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Hoi An has been an important port since the 15th century, when traders from China, Japan, India and Holland established shophouses on the banks of the Thu Bon river. The influence of these traders, and the French colonialists who followed, is still evident in the town's architecture, cuisine and the importance of the river in the lives of local residents.

The town's famous covered bridge was built by Japanese traders, who believed its construction would slay a dragon that had its head in India, heart in Hoi An and its tail in Japan, and was responsible for earthquakes in Japan .

The town is once again attracting travellers from around the world, who are drawn to the town's famous architecture, fine dining and high-class tailors.

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