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Travel guide to Hoi An
Situated on the Thu Bon Estuary south of Danang, Hoi An first came to prominence as an international port in the late sixteenth century and reached its apex in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. At that time Hoi An had trade links with China, Japan, Siam, the Malay Peninsula, Luzon, and even European countries such as England, France, Holland, and Portugal. According to Professor Pan Dai Doan, one of many experts included in Ancient Town of Hoi An, the town grew prosperous exporting silk, sugar, gold, cinnamon, sandalwood, pepper, areca nut, ceramics, timber, tortoise shell, rhino horn, and, of all things, sea swallows' nests. The book quotes an old folk song that ran:

Boats are filled to the brim with silk, areca nut and tobacco.
Far and near, one hears of the thriving trade in Hoi An. The town's importance declined in the nineteenth century, however, as Danang became the key port in the area and the Thu Bon Estuary silted up.

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