Saturday, January 14, 2006

Hoi An - a shoppers' paradise

I tried on my suit today and it may, just about, have been worth $55 + Mr Xe's unique service charge. It will be finished tomorrow.

However, I can't help feeling that I've wasted a major opportunity here in Hoi An. It is a clothes shoppers paradise. Why? Because you show them a picture of what you want (they have piles and piles of Next Catalogues and back issues of Glamour and GQ), pick out a material (from the bolts of cloth, cotton, leather, corduroy or silk in the tailors' shops or the market), wait 24 hours and hey presto.

The only problem is that I don't tend to buy clothes from Next Catalogues. If only I'd brought some photos of that Zara coat that didn't quite fit or the Diesel slant-cut jeans I couldn't afford or the distressed casual jacket I was waiting to see in the sales...

I think I may have to settle for just my suit.

However, anyone who has ever shopped for clothes but not found the right fit or the right thing should come to Hoi An on holiday. There's an airport nearby, a beautiful beach (according to some of our fellow backpackers), historical ruins, cheap food ($3 for a posh meal, 50p on the cheap), cheap drinks (30p for gin and tonic during happy hour), sun, fun, more tailors that you'll ever need plus workshops that make handbags, shoes and other accessories.

Bring photos of all the clothes you ever wanted and go mad!


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