Into Craft visits Vietnam
A visit to Vietnam is guaranteed to overload the senses, and delight anyone who appreciates handmade crafts and traditional textiles. If you’re an armchair traveller, sit back and enjoy these images. By Judy Newman
If you’re looking for your next travel destination and love craft then shibori, lacquer ware, embroidery, patchwork, quilting and weaving are just some of the handwork you can see in Vietnam.
The hill tribe costumes are a riot of colour and embellishment with patterned fabrics and embroidered detail. The food is a wonderful balance of fragrant, spicy, salty and sweet, and a walk through the markets is guaranteed to give you a sensory hit.
What I’d like to share this month are a few pictures I took in the charming village of Hoi An, a gorgeous town with well preserved ancient architecture displaying both local and outside cultural influences (Japanese, Chinese and French).
Hoi An fortunately has escaped destruction during the successive wars in recent history making it worthy of inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The town is known for silk and sewing – and let’s face it – any town with that winning combination has an instant attraction for me!
Plus, it’s so pretty – lots of wooden houses built in traditional Vietnamese style, and the entire town seems to be festooned with coloured silk lanterns.
Click on the images below for larger view.
There’s a little Japanese covered bridge over the river, and doors, walls and gates of buildings are painted in colours that have faded to a soft finish that decorative artists would die for.
As well as beautiful craft to see, Hoi An is a relaxed place where the authorities have clamped down on the touts so you can wander with less hassle; the shopping is great, the centre of the town is car-free; cafes and restaurants abound, and the beaches of the South China Sea are just a bike-ride away.
It’s little wonder many tourists like to linger here. Oh, and did I mention that you can get shoes made to measure, in 24 hours! … for around $25 a pair … what’s not to love?