Hoi An is a coastal city in central Vietnam with about 75,000 inhabitants. It is located on the South China Sea in the province of Quang Nam at the mouth of Song Thu Bo’n, about 30 km south of Da Nang.
Hoi An was once the largest port in Southeast Asia. Under the Cham, the city was named Lam Ap Pho, later Hai Pho (place by the sea) and among the French due to a misunderstanding Faifo. The name Hoi An first appeared in 1630 on a map.
As the port was increasingly despatched, the larger and bigger merchant vessels had to move to the port of Da Nang, so Hoi An lost more importance in the 18th century.
The city has, however, owed its historical heritage to its decline. Also, the old town is the only one that remained intact during the Vietnam War. The old town was declared a World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 1999.