Today, it is difficult to believe that 300 years ago, the tiny dreamy harbor of Hoi An was one of the most important seaports in Vietnam. Now, only small fishing boats lie at anchor in the harbor, yet in former times, Hoi An experienced a flourishing trade with Europe.
Whether on the riverbanks of the Thu Bon River, the narrow streets or the fascinating shops, Hoi An has retained the colorful atmosphere of by-gone times. Life continued here as normal until in the early 1990's, the tourist industry began to develop in Vietnam. The city’s new found prosperity has not yet reached the entire city but it is reflected in some of its buildings.
Many of the city’s meeting halls, temples and homes are of typical Chinese design. Both the Quan Am Temple and the Quan-Cong Temple date back to the 17th century.
Toward the end of the 17th century, an increasing number of Chinese merchants settled in the city and this gave rise to the construction of several splendid meeting halls. Business relationships were cultivated in these traditional communal buildings and new friendships made, information exchanged and ancestors and gods worshipped.
Once again, the town is beginning to prosper and the historic ambience of this intriguing city may well mark a new beginning to the inhabitants of Hoi An.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.