We all bought a 75,000VND ticket for the Unesco World Heritage site that is Hoi An’s ancient city. The ticket permits viewing of one museum, one assembly hall, one ancient house, one temple, the handicraft workshop and the Japanese covered bridge. I visited the Museum of History and Culture (which is basically a room full of uncoverec artifacts and took me all of five minutes to view) and Quan Cong Temple nextdoor, which was a more interesting site and displayed many Chinese influences including carp-shaped rain spouts on the roof surrounding the courtyard. The carp is a symbol of patience is Chinese mythology and is popular throughout Hoi An. I also wandered around the corner (I love the fact that Hoi An’s old town is so compact) to the Handicraft Workshop, where craftsmen and women make lanterns, sculpt wood carvings and cast silver to create jewellery and ornaments.Hoi An truly is a shopper’s paradise. There are some fantastic art galleries where local artists create beautiful pictures that capture the essense of Vietnam or excellent copies of famous paintings by well known international artists. You can also by silk bags, ties, scarves, gloves, and purses, along with lanterns, wood carvings, wall hangings, jewellery, beautifully crafted bowls and plates, and obviously as many items of clothing and pairs of shoes as you can fit in your suitcase. Rob even bought another holdall to fit all his purchases in!
It’s a wierd sensation buying clothing that we’ve been unable to try on and not even seen, but overall we were all pleased with the outcome of our garments, especially the items we’d ordered at Phuong Nam. My top and skirt (made out of aubergine coloured Vietnamese silk) had been made exactly as i’d designed it and imagined it to look.
The plan this evening was to get dolled up in our new garments and go for a nice meal, but Tasha and Emma were frightened of damaging their clothes (as they needed their dresses for a wedding when they returned home), and my top and skirt still needed hemming, so we abolished the nice meal idea and ate at Bo Bo’s again. Nevertheless, Rob went out suited and booted and I accompanied him in my baggy ali ba ba pants and semi-smart Vietnamese silk and linen top. Before we’d even reached the end of the road, Rob had received numerous comments about how handsome he looked – mainly from young female Vietnamese shop assistants!
After our meal (or rather, after the football match that all but Tasha and I were intent on watching), we headed over to Treats Bar for a few beers and games of Pool. It wasn’t exactly a treat in Treats, because as soon as the clock struck 11pm, the staff became a little too keen to evict us from the premises, so much so that they were removing the pool balls from the pockets as we potted them!
Photo is of a typical street scene in Hoi An’s old town.