Situated on the banks of the Thu Bon River 30km (19 miles) south of Danang , the little town of Hoi An (known to the Chinese as Faifo) feels caught in a time warp. Hoi An was one of the major trading centers of Southeast Asia in the 16th century, and was declared a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999.
Hoi An has a distinctive Chinese atmosphere with low, tiledroof houses and narrow streets. The houses were constructed of rare timbers and decorated with lacquer panels engraved with Chinese characters. Visitors enjoy the beautiful scenery of the romantic Thu Bon River , Cua Dai Beach, and Cham Islands .
Throughout its history, Hoi An has been a well know port town described by many names, including Faifoo, Fayfo, Hoai Pho, Kaifo, Faixfo, and in recent times Hoi An.
From 7th - 10th Century Champa's controlled the strategic Spice Trade making Hoi An one of the regions major trading ports.
Between the 16th and 19th centuries Hoi An served as an important port town, through which culture, economy, and religion flowed from throughout Asia.
Many European maritime powers, such as the French, British, Portuguese and Dutch, were competing to connect the east to the west during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Hoi An was a crucial piece in establishing power in the world trade market. The Dutch established a post in the city in 1636, which lasted until 1741. China & Japan would also play a major role in the world trade industry that was thriving in Hoi An.
When a civil war broke out in Vietnam in 1773 Hoi An suffered, as a series of battles that took place in the city, creating much destruction. During the rest of the century, the city’s inhabitants went through hard times.
Hoi An was again revived during the 20th century, and today it continues to slowly but steadily do better for its people.
Up to now, the ancient town of Hoi An intactly preserves its original architectures, including houses, temples, pogodas, streets, ports, civil buildings, religious structures and other non-religious worshipping structures. The every day lifestyle with deep-rooted customs and cultural activities is fascinating.
There are 1,360 relics and landscapes. These relics are divided into eleven kinds, including 1,068 ancient houses, 19 pagodas, 43 temples, 23 communal houses, 38 family temples, 5 assembly halls, 11 old wells, one bridge, 44 ancient tombs. In old quarter, there are more than 1000 relic sites.