|ABOVE| French Connection top (old) // Vagamundo pants // Birkenstock sandals // TOMS sunglasses // Hathamade necklace // bag and bracelets from Sapa, Vietnam
I think the best comparison of Hoi An would be the “Disney of Vietnam.” Only in the past decade or so has this become quite the tourist destination and shopping mecca, so when our trip was planned by our family friend that’s a native to the country, she didn’t want to spend much time there. I can see why. I definitely saw more foreigners than locals hanging out in the streets of the French Quarter, the old city of Hoi An that was once part of the Silk Road and now is filled with shops and tourist attractions.
Still, there was no denying the charm, beauty, and even the history of this port city. The silk lanterns that filled the shops and lined the streets were colorful eye candy, especially at night, when they all were lit up and the streets were filled with the hustling of tourists and motorbikes. I constantly was dodging one or the other as I couldn’t help from looking up and taking pictures (as you can see!).
Of course my favorite destination in this region was hands down going to Yaly, a store that makes custom couture clothing on the spot. I met with a salesperson who took my hubby and I around the shop to pick out fabrics, silks and blends with silks, for the designs we wanted. We had our measurements taken and they give you an infinite amount of design options with books that have styles they can copy, but they just as easily took the Elizabeth & James suit I had on my iphone, as well as the Armani tux and another suit found in GQ that my hubby wanted. You can see the beautiful result here, which they made in just one evening for us, after a few fittings.
The tailors even worked until midnight to make sure we received our order before leaving for the next city the following morning, so we were there late enough to see the entire city of Hoi An shut down promptly at 9:30pm. All of the lights of the lanterns go out then and the tourists are back in their hotels. It’s similar to what I imagine seeing Disneyland is like after hours is like. The magic is not quite the same without all of the energy of the lights and people.