This central Vietnam town is one of themost beautiful in the country, with stunningly well- preserved architecture from its centuries as an important trading port. Wandering the bustling, winding streets is like stepping back in time: there are no modern developments, and almost all the original homes, temples and bridges have been conserved. At night, the riverside is alive with floating lanterns, which happy old ladies sell to tourists for wishes before inviting them into their rickety boats for a water release. Aside from all this, it’s also a great place to shop and eat! Here are some of our must-dos. HAPPY HOI AN

TAILORING TIPS Hoi An isn’t huge; a grid of six or seven streets make up its centre, all of them lined with restaurants, bars, galleries … and tailors. Oh-so-many tailors. This is one of the main reasons why many people visit this Vietnam town: to return to their own more-expensive shores armed with dozens of made-to-measure outfits that have been whipped up for small change!

• Follow a recommendation – there are hundreds of tailors

• Make time for a fitting and alterations a few hours before you collect • Feel free to ignore the terrible 1990s catalogues in all the stores! • Ask to see the full range of material – there’s often more out the back • The more visuals you can show, the better – these talented ladies can sew anything • All prices are negotiable, but it’s more about agreeing on deals than haggling hard; we suggest asking for three items for the price of two, or for a 30 percent discount

Top five stores • Viet Town Silk, 127 Phan Chau Trinh Street • A Dong Silk, 62 Tran Hung Dao Street • BeBe, 13 Hoang Dieu Street • Yaly Couture (high end), 358 Nguyen Duy Hieu Street • Minh Khang (shoes), 732 Hai Ba Trung Street

PRIVATE JOURNEYS | DESIGNER HOLIDAYS | BESPOKE TRAVEL | UNIQUE LODGING | KNOWLEDGEABLE GUIDES Specialising in Indochina, China, Japan, India and the Himalayas, Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Russia and Eastern Europe and Polar Voyages SINGAPORE | (65) 6334 6120 | | #04-20/21 Tanglin Shopping Centre HONG KONG | (852) 2525 9199 | | 20/F Crystal Commercial Building, 46 Lyndhurst Terrace



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