Há»™i An, also Fai-Fo or Faifoo, is a city in Vietnam, located on the coast of the South China Sea in the South Central Coast region, in the Quáº£ng Nam Province. With approximately 120,000 inhabitants, Há»™i An is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Há»™i An Ancient Town is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Its buildings and its street plan reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage site.
The city possessed the largest harbour in Southeast Asia in the 1st century and was known as Lâm áº¤p Phá»‘ (Champa City). Between the seventh and 10th centuries, the Cham (people of Champa) controlled the strategic spice trade and with this came tremendous wealth. The former harbour town of the Cham at the estuary of the Thu Bá»“n River was an important Vietnamese trading centre in the 16th and 17th centuries, where Chinese from various provinces as well as Japanese, Dutch and Indians settled. During this period of the China trade, the town was called Hai Pho (Seaside Town) in Vietnamese. Originally, Hai Pho was a divided town with the Japanese settlement across the "Japanese Bridge" (16th-17th century). The bridge (Chùa cáº§u) is a unique covered structure built by the Japanese, the only known covered bridge with a Buddhist temple attached to one side.
Heritage and Tourism:
In 1999, the old town was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO as a well-preserved example of a Southeast Asian trading port of the 15th to 19th centuries, with buildings that display a unique blend of local and foreign influences. According to the UNESCO Impact Report 2008 on Há»™i An, tourism has bought changes to the area which are not sustainable without mitigation.
Due to the increased number of tourists visiting Hoi An a variety of activities are emerging which allow guests to get out of the Old Quarter and explore by motorbike, bicycle, Kayak or motorboat. The Thu Bon River is still essential to the region more than 500 years after António de Faria first navigated it and it remains an essential form of food production and transport. As such kayak and motorboat rides are becoming an increasingly popular tourist activity.
The city has four museums highlighting the history of the region. These museums are managed by the Hoi An Center for Cultural Heritage Management and Preservation. Entrance to the museum is permitted with a Hoi An Entrance Ticket.
The Museum of History and Culture, at 13 Nguyen Hue St, was originally a pagoda, built in the 17th century by Minh Huong villagers to worship the Quan An, and is adjacent to the Quan Cong temple. It contains original relics from the Sa Huynh, Champa, Dai Viet and Dai Nam periods, tracing the history of Hoi An's inhabitants from its earliest settlers through to French colonial times.
The Hoi An Folklore Museum, at 33 Nguyen Thai Hoc St, was opened in 2005, and is the largest two-storey wooden building in the old town, at 57m long and 9m wide, with fronts at Nguyen Thai Hoc St and Bach Dang St. On the second floor, there are 490 artifacts, organised into four areas: plastic folk arts, performing folk arts, traditional occupations and artefacts related to the daily life of Hoi An residents.
The Museum of Trade Ceramics is located at 80 Tran Phu St, and was established in 1995, in a restored wooden building, originally built around 1858. The items originating from Persia, China, Thailand, India and other countries are proof of the importance of Há»™i An as a major trading port in South East Asia.
The Museum of Sa Huá»³nh Culture, is located at 149 Tran Phu St. Established in 1994, this museum displays a collection of over 200 artifacts from the Sa Huá»³nh culture - considered to be the original settlers on the Há»™i An site - dating to over 2000 years ago. This museum is considered to be the most unique collection of Sa Huá»³nh artefacts in Vietnam.