Graceful Hoi An, is a little town on Vietnam’s Central Coast that is steeped in history. It is a picturesque location that bears mementos of a bygone era, in the form of grand architecture from days when it was used as a major port. The chaos of the country’s busy cities is notably absent here and together with its luxury resorts, Hoi An has become an ideal spot to sit back and enjoy the leisurely pace of the surroundings. The Thu Bon River became clogged with silt towards the end of the nineteenth century and limited access to Hoi An left it forsaken for many years. Two decades ago the town was thrust back into the limelight due to a tourism boom; properties like Anantara Hoi An Resort now bring luxury and old world charm to visitors.
Hoi An Old Town was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in December 1999. Well preserved French-style colonial houses, Japanese merchant houses, a Japanese-designed bridge, Chinese temples and tea warehouses, pagodas, wooden shop-houses and waterways tie the town to its charming old roots. Head to the riverside at night to enjoy a romantic setting, complete with old-fashioned lanterns. Sun, sea and sand lovers will find two spectacular beaches only five kilometres from the heart of the town. Some streets in the town only allow motorbikes and push bikes and the older areas can only be accessed on foot.
Many old shops are now used for new businesses: tailor shops, souvenir shops, art galleries, restaurants and cafés cater to tourists. However the locals are proud of their heritage and old wooden signboards from the glory days are a common sight. Today, Hoi An is blossoming into one of Vietnam’s top tourism hubs; a multi-ethnic melting pot with a diverse food scene.
Chandrishan Williams is a travel writer who writes under the pen name, Caleb Falcon. He specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers.