Blog Day 70-74 Fri 15th-Tues 19th July 2011
We get up in time (just about) for the included breakfast, turns out to be quite nice (Omelets, toast, Thai noodles & seasonal fruit). We decide to take a walk into Hoi Ann Ancient Old Town using a map the hotel has given us. We are particularly looking for a place called Yaly Couture (where the Top Gear boys had their clothes made) to look into having a Dress & Suit made for ourselves .The town itself is only about a 15min walk away it's a nice little quaint town, people are friendly enough & not to in your face with the whole taxi & buy from my shop etc. thing. We find Yaly Couture & find out that this is 1 of 3 shops (we make a note to find these at a later date). Dan has decided to get a 3 piece suit and a couple of shirts made. Trish previously had no idea what kind of dress she was after. There was only one person we could think off that would be up to such a challenge. The lovely Miss Kara! After 'painfully' trawling though various websites and catalogues (we know she loved it really), Kara sent through a few designs for Trish to consider. She picked out one and put it to the girls at Yaly.
We ended up being in here for about 4 hours choosing the materials, linings & designs before finally getting measured up. We are told to come back tomorrow for Dan to have his first fitting. We are amazed by the fact that they want us back at 10am the following morning. It's almost 5pm by the time everything is sorted and the shop closes at 9. Someone is going to be working hard tonight.
We head to a restaurant that is recommended by the Lonely Planet Guide, it's not all that but there is a slightly western social feel and the food is ok.
So 10am arrives & there we are sitting at Yaly Couture waiting for Dan's first fitting. When we see the suit, it looks great, nothing to fancy and plenty of pockets for packs of cards. He tries it on & they chalk on all the adjustments that they think need making to it. Whilst here Dan decided to have some shoes made to accompany his suit, so an hour later he has chosen what he would like & his feet are measured (though they only just fit on the paper for the guy to draw around). We have to go back at 5pm for Trish to see her dress so we hang around the town & find the other Yaly shops, as soon as we walk into the one that the Top Gear boys went into they start talking about BBC & how funny they were. We find a little café called Tam Tam's (Trish was drawn in by the array of cakes on display). Chocolate milkshake & cinnamon crepes to die for!
After this we run out of town to look around so we go back to Yaly early so that Trish can look at designs of shoes to match the dress, of course this is no fun for Dan & he ends up finding another material he likes for a shirt. The dress comes out & looks stunning, the color is beautiful however it seems to have been made almost 3 times Trish's size so some pretty major adjusting is needed, along with a little redesigning to get it exactly how she wants it. That is the good thing with Yaly, they won't let you leave until you are satisfied with the finished product. We have heard of other people having clothes made in some of the other tailors in town, and after the first fitting the shops are reluctant to make any other alterations. Hoi Ann is FULL of tailors so reputation is everything, and although Yaly may be a little more expensive than some of the others, we are defiantly happy with the service we are getting. Dinner is at Tam Tam's, an awesome Green Curry (the best we have found so far).
We have a real lie in today making the most of the fact that WE CAN!!! The fact that we haven't even been bothered to go out & get food or even order room service speaks volumes for how lazy we are being today. We have a little supply bag, that is topped up regularly with the contents consiting of M&Ms, Pot Noodles and Pringles it doesn't long, but gets us by when needed. This morning the supply bag takes a hammering, Oreos for breakfast & Pringles (Sour Cream & Onion) for lunch. Hmm……. What will dinner bring? After checking our e-mails & Facebook & sorting out some washing we head into town again. An afternoon snack of a chocolate Mousse cake at Tam Tam's then a 4pm appointment at Yaly's to see the suit & dress. They are both looking good; both require some more adjustments at their recommendation. We get back to the hotel, shower & settle down when we get a call asking if we can head back to Yaly again for Trish's adjustments on the dress & also for her to choose the finishing touches. Once all is agreed & finalized it's a Pot Noodle for dinner & time to watch movie. We have some popcorn still in our bag that has travelled with us all the way from South Africa. We chance our arm and ask the staff if we can use the microwave in the kitchen. They ask us what for and we tell them we want to cook some popcorn, on hearing this they disappear and bring us back a bowl of lemons! WORK THAT ONE OUT! Answers on a postcard!
All gets sorted out and before long we are sprinkling butter salt on some hot popcorn and getting into Couples Retreat.
Today is reveal day for our garments. The girls at Yaly must have had a late one again as Trish's dress required individual 'gems' to be stitched onto it. More than just a few of them. The results are amazing, the shoes, the suit, the shirts, and the dress all came out so well. The girls here really couldn't have gone out of their way anymore than they did. For the countless visits for adjustments, they always had a smile & a bottle of water for a greeting, and all this made in just 3 days along with them being extremely busy anyway. We get back & have a little fashion show & are both very pleased with the results, now we will be looking forward to going to the Magic Castle when we arrive in America & hopefully having more reasons in the future to wear our new tailor made clothes.
We have arranged to meet up with some of the guys we met on our Halong Bay trip as they arrived in Hoi Ann last night (Madeline, John, Ben & Lizzy). We meet in none other than Tam Tam's for a drink. They have hired bicycles & as you can seat 2 people (uncomfortably I might add) on them, they let us use one & we head to the beach where we have lunch at a place called Mama Ly, a seafood beach restaurant that they have been recommended. Mama Ly herself is a fantastic, lively old bird who keeps slapping Dan because he can't make up his mind on the menu. The food is delicious (awesome spring rolls) & it's nice to have some great company after our bad time getting here. After a swim in the sea & a touch of sunbathing we cycle back to the town and part company. Tonight we head out of Hoi Ann & onto Nha Trang we just hope that the bus journey won't be as complicated as the last one.