Known as “Faifo” between 15th and 19th centuries, Hoi An was one of the most prosperous trading port in the region. This little coastal town was attracting many Japanese, Chinese, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish trading boats. It truly deserves the name Hoi An, which literally translates as a “peaceful meeting place”.
The peaceful Hoi An today has become a lovely UNESCO World Heritage Site, the town is most well-known for its well-preserved architecture, pedestrian-only streets and distinctive local cuisine.
To take in the vestiges of the town’s illustrious past, follow your personal guide for a walking tour of its many atmospheric sights. See the old merchant houses with the mixture of Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese architecture, and see the famous 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge which was first built in the 1590s by the Japanese community to link them with the Chinese quarters on the other side. The bridge remains relatively faithful to the original Japanese design with elaborate carvings, and a pedestrian passageway.
Visit the Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation, built in 1752. This congregational hall is very famous for the gleaming woodcarvings on the beams, walls and the altar, which are absolutely stunning in their intricacy. Also visit the lively market with tiny shops brimming with local specialties including souvenirs, colorful lanterns, and silk – from which creatively designed garments can be tailored within a day or two.
Afterward, enjoy an hour boat trip along the Thu Bon River, which runs through Hoi An, for up-close views of local fishing boats and the charming villages before heading back to your hotel.