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Hannah and Jase's World Tour

Hoi An: 9th - 15th March.

VIETNAM | Wednesday, 14 March 2007 | Views [1091]

Hello all,

After spending two days in Hue, on 11th March, Hannah and I took an early morning safe option touristy bus from Hue, down south 4 hours to Hoi-An. We had already been briefed by the Lonely Planet info that Hoi-An was the place to come for cheap tailor made clothes, art and great french architecture so obviously Hannah was looking forward to this stop over.

We have stayed in Hoi-An for 5 days and we have both really loved it! A lovely dainty little town on a scenic riverside oozing hundreds of tailor shops and markets strewn in great french buildings with a long and pretty white sands beach just 5 km away. Unlike Vinh, the weather here has been great, easily early to mid 30s now we are south enough to be in the tropics. The food has been excellent. A great taste sensation for 100,000 to 150,000 dong - 3-4 pounds. Great. Big bottle of Larue beer for 8,000 dong - 20 pence. A big steamed crab for 80,000 dong.

Overall, after 3 days tailor shopping and getting sized up and re-adjustments, Hannah spent not a lot on a great new wardrobe displaying some great red leather boots, leather white sandals and leather work shoes; the clothes ranged from 10 tops, numerous skirts, linen trousers and headbands. On the whole she is very pleased with her purchases. As you are having to pick out the materials and designs from scratch there are some tops more funky than even she expected! All good fun though. Impressive clothes considering they are made within 24 hours. Certainly cheaper than Bangkok.

On the whole, our tailor shopping experiences was very good once the sly scamming vietnamese realised that Hannah was not one to mess with. Trying to pass off leather for plastic and glueing things that should have been stitched! - we found them all out in the end. It is true that the vietnamese seem to be more intelligent with the scamming than the indians but at least they give us a big smile when we finally catch them out with their dodgy receipts, crazy exchange rates and threatening to take them to the 'tourist police'!

Initially, as I am an impatient shopper, I was reluctant to start shopping but thought it would be a crime to come and go from a place like this without something tailor made so I had a nice evening shirt tailor made for me. On 14th March, whilst we waited for the remaining clothes to be made, Hannah and I hired some bikes and rode the 5 km to the local beach. It seems that in Vietnam everyone travels by bike, with hardly any cars on the road. Even large load deliveries are done by some poor soul heaving it all on a bike. It has certainly made for a few funny sights. Bamboo sticks and guttering on the back of a bike taking up entire lanes! On the beach Hannah paid an 80 year old Vietnamese woman to pose for her as she painted: smiling with her gummy mouth and in her Vietnamese attire and hat. A nice sight that certainly attracted a crowd.

Walking the markets we have seen the locals eat cooked duck embryos straight from the egg. I have thought about trying it, not yet though.

This evening (15th) Hannah and I will be taking the night sleeper bus to Nh Trang, further south on the coast. The journey should take 12 hours with us arriving for 6.30 am. Nh Trang is famed for its clear sea waters so more sunbathing and snorkelling will be on the cards before our trip inland to Dalat.


Jason and Hannah

Tags: Markets

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