This enchanting “living museum” ancient town is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site and invites visitors to explore either on foot or by cyclo pedal power. Its shop-houses, impressive pagodas and family chapels date back to the 16th and 17th century when Hoi An it was a major port for Western, Chinese and Japanese traders. It has since blossomed into an artists’ colony, with colourful shops, houses and a wide variety of handicrafts on display.
The quaint coastal city is home to more than 120,000 and thrives on its historic elements as well as having the largest harbour in south-east Asia. Formerly known as Champa City (it was here between the seventh and 10th centuries that the wealthy Cham people controlled the strategic spice trade), Hoi An is famous for its art and craft, riverfront restaurants and noodles and tailors. The old town with its mix of Asian and colonial architecture was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.