the town, the 4 roads that comprise this WHS that is, as a cultural heritage site. One morning I bought a ticket that gives you entrance to 5 historic buildings in town. You can choose whichever 5 you like from the about 20 that open their doors to visitors. Though all the other buildings in town are very welcoming too, as they are either restaurants or silk/clothes shops.
I enjoyed the Tan Ky house the most - an old merchant's house with its back to the river (to easily load the merchandise) and the front at the town's main street. The houses in this area of Hoi An always have been very susceptible to floodings - inside Tan Ky there are markings on the wooden beams to show how high the water reached in which year. 1.5 to 2 meters is no exception.
I've now visited all 3 Asian trading ports on the List (Vigan, Melaka and Hoi An) - and none of those 3 did really impress me. Hoi An did remind me of Ping Yao: the dark wooden structures of the houses, the Chinese influences in the Vietnamese houses. Ping Yao, though touristy as well, is much more a living town, much bigger also and with a higher variation in its historic remains.
More photos can be found in the Picture Gallery
Dear Frank, Hoi An is my favorite destination in VN..so apprciate what u wrote about it. The noodle u mentioned above is generally called as " My Quang" or "Quang noodle", the most delicious i enjoyed is at a small restaurant at Ly Thuong Kiet.st, can't remember the name. Sorry, welcome back..
| Date posted: October 2010|
|Frank Ybarra (USA):|
My wife and I visited HoiAn in 2008. We stayed at a hotel right on the river. Wonderful, even convinced the waitress' and waiters to jitterbug with us on the balcony overlooking the river that evening. Truly a great time to remember. Nice folks, great shops, prices are very reasonable. We enjoyed cooking classes at the hotel in the morning, enjoyed cooking our own brunch. But only after the head chef took us across the river personally to the open air vegetable and seafood market to buy our ingredients for our lessons. Lots of fun. The market on the river is amazing. So much seafood, and so fresh. We were surprised, not one trace of a "fishy" smell. How do they do it? So clean and neat. Can't remember the name of a particular noodle that is said to be made only there, because of the water used. Very tasty, sorry I can't recall, but seems to be popular there, probably ask any local and they would know. Had a terrific hand tailored suit made in less than four hours, for way less than a hundred dollars. They even delivered it to the hotel that evening, what a deal. Beautiful material, price included a new shirt and a custom handsewn tie that I got to pick out the material also. If you can, see HoiAn, nice place, I will go back. Beautiful architecture, especially along some of the river, very interesting. Boat rides available, but we preferred to walk. Take in more of the scenery,slowly that way, it seemed to us. As you can tell, we liked HoiAn.
You should also consider DaLat in the mountains. Beautiful French colonial, high in the mountains, cool mountain air, lakes, even has it's own miniature eiffel tower. It's here that they commercially grow flowers for a lot of that part of the world, we were told. The flowers in the market and street vendors are spectacular. Nice photo ops there. Stayed at a hotel across the street from the lake, what a sunrise. Watched folks doing their tai chi exercises all up and down the sidewalk on the lake at sunup. Wife found it magical, I enjoyed the coffee and early morning fare, al fresco on the hotel patio. Very nice hotel, "Emerald Palace?", "Emerald Hotel?", something like that. Great rooms, stunning views of the lake and mountains in you get a room on the lake side.
| Date posted: January 2010|
I love Hoi An! Have you ever been there at twilight on Saturday or full-moon day? Take a walk through the streets in town at that time, it is amazing! You will enjoy the environment, the atmosphere, the air, the breeze very much. It is the only time you can enjoy the spark of sunset at the end of the day mingles with the light of lantern from the ancient houses. Itâ€™s the only time where you can see how small traders pack up their things to go home while the other prepare to welcome visitors to their shops. Itâ€™s the only time you can enjoy the moment that lantern light is on, houses light and street light is off. Not many people on the street so it is such a great time to enjoy the peaceful and wonderful environment. I canâ€™t remember how many times I have been there and each time I always try to reach Hoi An by sunset.
|Philip T.K. (Canada):|
Hoi An seemed to be a nice place. I only had about an hour to visit though since my family and I had to get back to Hue that night. I spent that one hour walking around the old streets and visitng the old bridge built by the Japanese a few centuries ago. I hope to be able to visit this city for a longer period in the future.
|Nguyen Thi Lan (Vietnam):|
One feature of HoiAn as a World Heritage I must add is that the people there are very nice and friendly. The people themselves can be recognized as "the World Heritage" besides the value of beauty and culture of this little town.
You can go there for interesting an memoriable experiences. Make a nice chain of Hoian-Myson-Hue tour and see three valuable world heritages in Central Vietnam.
And as a tour guide living in Danang, a connection point, I am ready to serve you and make your tour enjoyable.
Nguyen THi Lan, tour guide
K333/14 Hai Phong Street, Danang City, Vietnam
Hoi An us teh most spectacluar little village! the locals are so friendly and every block there is about 50 taylors! they make fantastic clotehs at the biggest bargin! i brought about 20 items of clothing for only about AU$20! FANTASTIC!! the beaches are spectacular! much better than teh beaches in australia! it is a MUST GO PLACE
Have you been to Hoi An Ancient Town
? Share your experiences!
Add your own review