Hoi An – a beautiful city in Vietnam – Part 1

Hoi An is a beautiful city in Vietnam which is just to the south of Da Nang.

Overview of Hoi An

• The Old Town of Hoi An is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
• Hoi An has a meaning “peaceful meeting place”.
• Hoi An also Faifo, is a city of Vietnam.
• This is located on the coast of the South China Sea which is located in the South Central Coast of Vietnam.
• It is situated in Quang Nam province.
• It is a listed World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
• Hoi An is an ancient Town.
• It is a well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port.
• This dates back from the 15th to the 19th century.
• Its buildings and its street plan show the influences of indigenous and foreign.
• It is a heritage site.
• The city possessed the largest harbor in Southeast Asia.
• This was so in the 1st century.
• It was known as Lam Ap Pho
• This is between the seventh and 10th centuries.
• The people of Cham had spice trade with Indonesia.
• The former harbour town of the Cham at the estuary of the Thu B?n River.
• Hoi An which was once known as Faifo has more than 2,000 years history.
• It was the principal port of the Cham Kingdom.
• It was an important Vietnamese trading centre.
• This was during the 16th and 17th centuries.
• Different Chinese Japanese, Dutch and Indians settled here during this time.
• While the China trade was prevailent , the town was known by the name Hai Pho meaning Seaside Town in Vietnamese.
• Hai Pho was a divided town with the Japanese settlement initially.
• The division was across the “Japanese Bridge” in the 16th-17th century.
• The bridge named Chua cau is a unique covered structure which was built by the Japanese.
• This is also the only known covered bridge.
• It also has a Buddhist pagoda attached to one side.
• Cham kingdom actually stretched from Hue South to Phan Tiet (South of Nha Trang).
• Champa’s may be originally from Java.
• The original Cham political capital was Tra Kieu.
• The commercial capital was Hoi An.
• The spiritual capital was My Son (Hindu).
• The Cham people were Hindu.
• The second major influence was from the Chinese.
• The third and last major influence was from the Vietnamese.
• The heart of the city is still the Old Town.
• It has full of winding lanes and Chinese-styled sho phouses.
• UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status also applies for Hoi An Ancient Town.
• The main thoroughfare in the Old Town is Tran Phu.
• To the south of the Old Town, across the Thu Bon River, are the islands of An Hoi to the west.

These islands are reachable:
– via Hai Ba Trung
– Cam Nam to the east
– via Hoang Dieu

Old Town of Hoi An

• There is an entry ticket to all historical sites in Hoi An is via a coupon system.
• This is about 90,000 dong (US$5).
• It allows entering five attractions:
– one museum
– one old house
– one assembly hall
– the handicraft workshop (and traditional music show) or the traditional theater
– either the Japanese Covered Bridge or the Quan Cong Temple
• Tickets are sold at various entry points into the Old Town.
– This includes Hai Ba Trung Street.
– The tickets can also be obtained at some of the attractions.
• The ticket allows to the two landmarks:
– Japanese Covered Bridge
– Quan Cong Temple: 24 Tran Phu Street

Best time to visit / climate

• Mild weather is limited to the season of May-June – end of August.
• This is when the seas are calm and wind changes direction.
• The wind comes from the South.
• The remaining year the weather is intermittent between rain & cold and hot and mild.
• Popular activities such as visiting offshore Cù lao Chàm islands are best during the short season of end of May or at the end of August.

Location on Google Maps

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How to get there?

1. By plane
• The nearest airport is in Da Nang.
• It has domestic connections to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Hue.
• There are some international flights to:
– Bangkok
– Singapore Siem Reap
– Cambodia (for Angkor Wat)
• There are charter flights to China.
• A taxi from Danang airport to Hoi An costs about US$22 using a taxi with a meter.
• The ride takes about 45 min.

2. By train
• There is no railway station in Hoi An.
• The nearest station is in Da Nang.
• This platform receives several trains a day from:
– Hanoi
– Ho Chi Minh City
– Hue
– Nha Trang
Most travel agents and hotels can book a train ticket for you.
Da Nang Railway Station
• 202 Hai Phong, Tan Chinh Ward, Thanh Khe District, TP Da Nang
• Phone: (+ 84 511) 3750666.
There are transfers available between Hoi An and Danang train station for 80,000 VND with Go Travel Vietnam.

3. By bus
• There are two different bus stations in Hoi An.
• The public buses to Da Nang leave from the station about 2 km north west from the center on Le Hong Phong.
• A xe om from Hoi An bus station to the old town should be around 10-15,000 dong.
• There is a public bus:
– from Da Nang bus station to Hoi An bus station
– 15,000 dong
– charge for foreigners 50’000 dong
– The bus passes through downtown Da Nang
– There are private buses traveling to and from from Hoi An to destinations such as Hue, Hanoi, Saigon, Dalat and Nha Trang.
• Open-tour buses run daily up and down the coast from Da Nang and Hue.
• 3.5-4 hours
• 60,000-100,000 dong
• For Nha Trang: 9-10 hours

4. By motorbike or taxi
• It is easy to take a motorbike or taxi to and from Da Nang via the Marble Mountains.
• You can catch a train on wards from here.
• This trip cost vnd 460.000 from Da Nang bus station, by the meter.

5. By boat
• Hoi An has a river system stretching hundreds of kilometers.
• This was the ancient transport network of the Cham Kingdom.
• They moved goods between the highlands and then thru Hoi An and onto China.
• Speedboats or traditional ghe nang sailing can be availed on the river or sea.

Some Travel Books on Vietnam

Vietnam (Country Travel Guide) DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Vietnam and Angkor Wat To Vietnam With Love

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at tripadvisor.com
Hotels at asiahotels.com
Hotels at wikitravel.org

Blogs / Sites about Hoi An – Vietnam

blogs at wikipedia.org
blogs at lonelyplanet.com
blogs at tripadvisor.com
blogs and reviews at hoianfestival.com

Images and photos of Hoi An – Vietnam

images at google.com
images at wikipedia.org
images at lonelyplanet.com
images at tripadvisor.com

Videos of Hoi An – Vietnam

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