Hoi An was our first stop on our way north. A beachside fishing village originally it is part of old Vietnam, and as such has been given a UNESCO listing. There are lanterns everywhere giving the old town a romantic bygone era atmosphere. No fluroscent lights or traffic are allowed.
The town is beautiful and small enough to walk around – although Jemima doesn’t think so. If she had her way she would take a cyclo driver home with her! Paddy fields stretch into the distance on one side, the sea on the other and unfortunately sprawling hotel development on the third side. The development is being led by Greg Norman who see this part of Vietnam as the next Phuket. It seems a pity that they chose to build multi-story hotels in such quaint countryside. We feel quite privileged to experience it before they turn it into just another resort town.
Of course a visit to Hoi An just wouldn’t be complete without a made to measure outfit! Renowned for it’s outstanding tailors and cobblers we trawler the Internet for recommendations before setting off to find our tailor of choice – which turned out to be a half day experience as they had moved shops in the last week and had yet to put a sign out front. Still we eventually found them early afternoon after a phone call or 2 and were all measured up.
A quick visit to the beach for a refreshing swim reinvigorated the kids after a hot humid 36 degree day. We hired mopeds for the afternoon to relieve some weary little legs!
We had to return at 6pm to show copies of the designs that Jemima and I wanted, by which stage Oliver & Robin shirts were already finished! Oliver modelled his shirt proudly for Anna & Kieu – his photo is going up on their website catalogue. The level of workmanship is fabulous and it certainly pays to shop around for quality rather than price. With over 3000 cloth shops in town that’s no small task believe me!
With Oliver sporting his flash new shirt dinner just had to be a little fancier than street food so we splashed out for a really nice dinner by the riverfront. Robin is certainly looking forward to the abundant seafood we have read about!