Over view

Hoi An Old Town is located 30km south of Danang City, and 60km northeast of Tam Ky. Hoi An used to be an international trade center by sea on the east area in the 16th and 17th centuries. It was the busiest trading port in Dang Trong region of Vietnam during the reign of Nguyen as merchants from Japan, China, Portugal, Spain, Holland...often stopped over to exchange and purchase commodities.

Good to give some ideas what commodities being traded here during the period.. In the historical progress of establishment and development, Hoi An was known by foreign merchants as Faifo, Haisfo, Hoai pho. Based on archeological relics and early records of architectural dwellings. Hoi An was also an important meeting place of many cultures, such as Champa, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Japanese and Chinese, and has been greatly impacted upon by Vietnamese and Chinese civilisation.

Geography

Located on the banks of the poetic Thu Bon River, 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.

Hoian is located at latitudes 15o15’26’’ - 15o55’15’’ North and longitudes 108o17’08’’ - 108o23’10’’ East and shares its boarders with Duy Xuyen district in the South, Dien Ban district in the West and North and the Pacific ocean (the East Sea) in the East.

Climate

The climate in Hoian is rather mild. The annual average temperature is 25.6o, the percentage of humidity is 82%, rainfall reaches up to 2066mm and sunshine of 2158 hours.

History

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 (Sea Town) in Vietnamese. Originally Hai Pho was a divided town, because across the "Japanese Bridge", 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.

Administration

With the total area of 60km², Hoi An City is located in Quang Nam Province, at the lower section of Thu Bon River, about 50km to the northeast of Tam Ky City (the capital of Quang Nam Province) and 30km to the south of Da Nang City.
 
The city has 13 communes, wards (9 wards, 3 mainland communes and 1 island commune). Tan Hiep Island Commune has the area of 15km2, includes 7 islands, of which the largest ones is Cham Island (Cu Lao Cham).

Population

The population of Hoi An City is about 88,933 habitants (2009). Mostly of which are Viet (Kinh) and Hoa (Chinese) groups.

Economic

Thanks to the efforts of all departments, sectors, enterprises and people, Quang Nam economy had positive changes and significant results in many fields.

Culture

Coming to Hoian, tourists can contemplate the beauty of ancient architectural works reaching the peak of art. There are 2 world cultural heritages recognized by UNESCO including Hoi An Ancient Town and My Son Sanctuary with the typical cultural values of humanity. Hoi An town is the convergence of various cultural nuances of Vietnamese people, Chinese, Japanese and European since the 16th century. Hoi An is one of the few towns preserved relatively intact with a rich and diverse architectural complex. Hoian is also the place that stores hundreds of ancient Vietnamese architectural works as temples, pagodas, literature temple, houses, etc dating back 300 to 500 years ago. These relics not only have the values of culture and art but also bring important historical significance, reflecting the long-standing development of a cultural area. Tra Kieu ancient capital, Khuong My cham towers, Chien Dan, Bang An, Dong Duong Buddhist Institute is the place recording the brilliant imprints of Sa Huynh Culture, Cham Culture and Dai Viet Culture.

Tourism

Hoian is the land of cultural tradition in Central Vietnam, the convergence of world cultural and natural recognized by UNESCO including Hoi An Ancient Town, My Son Sanctuary and Cu Lao Cham - the world's biosphere reserve. Hoi An Ancient Town is located about 30km far from Da Nang city to the southeast, about 60km away from Tam Ky city to the northeast. From the late16th century, Hoi An was the International Trade Center on the commercial route East - West, the most prosperous commercial port in Dang Trong during the reign of Lords Nguyen, because merchant ships from Japan, China, Portugal, Spain, Netherlands and so on often came here to exchange, purchase and sell goods.  
 
 
Hoi An preserved relatively intact an ancient architectural complex including houses, communal houses, temples, pagodas, well, bridge, clan ancestral houses, port, markets and streets. The landscape of Hoi An is covered by an ancient mossy color as a vivid picture. This is considered a lively museum in architecture and urban lifestyle. Japanese Covered Bridge (Cau Pagoda) is an architectural works constructed by Japanese traders in Hoi An in the early 17th century. Due to the impact of natural disaster, Japanese Covered Bridge was restored many times and gradually losen the Japanese architectural elements, instead Vietnamese architecture style. It is an invaluable asset and has been selected as the official symbol of Hoi AnQuan Thang Ancient House (77 Tran Phu, Hoi An)is one of the most beautiful ancient houses in Hoi An today. The house dates back more than 150 years bearing the architectural style of Hoa Ha, China. Over the years, the house has still been preserved relatively intact on the architectural design and interiors, is the evidence for the most brilliant time of Hoi An when trade activities with foreign partners flourished and rich traders built luxury houses. 
 
 
Located in Duy Phu commune, Duy Xuyen district, My Son Sanctuary can be said to be the pinnacle of Cham culture. This is the place where religious rituals of Cham dynasties took place and royal tombs were constructed. Despite its modest scale, My Son Sanctuary has cultural, historical and architectural values which are considered equal to those of Angkor Wat in Cambodian, Pagan in India and Borobudur in Indonesia. Cu Lao Cham - the world's biosphere reserve Located about 18km from Cua Dai Beach (Hoi An) to the South China Sea, Cu Lao Cham is an archipelago including 8 small islands: Hon Lao, Hon Kho Me, Hon Kho Con, Hon Tai, Hon dai, Hon Mo, Hon La and Hon Ong. In Cu Lao Cham, there are fishing villages and beautiful beaches as the tale "The Old Man and The Sea" by Hemingway. Under the sea, there are many sparkling coral reefs creating magical aquarium with thousand of fishes and tropical seafood. Coming to Cu Lao Cham, tourists can mingle in the fresh air of the sea with the golden sands, blue waters, explore the daily lives of the residents in fishing villages; admire the charm of many legendary landmarks as Huong beach, Lang beach, Ba cave, Au Thuyen, Hai Tang pagoda... or conquer the majestic hills, participate in campfire and enjoy famous specialties. Few years ago, Cu Lao Cham Island was recognized as the world biosphere reserve by UNESCO.

Festivals

 
Typical festivals consist of Goddess Thu Bon Festival, Chiem Son Festival, Carnival Hoi An and Hoi An New Moon Festival. Goddess Thu Bon festival is a folk festival of people living along Thu Bon River to pray from good weather and prosperous lives. The festival is held on December of the2rd lunar month.Carnival Hoi An is the street festival held for the first time in Hoi An on New Year's Eve in 2009. The festival is modeled Street Carnivals in Europe and Latin America. New Moon Festival is held on every 14th evening of lunar month in Hoi An Old Town. At this time, local people will all buildings turned off their white lights leaving only the colored lanterns to cast warm glow over the buildings and off the water. Unlike modern streets, Hoi An becomes so poetic at night without electricity. Tourists are enchanted by this space because they seem to be lost in an ancient space in modern time.

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