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Hoi An is a beautiful city in Vietnam just south of Da Nang. The Old Town of Hoi An is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hoi An, once known as Faifo, with more than 2,000 years of history, was the principal port of the Cham Kingdom, which controlled the strategic spice trade with Indonesia from the 7th-10th centuries and was a major international port in the 16th and 17th centuries. The foreign influences are discernible to this day.

Hoi An's two major attractions are the Old Town and the nearby ruins of My Son. Hoi An has now replaced Da Nang as the most attractive place to stay in the area. The Old Town - The Old Town, with its historical architecture and very walkable streets filled with shops and restaurants, is at its best at night, when the activity along the river front is lit by the soft light of silk lanterns. Tickets sold from a number of booths near the river will admit you to five attractions within the Old City. My Son - Hoi An is commonly used as the base for half-day trips to the ancient Cham ruins of My Son, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the jungle of the Central Highlands.

The Japanese Covered Bridge (Chua Cau or Lai Vien Kieu) is located at the west end of Tran Phu St. The bridge was constructed in the early 1600s by the Japanese community, roughly 40 years before they left the city to return to Japan under the strict policy of sakoku enforced by the Tokugawa Shogunate, and renovated in 1986. Today, it's the symbol of Hoi An.

Tailor shops (see below) - Hoi An is known as the centre for very affordable custom-made clothing. There are around 400 tailor shops in the city, some better than others. Most can complete something in one day, so you may wish to make an order on arrival, so there will be time to complete the work.

Food in Hoi An is, even by high Vietnamese standards, cheap and tasty. In addition to the usual suspects, there are three dishes that Hoi An is particularly famous for. Cao l?u, a dish of rice noodles which are not quite as slippery as pho and a bit closer in texture to pasta. The secret is the water used to make it, and authentic cao lau uses only water from a special well in the city. The noodles are topped with slices of roast pork, dough fritters, and this being Vietnam, lots of fresh herbs and veggies. White rose (banh bao vac), a type of shrimp dumpling made from translucent white dough bunched up to look like a rose. Eat it at 533 Hai Ba Trung St. Wonton dumplings, essentially the same as the Chinese kind, served up in soup or deep-fried.


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