A guide to tailor made clothes in Hoi An.

Hoi An is home to perhaps some of the best tailors we have on this planet. Bold statement, i know. BUT TRUE.

Where to find a tailor?
Just wander around the Ancient town and the lantern lit streets are lined with tailors. The whole experience can be some what overwhelming as they all look to be incredible good. In each and every shop, there are more fabrics than you could imagine, more designs than your eyes can focus on and more options than decisions will be made.
Thats why it’s important to go with a plan of what you would like made.
Trust me, leaving it to chance of ‘i’ll decide when i get there’ can only go one of two ways;
A) You leave empty handed, and a stressed (probably) sweaty mess.
b) You leave with more items than you can fit back in your backpack.
Having a plan of what you would like made, will help you stay on task.

Where do i recommend? 
I have now tried a couple of tailors in Hoi An and my favourite so far are Maya Design.
The turn over of their products is literally over-night and the staff are so friendly. They will let you design anything you have a vision of, whilst offering tips and tricks from their side of it and what works well for the fabric you have chosen.
The staff spoke good english, and were more than happy to help!

What is the process?
Within seconds of being in the shop i had already been asked if they could help and what i was looking for. I explained i would like trousers and a playsuit and i was shown fabric choices and styles, a few moments later i had found what i wanted and we began the sketching process.
This is where they will draw up a quick mock of your product and ask if you want any additions such as belt loops, pockets, sleeve lengths etc. Quick Tip: This usually can be helped if you go in with a picture of what you want making and they will essentially copy the image,
The next step was getting measured. One of the best parts of having tailor made clothes is the fact it is custom-made to your exact measurements. PERFECT.
Be aware you will be measured in front of the rest of the shop so do wear clothing that allows this process to be as easy as possible. (I’d give skirts a miss)

How long does it usually take?
The turn around from sketching to final product is a super speedy process, we arrived at 12(ish) and went back at 2:30 the next day for final fittings before getting our products later that night. Be sure to stay in Hoi-An for a couple of days incase of alterations or changes. Of course the bigger the order the more time they may need. You can always ask in the shop too and be sure to tell them when you are leaving so your items are made in time.

What is the price like?
Not only are the clothes made incredibly quick but the price is more than fair compared to other Tailors i have been to. Remember though, as with anything, you par for what you get. I suggest thinking about the occasion the fabric and the purpose of your garment. Also be prepared to pay more for things added like, pockets , belts, lining etc I designed one pair of trousers and one playsuit and payed just over 2million for them both (£66)

 

(Jumpsuits we had made in Hoi An ) 

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions please do leave them in the comments and i’ll see you next time.

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What to do in Ho Chi Minh – Saigon.

Hello everyone i’m here to tell you about what to do during short weekend in Ho Chi Minh.

Ok what to do:

Bitexco Financial tower. Go to the observation sky deck. It’s an incredible view. I loved being up there and seeing all of the city. You have 360degree view out over Saigon and you can even look through telescopes to zoom in different areas you want to explore.

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Get yourself a hotel with a pool to catch that early morning sun. We went to the rooftop of out hotel Sunland every morning to set ourselves up for the day. It can get pretty hot in Ho Chi Minh so having a place to dip in and cool off was perfect.

Go to the War remnants museum. Though this can get a little tough at points the war museum is a good way to get to know what the Vietnamese have been though. It’s all obviously very biased and full of propaganda but, it does give you an insight.

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Marvel at the Saigon Notre-Dame , it’s hard to believe this is in Vietnam really, the Notre Dame is bigger than i expected and equally as beautiful. Well worth a stroll to see. I recommend getting an ice-cream from the shop on the corner before hand too.

Visit the Post Office, which by the way is HUGE! Just over the road from the Notre Dame, the central post office is more than your regular old post office. Look up high to see the fantastic murals.

Walk around the markets, Ben Thanh market in particular really shows off Ho Chi Minh as a city. The front is full of stalls, beautiful fabrics, intricate trinkets, handmade items as far as the eye can see, from models of boats, to great big fans and rip-off designer clothing. It is a bustling room of everything you could every hoard. At the back there is a small food section also, probably not the most clean of areas to eat in, we gave it a miss but it smelt delicious.

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Visit Tao Dan park, this park is incredibly picturesque. Spend time strolling around here. It’s the perfect spot to take a packed lunch to also. Sit amongst the flowers, cactus, pagodas and lakes for an easy afternoon.

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Head to the Jazz Cafe in the evening, the music is incredible. Be aware though they add a cover fee of 100,000vnd PER PERSON to the bill for the artists and a further 15% tip. So you need to be loaded to enjoy more than one drink here. We had one drink each and between three of us it was around 900,000vnd.

