Yesterday Once More in the Ancient Town of Hoi An

By Christina Kim - July 21, 2017


Once upon a time, a group of people known as the Cham (the founders of the Champa kingdom) established the glorious Champa empire (also known as the Champa kingdom), and their rule expanded to the lands of Central Vietnam and towards the southern part of Vietnam; covering Hue to Nha Trang.

The Cham were heavily involved in trading; and were particularly focused on spices, which was quite the trend back in the early centuries and this amassed their wealth which helped to strengthen their economy and influence even further.

Hoi An was a strategic spot which attracted the Cham and was viewed as an important trading point for the kingdom before the 14th century; between the seventh to the tenth century; so much so that Hoi An was made one of the three capitals of the kingdom - the commercial capital of the Cham.

The town of Hoi An flourished then, and its importance was of a stronghold until the 18th century; where in between the Chinese, Portuguese, Japanese, Dutch and Indians have also come to settle. While Hoi An bloomed as a trading centre during these times of the various settlements and rose to become a renowned port, the Chinese and Japanese were the ones particularly fond of this town which they considered as the best and strategic trading point in the entire Southeast Asia, and even Asia.

That was then; the days of glory that Hoi An enjoyed and its foundation and establishment by the trade-centric Nguyen lords further cemented their importance.

Hoi An started to decline in favor towards the end of the 18th century following the end of the Nguyens' rule which was succeeded by Emperor Gia Long and it was Danang, the nearest port town which rose next.

Hoi An faded into the background and was slowly forgotten, falling behind the curtains, though much of the town was still maintained and kept the way it was, despite the shift.

Perhaps it was the pride or the nostalgia that kept the town intact; or perhaps it was also that hope, and anticipation that their former glory would be restored.
Whichever it was, Hoi An was well-preserved and continued to remain in its state from the ancient days, so much so that their efforts have not gone unnoticed as they have been recognized by the UNESCO as one of the most well-preserved Southeast Asian trading port towns from the 15th to the 19th century with an eminent blend of foreign culture and influences.

Hoi An is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999.

Hoi An is translated to mean a peaceful meeting place (), and is also known by its various names/versions; Faifo (shortened from Vietnamese Hoi An Pho then Hoi Pho, which means town of Hoi An). 


As I took a stroll around the town; or the Old Town of Hoi An, it did seem like time was frozen here and everything was like a reminder of the past.

It was like walking back into the days of the 15th century until the early 19th century; reminiscent of that old trading port or harbor town.

I even half-imagined seeing the men shoving the shafts as they dock at the pier, and men brushing past each other's shoulders as they heave the heavy sacks on their backs and shoulders amidst the lavishly dressed foreign merchants wandering with their observing eyes around the port.

Today, Hoi An is a popular international tourist destination and attracts masses of tourists every year.

It may have lost its trading hold, but Hoi An is still back in track, blooming in tourism as its fame spread and brings people from around the world here to admire and reminisce the stories told from the buildings and the people here.



It seemed like yesterday, that the town was still in business and activities were filling the day; voices in the air busy chattering while feet were shuffling everywhere.

The locals continued to stay in their charming little town; the pretty little place which they have grown to love.

It seemed like nothing ever changed; and though the times have changed, the buildings, the atmosphere and most importantly, the feelings never gave way to the modernization or even affected to the lackluster state it was in following its decline.

It remained that way; as it was, in its past glory, with single day, frozen in nostalgia as it replays the scenes and stories from yesteryear.

It's yesterday once more, every single day, here in the ancient town of Hoi An and it will never change.

Many may have forgotten about its trading days, but this little town is determined not to be forgotten and in its own way, it is remembering and making sure they are and will always be remembered.

Be it today or tomorrow, yesterday will always be here, forever, in this little town.





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*Author's Note: 
This is not a sponsored/promotional post, and solely based on author's personal opinions and do not represent the general public. 
Experiences vary from one individual to another.
You do not have to agree with me.

Art Direction and Photography Styling by Me.
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