Hoi An

19 10 2009
Hoi An

Hoi An

We made it to the unique town of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage town with old architecture that was not bombed during Vietnam’s turbulent past.  The other great thing is that as a UNESCO designated town, the local government has restricted vehicle access in the historic quarter.  The result is a very nice town that has become a mecca for tourists coming to visit the town and the many tailors that thrive on the steady stream of tourists.

Custom fitted wool/cashmere suit: $65

Custom fitted wool/cashmere suit: $65

We shopped around for a tailor but then met up with some French-Canadians we met in Hanoi, and they recommended one shop, Mekong Tailors, they had just been to for some great clothes.  We spent one day here looking over fabrics, options and styles and then getting measured.  We came back the next day to see how well the clothes fit (very well) and order some more.   And then bought more the next day.

New suit

New suit

We enjoyed getting our clothes from Phuc and Van (Mekong Tailors) and all the excellent fancy clothing they made for us.  They say they will keep our measurements and so we can buy clothing from them in the future over the internet.   We are sending home a large box of custom made clothing.  Jason bought two new suits (wool/cashmere) and some silk/cotton custom fitted shirts for when we eventually return and get real jobs.  Alexa also bought work suits, about 3 jackets ($30 – $45),  3 blazers, 2 dresses, some shirts and a bathing suit, most items cost between $10 for a cotton shirt to $25 for a lined blazer.   The custom wool Cashmere suits cost $65 (although the three piece suit cost $85), and the silk/cotton custom shirts cost $12.  It will cost us about $50 to ship all these clothes home.

Mark high on the wall of the flood level

Mark high on the wall of the flood level

The people here in Hoi An had a big typhoon about two weeks ago, and many shops and buildings along the riverfront were flooded.  But the people here are resilient and pro-active.  They cleaned the city and opened for business so quickly that we can hardly even tell that there was a typhoon just a few days ago.  Well, except one restaurant has a mark on the wall where the flood waters reached.  Most of the shop owners will tell you how high the water was.  But flooding is fairly common here, so they take the goods up to the second floor, clean up when the flood waters recede, and then re-open.  They don’t wait around for aid agencies or the government, they just take care of themselves.  Now that we are away from the main cities, the people driving here are much more sane when compared to those in China or Hanoi (we even see people signaling before turning)  and everyone in Vietnam is required to wear a helmet while driving a scooter (and they even comply!).  The traffic here is much less frantic and makes for a much more relaxed experience.

Alexa in the rain

Alexa in the rain

While we were here, we experienced some of the downpours, and the streets quickly filled with water and the river began to creep into the streets nearby.   No typhoons or flooding, just the standard rain for the Vietnamese rainy season.

Hoi An specialties

Hoi An specialties

We did a cooking class here as well, and learned to make spring rolls, lemon grass fish and a papaya salad.  We ate all our dishes and they were excellent.  We met up with some friends Sam and Laura we met in China and feasted at a great place run by this awesome old lady who had this crazy laugh.  She was really sweet and made cheap, and good food right near our hotel.

****click to enlarge photos***

Picture 019




4 responses

19 10 2009
Aunt Ann

Hi Jason and Alexa:

Late Happy Birthday Jason! Love that purple jacket Alexa!
The Great American Race TV Show was just in Viet Nam several weeks ago.
Local News: They found Jaycee Dugard living on the outskirts of Antioch. She was abducted back in 1991. There is a good article on her and her two kids in People Magazine. She was originally from Lake Tahoe, Take Care,
Aunt Ann

20 10 2009
Grammy& Grandad

Dear Alexa and Jason,
Your business atire looks great. I’m supprised that you are thinking of “real jobs”. I thought that you have been gone sooo long that you didn’t really remember what your upcoming responsibilities in the USA might entail. We, of course, want you to come back soon for the selfish pleasure of hearing your stories. So, enjoy yourself and create more stories.
Love, Grammy and Grandad

22 10 2009

Don’t think about the real world too soon! 🙂 Glad your having fun, can’t believe it’s already holiday season and you’ve been gone 10 months! Meeting my mom and Jenny for some fall fun this weekend – pumpkin patch and Apple Farm! Have fun!

31 07 2011

Hoi An is such a beautiful place…

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