What/Where to eat?
Bun Cha – Just north of the Tao Dan park there is an amazing Bun Cha place you cant miss it
Pizza 4ps – There are two in HCM and it’s the best pizza in Vietnam
Cuba La Casa Del Mojito – Tapas and incredible cocktails paired with a free salsa lesson. Dance and drink you night away!
Sancho Cantina – Mexican . Need i say anymore.

Anyway, there’s my quick easy summary of my highlights.

Thanks for reading

Danielle
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A taste of the island life! What to do in Koh Pha Ngan; Thailand. 

Ok so as some of you may know already Naomi and I went over to the beautiful island of Koh Pha Ngan for our first Christmas away from home. We went for 6days and despite the horrendously long journey it was more than worth it in the end…

Just look at that beautiful beach!


Koh Phangan is blessed with incredible weather which meant it was minimum 28degrees everyday even the next morning after it rained during the night!

How to get to Koh Phangan?
Now there are two main ways to get to Koh Phangan depending on your budget…want the quickest way, you’ll pay the most money. You can simply hop on a flight to the nearest airports and get the three hour ferry over to Koh Phangan.

Or if you’re budgeting then you can fly to Bangkok and get the 8hour bus ride and then ferry the next morning to Koh Phangan. All in all it could take from 11-12 excluding the flight and wait time in the airport. Not ideal if you hate waiting around but cost effective! Perfect for travellers and backpackers.


Where we stayed?

We dated at dreamland resorts in the more secluded and expensive north of the island. Away from the hustle and bustle of the port this area was more family and relaxation friendly.

The beaches were beautiful and calm with significantly less people on them than the most popular tourist hit beaches.


Our resort was in the form of little cabins ours was literally a 30second walk from decking to the shore and into the sea. I understand completely why it’s called dreamland. Now the rooms are pretty basic and not perfect but that honestly didn’t bother us as we spent 90% of our time lounging around the pool , pool bar and by the sea.
Just look at this view from my seat along the side of the pool, straight onto the beach!


What to do in Koh Phangan?
Here’s my top 5 ‘to do’ attractions in Koh Phangan;

1. Do go chasing waterfalls! Go and swim in the natural pools they have formed and gaze at the wonderful scenery. Our favourite was paradise waterfall, well worth taking the trip to. 

2. Hire a bike and ride around the island, there are very few roads in Koh Phangan and the two main ones literally take you from point a to point b covering the whole island. The views you will see as you circle the island are mesmoring. Our bike hire cost 200baht day which was significantly less than the 800baht taxis we were getting . I must say though, Koh Phangan is a very mountainous island so drive exceptionally carefully. If this is your first time driving I wouldn’t recommend learning here, it’s very steep and very windy. Be safe. Wear a helmet and cover your knees/elbows if possible. 

3. Speaking of views make sure to take a trip to Amsterdam bar if you are wanting to see Koh Phangan. look at this; the bar is one of the most chilled places we visited. It is called Amsterdam bar for a reason after all. The shakes are just as amazing as the view.


4. Watersports and/or diving tours . Well this could have been more fun had I not been convinced I’d seen a shark freaked out and yelled at Naomi IM GOING TO DIE. Let me set one thing straight, I’m not the best in the water but I really wanted to conquer that fear so we kayaked. Naomi seemed to love it, safe to say I’ll try something else like jet skiing next time! One thing I do know is I won’t be kayaking again any time soon.

5. Enjoy the party atmosphere. Get to 7/11 and get some cheap beers to pre drink with back at your hotel/hostel/beach and head to one of the parties! There are so many to choose from. Time it right and you just may make the full moon/half moon party. If you’re not there to make them we recommend the waterfall party for all your neon glitter and fire needs. Bonus: they literally sell food in the place.


We truly loved our time in Koh Phangan it was the perfect balance of entertainment and relaxation.

There are more ways to make this trip action filled just have a ride around the island to see more!
Hope you enjoyed reading.

Danielle Jade

All the way to the USA ✈️🇺🇸

Hello everyone, fancy this, me actually having time to sit down and write. It’s a miracle. Im back!

Now if you don’t already follow me on Instagram, you may or may not know i went to the USA for just over two weeks.

I recently went to visit my Aunt and the family in San Diego, however we did pitstop at a few places along the way including, LA & Vegas BABY!

So Lets begin with : Los Angeles.

Hop on the plane from Manchester, fast forward 11hours (9 of which took my whole mental and physical will power and restraint not to pull the hair of the woman who’s messy bun, was messing all over my little head seat TV screen) and we finally touched down in sunny LA! 

