Getting tailored clothes in Hội An 🤵🏻

Day 36. Hội An. The trading port city in the center of the country, most known for its picturesque old town covered in handcrafted lanterns and also for the numerous tailors that follow their profession here. I was really looking forward to arriving here when I first heard about the place and saw some pictures.

Peaceful meeting place

Hội An translates as “peaceful meeting place” and it’s an appropriate description for this town. Seriously, this is one of the most chill places I visited in Vietnam. This is mostly due to the fact, that within the very center, there are no motorbikes allowed, so it’s super relaxing to stroll around and enjoy a coffee by the river. Or, during the day, it’s best to rent a bicycle to go to the beach or explore the area around.

Generally, Hội An is a very charming town and it kind of reminded me about Florence (some people, although agreeing, were arguing that it’s more French-style though). The old Japanese bridge that definitely has its similarities with ponte vecchio in Florence, as well as the many tailors and leather manufacturers. Round that up with a great coffee culture and old, charming buildings and you’ll see the point why I felt like being in Italy.

The city is also very great for street photography. Not only because there are no motorbikes around, so it’s less of a hassle to walk. But also, because at night the whole town is light up in beautiful romantic lanterns, which makes for some great shots.

Wedding in Hội An

Making wishes

Another quite popular thing to do here is to hop on a boat, buy a candle and make a wish while putting the candle in the river. It’s actually very cool. Even if the boat ride doesn’t last very long, the colorful lantern lights at night make the whole experience pretty soothing. And who doesn’t want to make a wish, right?

Woman selling candles

Making a wish

Tailored clothes

When I first arrived here I told myself that I won’t get any clothes, because I rather wanted to save my money for my travels and seriously I didn’t really need any new clothes.

But seeing all the awesome silk shirts hanging around in the various shops around the center I simply couldn’t resist the temptation and treated myself. It was a little bit too baggy, but the gentle lady who was selling me her stuff was kind enough to change the shirt within an hour.

The day after I thought, some black linen pants would go pretty well along with the shirt. So after a few moments of indecision, I headed to one of the best-rated tailors (as found on TripAdvisor), only to find out that for a single pair of pants they would charge me 60$, which was a little bit out of my budget. I guess their good reputation allows them to set pretty high prices, the shop actually really seemed very professional and was huge and busy.

Given that Hội An is packed with tailors I decided to stroll around town and check out various options. I found a nice tailor that quoted me 20$ for the pants, which was absolutely fine for me. I quickly picked my favorite from their big selection of materials and told them my preferences about the pants (like zipper or buttons, two or one back pocket, etc.). They swiftly took my measurements and told me to come back in a day, same time.

Returning to the shop I was more than excited to see what they came up with. I gotta say: never have I worn something that fit that well. However, it felt a bit too tight for what I had in mind and I had them loosen it. Finally, I had the perfect pant I had in mind.

Weird, however, was the way they were trying to pair me off with one of their employee friends. A super shy, 18 years old Vietnamese. I was asked if I had a girlfriend and that I should just go have a coffee with her, so she would be my girlfriend. I thought “why not embrace the fun”, so I replied that I would leave to Saigon tomorrow and she should just join me, we’d have a lot of time to talk on the bus and get to know each other. They all started to laugh out loud, I was not quite sure if they still meant it seriously or if they were just joking… Awkward situation… Anyways: I still found it funny and I left with a charming “bye, see you tomorrow”.

Last but not least, I bought some kind-of-Birkenstock-shoes, that were also handmade for me in the color and size of my choice within a day.

Overall the whole shopping and tailoring experience in Hội An is very interesting. Awesome service, great quality. Definitely recommended.

There you go, me and my new outfit, killin’ it in Saigon:

Custom tailored clothes from Hội An

Leaving

My next stop in Vietnam was Saigon. For several reasons I first skipped some other places that were on the way, which meant that I had a 24 hours bus ride ahead of me. I’m so stupid, I should have just taken a flight… But at least the busses here are equipped with awesome beds so I guess I’ll just be napping an entire day.

Goodbye Hội An, it was a pleasure! 👋🏻

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