My Son Sanctuary, situated around 50km away from Hoi An, is another Cultural Heritage site recognized by UNESCO in 1999 with 32 epitaphs and 71 monuments. The unique Hindu sanctuary is the perfectly ideal destination …
Timeless charm hidden in plain sight and an ingenious culinary scene are what come to mind when talking about Hoi An Ancient Town…
Perched on the northern bank towards the mouth of the Hoài River (fed by the Thu Bồn River), the atmospheric and delightful Hoi An used to be one of the busiest international commercial ports in Southeast Asia from the 15th to 19th centuries.
Adding up to the siltation of the water arteries, the maritime trade restrictions and political struggles during the 19th and early 20th centuries resulted in Hoi An ceasing to be a major entrepôt and being replaced by the nearby port of Da Nang. Being abandoned from a commercial perspective was, however, a blessing in disguise that spared Hoi An the devastating wars, as well as the consequences of rapid urbanization and industrialization.
The once primary trade port for spices and textiles now thrives on tourism and ancestral crafts. Other than that – the olden town of mustard-yellow merchants’ houses draped in deep magenta Bougainvillea flowers, illuminated by colorful silk lanterns of all shapes and sizes – looks almost the same way it did in centuries bygone. Hoi An is now a beguiling material manifestation of the fusion of Oriental and Occidental cultures as well as that of the North and the South.
Imprinted with a distinct architectural and cultural overlay, Hoi An is redolent of its heyday. The architectural consistency of buildings and the grid formation of narrow lanes and alleys accidentally and magically turn the quaint little town into a de facto theme park, playing the role of muse to any artist. As the day winds down, the historic town of Hoi An comes alive. Wanderers from all walks of life come here to bask in the sweetly dizzying light and lose themselves in the night. The whimsical assortment of lanterns sporting different colors, shapes, and sizes jazzes up the narrow alleyways and Thu Bon River, transporting its beholders to a Hoi An of yore – so close yet so far.
The charm of Hoi An lies in the distinct Japanese and Chinese atmosphere as well as its traditional houses built along narrow streets. Hoi An ancient town is in an incredible state of preservation. It offers some of the most densely concentrated sights in Viet Nam with its old streets bordered with ancient houses and assembly halls, its pagodas, temples, ancient wells and tombs. After many centuries, Hoi An is still respectful of its traditions, folk festivals, beliefs and its sophisticated culinary art. Set in a quiet environment, Hoi An is surrounded by peaceful villages that are known for their meticulous handicrafts such as carpentry, bronze making, pottery…
Researchers said most of the buildings in Hoi An underwent restoration at the beginning of the 19th century, even if they might be constructed a long time ago. Most ancient architectural feats can be seen in Minh An Ward. It covers about 2 square kilometres and almost of all famous relics in Hoi An are gathered here. The streets are very short and narrow, having a winding, crossing as the chessboard style. The topography of the ancient town tilts gradually from north to south. The buildings in the old town were built mostly with traditional materials such as brick, wood and no more than two floors. The traces of time is able to find not only on the architectural design of each building but also everywhere like: on the yin-yang roof tiles covered with moss and plants; the old gray mold walls; the pictures carved on a strange animal, or describing an old story.
Having inherited a multi-cultural architecture so varied and sophisticated, Hoi An must have attracted numerous and talented workers in carpentry, ceramics, and woodcarving from China, Japan and other regions of Viet Nam.
On the 4th, December 1999 the Ancient Town of Hoi An was inscribed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO.
127 Chien Thang, Van Mo, Ha Dong, Hanoi, Vietnam
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