‘You know, LA traffic where the city is slow’  and boy oh boy is the city  slow. The traffic is out of control here. 

Thankfully we had the worlds most optimistic uber driver playing the role of our own personal tour guide as we coasted towards our hotel, The Radisson Midtown USC.

It was around 4pm once we managed to get to our hotel, get changed and freshen up. So we decided why waste time? Lets go…Hollywood Blvd.


We walked up and down the street, hopping over peoples names and keeping an eye out for our favourites, enjoying the beautiful heat.
After a while we (very tiredly)  decided to take a ride on a tour of the city bus. You know the ones, they drive you around and point out everything there is to know about the city! We went up the hills to see the Hollywood sign and look out over the city. This was absolutely beautiful! The view was outstanding and we managed to get there before sunset.


As the sun began to set we started winding back down the hills and were pointed towards many different (mainly dead) celebrities houses. Perhaps my favourite moment was when we were literally showed a gate. yep, a famous persons gate. Now had we been more alert we could/should have found this tour interesting but instead we found ourselves laughing at the whole experience.
What can i say? It was one gate too many for us.
After exploring more of the city, getting to see the Chinese Theatre and the city at night. We decided, it’s time to head home.
Also i don’t know if you are aware but there are so many homeless people in LA, and as soon as the sun goes down, the city changes. There is a weird vibe around Hollywood and the atmosphere is less than glamorous. Fun fact: Cat calling is still a thing in LA, only here it tends to begin or end with some ‘white girl’ comment. Fantastic.

Heading back to the hotel, all i could think about is how much i wanted pizza. So you better believe it, i ordered some pizza. Well, by some pizza i mean, THE WORLDS LARGEST PIZZA. EVER. I literally woke Naomi up to eat some pizza with me as i felt bad by how much i would have left.

DAY TWO.

Up bright exceptionally early, we watched the sunrise over the city as our body clocks laughed at what little sleep we had. Choosing not to dwell we went for a walk around USC, grabbed some lunch and my favourite food : FRO-YO. This place challenged all Fro-Yo places. SO MANY FLAVOURS.  I had a coconut cheesecake flavour pot with different fruits on top.

As we wandered around midtown we became very aware we were in an academic area of LA. The pavement was covered with students walking to and from classes, young cool kids hopping on and off their bikes and the streets were beautiful here, big palm trees aligning the roads.


Oh and how LA is this? They were literally filming a movie on campus that day!

As the afternoon got closer as did our deadline to make it to the train station because we were about to hop onboard the Pacific Surfliner to Oceanside – San Diego where we would drop our cases before setting off to LAS VEGAS!


Stay tuned to hear all about our VEGAS adventure…coming up next.
Thanks for reading Danielle Jade x

10 ways to survive that dreaded long haul flight.

1.Choose your seat wisely. Ideally if you can choose a seat before you check in do it. Or turn up early and make sure you get a seat with whoever you are travelling with. Don’t be left alone on a flight thats going to take a while.
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2. Following up on that, if you can get a seat without anyone in front of you, do it. The last thing you want is what happened to me. (A guy thinking it’s completely acceptable to recline his seat onto my lap, wanna just come hop on over and spoon me whilst you’re at it? – if you can’t already tell, i was not impressed)

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3. SNACKS. SNACKS. SNACKS. Plane food, is NOT the win. Now i know some people are fine with that solid bread roll but i, i just cant compare it to an actual edible piece of bread so i take snacks. Sweet & Savoury and a whole lot of water. Keep hydrated.
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4. Try to set your body clock whilst you’re in the air. If it’s 11pm where you’re landing then you should be sleeping on that plane. Try to keep with what time of the day/night it would be in the country you’re about to touch down in.
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5. Wear comfy clothes. The plane is not a catwalk, you’re not going to look your best after being squashed in one seat for a long time anyway so the least you can do is give yourself the most comfort and embrace life in those comfy jumpers/leggings/baggy tee’s whatever it is you feel good in.
ALWAYS keep a jacket though, the air-con is going to hit you at one point so take something you can wrap up in should you need it.
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6. Get up and walk around. You should try to keep as active as possible, stretch your legs. Walk to the bathroom. Make sure you are moving, unless you like pins and needles that is.
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7. Two items i cannot get on a plane without are; headbands and chapstick. These two are my favourite pocket items on a long haul flight. They are simple but effective.
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8. Take advantage of the entertainment on board the flight. The movies, tv shows, music, games, podcasts.(the alcohol) Anything to keep the brain awake.
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9. Now is the perfect time to research and plan your upcoming trip, you have so much time to make an itinerary and to think about exactly what you’re going to do whilst you’re on holiday so make the most of it!
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10. Pack light. Take a nice size bag with all your essentials in it as carry on luggage. Keep your passport, phone, and anything else you’ll immediately need in a separate wallet so you can easy get to them when you need them at the border etc.
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*Credit: all gifs taken from http://www.giphy.com*

Kew Gardens, the beauty of nature.

