New Year atmosphere overwhelms Hoi An ancient town

A gala night will take place at the An Hoi statue garden on December 31, featuring a lantern festival and a wedding photo contest.

Winners of a video-producing contest on Hoi An tourism will be awarded at a ceremony on the same day.

Locals and visitors will enjoy songs and dances celebrating the New Year, with hope for a peaceful world.

A progmamme to welcome the first guests of the ancient town in the New Year will be arranged on January 1, 2016.

According to Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Van Son, Hoi An was a renowned international trade port in the 17th century where ships from Japan, China, and European countries docked to exchange wares. Cultural exchange also took place in the port, influencing the town in ways that remain visible today.

The events will leave deep impressions on holidaymakers who want to discover Hoi An, he said.

Covering 60 square kilometres, Hoi An has 22.5 square kilometres of agriculture and forest land and 11 square kilometres of lakes and channels.

In 2012, it was shortlisted for the top ten Asian cities in the US-magazine Conde Nast's Traveler's Readers Choice Awards. The following year, the UNESCO-recognised world heritage was chosen for the Townscape Award by the UN-Habitat Regional Office in Asia.

According to the latest report, Hoi An hosted more than 1.7 million tourists, of which 740,000 were foreigners, over the past nine months.

In 2014, a survey showed that 11.2 percent of total international tourists returned to the city on their second visit.