Hoi An

A relatively short bus journey on what was one of the most spacious buses I’ve ever seen in Asia and we soon seemed to arrive in the historic town of Hoi An.

Hoi An is classed as a world heritige site and is a fishing town of small old colonial buildings on cobbled roads next to a river. It really is beautiful, however due to all the flooding the river has burst its bank and it looks more like Venice without the buildings being on stilts. Luckily (we’re told) the water is retreating and should be all back to normal in the next few days.

The shops here are predominantely tailors or cobblers and it would seem that you can get literally anything you want made providing you can either draw it or have a picture of it. Its really quite amazing how many tailors there are, you can barely walk 50m without being asked to come in and look at the suits.

Gen and I headed for a beer and some food before we did anything, we found a little place as close to the river front as we could get before you were up to your knees in it and sat and had some lunch prepared by the lovely, if not slightly crazy Ms An. After lunch we had a look around some of the tailors and in the end I decided to get stuck in…..

I found a really nice Versace suit i liked whilst flicking through some magazines and decided to get measured up for one and also a timeless plain black one whilst I was at it. After choosing how I wanted my lapels, buttons, pockets etc I then had to choose my materials. The choice was vast and ranged from about $70 to about $600 I went for some nice cashmere which was $180 I then chose 100% Thai silk to have as my lining and then that was it (well after being measured 3 times because they didn’t seem to understand how I could be nearly 12 inches larger on my chest than my waist).

Later on we visited a few other shops and Gen ordered herself 3 dresses all made of silk and a winter coat and I also ordered a coat too. Neither of us are sure how we’ll carry these back on the plane or more to the point how they will turn out but I guess we’ll see tomorrow at our fittings.

We then went for dinner at a nice restaurant where I ordered some kind of barbequed beef wrapped in leaves. It sounded interesting…. then they brought the ingredients to my table and a pot of hot charcoal and left me to it. It was delicious though and so we’ve booked ourselves on an authentic Vietnamese cooking course there tomorrow night.

We’ll let you know how it all goes then….

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