No Vietnam tour would be the same without a trip to Hoi An. Hoi An encompasses the best Vietnam has to offer without the hustle and bustle of the larger cities. This peaceful city is home to 120,000 people and is recognised worldwide as a unique heritage site. When looking at tours to Vietnam, make sure this city is on the list.
History of Hoi An
Hoi An is famous as a historical trading hub. It is where the east met the west and was one of the major trading destinations for the Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Portuguese, French and English.
The coming together of so many cultures, mixed with wealth and progressive thinking led to Hoi An not only being an economical hub, but also an important city for Southeast Asian artists and intellectuals.
Looking at the city’s architecture, you will notice buildings all in different styles, these were built by merchants from all across Asia, choosing Hoi An as their place to do business. Thankfully, many of the original buildings are still in good condition, giving you a glimpse into Hoi An’s colourful history.
The Old Town
The old town dates back to the 15th century and is an extremely well preserved example of a traditional trading port. The Old Town highlights the fusion that was created by so many cultures coming together in one place. As the town was built long before cars, the area is filled with little streets and corridors which would have been a hive of activity back in the day, as they are today.
This historic bridge was built in the 1600’s to connect the Japanese and Chinese communities. Situated in the old town, the bridge looks more like a piece of artwork than a tool of trade. The bridge symbolizes the prominence the Japanese played in Hoi AN before they were all ordered home under order of Sakoku.
Visit the Street Food Markets
To really get into the Southeast Asian vibe, it's important to ditch the restaurants and head to the street markets where you can eat shoulder to shoulder with the locals and try some traditional Vietnamese dishes. The street food markets give you a chance to try food you normally wouldn’t taste, so be adventurous and get stuck in.
Visit the Museums
Hoi An possess a number of small museums, much of them setting out to showcase the commercial and artistic heritage of the city. These museums will give you the chance to step inside tradition homes of long ago wealthy merchants and ordinary workers alike. Particular gems to look out for are the Museum of Folk Culture and the Museum of History and Culture.
Rent a Bicycle and Create your own Tour
Unlike the larger cities in Vietnam, where renting a bicycle is like renting a death trap, the slower pace of Hoi An means you can safely rent a bicycle and see the on your own terms. This is your chance to get away from the tourists and create your own unique Hoi An memories.
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