Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Tailor, Farming and Food - Hoi An

Landing in Hoi An wasn't much of shopping for us, but more of food exploration. There really isn't much to shop especially when you talk about fashion, design or being modern. We got around to eating, trying their local delicacies which were really good! And if you are shopping around, do remember to bargain! We managed to bargain down to more than 70% for some items. It's crazy how prices are marked up high for negotiation.

If you had like some tailored wear, then it is also best to visit a tailor shop the first day you are in Hoi An. Give 3 days of buffer to get your clothes complete. You will have to go for fitting in between before collecting your final pieces. I came with designs, wanting to explore outfits for our family of five, but they didn't turn out well. And I didn't feel it was as cheap as I had thought or read around. We spent USD170 for our set of five pieces.

It was probably difficult to visualise something big, base on the fabric samples provided. We had to fit a single fabric type for both man and woman, boys and girl to get a family matchy set.

The ladies' tailored design

The boys and man tailored design

Looks like the pieces will sit in our wardrobe for some time before we look at it differently again. Nonetheless, the daughter loves hers alot! My only comfort.

Our friend had a few tops and bottom tailored, and they turned out perfect for her! It really is about choosing the right fabric, design and colour. But I feel the pricing can get you some good fit off the stores too. So tailor something you really think is unique, which may come with some risk though.

Fabric varies stores to stores. Most prints and patterns are not be fashion looking to me, choosing a single colour will be a safe choice. 

Fabric designs

We tailored our pieces at Kimmy. Probably the only tailor store that is air conditioned! Their pieces are all tailored within store. The good part is that, no middle man is involved. Who you speak to is likely the person who sees through everything.

KIMMY CUSTOM TAILOR STORE
70 TRAN HUNG DAO STREET, HOI AN, VIETNAM
(+84) 235 3862 063 | INFO@KIMMYTAILOR.COM
OPEN 7 days per week – 8am - 10PM
Telephone: (+84) 235 3862 063 
Email: info@kimmytailor.com


VEGETABLE FARMING
Doing Hoi An is very much equivalent to going back to the primitive ways of living. We did farming on 2 separate days. On the first day, we booked a vegetable farming tour with Tra Que Garden. The tour package comes with a tour around their vegetable farm, introducing the types of plants they have, as well as the traditional and modern farming methods. After which, there was buffalo riding, hands on planting, foot and shoulder massage, followed by an awesome lunch spread! Our guide spoke good English and was very engaging. 

Love those hats provided

Buffalo riding

Vegetable planting

In for foot spa!

We really loved this tour, and the kids enjoyed it thoroughly! The package includes pick up and return to hotel. Totally worth it! We highly recommend this tour. Lunch provided was really really good!

Tra Que Garden
USD 22 per pax
Half price for kids, 6 to 10
Free for kids below 6
Thôn Trà Quế, Đường Hai Bà Trưng, Xã Cẩm Hà, Hội An, Quảng Nam.
(+84) 902 866 603 – Mr. Hòa (Jamie)
(+84) 934 861 007 – Mrs. Hiền (Helen)
info@traquegarden.com

 
RICE FARMING 
We spent another day with Hoi An Village Experience, where we took on their Farming and Fishing life experience tour. The package tour included, pick up and return at hotel, lunch/dinner (depending on the time tour you booked), buffalo ride, basket boat ride, rice plating and bicycles! Yes, we cycled. It was a decision we pondered for long. Considering a toddler in tow and our inactive nature in sports, I wasn't sure if we can cover a 7km cycle! The kids trained for it though, we did a few cycling weekends to prep for this day. 

Only thing was, you will be riding alongside a massive traffic of motor vehicles. This did freak Jazz much, and we dismounted after a 3km ride. At the paddy field. Not too bad, I thought. There wasn't a small enough bicycle for Jare, so he pillion-ed behind the man. While I took Juboy on a child seat behind my bicycle.


Alongside motor vehicles

Into the paddy field

Our guide was really nice to have arranged taxi to transport us to our next destination, from where we dismounted. At no additional cost.

Our first stop was at the rice paddy to meet the buffalo and do some labour work. After which we took a taxi to embark on our basket boat ride to 'fish' for crabs. Then we did some walking to our guide's house for lunch.


Even with a napping baby

Buffalo feeding

Planting in the paddy

Basket boat riding

The basket boat ride was a hot and sleepy one. The swaying of it must have stimulated that of rock a bye baby effect. Do not forget those shades and sunscreen! If not, those Vietnamese hats provided are good too. We caught some crabs along our ride, but they are definitely not meant for lunch.

After embarking from the basket boat, we took a 5 minutes walk to our guide's house. Where he gave us a go on his antique rice grinder, and thought us how to cook crispy pancake (Ban Xiao). Lunch was at the mean time prepared for us.

Grinding rice water

Cooking crispy pancake

Lunch!

Lunch was great, but we thought it was not as delicious as the one we had with Tra Que tour. After lunch, we were transported back to our hotel with an arranged taxi. By then, you will definitely appreciate the air con in your room!

Most tours comes with drinking water. You may carry light.

Hoi An Village Experience
Price: 700,000 vnd (approx SGD 41)/ person (Group Tour)
Children from 5 to 11 years old pay half price
Time: From 8:30am to 1.00 pm or 2:00 pm – 6:30 pm


FOOD
Street food may not be advisable for consumption, as advised by the hotel. And especially that you are traveling with kids. Nonetheless, we did try a few street at the night market. We went for those that needs to be cooked over high heat, but ice cream, the kids needed it!

Street food galore

Other than the very satisfying meal at Tra Que, two other restaurants, Morning Glory and Thanh Phuong are much worth the calories too! 

Vietnamnese coffee we had at Morning Glory was very good. Left us a memorable taste.

These are the delicacies we ordered at Thanh Phuong. Chicken rice which our friend ordered was amazingly good. Just don't think Hainanese when eating it. It's a total different twist. White rose, crispy pancake and fried wanton were good too. But its pho was not to the kids' liking.

Food galore at Thanh Phuong


A few shops from the right of the restaurant, we had our foot massage. It was so rejuvenating!


Morning Glory Restaurant
106 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Hoi An, Vietnam
+84 (0510)  2241 555


Thanh Phuong Restaurant
29 Nguyen Phuc Chu, Hoi An, Vietnam
+84 510 3910 877
(Near Hoi An night market)


So yeap, this sums up our Vietnam vacation. It definitely is not the most conducive travel if you have young children along. It depends much on your level of comfort. The streets are always crowded with humans, having a stroller along is almost impossible. Road crossings are chaotic, with no proper traffic lights. It is always a dare challenge when crossing a massive road!

The kids did enjoy themselves thoroughly, especially farming! Travelling with buddies made it even more enjoyable! I realised that we have always been travelling to the developed countries with mega theme parks and malls, but not much to the less developed countries where there is no big shopping malls, no theme parks, not even a supermarket in sight or a baby care room. So if you run out of diapers, I have no idea where to get them. Pack sufficiently!

And when changing room is not in sight, you will have to make do with the next ideal place to change diaper. We spotted a bench.

When your toddler took a poop and there's no changing room

It was a good opportunity to experience and discover more during this trip! And with this, we end our three part adventure update to Danang and Hoi An, Vietnam.

Other part series:
1. Bana Hills, Danang
2. Hoi An, Vietnam - Sunrise Premium Resort