Hoi An Town and Cua Dai Beach
Hoi An, My Son ruins and Cua Dai Beach are the main attractions in Central Vietnam. As a UNESCO heritage city the town has a lot to offer to tourist. Let's start with Hoi Ann town.
The town is known to the French and Spanish as Faifo. The name might have come from comes from the word "hai-pho" meaning "sea town".
The location made the town an important trading sea port in central Vietnam from the 15th to the 19th century.
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.
The town buildings show a unique blend of local and foreign influences. The history of Hoi An goes much further back to the days that the Champas ruled south and central Vietnam.
The town center is not for nothing UNESCO Heritage City. With its ancient architecture, a blend mix of French and Vietnamese buildings, the craftsmanship and cultural tradition it is truly a unique place in the heart of the country. Think only about traditional kite making, a popular leisure activity of all Vietnam. In Hoi An you can find out how these fragile kites traditionally were and are made.
One of the more interesting things to see in Hoi An is the Japanese Bridge. The bridge dates back to the 16th when the Japanese had a settlement in Hoi An, at time called Hai Pho. The bridge is the only known covered bridge with a Buddhist pagoda attached to one side.
There are several reasons why you would to visit like Hoi An town. One of the attractions is to get yourself some tailor made clothes. There are about 200 (at least it seemed that many) tailor shops producing any kind of clothes you want/need. Depending on what you want, it takes a few hours or a day before your clothes are ready. If you want to get yourself some new clothes, shop around before making any deals. (I let me made some clothes at the time, it was cheap, easy and quick done).
The small shops also sell "local produced" clothes. Check this carefully because not all is genuine local produced. Hoi An is is also famous for its centuries old cao lau noodles, only available in Hoi An. It's very easy to spend your money in Hoi An.
Cua Dai Beach
Hoi An is a few kilometers land inwards. The beach is about 3 km from the town center and it is worth a visit. In my view, the Cua Dai beach is nicer then the far more famous China beach, just south of Danang.
You can easily reach the Cua Dai beach by bicycle or motorbike (most of the hotels rent them). Taxies should cost about a dollar.
Hoi An Hotels and Accommodation
Hoi Ann has a wide selection of hotels and guesthouses. In high season Hoi An will be busy, so you will want to make reservations. When I was there, I had to spend a night on A matress in a corridor. So be prepared!
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My Son Ruins
The My Son ruins nearby Hoi An are a beautiful example of the long gone Champa culture. Although many ruins could be better restored, it is worth the effort going there.
Nha Trang, also called the Gold Coast of Vietnam is the country's primary beach holiday destination. In the area there are good persevered Champa temples to be seen.