In the middle of my 2 week sojourn through Vietnam we arrived at the quaint riverside town of Hoi An. A historic, heritaged listed attraction, Hoi An is popular on the tourist trail and it was easy to see why. Famous for custom designed and crafted clothing and shoes, cute streets with lanterns, a river that floods and spills into the streets and the beach nearby. Of course we hit up the fabric shops to get clothes made, I was in my element designing boots where you get to pick the leather, heel, cut, length and of course measured to fit (what fat calves?), ready in 24 hours!
Some fabric and clothing stores were better quality than others, some items were perfect but others didn’t quite translate when they were made (which could be due to the translation of language). Some of my shoes didn’t last, and some of the dresses lost their stitching. If you are serious about getting clothing made (one couple had 50 items made between them) it pays to shop around, inspect the quality and ask others for recommendations. A fun process nevertheless.
We were content (whilst waiting for our clothing to get made) to wander the streets, crossing over bridges, restaurant hopping (modern, western and asian fusion, try The Cargo Club for breakfast or Friendship down by the river), cruising the markets and taking a bus ride out to the ruins of My Son – Vietnam’s oldest ruins, dating from the 4th century.
1. Having to go on a moto ride to the ‘other’ shop to pay for my pairs of boots with the shop owner, who left my 2 friends in charge of her store!
2. Blackouts in the middle of meals in restaurants, Vietnamese style dining in the dark…
3. Enjoying the vehicle free streets all lit up with lanterns during the full moon festival, where the lights are switched off to fully appreciate the lanterns
4. Eating western Vietnamese fusion penne pasta. With chopsticks.