Hoi An is a small town on the bank of Thu Bon river in the central of Quang Nam province. It is one of the most famous destinations in the middle part of Viet Nam , 30km far from Da Nang. Hoi An ancient town was recognized as the World heritage by UNESCO. The town was the very important trading port of South – East Asia from the 15th to the 19th century, where Chinese from various provinces as well as Japanese, Dutch and Indians settled. These caused a lot of effect with the architecture of Hoi An and makes the town become the unique heritage site.
Hoi An translates as “peace meeting place”. In English and other European languages, the town was known historically as “Faifo”. Hoi An has long been a cultural crossroad. Moreover, the diverse cultural influences remain visible today from the culture of Kingdom of Champa ,the Asian culture of Japanese, Chinese, Indian and the Western culture during the trading time from the 16th century.
Originally, Hoi An was a divided town with the Japanese settlement across the Japanese Bridge. The bridge was built by the Japanese in the 16th century with the unique and special structure. In addition, the town had a deeply influence from Chinese atmosphere with low, tile-roofed houses and narrow streets. All the houses were built with rare wood, decorated with lacquered boards and panels engraved with Chinese characters. Pillars were also carved with ornamental designs. Two side of the streets lined with 2 storey Chinese shops which have been standing there for more than 300 years of history , the shops here is quite colorful with silk, glass and paper lanterns. And there are some buildings which are very attractive to visit : Quan Cong temple, Phung Hung House, Tan Ky house, Quan Thang house…
Since 1998, the Hoi An resident decided to preserve one of the beautiful culture that’s using colored lanterns. On the 14th of each lunar month, residents will switch off their lights and hang cloth and paper lanterns on their porches and windows. Others electronics as TV, radios, street lights and neon lights are turned off, and a sparkling, romantic and mysterious view is opened. And the 14th day of the lunar month is also a Buddhist day of worship. Hoi An residents place offerings of food and incense on their ancestral altars and then go to visit the pagodas. The scent of incense and the sounds of people singing add to the town’s enchanted atmosphere.