Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hoi An

I came here expecting just to enjoy the old town and the riverside and came away with a wedding dress, two evening dresses and a suit! I am really surprised by the quality and how cheap it is to get things made for you. The town is really pretty and has been preserved following UNESCO status in 1999. The only problem is that since then, tourism has become the major source of income so the majority of the old town is now either a cafe, a hotel or a tailor. There are Chinese lanterns everywhere so it is very romantic at night, especially by the river. Also the old town is shut off to traffic so is blessedly quiet (a rare thing in Vietnam). The Vietnamese lady who sold me my dress told me that she works 13 hours a day with 2 days off a month and that is fairly normal. But she took me to the where the tailors were working on my dress and I was relieved to find it was not a sweat shop but a back room in a house with 3 ladies chatting away happily while expertly putting clothes together.

The river

Typical street in the old town

Chaos around the market

One of many temples

An old French colonial streetscape

The river at dusk

The riverside promenade

Chinese lanterns

The Japanese covered bridge in front are a couple advertising getting married in Hoi An

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