VIETNAM – Hoi An
Let yourself be seduced by the old charm and the serenity of Hoi An, a small fishing village 30 kms south of Danang. For many centuries, Hoi An was an obligatory stop-over for all the merchant ships from Europe and Asia passing through the region, as were Macao and Malacca. Hoi An thus experienced multiple Chinese, Japanese and French architectural influences. But at the end of the 19th century, the Thu Bon river linking Hoi An to the sea silted up and it could no longer be sailed by those large merchant ships. Danang took over as the region’s main port. Today, Hoi An boasts over 800 listed historical buildings. Its town center is closed to traffic and has been listed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In addition to its historical interest and the charm of its small streets, the city is renowned for its culinary specialties, its large white sandy beach and the opportunity to shop in its numerous boutiques (tailoring, ancient ceramics, lanterns and other decorative artifacts). Hoi An is also the closest town to the site of My Son, the oldest and largest archaeological site in Vietnam. This ancient religious site, which has welcomed monarchs and the highest society for almost 9 centuries, is in itself worth going to Hoi An for.
The best season to go: From Feb to May and July to mid-Sept