"Lovely Old Town" Hoi An by NedHopkins

Hoi An Travel Guide: 27 reviews and 117 photos

Hoi An Is as It Was

Hoi An today must look much as it did a half century and more ago. Few new buildings have been erected in the town; much French architecture and many Chinese temples survive from the colonial period, a time before masses of Chinese were expelled from Vietnam (following independence and reunification in 1975).

French colonial architecture is evident on both sides of Phan Boi Chau, a relatively short street that runs from the central market to the Life Resort hotel and the Thu Bon River.

The town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its well-preserved 16th-19th century structures. (Few actually go back more than 250 years, however.) One reason they're well-preserved is that both sides in the Vietnam or American War refrained from bombarding or fighting in this jewel of a place.

I was in Hoi An five days -- one day before Tet and three after. It was overcast and drizzly on all but the last day. Over half the shops and restaurants were closed for the holiday -- as were a few of the temples -- though most of those catering to tourists were open and doing a good business. In any event, I strolled about the old city for hours at a time, enjoying what is one of Vietnam's most fascinating towns.

Tet Trees

"Tet Trees" were everywhere -- in homes, temples, restaurants, hotels, and on sale. There were two kinds: kumkwat and a dainty red flower.

Tree on a Moto

Kumkwat trees on motorcycles were a common sight. This one was on Hoi An's main street, Phan Dinh Phung.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Small town, friendly people, interesting temples
  • Cons:Closest airport is in Da Nang, over an hour away
  • In a nutshell:One of the most pleasant towns in the world
  • Last visit to Hoi An: Feb 2006
  • Intro Updated Mar 24, 2006
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Reviews (10)

Comments (3)

  • Greggor58's Profile Photo
    Aug 10, 2009 at 2:09 PM

    You've got a wonderful Hoi An page here Ned....Wonderful photos and useful tips...Its definitely on my itinerary for a tour this coming January and February.. Thanks for sharing here!!

  • Sininen's Profile Photo
    Jul 11, 2006 at 9:38 AM

    Memories of Hoi An...I loved the place. Great detailed tips and wonderful pictures. Happy Birthdya from Finland!

  • King_Golo's Profile Photo
    Feb 26, 2006 at 11:52 PM

    it's slightly more than a year that i've been to hoi an, and your pics make me want to go back!

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