HOI AN, VIETNAM

Area Code 0510, $1=16,415D, July 15. 2007

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Many Thanks to Tom McClive
for up-dating and re-writing this section for us.

Tourist Peak: New Year's holiday

Off Peak: May-June

Hoi An is a small riverside town about thirty kilometers south of Da Nang. It's one of those historical places that time forgot, the kind that fill Europe and make the best tourist stops.
Hoi An was one of the major ports in Southeast Asia during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Ships from China and Japan would visit when the winds were favorable, then would have to wait several months for the winds to change direction and blow them back home. This predictable monsoon cycle led the traders to build or buy houses in Hoi An to wait out their short sojourn, giving the town aspects of their culture and architecture. Then the river that links Hoi An to the sea silted up and became too shallow for navigation. The sea trade moved to other cities and Hoi An slipped into oblivion, untouched by progress, until people realized that it was perfectly preserved and gorgeous, a time capsule.

Photo: Japanese Bridge

Hoi An is now on the main tourist route and getting more popular. Accommodation can be tight sometimes. Options near the river fill up quickly, move further away to find better prices and more openings.

There are other attractions besides the setting. Craft and art galleries abound, as do antique shops. Hoi An is quickly becoming known for its many tailor shops. There are at least sixty, all which will sell you custom-made clothes for amazingly low prices, finished within 24 hours.


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