The heritage town of Hoi An is all about old world charm repackaged to appeal to new-age travellers
Early morning, Hoi An resembles a vintage postcard of a sleepy, riverside town. As I stand by the Thu Bon River, the silence is broken by a loud, mechanical voice. It welcomes people to the Ancient Town (and advises them to buy tickets before entering, the proceeds go into its maintenance). It stops as abruptly as it started. The message is repeated every few minutes. This message taught me something important about the city. Hoi An exists largely because of tourism; it is the town’s bread and better and everything within it functions to serve that purpose. But this wasn’t always the case.
A DATE WITH THE PAST