There are less people, less traditional touristy things and a slower pace.
While Hoi An, Vietnam still has a pretty solid tourist gig happening, it's a nice place to take a few paces back from the crazy that is big city Asia.
We arrived in Hoi An after our cruise in the northern part of the country. We flew from Hanoi to DaNang and our amazing hotel sent a car for us. I would absolutely stay at the same hotel the next time. (It's just far enough out of the busier city center and not too far from the beach.)
We spent our first day wandering into town, looking around and poking in and out of tailoring shops. We borrowed the hotel's bikes and easily cruised into the main part of town. We planned our stay in Hoi An to have enough time to get some clothes made at some different shops, which was three nights and four full days.
We ended up getting things made at two different shops: one very high end and one random one. I had some pictures with me of things I had in mind. I had an eye on a couple shops in advance, but, in the moment, we went with the places that made us feel the most comfortable.
The high end shop quickly looked at my pictures and knew what fabrics they would use and could answer my questions. So this seemed to be the right place. I had a wool coat, a crepe romper and a dress made. I paid $275 USD for all of it combined. Overall, I thought that was a pretty good price. We had several fittings here and the process took the whole length of our stay.
|trying on my charcoal wool coat.|
The lower end shop was able to turn our requests around in 24 hours. Of course, here, we picked from dresses and things she already had made as samples and picked the fabric we wanted. Then we were measured and told to return the following day. Each dress here ran about $20 USD, more or less.
|the 'less' expensive shop|
|I must say, I love this romper.|
It happened that our first night in Hoi An was my birthday. Seems that our hotel took note of this when making a copy of my passport and after dinner that night this is what we discovered:
|39 and counting.|
While in Hoi An we also took a bike ride out to the beach. The sand was super hot, but the water was quite refreshing!
|don't worry, only one person offered to thread our leg hair while on the beach|
Since I was quite the veteran motorbike rider after our stay in Laos, we planned a Vespa tour across the Hoi An countryside. It was so much fun. We made several stops, including one at the home of a woman who weaves mats and a coffee bean roasting house. This is a highly recommended option in Vietnam!
|so much fun.|
|prisma app. super fun.|
we walked across this bridge.
i hated it.
|we got to weave with these ladies.|
We also met up with our Australian friends from the Halong Bay cruise for dinner one night.
|aussie friends. we had a lot of fun with them.|
shout out to Rowan and Alex!
|lots of lanterns for sale in hoi an.|
And we took a photography tour. We didn't love it, if we're honest. However, we did shoot some interesting things and we did like photographing these faces up close and personal.
We ate here. It was amazing. And local. So you should eat here too. They'll teach you how to eat their meal. There is no menu. You get what they serve.
We also ate here, here, here, here, and here. We liked them all. The white rose appetizer at the last place...awesome. The food at Mango Rooms...yum! Really, we found it hard to go wrong in Hoi An.
Links for the hotel and tours we took are earlier in the post. I can't stress enough how much we loved our hotel, Hoi An Holiday Villas. Please stay there. And tell them we said hello.