Hoi An ancient town in the central province of Quang Nam, a UNECO World Heritage Site, was ranked first among the top 15 cities on a list from the New York City-based travel magazine Travel + Leisure.
The list was based on the magazine’s survey of readers on travel experiences around the globe, where they shared their opinions on the top cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated cities on their sights and landmarks, culture, cuisine, friendliness, shopping, and overall value.
The charming Hoi An made a huge leap from eighth position last year to top this year’s list with 90.39/100 points.
The ancient town has a variety of offerings and was described as “a little gem of a place”. For some, it’s the shopping, where you can have anything made to order. For others, it’s the food, praised as the best in Vietnam, with amazing vegetarian and vegan options. Moreover, Hoi An is so accessible because the inner part of the town is restricted and cars aren’t allowed, so one can stroll around visiting shops and markets and enjoying its atmosphere by the river.
Hoi An was a leading trading port in Southeast Asia in the 17th and 18th centuries. Its architecture is a combination of Vietnamese, Japanese, and Chinese, with a little Western as well. It became a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1999. It was listed among the Top 10 most affordable tourism cities in Asia in 2017 by the US-based Time magazine. It was also among the 20 most-affordable places in the world for expats to live according to the Canada-based travel site, The Travel. The Hoai River and its channels made the list of the ten most famous canals in the world from the US-based travel website touropia.com in 2014.
It welcomed some 3 million visitors in the first half of this year, an increase of 15.6 per cent against the same period last year.
Other cities on the Travel + Leisure list include San Miguel de Allende, Mexico City, and Oaxaca (Mexico), Chiang Mai and Bangkok (Thailand), Ubud (Indonesia), Tokyo and Kyoto (Japan), Florence and Rome (Italy), Udaipur (India), Charleston and Santa Fe (US), and Seville (Spain).