Hoi An is located on the central coast of Vietnam. We arrived there around 6:00pm after taking an 18 hour sleeper bus, that really looked like a spaceship. It was surprisingly comfortable, with our own little 6 foot by 1 foot beds. When we arrived in Hoi An we were greeted by the Sunflower Hotel associate holding a sign with my name on it! How convienant! Our hotel was great, we had a balcony on the top floor that over looked the pool and courtyard below! We also had a mini bar, bath tub and a tv All for $20 a night!
The main tourist trap here is tailored clothing. Every store offers to let you design whatever your heart desires, all you have to do is imagine and choose the fabric! So of course on our first day we headed to Mr. Xe which was reccomended to us by 2 of Mikes friends who had been here before. The whole store was wall to wall fabric and Mike being the professioal suit wearer he is, had no hesitations. As you can see from the pictures he chose a brown suit with purple silk lining, tailored for only him for a whopping $130! Not bad for a hand made suit!
I on the other hand, have no sense in fashion or design, so it took a bit longert for be to decide what i would spend my precious dollars on. Of course everything looks good on the models in the catalogues, but I have some more curves to work with! However, with Mikes patience, and knowledge he was able to explain all the different styles for me, and I ended up choosing a black pant suit with Pink satin lining, along with a fantastic Purple winter coat all for $160. (Pictures available soon). After I got a taste of what this tailoring was all about it was VERY difficult to just walk by the stores and no run in and get every dress made specifically for me!
We spent the 2nd day biking along the rice paddies, swimming in the China Sea, and frying in the sun. After a sweaty hot day, we went and got messages. But these were not your average asian message, we went to a blind message school, where we paid $5 for a 60-min message by someone who was blind! All the proceeds go to help them with their lives, and helping them become more independant. The stories of how they lost their sight were heart wrenching . My woman became blind around 10 years old due to Measle complications, and Mikes masseuse lost his sight due to a bomb explosion during the American War ( Vietnam War). How easily could both of these been prevented if it was in America.
On our last night, we had dinner at Ms. Huang’s. Mike stumbled upon her little cafe earlier in the week, and we ended up dining there 3x! After dinner, we were strolling down the street, when all of a sudden all the street lights and cafe lights went out! The entire town become candle light!! It was the MOST ROMANTIC and surprising setting, it almost didnt feel real! We had no idea that the town was celebrating Earth Hour, where they shut down all electricity for 60 minutes, in an act to be more earth friendly. In order to support this cause, and help make the town look more enchanting, we bought 2 floating candles made a wish and let them float away downthe river. It was truly such a unique, charming, and serene experience that made Magical Hoi An seem like a fairy tale come true. If you want to fall in love go to Hoi An!