Made-to-measure suits, beaches and a forbidden bridge
Our first port of call in Hoi An was a tailors as we had heard from several people that this was the place to get a suit made and Alex, with his odd body, could benefit from a made-to-fit suit. We didn’t have to search for long and out of the many tailors picked Kimmys and settled in to pick out the style of suit that he should get.
After having picked out several styles between us the experienced assistant blew through several of our options almost immediately showing us how they would be wrong for his profile. So that left us with only two options one of which we picked. Alex was then whisked away to have all his measurements and we were told to return for the first of several fittings later on the next day.
Having plenty of time to spare before our next visit to the tailors we decided to visit, An Bang, one of the nearby beaches that both of our guidebooks had recommended and our hotel receptionist had reassured was only an easy kilometre walk away. Four kilometres later and having left most of ourselves on the trek in the form of puddles of sweat we arrived at the beach and collapsed onto our towels.
After having recovered we had a brilliant time relaxing for a change and soaking up the sun. We even made some dips into the sea which much to our surprise was incredibly warm. There were even some small waves that we both had a go body surfing on. We had found ourselves a nice little spot on the beach and there was very little rubbish or disturbance from beach sellers. All too soon the sun was dropping beneath the gently waving palm fronds and it was time to face the walk back.
Luckily it wasn’t as bad on the way back and we even made it back in time to have a quick swim in our hotel pool. After the warmth of the sea it was refreshingly cold but we had a great time mucking around. When the time came to head back into town to the tailors we were both fully relaxed and looking forward to getting Alex togged up. The suit looked good, although the fitter wasn’t all that impressed and quickly went about marking chalk all over for the alterations that would make it the perfect suit.
Today has been our last day in Hoi An and, after another fitting, we spent the morning wandering the town trying to visit as many of the free temples and trading houses as possible. Sadly there weren’t all that many free ones and we were quickly reduced to peering into those that needed an admission fee. Our last stop was the famed Japanese Bridge. Supposedly built by the Japanese, although there is quite a lot of evidence to the contrary it is a lovely little bridge with quite a startling fee to cross. Why some people paid this when its best angle is the exterior was beyond us.
Still our photo appetite sated we grabbed a quick lunch and headed back for the final fitting. It looked, as Rach put it, amazing. That just a few subtle tweaks could make such a difference was incredible. We had it parcelled up along with a few other clothes and got it shipped back home from the tailors. Now after a quick bit of internet gluttony we’re sat waiting for our taxi (we thought it best to give the bus a skip) to Da Nang before the longest train journey we’ve faced yet to Ho Chi Minh City otherwise known as Saigon.
Rex’s Rules of the Road
- Not strictly a rule of our own but when looking for a tailor be careful of any that offer an overnight service, expect to wait thirty-six hours or more for a decent suit, not to mention being called in for several fittings.
- The beaches around Hoi An are brilliant just be prepared for a bit of a trek if you want to walk. If you want to hire a bike or moped it will be much easier and there are plenty of places to get them from.
- A repeat of a previous rule, don’t eat at the touristy places. Try the street food, it tastes as good and costs much, much less.