International trade and business burgeoned in the countries attached to the Silk Route and even those close by. Harbours developed, infrastructure sprang up and societies evolved as more trade took place. The city of Hoi An in Vietnam’s coastal province of Quang Nam boasted of one the largest ports in the South East Asian region and the township attached to the port has been pronounced a ‘World Heritage Site’ by UNESCO.
Most of the architecture, the streets and the old buildings have been retained in their olden glory. The combination of Vietnamese tradition and foreign influences are apparent in the styling of what was once a fully fledged bustling economic hub. Some of the buildings are ramshackle while others are kept in a commendable state of repair.
Given the nature of man’s activity it was necessary to seek protection from the fears of the sea. Thus, the Trieu Chai Assembly Hall was built by Chinese merchants to honour the God of the Sea and solicit safety for themselves, their seafaring partners and their merchandise. Similar to all other structures of the city, this hall is also preserved with dexterity as a legendary gift to the youth of the country. The God is named General Phuc Ba and is believed to have the powers to calm the strongest of waves and safeguard the sailors who voyage in the South China Seas.
The Trieu Chau Assembly Hall is modest in size but flashy in appearance as it sports a number of colourful hues and ornamental designs. The altar’s doorways depict carvings of young Chinese girls who have styled their hair in a Japanese fashion, probably to indicate that the assembly hall is cross border and that protection is meted out to all.
To enjoy the wonders of a quaint township while wandering through its ancient streets choose a Hoi An hotel for your residential purposes. To forget the primitive charm of the city that ceased to evolve after a point a Hoi An Spa resort is probably the best bet. If you doubt that the olden city could have such comforts, look no further than the Anantara Hoi An Resort.
Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.