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Hoi An

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Surface: 60 km2

Population: 81,021 inhabitants

Position: On the lower section of the Thu Bon River system, in the coastal plain of Quang Nam province, just 28 km to the Southeast of Danang City. 

Weather: With the featured tropical climate in the South of Vietnam, Hoi An town is normally warm for the whole year and possesses only two seasons, dry and rainy . The average temperature is approximately 29 °C, but highest can reach to 38 °C from June to August or just range from 19-24 °C in November and January . The most annoying here is the heavy rains appearing frequently in rainy season and often coming with typhoon that may disturb a wonderful trip. Concerning the weather features, tourists are recommended to visit this beautiful town in dry season, from February to May, for the best enjoyment.


Step back to 16-17th century, Hoi An was an important port which harbored foreign traders from all corners of the world but mostly Chinese and Japanese. Some traders chose to settle permanently in Hoi An, marking their presence though history of this town that can be seen today. The architecture here is fusion between traditional Vietnamese and melt Chinese, Japanese. This odd product still manages to survive after centuries of damaging.
The ancient town of Hoi An consists of old-architecture lanes and houses with nearly 100% cristinely left from their initial buildings with moss grown walls, deeply plain roofs, old furniture in their cristine past arrangement etc. Hoi An used to be the principal port of the Cham Kingdom, 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 Indianite Kingdom of Champak, 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 also contribute to make Hoi An a cultural diversity place. These influences remain visible today. Colorful guildhalls, founded by ethnic Chinese from Guangdong and Fujian provinces, stand quietly; a testament to the town’s trading roots.
Festivals are an indispensible part in the culture of Hoi An. Tourists should not miss some of the great festivals including 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 marvelously decorated with colorful lights and lanterns 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. The romantic, mysterious atmosphere appeals to everyone enjoying this special event.
There is also another very important event in Hoi An known as Buddhist day of worship. It falls on the 14th day of the lunar month. Hoi An residents place offerings of food and incense on their ancestral altars and visit a pagoda here. The scent of incense and the sounds of people singing add to the town’s enchanted atmosphere. Visitors will get a rare glimpse into another era – the very far away period of our ancestors, and discovering its sacred and mystical feeling.
TRAVELLING AROUND:
As the centre of Hoi An is very small and pedestrianised, so walking is most used way to discover the ancient town. Motorbikes are only banned from the centre of town during certain times of day, evenings are especially busy with motorbikes two, or even three abreast competing with pedestrians for even the smallest space on the street.
Motorbikes are not allowed to enter the Old Town on the 14th and 15th of each lunar month. On those evenings, a lot of activities, including traditional games such as bai choi, trong quan, and dap nieu are held in all over the town.
Travelling by bike is a convenient option. You can easily get around on a bicycle to most of Hoi An's attractions, as motorcycle and car traffic is banned from the city center's tourist area during most daylight hours. Furthermore, it is easy and cheap to hire a bike, just about 20,000 dong per day (in Jan 2013).
Unlike getting around the centre town, it is required to travel by boat on the river system to the old Champa way. The rivers of Hoi An cover hundreds of km and offer an interesting & adventurous alternative to travelling by road.
DISCOVERING HOI AN
1. Hoi an old town:
Hoi An old town is distinct from other places because of its unique traffic. Generally, the whole town is small enough to get around on foot. As mentioned, some streets do not allow motorbike, some other only allow bike and motorbike or pedestrian only. These special things attract most travellers to Vietnam, especially those experienced frenetic Ha Noi or Ho Chi Minh city.
Wandering in the roads, you will find yourself having the feeling of being in another time. Influenced by features from China, Japan and also the Westerner, buildings in Hoi An old town is a mixed-picture that is well-preserved. Here in the heritage site stand Chinese temples, a Japanese-designed bridge, pagodas, wooden shop-houses, French- colonial houses and old canals. After decades, those old architectures still survive and bring thousands of tourists to Vietnam annually.
2.Hoi An's Japanese Covered Bridge
So called Pagoda Bridge or Cau Nhat Ban locally, Hoi An's Japanese Covered Bridge is a popular symbol in Vietnam tourism. Built in 18th century, it is claimed to be the creation of Japanese then living in Hoi An to connect to the Chinese quater accross the water. 
The roof on top of the bridge means that you can pass though it anytime of the day regardless of the sun or rain. On the bridge, there are a lot of painting for sale by artists living in the vicinity. 
Location: The bridge is located at the west end of Tran Phu Street in Hoi An and is easily reached from the town centre.
Remarks: There are no restrictions with regards to dress code and the bridge is always open.
3. Hoi An Riverside
Lying on the bank of Thu Bon river, Hoi An has long been popular to foreigners as its strategic location. Merchants from different countries, both the East and the West, chose to stop here waiting for the right win to continue their travel. Today this riverside street warmly welcome to not only traders but tourists and travellers as well. 
Tourists may find the whole town displaying lanterns, but the prettiest place to see this enchanting is riverside in the evening. Lanterns reflecting on the water create a magical atmosphere, making a simple meal or a friendly conversation over drinks an extraordinary moment. For all travellers, watching lanterns on the riverside is an ideal thing to do to have a fully amazing trip.
4. Beaches:
The two popular beaches in Hoi An are An Bang and Cua Dai. 
An Bang Beach is one of the few stretches of beach in Hoi An, relatively unspoiled though times, making it a popular option for soaking up the sun and enjoying an array of seaside activities. Some of the most popular activities at An Bang Beach are swimming, paddle-boarding, and surfing.It also houses an array of beachfront resorts and seafood restaurants.
Besides, Cua Dai is one of five Vietnamese UNESCO World Heritage Sites offering an unrivalled seaside escape from the ancient streets of Hoi An. This 3km with fine white powdery sands make tourists coming to Cua Dai Beach feel the perfect place to easily find their own patch of paradise. The water is very clear with tropically blue waves that are gentle enough for swimming and floating around. There are even changing huts on the beach along with a few bungalows here and there
BEST THINGS TO DO IN HOI AN
1. Join a cooking class
If you are looking for somewhere to learn some true Vietnamese dishes, Hoi An is exactly the best destination. Plenty of restaurant here offers cooking classes in which you can learn from the professionals.
Below are some popular cooking school:
Morning Glory Cooking Schools:
Opening Hours: 07:45-13:30
Location: 106 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Hoi An
Tel: +84 510 2241 556
Red Bridge Cooking School
Opening Hours: 08:00-15:00 (deluxe course)
Location: Thon 4, Cam Thanh, Hoi An
Tel: +84 510 3933 222
Secret Garden
Opening
Hours: 08:00-24:00
Location: Passage 60 Le Loi, Hoi An
Tel: +84 510 3911 112
2. Scuba Diving and Snorkelling
With hundreds different kind of coral and tropial fish, off the cost Hoi An is paradise for scuba diving and snorkelling. Taking this potential, several diving companies now offer diving trips to travellers. Here are some suggested providers:
Cham Island Diving Center
Instructors speak English, French, Italian, Spanish and Vietnamese.
Location: 88 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Hoi An
Tel: + 84 510 391 0782
Rainbow Divers
Multilingual instructors are available. Rainbow Divers offer snorkelling and diving trips to all levels of experience and will match the excursion accordingly.
Location: 39, Tran Hung dao
Tel: +84 914 224 102
Blue Coral Diving
Blue Coral organise diving and snorkelling excursions to Hon Mo, Hon Giai and Hon Thaiislands.
Location: 77 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Hoi An
Tel: +84 0510 627 9297
3. Trying street vendors
Visitors can find all kinds of Vienam local food on the street, from Hue’s cuisines as banh beo, banh bot loc, rice with mussel to Chinese cuisines like tofu, xi ma phu, cao lau and Vietnamese and Chinese noodles, which are changed a little in the flavor. The food is served by mobile vendors but it is always hot. Customers can enjoy the food right that place, on the pavement or take it away. Moreover, the price for street food in Hoi An is very reasonable, only from VND 5,000-VND 30,000/unit.
SUGGESTED DAY TRIPS FROM HOI AN
The charming beauty of port town Hoi An is a favorite stop for many visitors coming to Vietnam. While most travellers stay in town, there are also opportunities for excursions outside of town. If you’re ready to explore further field, here are three best destination for taking day trips from Hoi An.
My Son
Just about 40 kilometers from Hoi An are the Cham ruins of My Son. Hindu people, known as the Cham, occupied the coast on what is now Vietnam from 13th-14th century and the crumbling remains of their empire, set within an elevated basin of central Vietnam, are one of their most important architectural legacies. While it is possible to take a bus to My Son from Hoi An and explore the complex on your own, you will find the experience more rewarding if you go with a guide who can offer a little history and cultural perspective on the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Cham Island
After you’ve seen the ancient Cham ruins of My Son, spend a day on Cham Island, home to an ethnically Cham population. While the villages are interesting, the main draw on Cham Island is the diving and snorkeling off the coast of the remote islands in the area. Visibility tends to be at its best from late June through the end of August.
China Beach
Popularized by the TV drama by the same name in the late 1980s, China Beach is one long stretch of golden sandy coast near Danang. It’s certainly not Vietnam’s most attractive beach, but it’s still beautiful and a great place to spend the day relaxing in the sun and sand.

