History of Hoi An

Hoi An has an interesting history that can be traced back almost two millennia to the Sa Huynh peoples, before it served as an important port for the Champa Kingdom that extended over central and coastal Vietnam. The town grew in trade from there and by the 17th and 18thcentury, it had already become one of the most important Southeast Asian trading ports, harboring foreign traders, especially Japanese, Chinese and Dutch; partaking in all sorts of trades such as silk, china, pottery, and certain spices.

The culture and heritage evident in Hoi An are mostly remnants from the Cham people, however, it has also been majorly influenced by the Chinese, the Japanese and of course, the Vietnamese. Still to this day, few descendants of the initial foreign settlers remain. Their ancestors’ marks, however, are permanently etched into the city, history and culture, and are evidenced by contrasting yet perfectly-blended elements in the architecture seen all around. Pagodas, assembly halls, clan houses, shop houses, and tea houses line the ancient streets and most of these century-old gems have fared well in the years leading up to today. A casual stroll in town will allow you to witness their wonders and step back into a much simpler time.


In 1999, UNESCO formally recognized Hoi An Ancient Town as a World Heritage Site. This should come as no surprise – you will soon read and find out why.