Hoi An is the old city of Danang and has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is about a 30-minutes drive from the resort we stayed at and it was great that the resort offered complimentary shuttle buses. It was the only place to do a bit of shopping so these pictures you see in this entry were taken over a couple of days.
This photo was taken using the ‘dynamic’ mode on the camera, hence the effect.
We headed to Hoi An on the first shuttle bus service out at 9am the following day after we arrived. The boy was going in search of the tailor shop as he’s been told that they’re ‘cheap and good’. I’m not sure if you can tell from the pictures but it was a scorching hot day. And silly me forgot my hat and sunblock. On the flipside, the sunshine made for great photos 🙂
There were loads of little quaint shops selling art and all sorts of trinkets, from clothes to accessories. Trishaws and motorcycles were also a common sight.
We also spotted quite a few temples and dialect associations (walked past Hokkien and Cantonese huay kuan). The general vibe at the old town is relaxed and slow-paced. I wish I had taken a photo but we saw a couple of ladies sitting under a tree and one was using the laptop. Just below the laptop was a chicken coop with real chickens running about. Talk about modernising amidst the old!
It was really nice to slow down our pace of life and just take in the sights. I noticed that there weren’t many pet dogs around but we did spot a couple of strays sleeping off the afternoon heat. We also spotted this lil’ cutie chained to a bicycle and couldn’t resist playing with it for a bit.
And yes, I gave my hat to the boy for a bit as he was turning a little lobster-like 😀
As the weather was searing, it was the perfect excuse for ice-cream! The resort provided us with a helpful list of places to shop and eat and one of the places recommended for ‘great cakes and pastries’ was Cargo Club.
We walked past it and the boy bought a lemongrass ice-cream. It was love at first bite for me. Mmmm….It was refreshing and not too sweet. Perfect! The next day, we walked past the cafe again and I had to buy a cone for myself. Oh, I have to mention that the cone was also freshly-made and crispy. It was a perfect accompaniment to the delicious ice-cream. Yums.
We also stopped frequently for small meals throughout the day because really, walking about in the sun was too much to bear. I’d write a separate entry on eating in Hoi An.
Finally, after what seemed like forever, we found the tailor called Yaly Couture. It even has its very own website in English! It is supposed to be largest tailor shop in Hoi An with the widest range of cloth to choose from. I read somewhere that there are 3 outlets in Hoi An alone.
Photos were not allowed inside but I managed to sneakily take a few. On the first level were mannequins with their creations and rolls after rolls of cloth. You name it, they probably have it. The sales assistants (all female!) wore traditional ao dais and we noticed that they all had English names on their name tags. It definitely made it easier for us tourists to remember! Our sales assistant was named Judy.
The entire place is pretty well organised with a cashier area (that accepts major credit cards) and even a ‘photo-taking’ area! It was the first time where we had to get our pictures taken when making clothes. It was like a police photo booth where you face front and then sideways. On the board behind us were measurements. It was probably used to get a better gauge of our body shape. Mighty impressive, I say!
There were also sample books sitting around for customers to choose a design. They can make everything from traditional clothes to wedding gowns. If you can’t find what you want in the sample books, the helpful sales assistants would point you to the various laptops around the shop where you can search the internet for designs. This is where I found a picture of the Chanel-inspired tweed jacket that I made for US$50.
The boy made himself a casual jacket and a couple of work shirts (he took his own work shirt and told them to make exact copies) while I made myself the tweed jacket and a work suit (jacket + skirt). His work shirts were US$34 each (!) while my work suit was US$85.
Did someone say cheap cheap?
It was a total bargain and we were happy birdies. The only downside was, we had to go back three times to get fitted so I was glad that the tailor was our first stop. Also, the shop is not air-conditioned so imagine trying on suits and thick jackets after a walk in the sun. Not very nice.
We were told that Hoi An is very pretty at night so one evening, we took the evening shuttle bus to town. Personally, I find evenings way more pleasant than the day because it was so much cooler! And check out the pretty lanterns! Soooo gorgeous. We were close to buying 2 but decided against them because we have no idea where to hang them. Heh.
Hoi An is indeed a lovely lil’ old town well worth a couple of visits. Just don’t forget to bring along (a lot of) sunblock, sunglasses and a (giant) hat or brolly!
107-109 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street
47 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street