Visit Hoi An Old Quarter and you will be transported to ancient times. You will be overwhelmed by the number of delightful shops, offering everything that Vietnam is famous for. Lacquerware, ceramics and shoes are exquisitely made, but it is the tailors that hold the real star buy. Go into your chosen shop, view the many fabrics or choose from many catalogues for a tailored dress or suit. If you are not happy with an Italian style or general fitting, they will be very happy to make alterations. Just remember that bargaining is about building a rapport with the seller, be pleasant and patient. A thoroughly enjoyable cultural holiday by the beach.
One last hint: pack as little as possible!
Hand made jewellery. Silver, jade, freshwater pearls and gemstones. You can also design a piece of jewellery and they will make it for you. Definitely worth a look.
82 Tran Phu St
Halfway between the market and the historic Japanese bridge
Hoi An is surely the tailoring capital of the world with about 300 little shops crammed into its narrow streets - all selling more or less the same designs made from the same material.
It’s very easy to get completely carried away with the idea of getting an entire wardrobe tailormade. I came back with a bagful of stuff - most of which went straight to the charity shop.
It’s best to know exactly what you want - take pictures from magazine or, better still, a favourite from your wardrobe for them to copy.
Getting shoes tailormade is even more exciting but equally risky - the materials are poor and the craftmanship not great. I spent hours in various shops and had a great time but picking and choosing the cloth/style was definitely the highlight - the final results a bit of a let down.
Simple restaurant with excellent food, friendly service and very reasonable prices.
The BoBo Cafes found in other Vietnamese cities have nothing to do with the orignal in Hoi An - they are owned and run by different people who have 'borrowed' (SE Asian-style) the name!
Also, for a decent and inexpensive Hoi An tailor's shop try 'Mr Xe' at the bottom of the same road.
Bo Bo Cafe: 18 Le Loi Street, Hoi An
Mr Xe: 71 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Hoi An
We met two Australian teachers who were extremely unhappy with the service they received from one of the tailors in Hoi An. Sadly I can't give the name, but the women had been required to change in front of men, and the clothes didn't fit and were not what they had requested.
Hoi An is a great place to get clothes made to measure. Choose something from the local designs on display, take along something you'd like copied or a photograph (shops usually keep a selection of Next catalogues and fashion magazines for inspiration!) and choose your fabric.
By the next day and for a few US dollars (I had a silk dress made for $12 and a suit for $20) you can get a whole new wardrobe made to measure, including shoes.
And if you overdo the shopping and run out of space in your bags, the local post office are experts in shipping parcels home.
There are over 100 tailors shops all around town - hotels and guesthouses can usually give recommendations.
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com