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 ha and it has a buffer zone of 280 ha. It is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a small-scale trading port active 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. 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.
The surviving wooden structures and street plan are original and intact and together present a traditional townscape of the 17th and 18th centuries, the survival of which is unique in the region. The town continues to this day to be occupied and function as a trading port and centre of commerce. The living heritage reflecting the diverse communities of the indigenous inhabitants of the town, as well as foreigners, has also been preserved and continues to be passed on. Hoi An Ancient Town remains an exceptionally well-preserved example of a Far Eastern port.
Criterion (ii): Hoi An is an outstanding material manifestation of the fusion of cultures over time in an international commercial port.
Criterion (v): Hoi An is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a traditional Asian trading port.
Da Nang (Đà Nẵng) is Vietnam’s third largest city after Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh city. It’s located in Central Vietnam and on the South China Sea coast, midway between Ha noi and Ho Chi Minh City. The city itself has neither the ambiance of Hanoi nor the hustle-bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, but has its share of sights and is close to the charms of Hoi An and the imperial capital of Hue, making it a popular vacation spot for those looking to explore the attractions of central Vietnam or soak up some sun while hanging out on the city’s beaches. The regions surrounding Da Nang (My Son, Quang Nam) were founded by the Cham Hindus perhaps 3,000 years ago, serving as the capital city and centre of the Hindu Champa Dynasty. Vietnamese invasions into the region in the 17th century significantly halted Cham development. [read more]
Hue (Huế) (sounds much like huh-WAY) is in the central region of Vietnam and is the former imperial capital. Hue is intimately connected to the imperial Nguyễn Dynasty, based in Hue, which ruled from 1802 to 1945, when the Emperor Bao Dai abdicated in favour of Ho Chi Minh’s revolutionary government. The city went through tough times during what is known locally as the American War, when it was conquered by the Viet Cong and held for 24 days. During that time, they executed around 1,000 people suspected of sympathizing with the South. After a ferocious assault, US and South Vietnamese forces retook the city. Hue is easy to get a grip on. The main landmark is the Perfume River (Hương Giang), with the old city and the citadel on the north side and the newer city, including most hotels and restaurants, on the south side. [read more]
Tam Ky is in the Central Coast of Vietnam. The city is linear in shape, spreading along three major roads that run North-West to South-East. Quang Nam state’s third city, Tam Ky is often passed over by visitors, amenities, and services, in favour of historic Hoi An or cosmopolitan Da Nang. Quang Nam state’s network of semi-urban buses serves the city and surrounding areas, however routes and times are difficult to discern, and drivers will often refuse to board foreigners who only want to make short trips. Stops are generally well posted, but routes are confusing, often backtracking. Buses may move at a crawl in the city as they look to pick up more passengers. Fare is 6k for trips less than 10km. From the train station to the beach at Tam Thanh (~11km), a meter taxi should cost 100-150k, and a motorbike taxi about 60k. [read more]