Other Vietnam Destinations

Vietnam is a beautiful country in the Southeast Asia, just adjacent to China to the north. This peaceful country, which is finely in the shape of letter "S", has taken the visitors by storm with its tourist attraction sites throughout three 3 regions. Vietnam boasts about its natural assets from pristine sandy beaches along the length of country, wonderful limestone islands in Halong Bay and majestic mountain ranges together with endless terrace fields to its historical marvels or bustling cities driven by a new economy as well as quiet country villages, ornate Confucian temples, splendid French colonial architecture and etc.
Located in the Northwest of Vietnam, Sapa owns a very unique climate with four seasons can be seen in a day. Mother Nature also endows it  with so many breathtaking sceneriy and dramatic landscapes waiting to be discovered.
A place with deeply rooted history and cultural tradition combined with a diverse of pure natural landscapes, Ninh Binh, the ancient capital of Vietnam in the 10th century, is a must-visit destination for any visitors interested in eco-tourism.
Located in the Southern Vietnam, Mekong delta is the largest rice bowl of this tropical country. Coming to this land, you will experience a diffrerent green Vietnam with huge orchard and vast ecosystem with various rivers and canals. 
With verdurous mountain scenery, immense rice fields in the valleys and tribal culture, Mai Chau is a perfect destination for both nature and culture explorers. 

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