Hoi An

We try to make it a point to visit one other country during our annual trips back to Singapore. Last year, Stu wanted to go somewhere so he can "just do nothing", and I wanted to do some exploring. In the end, we decided to visit Vietnam. We stayed at the sleepy seaside town of Da Nang where we lazed around the pool and got massaged into oblivion  (more on that in another post). And we also made a few day trips to the old town of Hoi An as happy sightseers, so it was win-win.
Hoi An is an ancient town with beautiful architecture with Chinese and Japanese influence, largely intact from the 19th to 20th century. I was nervous about crossing roads and got a little bit stressed out at the constant beeping from motorcycles. However, at various hours of the day (I forget which exactly), the roads are closed to vehicles. We timed it so that we were always in a restaurant eating when the streets were crazy busy. Once the streets were closed, we strolled leisurely on the streets and looked at all the town has to offer.
Local food was SO GOOD. The ample use of herbs meant the dishes were light and fresh. We had vietnamese pancakes, dumplings, pork rolls and several types of noodles and EVERYTHING was so cheap and tasty. It was here that I tasted some of the most delicious Vietnamese noodles I have ever eaten. My mouth's watering just thinking about it.
Hoi An is home to some 500 tailors, so I decided I to get a few dresses made there. I did my research prior and printed some photos of dresses that I liked. Our hotel recommended Bebe Tailor, and since it reviewed really well on Tripadvisor, we decided that's where we would go.

Bebe stocks some really beautiful fabrics - from silks, silk cotton, linen, cashmere and wool. When I said I would get a few dresses made, I was thinking maybe 3. I ended up with 8! Stu who adamantly said he's shopped enough prior to the trip, ended up with 6 business shirts. All the items were made exactly to our specifications and measurements and I loved handpicking the fabrics for each dress. Bebe also replicated a couple of my mom's favourite tops (which I brought with me), including the elaborate embroidery work on one.

Here, I'm wearing one such dress with Lien from Bebe Tailor, who patiently spent hours with me working out styles and cuts and fabrics.
The streets of Hoi An light up at night with beautiful silk lanterns and floating candles on the river. The vibe was just lovely. The town may be touristy, yes but I still felt that the experience was quite authentic and people, genuine. Would return in a heartbeat.

46 Responses to Hoi An

Janna said...

It looks like a lovely place to visit, colourful and rich of great food! :)

I hope you'll drop by x

Milynn {Love + Whimsy} said...

Such a beautiful town!

oomph. said...

i love the idea of getting tailored clothes!! how exciting! thanks for sharing the photos.

[oomph.]

Rainy Days and Lattes said...

Wow, that is an incredible experience :) Food, culture and endless tailors! I've seen Hoi on travel channel and it's the home of so many good vietnamese food.
Sounds like you had an amazing time. It's priceless that you can replicate your mother's shirts for her :D

Anouka said...

I'd be so curious to visit Vietnam! The food looks great and to have tailor-made clothes sounds like a very good idea as well...

LUXESSED

Marie said...

Oh my! I want to go...
xx Marie

Satin and Souffles said...

Such stunning photos! I want to go so bad! xx

www.satinandsouffles.com
www.satinandsouffles.com

Beauty Box said...

I love Hoi An...it was def one of the highlights of my Vietnam trip about a year ago. My husband was the same....he was so unenthusiastic about visiting the tailor I picked but he ended up with more clothes than me! LOL! Your pic are beautiful....makes me nostalgic for Vietnam.

Briseidy said...

It looks really beautiful! Thanks for sharing

Alice said...

I would love to visit Vietnam one day - you're pictures make it look beautiful. And that food... oh my! Delicious.

Deanne Langford said...

I think it would be a fabulous place to visit!

Rowena @ rolala loves said...

Hoi An certainly looks like the perfect destination for a lazy getaway with lovely things to see and yummy things to eat. How awesome that you were able to get so many pieces tailored for you too :)

Rowena @ rolala loves

Pamela RG said...

So beautiful Trishie. Such a fun trip. I love eating Vietnamese food too. Your specially made dresses must be so pretty.

Michelle said...

I have always wanted to get clothes tailored for me, at least you made the most of it and got plenty to last you through the seasons! I would be tempted to squeeze in my tummy when they did the measurements though - or is it that just me that does that lol.

Sharlynn said...

