Day 6-7 // Hoi An – Lanterns, new clothes and the best beef noodle soup ever
Currently delayed at the airport so no better time to blog! Hoi An has definitely been our favourite place so far; very picturesque, much less busy and it was the full moon lantern festival – Rach has planned our whole trip around this specific date.
We arrived 6am off the bus and headed to the hotel in a taxi, grabbing on to the rucksacks so they didn’t fall out the boot. By 7.20 we were able to get into our room and freshen up ready to hit the town for a full day of exploring. As it’s famous for tailoring, Herry had fully planned to get a jacket made by one of the shops – the girls and I had no intentions whatsoever of getting anything but boy were we wrong about that haha.
After an iced coffee and a fresh 9.30am (30p) beer we went to a shop recommended by a local – she’d had her wedding dress and husband’s suit made there 8years previously, it also happened to be the same shop where a lady, I’d spoken to in the street, worked. We were instantly surrounded by the ladies, offering us water, a seat and fashion catalogues and iPads to search for ideas. I hadn’t realised you could literally get everything and anything made. Before we knew it, all three of us girls were picking coat designs, colours and lining fabric. We were measured up and our choices checked. They promised it would be ready the following day before we left but asked us to pop in later on for a first fitting to check for any alterations. The leather shop was next where Rosie and Herry ordered some shoes – amazing how quickly they’re made.
Next stop for the day was food – we munched our way through a variety at a market stall. Then headed out by the river to see the bridges and check out the gorgeous scenery. Really pretty, especially the view from across the river in An Hoi, where we paused for a sit down and a drink a bit later on. The markets were cool, offering everything from pillowcases and crockery to food and carrot flower makers – I was stopped from buying one of those haha.
That evening the streets were lit up with lanterns everywhere. We popped back to get our clothes fitted and the girls having seen my trousers decided to get some too – they were great at cross selling in there haha. Rach was ecstatic about her new coat, it fitted her 69cm length arms veryyy well.
The lantern festival is celebrated every 14th day of the lunar month. Loads of tourists visit Hoi An to see such a beautiful celebration. We strolled through the old town, trying to take pictures of it but non of them did the scene any justice. Hundreds of tiny lanterns filled the river, giving the person who set it to sail luck, love and happiness. We set ours to sail during a boat ride before wondering the streets for the night market. The streets were lit up, no vehicles allowed and no streetlights were on giving it a very authentic Vietnamese feel.
Dinner was delicious and we followed this with a few beverages and numerous games of Jenga. It was really lively out so we boogied with other travellers until the wee hours.
Our final fitting for our coats etc was this morning, so we cycled to the town and checked out our new gear. Then some relaxing time at the beach and lunch. Rach and I had the nicest Beef Noodle Soup we’ve had so far, mmm.
Now we’re en route to Hanoi and Halong Bay tomorrow for a boat trip – very exciting!