Hoi An Ancient town is located in Viet Nam’s central Quang Nam Province, on the north bank near the mouth of the Thu Bon River. The inscribed property comprises 30 hectare and it has a buffer zone of 280 hectare. It is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a small-scale trading port active in the 15th to 19th centuries which traded widely, both with the countries of Southeast and East Asia and with the rest of the world. Its decline in the later 19th century ensured that it has retained its traditional urban tissue to a remarkable degree. The town reflects a fusion of indigenous and foreign cultures (principally Chinese and Japanese with later European influences) that combined to produce this unique survival. The town comprises a well-preserved complex of 1,107 timber frame buildings, with brick or wooden walls, which include architectural monuments, commercial and domestic vernacular structures, notably an open market and a ferry quay, and religious buildings such as pagodas and family cult houses.
The houses are tiled and the wooden components are carved with traditional motifs. They are arranged side-by-side in tight, unbroken rows along narrow pedestrian streets. There is also the fine wooden Japanese bridge, with a pagoda on it, dating from the 18th century. The original street plan, which developed as the town became a port, remains as it did hundreds of years ago. It comprises a grid of streets with one axis parallel to the river and the other axis of streets and alleys set at right angles to it. Typically, the buildings front the streets for convenient customer access while the backs of the buildings open to the river allowing easy loading and off-loading of goods from boats.
Hoi An is famous among travel bloggers for it’s colorful lanterns that line every street and alley in the city. After the sun sets and the lanterns turn on the city comes alive with vibrant shapes and colors illuminating the streets and surrounding buildings. Hoi An has retained its original form and function as an outstanding example of a well-preserved traditional South East Asian trading port and commercial centre; so much so that it was named a UNESCO National Heritage Site in 1985.