Delightful ancient trading town has found a new life as open air museum cum market.
Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which usually means a place worthwhile visiting. And it is, a predominantly Chinese traders town dating back to the 16th Century, on a now silted-up river, with lots of narrow streets, old wooden houses and balconies, and several Chinese Assembly Houses, which were the community centers of the various groups of Chinese families that settled in Hoi An. The town is an open-air museum, really, but one that shares the open-air with an enormous market. Not so much the fresh produce that you mostly see in Vietnamese markets, no, more the tourist variety, multiple galleries selling tacky wooden souvenirs and uninspiring paintings and other works of “art”, cheap jewelry at expensive prices, and cloths: the town is one large tailor atelier, you can order a shirt, skirt or suit to measure, and within a few hours, half a day at most, you have it. And if that takes too long, you can buy any brand polo shirt off the shelf, cheaper than you find them in China or Thailand.
Nevertheless, a must-see on a Vietnam trip.