Posted: Mar 23 2017
by: Shanan Kurtz

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Vietnam & Cambodia

The Spring Summer 2017 collection is inspired by the incredible trip I took last April to Vietnam & Cambodia (read all about it here!)

I traveled with my then boyfriend (now, fiancé!) to Hong Kong, then on to Vietnam (Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Con Dao, and Ho Chi Minh City) with a few days stopover in Cambodia (Siem Reap)...
Our travels took us from Angkor Wat - the extraordinary Buddhist Temples in Siem Reap, Cambodia - to the desolate beaches of Con Dao in the South China Sea.
The collection that emerged after this trip reflects the varied scenery that we experienced. Some pieces are sleek and clean (I was thinking of the great sea around Con Dao and the grand karsts in Ha Long Bay) and some pieces are ornate, layered with silk flowers and small beads (my take on the temples, in particular Ta Prohm which features a spectacular 13th century Buddhist Monastery under layers of jungle growth):
Our Itinerary: The Rundown on Where We Went & Where We Stayed

Hong Kong: Grand Hyatt (don't skip the brunch!)

Hanoi, Vietnam: Sofitel Legend Metropole (check out the hallways lined with B+W photos of their most famous guests)

Ha Long Bay & Bai Tu Long Bay, Vietnam: Dragon Pearl's Junk Boat (c/o Indochina Junk Company)

Siem Reap, Cambodia: Belmond La Residence D'Angkor

Con Dao, Vietnam: Six Senses Con Dao

Saigon River: An Lam Saigon (Just a Speedboat Away From Downtown!)

Ho Chi Minh City: Park Hyatt Saigon

 

And Finally: Hot Tips for The Trip!

 

You need a visa for Cambodia, but you can get it upon entry at the airport. It's really helpful to have cash (USD) and extra passport photos on you.

If you're going to splurge, do it at Six Senses Con Dao. It's truly paradise: A chic resort on a beautiful island in the middle of the sea.

When touring Ha Long Bay (Vietnam) find a boat company that will take you into the less touristy (and less polluted) Bai Tu Long Bay  - it's way more serene and you can even kayak around the karsts.

What are karsts? These are the huge rock formations sticking out of the water in Ha Long Bay. They make for some seriously great photos!

If trying to track down the best pho ... I highly recommend Pho Thin in Hanoi. Go for breakfast like the locals do.

If trying to track down the best tailor ... Dung Tailors in Ho Chi Minh City is a must visit. They re-created my favorite blazer (by The Row) for about a tenth of the price in a beautiful linen. My only regret? Not ordering more.

When visiting Angkor Wat ... Ask your tour guide to bring you to the back entrance. There are fewer people and you can actually see the sun rising over the temple. You beat the crowds when you enter from this direction.

Wildcard Day? We took a bike tour through Cambodia's countryside with Grasshopper Adventures. We visited rice paddies (inhabited by water buffalo), a local market, and dusty coffee shops scattered between villages. Make sure you find yourself a Cambodian Donut at a market. They're insane.

 

 

Till next time Southeast Asia!
I can't wait to return to this beautiful part of the world. Thank you for inspiring my favorite collection.

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