Hoi An: from an international trading port to world’s best tourist attraction


Hoi An is an ancient town located in the lower section of the Thu Bon river of Quang Nam province, Vietnam. It used to be a busy international trading port where merchant ships from China, Japan and Western countries frequented.

Hoi An trading port in the early 18th century
Hoi An trading port in the early 18th century

The largest trade port in Dang Trong region of Vietnam

Several evidences show that Hoi An became an international trading port about 2000 years ago. However, it was prosperous in the 9-10th centuries when Arabic, Persian and Chinese merchants had their trade done there.

The trading port was considered to play a key role in the prosperity of Champa’s Tra Kieu imperial city and My Son Sanctuary.

From the mid-16th to mid-18th centuries, Hoi An developed to be the busiest international trading port in Southeast Asia. Japanese red seal ships frequently went to and fro the port, which resulted in the foundation of the Japanese quarter in Hoi An in 1617.

Thanks to the Nguyen dynasty’s trade policies, Hoi An trading port became the place for a countless number of merchant ships from Portugal, Spain, the UK, France, India, China, Thailand… to carry on their trade.

As a result, it quickly developed to be an international trading hub in Vietnam and in Southeast Asia, the coordination centre for Central trading ports, and one of the important trading ports in Dang Trong region of Vietnam.

Hoi An- an international trading hub in Vietnam and Asia
Hoi An- an international trading hub in Vietnam and Asia

Besides, in the role of an inter-regional centre, Hoi An connected with Goa (India), Ayuthaya (Siam), Malacca (Malaysia), Batavia (Indonesia), Lyzon (Philippines), Formosa (Taiwan), Macao and Xiamen (China), Pusan (Korea) to make a complete system of Asian trading ports.

Hoi An- a tourist attraction  

It can be said that Hoi An ancient quarter has been well-preserved. So, it was recognized as a world cultural heritage by UNESCO on December 4th, 1999.

Hoi An ancient quarter is well-known for its ancient architectural styles in Southeast Asia and typical cultural features.

There are 1,360 relics, including 1.068 ancient houses, 11 old wells, 38 familial temples, 19 pagodas, 43 God’s temples, 23 public houses, 44 old tombs and an ancient bridge.

The streets in Hoi An ancient quarter are in the shape of a chessboard, winding along the riverside and embracing the ancient houses.

The atmosphere is peaceful, suitable for relaxation. Foods and drinks are especially delicious, so visitors love them so much.

In particular, Hoi An is a place of festivals with a lot of artistic activities and folk games which visitors can take part in.

Hoi An ancient quarter
Hoi An ancient quarter

Currently, there are a lot of tourism products in Hoi An such as Hoi An Memories Show, Hoi An Impression Theme Park, Nam Hoi An resort, Lune Hoi An among others.

Hoi An with beautiful landscapes, unique architectural styles and typical cultural features is very attractive to and popular with visitors. As a result, Hoi An has been voted as the world’s best tourism destination in 2020 by Travel+Leisure.