Hoi An is an ancient town in Vietnam that used to be a 16th century merchant trading port named Faifo. Located on the banks of the Thu Bon River, it was considered a major international port in Southeast Asia from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Hoi An is one of the best-preserved places in the country, mainly because the town was fortunate enough to escape the destruction caused by the wars. This riverside town derives its charm from its history, which is exhibited in old buildings, temples and pagodas. Hoi An is often called a 'living museum,' thanks to all the historical significant structures in the area. The town is also renowned for its skilled tailors.
Once occupied by Western traders, Hoi An is now frequented by tourists. At present, there are a number of hotels, bars and restaurants, as well as souvenir shops in the area. Despite the appearance of such establishments, Hoi An retains its charisma. This old town is also pedestrian-friendly: it is closed to cars and motorbikes once a month during a full moon, and the distances between the hotels to the centre are manageable by foot.