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Tailoring in Hoi An

6th November 2012

Nathan Smith, an Escape Travel Consultant based in Victoria's Sunbury Store, recently spent an action-packed adventure experiencing the sights of Vietnam. He was particular enamoured with Hoi An, a picturesque world heritage listed town situated where the Thu Bon river meets the ocean. Apart from the picturesque setting, one of the big attractions for travellers are the local tailors who can quite literally create designer-wear overnight.

Here is Nathan's account of having a suit tailor-made in Hoi An.

nathan in Hoi An

Nathan relaxing in Hoi An

When one visits Vietnam, one expects markets and bargaining. It’s just the Asian culture, something we have come to expect when we visit this part of the world. However on a recent trip to Hoi-An, Vietnam, this was taken to a whole new level.

Walking down the cobblestone streets of the World Heritage listed Hoi-An, you are faced with tailor after tailor. Every second shop in this town will offer to make you a new pair of shoes, suit, dress, or jacket. The choices are endless.

I was in the market for a new winter jacket, so I set out on a journey to find a place that stood out from the rest - one that would make sure my jacket would be still able to be worn by the time I got home.

This proved quite tricky- all the shops look identical, all offering the same style and fabrics. All the lovely Vietnamese people were ensuring me that their product was the best my money could buy.

In the end, I randomly chose a well presented store, and enquired about what I was after. I had heard that if you show a picture of a particular item you are after, the Vietnamese can replicate it.

I gave this a go; showing the lovely lady a picture I had on my phone of a jacket I would like. The tailor studied the picture for about 10 seconds, before saying; “not a problem.”

I then chose all the fabrics, linings and colors, from a huge wall of selections and proceeded to get measured up in every way humanely possible. I was told to come in later that afternoon, to pick up my garment.  Now that’s what I called service!

When I went back to pick up my jacket, it was amazing. Identical to the photo I provided, and fitting me perfectly.

It was some kind of experience, watching how the locals went from a few pieces of fabric, into a great quality fitted jacket, in the space of a couple of hours. It is something that any visitor that comes to Hoi-An must do, it’s just part of the fabric of the town.

Let Nathan arrange your next Vietnamese holiday by contacting him via email at nathan.smith@escapetravel.com.au.