October 24th, 2010
This week's featured UNESCO World Heritage Site is a gorgeous example of a Southeast Asian trading port dating back to the 15th through the 19th centuries. During those years, Hoi An was a famous port of call for traders searching for silk, spices, porcelain, traditional Chinese remedies, tea and other goods. Eventually, many merchants from China and Japan came to live in Hoi An full-time and brought their families.
The city ceased to be an important trading port after the 19th century, when silt made the Thu Bon River impassable for large ships. Now, it's a beautifully preserved tourist town, with shops and hotels surrounding a traditional city center. The historic area, called Hoi An Ancient Town, was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999. The UNESCO website calls it "an outsta
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