Suit Up!

Trip Start Oct 27, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Thien Trung Hotel Hoi An
Read my review - 2/5 stars
Hoa Binh Hotel Hoi An
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Monday, July 11, 2011

   As I was nearing the half way point I was really looking forward to a couple of days rest and relaxation in 'Hoi An' before completing the final stint of the trip towards the north. Surprisingly after yesterdays alcohol experimentation I was suffering no ill effects, and was up early to get on the road. Following 'Rt14e' we head east toward the coast, cutting through small village and rice farms, eventually finding myself onto something that resembles a motocross track. I soon realise that this gravelly road is actually winding through the valley of a new flood basin. With the completion of a nearby dam, this space will be fill with a deluge of water from the snaking river within the next year. Continuing on we eventually we reach the junction leading onto 'Rt1' and it was a straight ride into 'Hoi An' city.

    Hoi An is sieving with activity, as it is peak holiday session, with families and travellers filling the streets. We find accommodation at the 'Thien Trung Hotel' located outside the main city. Offering twin rooms for 300,000 Dong ($15, 10) including air-con, WiFi, plus a large swimming pool outside. This looked like a great place to spend the next couple of days, unfortunately the staff required a lesson in customer relations, and after a confrontation with the manager we to stay only one night.

    Listed as one of UNESCO's world heritage sights, Hoi An's old town is one of Vietnam's most popular tourist destinations after Ha Long Bay. But its not just the tropical beaches that attract the foreigners and Vietnamese here. Hoi An is famed for its world class tailors, and given any image, it is possible for to reproduce any item of clothing, footwear or leather work for a fraction of the original price. It is even possible to have a basic custom made suit produced for less than 60 overnight.

    With so many tailors to select from it was a difficult decision choosing a shop to use, but after much consideration and research on the internet I finally selected 'Kimmy Tailor. In business since 1970, Kimmy have a long history of high quality tailoring in Hoi An. Although they are not the cheapest option in the area, they defiantly offer the best quality. In order to get a perfect fit, I was required to attend a total of 4 fitting to allow for adjustments in the suit. In total I purchased 3 shirts, 1 suit jacket, 1 waist coat, 2 suit trousers, 2 Vietnamese Silk ties, and a Long wool winter coat. In total this came to $350 (210) for a full cashmere suit and extras, including funky silk liners on the inside of my jacket and waistcoat. Even including the cost to ship my order home, I still saved a couple hundreds of dollars compared with buying direct from the high street.

    Among the other highlight in Hoi An there is the monthly lantern festival, which falls on the 14th day of the lunar month during the full moon. The evening is filled with colour and shop owners burn fires and light paper lanterns to bring luck to there stores. But be warned that hotels book up fast during this busiest part of the month, and cheap accommodation may be difficult to find on short notice.
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My Reviews Of The Places I Stayed

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