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Handmade in Hoi An

Just one of the hundreds of tailor shops in Hoi An

Have you ever designed your own coat? Had every seam catered to the curve of your body…or leather shoes made from a print traced specifically around your foot, ready to wear within 24 hours!? I certainly can’t say that I have…but I could definitely get used to it after a trip to Hoi An! This city is famous for its tailoring & the reputation is well deserved!

Hoi An is a quaint Vietnamese city located on the coast, about halfway between Saigon and Hanoi. It feels like you’ve gone back in time when you walk through the ancient town centre, with traditional wooden homes that have so much character and detail. It is a wonderful little town centre to walk through-cars are not allowed so it’s quite a bit more calm than the other Vietnamese cities we’ve visited. It is very possible to spend the entire day roaming through the central area, visiting beautiful Chinese Pagodas, sipping ice coffees in the quaint little cafes along the river and for us…most importantly, SHOPPING!!

Jackie and I ditched the boys and spent our first morning, basically in total awe, overwhelmed by all the stores. Row upon row of shops displayed everything from trendy winter coats, to evening gowns, suits and just about any item of clothing you can imagine. When you go inside, you can choose what you want to have made and customize it however you like. I had decided that my one big splurge would be a new winter coat & Jackie agreed she could use a new one too. We found a store that had a coat we liked and had a blast picking out our material, and creating all the details of the coat. Twenty-four hours and just forty-five dollars later, our coats were ready to pick up. It was about 28 degrees in Hoi An so we didn’t get to show them off, but now I can look forward to winter!!

Picking up our coats. So exciting!!

The boys spoil us with Valentine's Day flowers

Our time in Hoi An happened to fall over Valentine’s Day so we decided to make a special night of it and signed up for one of the many cooking classes hosted at one of the local restaurants along the river. We had read that the instructor at Goian Cookery was a ton of fun so we chose to go with them and were not disappointed. We were allowed to choose four dishes so we went with a banana flower salad, lemon grass shrimp, chicken in banana leaf and eggplant in clay pot. Each dish was AMAZING!!!

Baby bananas that we took out of the banana flower before slicing it for the salad.

Ms Hanh taught us how to use fish sauce (yes, it smells just like you’d imagine but it actually tastes very good when used correctly), oyster sauce, fresh lemon grass and her special recipe of chilli sauce to create the flavours that makes Vietnamese cuisine so tasty. Ms Hanh had a fun way of getting each of us involved, including naming us after the ingredients we were in charge of adding. I must say I was a little disappointed to be named Mrs.Fish Sauce…Rick got to be Mr. Soya Sauce and I would have traded him in a second!

Gioan Cookery Class

Banana Flower Salad

At night, Hoi An was even more beautiful. Lanterns hung from the trees along the streets, lit up in all different colours and the two main bridges across the river were also glowing.

Hoi An Bridge at night. Courtesy of

We couldn’t leave Hoi An without accepting a ride in a traditional boat from one of the smiley village women. Our driver looked like she was simply loving life as she toured us around.

Just cruisin

The happiest canoe driver in Hoi An. Notice the toe socks...they're great for flip flops!

We also had a chance to find out what it would be like to be one of the fruit sellers. I think these ladies are carrying about 30 pounds of fruit and they’re half my size!

Is that Rick Enns selling fruit?? I thought he sold weiners!






































We spent our entire days in Hoi An walking through the ancient town, so we were always happy to escape to the outskirts of town at our little oasis, Bamboo Village.

Bamboo Village by day

Our Bamboo Bungalow-we each had our very own!!

Silk robes for the Enns folks

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5 Responses to “Handmade in Hoi An”

  1. D.J. - The World of Deej February 23, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    Sounds like a great few days to me. I’ve always wanted a nice winter coat (although we live in Florida) maybe that’s a good excuse to put Hoi An on my list:)
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..How I Can Save For Travel

    • Skott February 25, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

      Sounds like a good enough reason to us!! :)

      Thanks for visiting.

  2. Diane March 12, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    It looks like they having a good relaxation this place its good for the whole family..Thanks for sharing this beautiful place..
    Diane recently posted..Looking For A New Jersey Bed Bug Exterminator? Tired of Sleepless Nights from Bed Bugs? Afraid To Sleep In You Own Bed Due to Bed Bugs?

    • Skott March 16, 2012 at 9:47 am #

      You are right Diane – this is indeed a wonderful little town. Something very different from the rest of Vietnam and we loved it!! (Especially the girls!!)

  3. Chrystal McKay March 16, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

    I LOVE the photo of the happiest canoe driver! What a great photo! I LOVED Hoi An. One of my favourite places I’ve ever visited!

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