Only a half hour drive south of the city of Danang lies the charming village of Hoi An. Sitting on the banks of the Thu Bon River, it is only a few minutes from the white sandy beaches of coastal Vietnam. As you stroll the streets of Hoi An, it will seem as if you are strolling back in time as well. Buildings and shops are virtual time capsules of centuries past. Once a busy trading center in the 16th and 17th centuries, Hoi An was a hub for seafarers from China, Japan, Portugal and Holland. Wandering through the streets it is easy to spot features reflecting this multicultural past. Hoi An was once the major Vietnamese trading center for silk, porcelain, pepper, cinnamon and medicinal plants. When the river it resides on eventually filled with too much silt, the trading post moved further north, to Danang.
Hoi An is one of Vietnam’s most picturesque towns and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. The town’s distinctive architecture remains intact despite the wars of the 19th and 20th centuries. The region around Hoi An affords many opportunities to explore and observe the beauty of the land and its culture.