Trip Report: Hoi An 2023 construction update
The Da Nang-Hoi An resort coast, more new urban areas, the fragile beaches of Hoi An, and the hidden casino resort from Macau.
Hoi An is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vietnam, and there are some days when it feels like half of the visitors to Vietnam as there at the same time.
The Hoi An Ancient Town (as the official UNESCO World Heritage listing calls it), is a rare sight in Southeast Asia of an old town that is almost completely intact. I didn’t appreciate this until I had been everywhere else and discovered that heritage conservation is not a strong point in Southeast Asia.
There are some new buildings in the old town, but they were built before its UNESCO inscription in 1999. The old town buildings are now preserved in time, and they even have to conform to the same yellow paint job.
Even Starbucks has to try and fit into the surroundings (yes, there’s a Starbucks now).
So how does a UNESCO old town that has been frozen in time get featured on a site about urban development? Hoi An Ancient Town is just a small part of the city of Hoi An, which is otherwise a regular city in Vietnam with a population of about 120,000 people.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been to Hoi An now, and I usually stay outside the old town area near the beach. It is along the beach of Hoi An and Quang Nam (the province of Hoi An) where the new developments are taking place.
I stayed in Hoi An in April 2023, and this is my 2023 trip report for Hoi An/Quang Nam Province.