Hoi An Old Town – an ancient Beauty of Vietnam

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The Hanoitimes – Where in the world could remain such a cristine ancient beauty after nearly 300 circles of the four seasons? It is Hoi An – the famous OldTown in Mid Southern Vietnam…

Located o­n the banks of the poetic ThuBonRiver, in central Quang Nam province, 30 kilometers south of Da Nang, Hoi An ancient town is an Eastern oriental classic captivation. With the strategic location o­n the banks of the great river, with o­ne seaside border (East), it used to be o­ne of the major trading centers in Southeast Asia during the 16th century due to the early western trader occupying period.

Hoi An has been through a few centuries of history, but still remains as in the very first days of its being born. Its two main historical landmarks are the occupying of the Japanese & Chinese, and the Western (Dutch and Spanish) during the 16th and 17th centuries. During the period of the China trade, the town was called Hai Pho (SeaTown) in Vietnamese. Originally Hai Pho was a divided town, because across the “JapaneseBridge”, it used to be the Japanese settlement (16th-17th century). Then it was known to the French and Spanish as Faifo, a major international port city. Thanks to these days, the foreign comprehensively possitive and special pastimes and culture had made deep influences o­n the today’s Hoi An.

Whoever coming to Hoi An could not deny that it is favored by nature. The weather here is typically tropical. Hoi An is comparatively warm especially during the entire year, and can be classified into two main categories namely wet and dry seasons. The daily temperature rises beyond 70o F reaching mid 60o F especially during the nighttime. Travellers should really take a journey here and enjoy Hoi An weather!

Coming here, tourists can see a series of old-architectured lanes and houses with nearly 100% cristinely left from their initial buildings with mossgrown walls, deeply plain roofs, old furniture in their cristine past arrangment etc. Hoi An is fortunate to be a cultural crossroads of the Cham culture in the very first southward expansion of Dai Viet (the Vietnamese nation more than 5 centuries ago encroaching o­n the Indianized Kingdom of Champa, which covered much of what is now central Vietnam), the Asian (Japanese, Chinese, Indian), and the Western o­nes during their trading here in the 16th century. These diverse cultural influences remain visible today. Colourful guildhalls, founded by ethnic Chinese from Guangdong and Fujian provinces, stand quietly, a testament to the town’s trading roots.

Tourists should not miss some of the great festivals of Hoi An, among which is Full Moon Festival, held o­n the 14th of every lunar month, o­ne night before the full moon, when the Old Town becomes even more festive than usual, active and marvellously decorated with colorful lights and lamps along every lane. Another o­ne is the Mid-Autumn Festival – held o­n the 14th of the August lunar month. Last but not least, the “lantern festival”, the most enchanting and special o­ne of Hoi An, which is typically demonstrated with all colorful hanging cloth and paper lanterns o­n the 15th of every lunar month switched o­n altogether while all electrical equipment is off, leaving the Old Quarter bathed in the warm glow of colored silk, glass and paper lanterns.. A sparkling, romantic and mysterious view is opened, stimulating anybody’s curiosity and eye feed!

Today, Hoi An is also known as a shopping paradise that attracts tourists towards its wonderful souvenirs, handicrafts, antique pieces, silk materials and art paintings, and so o­n.

By Nguyen Ngan

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