Wow, looks like such a great trip! I'm sad there'll be little to no time for 'proper' travelling this year for me! Vietnam is a fabulous place, food is fresh and tasty and strong and their tailoring is still very commonly practiced. My mom got quite a few pieces hand made and hand painted when we lived there many years back. ^^

lucent imagery said...

Your dress is divine! I love the idea that they close the streets to cars at certain times. Reminds me crossing streets in Athens or Indonesia - all those horns!

Sarah Jane said...

What an interesting place to visit! The food looks great - and I love the dress :D

Thank-you for sharing!
xx

Ann said...

Your photos of places are beautiful
and those foods look so yum!

little t said...

My friends visited Vietnam last year when I went home and they said it was the best country they've ever been to. I've been dying to go since. The photos look amazing (and I love that Stu picked somewhere to do nothing).

NaNa said...

beautiful pictures of the place, it indeed looks quite authentic ! thanks for sharing that love!

love from the NANA girls xoxo

Mimi said...

these photos are gorgeous! thanks for taking us on a little virtual trip to vietnam, trishie! :)

<3, Mimi
http://whatmimiwrites.blogspot.com/

Bree said...

You had me at lanterns and floating candles. Hoi An sounds lovely! :)

P.S. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

- B
http://vivalabreee.blogspot.com/
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Arni @ Travel Gourmande said...

Would love to explore Vietnam one day. Hoi An looks beautiful and the foodie photos made me hungry. :)

Juanita said...

I want to have tailored dresses too!!!

Prisilia Felicia said...

Vietnam looks like a really lovely place, from your photos it looks really calming haha and yes I think I can sort of imagine how the foods taste like :O you sure had a great time!! Would love to explore Hoi An too<3

Mikelle Jade {The Honeypie Archives} said...

annual trip to singapore? you lucky girl! looks like you had a fun time in hoi an, it looks gorgeous! it makes me ache for summer vacation :) lovely photos, too.

rooth said...

It sounds like a GREAT place and YUM to Vietnamese noodles. Those are pretty much my favourite

Agata said...

it look amazing ! beautiful town :)

http://mindonheels.blogspot.com/

Jeeh Trend said...

Ciao cara, come va?

Te voglio augurare un strepitoso 2013.
Sono tornata con il blog , aspetto la tua visita: http://couturetrend.blogspot.i...
Il Facebook sempre aggiornato: https://www.facebook.com/coutu...

Un grande bacio

honey my heart said...

looks like such a great place to experience. the food is just wow!

Becca @ The Beauty Sample said...

My mom was actually born in Da Nang, so I've always wanted to go there her. It seems like a beautiful place--I really enjoyed your pictures :)

Shelley said...

Awesome pictures! Love the last one of the lanterns! Looks and sounds like a great experience! Thanks for sharing! :)

Pieces of Sunshine said...

What a great place for a holiday! Massages, great food, leisurely walks, custom made clothing.....wonderful.

Elly @ Caribbean Living said...

Wow, this looks like a fab trip! Vietnam is high up on our wishlist, can't wait to go check it out!

Jane said...

Great photos! Love the idea of getting dresses made! Food looks absolutely delicious!

BIKBIK AND RORO said...

O, were you here in Singapore? And gosh, what lovely pictures! Trust you are enjoying the start to a lovely new year :)

helen said...

omgoodness, hoi an looks AMAZING! i have never been to vietnam, but my husband is half vietnamese. though he's never been either, this makes me want to go soon! :)

Meg {henninglove} said...

wow gorgeous photos!! make me want to book a trip there right now

Brittany LeSueur said...

What an adventure! One of these days I hope to travel out of the states! The food looks so good and your dress is beautiful!

fhenny said...

you make me want to visit vietnam! omg everyhitng looks good
xoxo
style frontier

Gracie said...

I want to visit Vietnam. The food sounds amazing and the tailors making custom dresses?! I would love that. What a lovely holiday.

La cucina di Molly said...

Un posto incantevole da visitare, belle le foto e il cibo gustoso come i tipici noodles! Grazie per la condivisione!Ciao

Sam said...

I love the vibrance and flourishing environment as you have pictured here, what an amazing city, filled with grand culture and wonderful food!

Meryl said...

That food looks delicious! You're inspiring me to go search for recipes.

Sarah S. said...

the pictures are so pretty. I love that they close the streets at certain time, I would be streesed out about the traffic too.

josephinechoo said...

I think my next vacation place is Vietnam now..nice place and your dress is so summery! Love it! Xo