Kew gardens is a well known, world famous Botanic Garden. With beautiful buildings, plants and architecture Kew gardens offers a beautiful day out.

  

Last Friday i took my first trip to Kew Gardens and was astounded by the beauty that nature has to offer us. Hopping on the train to about 30minutes outside London, i really didn’t know what to expect from the day. Yes, i like flowers, i mean, i’m a 24 year old girl. I love a bunch of flowers on the table but how was i going to like a day full of wandering round Kew Gardens?

Well, any doubts i had at first were soon wiped out of my mind when i stepped into my first building. The Palm House, as we opened the door, the imitated tropical climate hit my face and my camera instantly fogged up. This place was hot. Inside tall palm trees filled the air and many other exotic plats from all over the globe lined this stunning building.

 

As we wandered around this beautiful building we reached a spiral staircase that led down underneath the room into a basement type room. In there was the marine aquarium, which was completely the opposite temperature. Cold and very blue the sea-life creatures were swimming around aimlessly enjoying life. Having the marine down here , made the perfect escape from the heat and a great chance to learn more about sea-life plants too.


After looking around the whole of The Palm house we head outside and walked around the gardens more, perhaps we went in circles a few times but it was so beautiful it didn’t matter.


We found ourselves at the Orangery restaurant next and grabbed a bite to eat, the food was good and i even had a chocolate cake, well, the most chocolaty cake EVER. Dark chocolate, chocolate sponge, chocolate topping, you name it, it was on that cake.


After indulging in a light lunch we moved onto the highlight of the visit, The Princess of Wales Conservatory. In here was the Orchid exhibition, ‘a spectacular carnival of dazzling Brazilian colours’ Grand displays of orchids and perfectly poised sculptures filled this conservatory. It really was a colourful spectacular. The oranges, to reds, to greens, purples and blues offered a spectrum of coloured orchids. Perhaps this would be easier for me to show you rather than explain its wonder ;


See! It’s all incredibly beautiful and charming.

The rainforest tree’s had been covered in hundreds of delicate little flowers. I was mesmorised by nature. So pretty. So perfect.


The front part of the conservatory however was the complete opposite, it was full of cactus’s. All different shapes and sizes, i was surprised by how many different kinds there were . Here in England they aren’t the most popular of plants to be popping up but here there were an incredible amount. Resisting the urge to touch them was difficult.

Just look how cartoon-ish they appear. It’s almost humerous.

 

Finally as it was quite cold we decided to hit one more attraction before heading on the train back home.
What did we go for? You guessed it.

The treetop walkway!

Getting to the top of this walkway does mean you will have to climb over a hundred steps , but it is so worth it! Even on this cold windy day, being able to take a moment and look over the park felt somewhat surreal. The view is pretty and i can only imagine in the summer it will be even better! We walked around the whole treetops and admittedly at a few points i did freak out about the swaying of the walkway, all in all it was a lovely moment.


Have you been to Kew Gardens?

Let me know in the comments below,

Thanks for reading!

Danielle Jade

Explore; Gran Canaria – The Combo Tour!

Hello, beautiful people!

I hope you’re all having a wonderful day.
I thought that whilst this miserable weather is here i would share with you all some my Gran Canaria diaries and hopefully bring some of the sunshine through my work out into rainy London.

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So, i recently went to the sunny south of the island of Gran Canaria, Maspalomas, Playa Del Ingles. Just look at this beautiful sunshine;

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It was a wonderful 30degrees whilst we were there and immediately i was ready for my casper skin to feel the burn. Luckily this didn’t happen until day 2 though so for one day i felt like a normal holiday go-er then the inevitable triangl bikini marks were faintly painted on me for the duration of the holiday. LUSH. 🙈

During our welcome and induction to the hotel we decided to book in some acitivies for our holiday, this package was called the CANARIAN COMBO. It consisted of, a Jeep Safari, Camel back riding and taking a boat trip out to see the dolphins. Now let me break this down for you,  i love anything that will get my adrenaline going and make me feel like an explorer so i was more than excited to get up and go when the day arrived. What i was not anticipating was my little hangover i was blessed with that day. WHY ON EARTH DO THE SPANISH PUT SO MUCH ALCOHOL IN THEIR DRINKS? (Not that i’m complaining, i just wasn’t prepared) Nether the less, i went to breakfast drank way too much peppermint tea, and bananas – because i hear that this is supposed to cure a hangover and before i knew it we were in a jeep with headscarfs over our faces heading up the mountains. The journey there was pleasant enough, four of us packed into what should be a two seater boot, laughing at how miserable some of the other people on the combo were being and admiring the beautiful scenery as we went gliding up the smooth tarmac mountains.

