Hello! You want to buy something?!!

Trip Start Nov 03, 2009
Trip End Jul 15, 2010

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Sunday, February 28, 2010

Funnily enough yes we do. But not everything. That would be financially unfeasible not to mention baggage allowance suicide for our forthcoming 2 Air Asia flights out of SE Asia, which we are definitely over anyway!

If only this could be easily conveyed to the lovely locals of Hoi An who bless them want you to literally buy everything in sight and there is so much you could convince yourself you absolutely need to get here, mainly tailored clothing, art, antiques and various other locally made items. It's almost too much. Almost.

Hoi An, located on the coast of the South China sea (wicked stretch of beach too!) about halfway up Vietnam on the way to Hanoi. It's a very beautiful place and was relatively untouched during the war so avoided being destroyed like many other places were. We arrived in Da Nang train station which is a little further up the coast as Hoi An has no station (it did but was destroyed in the 1920's and never rebuilt) so took a cab back down the coast to our latest destination. It's clearly a shopping mecca this place and you can buy so many great things here namely tailored clothing, one of the reasons for us heading up there. or rather me as Sofie has so many clothes already (well she does make them!)

It was a very chilled 5 days there and we didn't do a great deal bar walking around and trying to play blog catch-up. The day after we arrived I went and got measured up at Kim Chi Tailors, the dizzying array of tailors here is extraordinary and we're not too sure how they all stay in business - there must be over 200 tailors in Hoi An and it isn't a massive town by any stretch. Choosing one over another is a pointless task so I simply asked a very nice chap in a restaurant which one to go for (it was probably one of his relations but sod it) and he recommended Kim Chi around the corner. I wasn't disappointed and the staff there were excellent. I went for a cashmere/silk mix on one and cashmere/wool mix on the other. Sly copies from Gucci's Autumn/Winter 2010 collection so bang up-to-date when I get back.
Within 24 hours I had my first fitting and both suits and all 3 shirts fitted perfectly and were finished to the highest standards from what Sofie could see (i haven't a clue about any of this obviously). I reckon you would pay upwards of 600 per suit, maybe more for this kind of quality. It cost a total of $300 for both suits, 3 shirts and a pair of custom shoes. Total bargain. I may need to go job hunting when i return who knows, so these will be useful to have if that's the case as the only other suit I have is now 7 or 8 years old so an updated wardrobe was well needed. They also have my measurements on file now so in theory can get a load of gear done up and sent over to UK whenever I feel like it which is pretty handy.

Went to Hoi An beach on one day and got stupidly sunburnt as we didn't realise how hot it was due to the prevailing winds, the sea was surprisingly colder than the Gulf of Thailand but still refreshing enough. We drove about a bit and took in the surrounding countryside and took a few pics. It was a very chilled out slow paced part of our trip this one so not a massive amount to report but Hoi An is definitely a place worth visiting, although I think we stayed there a day or two too long in hindsight. The tourist crowd was quite a lot older than us (a few backpackers but not as many as we thought there would be) and we funnily enough bumped into a couple that we met on Bamboo Island. This has repeatedly happened on our trip so didn't come as much surprise, I guess people travelling tend to hit the same spots a lot of the time.

Food wise it was good if not a little pricey in places and we tried a fair bit of local fare during our 5 days there. Also I have to say our hotel Green Fields was really crap and we got screwed on our booking so didn't get breakfast included (a vital inclusion with accommodation when your bombing around the globe) so don't go there ever, they are really lame, completely unhelpful, their wi-fi was on the blink (and i even offered to have a look at it for them) and the pool featured on the website is a cleverly photoshopped effort. Avoid like the plague.

Round 2 of the 17 hour train journey back to Ho Chi Minh City awaits. Cosmic.
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