Tailor Made in Hoi An

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hoi An is tailor capital of Vietnam. The town's economy is almost wholly based around travellers coming into get fitted clothes. They can make anything you ask, you show them a suit or dress from a magazine and the next day it will be there, miraculously waiting for you. It's an incredible service which they do it for a fraction of the price that you'd get back home. I got two three-piece suits, five shirts, a coat and a pair of shorts for just under $300. Not a bad price, suits are sharp so long as I manage to stay at this fighting weight. My SE Asia diet is great, drink as much as possible and sweat it all out. Lost the 10kgs that I put on whilst my knee was blown out. Much more fun than a treadmill that's for sure.

We were recommended a place by some guys we met in Nha Trang so went along and were not disappointed. We were met by a whirlwind of girls taking our measurements, showing us magazines and styles, suggesting fabrics and designs and colours. I was fairly dizzy after we managed to get everything sorted and amazed when we came back for the second fittings to find that they'd managed to get most of it spot on. The lady who ran the show was called Han who spoke great English and whose bubly personality made the experience even more enjoyable, plus i'm sure she was loving the banter with us. She was a cheeky wee thing but had a good eye so I basically let her choose my colours as i'm a guy, and what do I now. The most amusing thing about the fittings was trying to get them done as fast as physically possible before you drenched everything in sweat. Hoi An is about half way up 'Nam but is hot hot hot. Without the humidty thankfully but it was hotter than the rest of the country so it wasn't exactly comfortable trying on suits with overcoats!


The city itself was a big merchant city at one stage so there are a load of little houses you can visit to see how the succesfull merchants lived back in the old days. The town is very quiant and quite nice just to aimlessly amble around. Although, cuase of the industry there are a load of tourist that rush through, not that I wasn't one of them but it's got a completely different feel to it than delat where we were conspiciously in the minority. Also, near Hoi An is My Son which was the an old Champsk ruins not entirely unlike Ankor Wat. But it amounted to a pile of bricks that neatly and sometimes interestingly stacked. It did lead to a fairly epic game of spot the brick, a game which continued long after sense should've kicked in. It was a good road trip though ad the paddy field in and around Hoi An are the stereotypical Vietnamese postcard of workers with the cone hats doing the back breaking work in the fields.

Since such a lot of travellers are hanging out their waiting for second or third fittings so there are a fair few bars and a seaside after hours club where we managed to watch a bit of the late night(1.30am) world cup matches. The food in Hoi An though was so good. Best in Vietnam without a shadow of a doubt. They had this stuff called Coa Lac which was crispy noodles with meat as well as seaseme chicken, wonton soup and crispy wanton with suataued veggies. We ate well there.
Whilst we waited for the suits, road trip

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