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It was beautiful, we stopped at the top to admire the view and it was one of those moments where you can appreciate how small you are in the world, in a way that makes you feel big enough to conquer the world. We took some pretty cool pictures with our new found friends and head along the tour. 11935220_10206360612629013_8063301663531382434_o

Don’t worry though folks i was soon to feel small again as we pulled up into what i can only describe as a parking lot and told this is where we would be getting on the Camels. As we dubiously stepped out of our jeeps and into the camel factory (thats the only way i can describe this) i felt like a horrible person. I really didn’t want to get on these poor camels, however after watching some of the others get on them it was soon my turn and the Spanish trainers had 0% idea of what i was saying and how i in fact did not want to get on Tony (the name of our camels) back. After what felt like forever on this Camel, i only hated it all more. Now i don’t know how many of you have seen Camels before but they are scary. They are huge! They make terrible noises and they come way too close to my face for my liking. Not only that the Camel behind us was for sure drunk. I don’t quite know how the girls behind us managed to stay on but i was nearly crying the whole way round. Please note i am still hungover here,i am now on a camels back, curled up into a ball as some spanish man comes around touching my leg pretending to be a camel biting me. I still think i was being punked this day. After what felt like a lifetime later, i am now told it was 20 minutes we were off the camels and i was washing myself down in the toilets. I was over this whole Camel expedition and ready to get back into the Jeep.

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As we piled back in we were told to assemble our headscarves and get ready to get covered in dust, dirt & desert! LETS DO IT! Heading into the bumpy roads my stomach was not prepared for the journey and my hangover officially hated me, but i was still absolutely loving it. I don’t think i have laughed that much in a long time, we were literally getting battered and bruised in the back of this jeep and one of the guys was convinced the door was going to fling open so was doing his best to hold onto it. Every so often the cars would pull out, so each jeep could be at the front and that was when the real dust started. Come the mid-point we hopped out of the car and we were covered in a layer of dirt. Honestly this didn’t bother me, it was the most tanned id looked all holiday! It was so much fun. Still the two people in front of us made no noise. HOW? You’re on holiday, live a little. You’re literally going through the mountains in a jeep without a roof that could possibly break down at any minute, this is so much fun! I just needed them to laugh once to prove they weren’t robots. It didn’t happen, but i’m sure the 4 of us were making enough noise for the other five Jeeps anyway!
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After about 40 minutes of being in the jeep we were heading down the motorway to have lunch before getting on the boat. Now, i knew before i got on this boat that i have a tendency to fall victim to being sea-sick but was i going to miss out the chance to see dolphins because of that, HELL NO. Had i full prepped my friend Alicia for just how sea-sick i can be? HELL NO.  I was seeing those dolphins if it meant i came back green, and boy did i. Had we only been on the boat an hour i would have been just fine it was when we were approaching that third hour that i felt less than perky shall we say. I have learnt from this though i have some pretty good self restraint and managed not to throw up on my friend. Alicia if you are reading this,  you’re welcome for that by the way.

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I have to say when we saw the dolphins i was mesmerised. The kind of mesmerised you get when you put a baby in front of a mirror. I was far too excited for a 23 year old woman to be seeing dolphins but i think they are just incredible. I’d only seen dolphins before in sea world but here they were just doing life in the sea. Swimming along, playing, smiling , making adorable noises and it was SOOO much better than seeing them at Disney. There was something special about feeling like we had been invited into their home as apposed to watching those staged performances. It was beautiful. After taking some cute videos of them all jumping in and out of the water i stepped aside to let some other people take a look when A WHALE jumped out of the sea. A WHALE. A REAL LIFE WHALE. Well that was it. I was practically leaning overboard to take a look. Now anyone who knows me knows i am fascinated by things of great height and extraordinary colour and now, i guess i should add whales to that list because, my oh my. It was amazing.

I really would recommend this Combo to anyone because despite the few faults it had, the laughter it provided created timeless memories. It was as random as could be and i wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Actually , yes i would change one thing. I wish the Spanish captain of the ship wouldn’t have been so obsessed with Robbie Williams, he literally played his CD on loop for 3 hours. Im no longer loving angels instead. 🙈

Thanks for reading, i hope you enjoyed this post as i had a lot of fun writing it.

Danielle Jade.

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