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By SUEP
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May 5, 2006 – A journey to Hoi An, Vietnam in Asia


Taking A Breather In Hoi An

Hoi An offers a much slower pace of life in Viet Nam. Less traffic and noise, not too much city, close to beaches, basically, a more peaceful setting. Am Unesco World Heritage site, Hoi An is also very reminiscent of the preserved ancient towns in China (e.g., Zhouzhuang, Dali, Zhujiajiao). Wandering around the streets mainly used by pedestrians and through small alleyways was actually quite nice.



entrance to the ancient town, a small town within the town of Hoi An


a narrow alley


Cua Dai Beach, a 4 km bike ride from central Hoi An town


Hoi An is also known for hand-tailored clothes made to fit at a lesser price than what you would get at home. You can have anything you want made, but most people get winter coats and business wear (skirts, suits, dress shirts). You do have to be careful of which tailors to use. Since all the tailor shops looked the same to us and we could hardly tell the difference between one shop from another, Rick got one suit made at a recommended shop called Anna's.

Then we passed by Yaly Couture and decided to check it out. What a huge and remarkable difference. Too bad LP doesn't have any recommendations for tailors. Rick ended up with two more suits and a tuxedo of high quality fabrics (wool-cashmere, etc.), all intricately stitched from Yaly's. "You can tell what the tailor was doing," a British traveler who's knowledgeable in good-versus-bad-tailoring described to us. He also pointed out that Yaly has male tailors working on clothing for male clients, and likewise female tailors for female clients. The tailors even come out to help you with the fitting for further modifications.

As for the suit from Anna's, the pants were okay, but the coat was lopsided (found this out later after Rick paid and took the suit home). She also swapped out the wool-cashmere fabric that Rick picked out in the first place, and used a similar fabric made of polyester-wool instead. In addition to putting in too much trust in Anna, we were too much in a rush to figure that one out on the spot. Rick actually found out about the true fabric when he took the coat for fabric comparison at Yaly's. The same suit at Yaly's would've cost $30 USD less, because it's mostly polyester material. (They felt bad for him and even fixed his lopsided coat for free). In other words, don't go to Anna’s or any other tailor shops like hers. If you want quality tailoring and happened to be in Hoi An, and yes I'm giving a sales pitch here, go to Yaly Couture.



two Yaly shops in the small town of Hoi An – one at 47 Tran Phu and the other at 47 Nguyen Thai Hoc (the smaller one seems to be more personable)


inside Yaly Couture – you won’t get the same feel in the other hundred tailor shops in town


also highly recommend the hole-in-the-wall restaurant by the river called Rose – they have the best tasting local dishes of Hoi An there (try the steamed fish in banana leaf, cau lao, and fried wontons)


monks with parasols




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