Hoi An VietnamHoi An. originally known as Faifoo. was one of the busiest trading ports with the Chinese and Japanese (16th centuries). The town is virtually unchanged since then, and has fittingly been declared a World Heritage site. The picturesque river-side town is trying to maintain its distinct identity.

  • Area: 60.69sq km
  • Population: 77284
  • Telephone code: 0510

Geography and climate

Hoi An has the hesi of all worlds. Resting on the banks of the Thu Bon River and about 4km from the coastline, it is also surrounded by mountainous peaks rising over 2,000m. Its climate is monsoonal from about November through to March. In the rainy season the town and surrounding areas arc sometimes flooded.

Festivals

The “Old Town’s Night” festival is held on the l4th of every lunar month. The town’s other major festival is the Fishermen’s festival on the last Sunday of March, and the mid-autumn festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the Hth lunar month.

Lifestyle

The local people are quite gentle and hospitable, and are admired for their joint efforts to keep the town clean and peaceful.

Budget

Hoi An is much cheaper than Hue and Danang at about S15/person day. It is good to have some extra cash on hand as it will be hard to resist the temptation to replentish one’s wardrobe with beautiful siUk, wool, cotton, linen and sythentic garments tailored to fit for very reasonable prices.

Architecture

The ancient town’s mixed cultural keritage can be seen in its architecture. It has a unique concentration of architectural monuments including tomes, assembly halls, pagodas, temples, stores, Water wells, bridges, wharves and street infrastructe. The streets are examples of oriental cities from Middle Ages with a chessboard, or cross pattern.

Transport

With such narrow streets the best way to travel is by foot. You can rent bikes for travel up and down the river.

Cuisine

A Hoi An specialty is Cao Lau, a meal of doughy, flat noodles mixed with croutons, bean sprouts, freshly sauced vegetables and topped off with pork slices.

Shopping

Hoi An is known for its cottons and silk. 7hf swets an6 markets are lined. Woodcarvings and art works are also popular, along with fake antiques and wooden furniture inlaid with shell. The prices are quite reasonable and you will find little need to haggle if buying from a store. Street sellers, however, tend to overcharge.