In many ways, the whole of Vietnam revolves around the delightful and ancient town of Hoi An.
UNESCO gave its salute to its cultural history by crowning it a world heritage site in the late Nineties. It was first founded on its lucrative fishing industry, yet trading ancestors left few descendents behind. Instead, the tiny town reveals its history through its ancient architecture, which offers a unique blend of Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese styles. It has built its reputation through its perfectly preserved pagodas and temples, which portray an authentic vision of the past that enlivens historical tourism today. Its contemporary reputation is built in quite a different way: It is world renowned for its gifted tailors, who are visited by international fashionistas in need of the perfect suit. Holidays to Hoi An, Vietnam happen at a sluggish pace—it seems impossible not to become enraptured by the sedate serenity that engulfs local lifestyles and personalities. Hoi An's greatest treasure lies in the way it takes its visitors backwards in time to eras that usually exist only in the far reaches of the imagination. The little known Sa Huynh were the prehistoric residents of the town during the bronze age. Eastern mariners followed, setting up a kingdom founded on oceanic and river trade.