Getting a Leather Purse Made In Hoi An, Vietnam

I started this trip without a “real” purse, by my standards.  Back in my prior life, I had 14 Coach purses and numerous clutches/wristlet’s to go with them. Yes 14, but in my defense, that was over a course of 6+ years. When Coach decided to open an outlet store only an hour away from me, it only added to my collection.

Unfortunately, there was no room in our bags, or so we thought, for me to bring traveling around the world with a lovely purse on my shoulder. I also admit being on a chicken bus across Central America would, not only look funny but possibly sign me up to get robbed.  So I opted to start this trip with no purse.

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After 4 months of traveling sans-purse, we realized a purse would be really nice to have in airports on travel days. Having to take our daypack off my back just to get out the passports in airport get’s really old. So in Cusco, Peru we bought this trusty purse, for $7. We wanted a lightweight purse that could be wrapped up small and went across the body as this is best to prevent getting robbed.   I would have never thought 5 years ago I would be carrying a purple, Incan print purse around the world.  This purse has been everywhere, with its first trip hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and it’s last trip ending here in Vietnam.

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Yes, sad to report the purple purse has seen it’s last destination. The inside zipper broke on the 2nd day I owned the purse, and the main zipper has just broke.  RIP purse.

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Timing couldn’t have been at a better, luckily we are in Hoi An Vietnam.  Hoi An is known for its tailors, you can get anything you can think of made in this town. I was on a mission for the perfect purse. After traveling for 250+ days,  I knew what we wanted.

We shopped around Hoi An, looking in several different leather shops. Getting prices, and then starting the daunting task of haggling down the tourist price.  This is a never-ending task here in Vietnam. Finally, we found a shop that had the characteristics of the “perfect bag” we wanted. The only problem they were in 3 different bags.

In true Hannah fashion, I had to be difficult. I can never order something off the menu. Thankfully the tailors in town know pretty good English, and explaining to them what I wanted went well.  They seemed to understand exactly what I wanted.

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So what did these 3 purses have that needed to be combined into 1? Purse #1 had the size I was looking for & shape similar to many of my coach purses. Purse #2 had the locking closure just like my favorite purse Number 3 had a fun back zipper that had to be on my bag. I picked out the leather of my choice and went with an all leather strap.

That’s not too much to ask for is it? I ordered my purse at 12pm, they told me it would be done at 7pm that night, it wasn’t. After repeated visits to the shop, still no bag.  I was really questioning my decision to take 3 purses and make them 1. Had I just wasted $60? But the third visit was the charm. My purse was finished.  Still I was thinking, what was I about to handed? I was now going to have to carry whatever bag they were to give me the next 250+ days.  If it looked like a mixed up mess I knew Adam would never let it down. My dad would laugh, as he would say  “I don’t do special orders!”

Well, here it is! See for yourself.

To say I am more than pleased is an understatement. For $60 I got this all leather bag made with all the characteristics I wanted in a purse. Plus I know I have matching cowboy boots at home that would great with this purse. Now I just have to convince Adam there is room in our bags for them…Let me work on that!

Hotel suggestions in Hoi An:

*All prices were searched in December 2016 for January 2017 stays, prices will vary*

Sleepy Gecko Homestay– $ 8 Has beds in a coed dorm, pool, A/C, breakfast, bikes for rent. Private rooms are also available.

Seasun Homestay  $ 16 private room, wanting to stay down on the beach? A/C, cable tv, wifi, breakfast, indoor pool, private beach, and only 3km from old city. wifi

Phu Thinh Boutique Resort & Spa $39 is right in the Hoi An ancient town, 4-star hotel, breakfast, cable TV, balcony, pool, wifi. Your money goes very far here in Vietnam.

When in Hoi An you must eat at Cafe 43 best meals we had in Vietnam, recommend the chicken chili lemon grass, fresh spring rolls, papaya salad, fried wontons, and 15 cent beers.

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