Hoi An in Vietnam is a photographers dream. On every street are local vendors in conical hats selling freshly made noodles. Bright purple flowers overhang balconies and boats creak along the muddied river. Elegant temples break up the rows of ancient houses belonging to old Vietnamese families.
I would wake early each morning and eat a slow breakfast of tropical fruit before wandering down Hoi An’s winding back roads with my camera ready, photographing charms and couples, parks and postcards. I wouldn’t last long in the sweltering sun before seeking shelter and a lemongrass ice-cream (find it at morning glory street food restaurant).
Night – if possible – gets even prettier. Lanterns float in doorways
casting blobs of colour like a man made rainbow and people stroll out of restaurants with full bellied satisfaction. Hoi An has a romantic soul, one that despite the influx of tourism, still retains its heart and spirit.
Hoi An has some of the most pleasurable dining experiences in Southeast Asia. You can’t go wrong with morning glory restaurant and the cargo club. I devoured one splendid meal after another at these two restaurants and they are among my favourite establishments in Asia.
There were shops after shops of tailors with beautiful dresses and coats peeking out of store doorways. I stepped in and a very patient (and I can't stress enough how patient) lady plonked me down in front of a laptop and waited while I spent hours trawling through hundreds of google images of skirts and dresses. Once I had chosen the image (I have no idea how they are able to create a pattern from a photograph) I was measured and chose a fabric among hundreds with just a little guidance from the tailor.
A mere 24 hours later the dress was complete and it fit perfectly. I paid $50 for it, which I could have bartered down, but for the work that went into it I was happy to pay the quoted price.
Hoi An is just one of those places that I can’t get enough of. One day I plan to return with Jack and introduce a potential new fan to Vietnam.