i need something to go with that fake rolex...

Hoi An Travel Blog

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hoi an is famous for it's cloth-shops... skillful sweatsho... err ex-peasan... err tailors make everything you want, which is mostly dresses for the ladies and suits for us. as i'm a fan of cheapass suits that fall apart and look like crap i don't mind getting some here in hoi an as they are very cheap, better material and made-to-fit. apropos, they are not bespoke as many think... bespoke means hand sewn and other finer differences which you will only get in good old london... but hey it's pretty close and i couldn't mind less.

had to decide between yaly - the expensive, guidebook-recommended, ibm-of-the-tailors or one of the million others... of course i went for the riskier option and chose one recommended on the thorntree forum, ha phuong. just came back from the first fitting and must say that i'm very happy so far... looks much better than i anticipated and damn i look really hot in a suit & shirt that actually fits me! only hope it still does after the seamail transport home (and that i don't get any fatter than i am at the moment hehe)

all the cloth shops are actually sales/fabric fronts and have the suits done in one of the tailor shops. so just having a nice shop does not say much about the suit itself. anyway the 3 young girls at ha phuong immediately won me over with their smiles instead of the upmarket style yaly has. it's a family business so i felt more comfortable. and who doesn't want a gorgeous young vietnamese girl taking your measures, that alone was worth the money! hehe

so my order yesterday was as follows:

2 suits in the best material available (60/40 cashmere/wool blend... or so they say, what do i know): anthracite striped, blue striped  
7 shirts (100% cotton, but what do i know, didn't bother to do the burning test to further show my incompetency), 4 cufflinks, 3 single cuff
1 winter overcoat

= 235 usd

could have gone much cheaper on the suits material though... 30 per suit instead of 80

on the fitting today i went for black leather slip on shoes (30 usd), also made to measure and 3 ties (10 usd)

the fitting was really good... had to wait a bit for one jacket but got free water & ice cream while waiting hehe. everything looked ok and the small changes were done while i was there mostly. they will do the second batch of changes now before the next fitting this evening.

the tailors had some delay with one jacket and when it came it was still a bit off, so she took me on her motorbike to the tailor shop itself to let them look at it directly, i really liked that. the shop itself was not too bad, 4 industrial strength machines, mama/papa and 3 sons hehe

so i'm quite positive that everything will be ok tonight. even if the suits won't live forever, the shirts are really nice as standard shirts never fit me at all.
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they like to give me food here in central vietnam... looks like i've copied the starving kid look well or maybe it's just that my laughable measurements were the reason, but i got invited to dinner with the lovely shop-manager / owner-daughter... because i had some minor things done and it takes another day or so was the reason... but i never complain when i get free food, especially with nice company

tried some new specialties and a sugarcane drink while learning a lot background knowledge about growing up in modern vietnam, family businesses, education and cloth shops. very interesting.

she invited me to a birthday breakfast for one of her friends this morning which was a bit more intense. got up early and hurried to the shop in shorts & shirt while she was wearing jeans, nice shoes and long sleeve... damn it i thought, i'm the stupid tourist for the next two hours, and i was indeed. we went to this nice cafe openair place where no tourist ever ends up. lots of 'who the fuck is that'-looks, my tourist look probably didn't help either. was a great experience though but i will never again try vietnamese coffee which was about one cm of an ultrastrong, cold, bitter coffeelike substance. snacks were litchis and dried melon seeds :-)

not a big fan of motorbike rides as passenger i really like sharing a ride with two girls, not just for the player look (which would be more complete if i was the one riding the bike instead of being the scared bum holding to whatever is available)

afterwards i went to the beach... damn the beach... i never considered hoi an a beach place but after the 5k ride with my rented bicycle i arrived at one of the nicest beaches i've seen in a long long while.... palm trees, white sand, nice water and mountainous islands on the horizon... beautiful and not that busy, immediately decided to spend an extra night here before going to nha trang

and i've started tanning mode, but my feet look ridiculously zebra-like because of different patterns from sandals and flip flops :-)
Hoi An