Covering 60 sq.km. and with a population of less than 150,000, Hoi An is famous for its ancient quarters, which are designated as a world heritage site and showcase a unique architectural heritage.

Nguyen Van Lanh, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, stated in an interview with the Tuoi tre (Youth) daily that by focusing on craft and folk arts for the dossier, Hoi An aims to fully capitalize on its heritage that spans over 400 years.

Hoi An is home to numerous traditional craft villages, with over 100 located within its ancient quarters. These villages specialize in silks, leather goods, tailoring, embroidery, woodcarving, and pottery. The town also boasts a rich architectural heritage, characterized by century-old houses, and nurtures folk arts such as “bai choi” and “ba trao” singing.

Lanh highlighted that Hoi An has long been a role model in reviving and harnessing the values of craft villages and folk arts. In Hoi An, artisans, craftsmen, and anyone with ideas can freely create.

Hoi An’s ability to adapt to different contexts over history for the development and preservation of cultural values and craft villages is an exceptional achievement, according to Lanh.

Thanks to heritage tourism, Hoi An has breathed new life into many craft villages and folk arts. In order to meet UNESCO standards for a creative city, Hoi An must demonstrate that its creative products can thrive and evolve independently, without relying solely on tourism.

This is a significant challenge, but Hoi An can overcome it due to its capacity to integrate and adapt, affirmed Lanh.

Apart from Hoi An, Da Lat city in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong is also seeking membership in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, specifically in the field of music.

Hanoi was the first city in Vietnam to join the network, in 2019.

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network was launched in 2004 to promote collaboration among cities that recognize creativity as a key driver of their development. The network focuses on seven creative fields: craft and folk arts, media, film, design, gastronomy, literature, and music. As of 2023, 301 cities around the world have become members of the network.