Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Adventures with Arthur (in Hoi An)

Hoi An is a small town in central Vietnam that has been elevated to almost mythical proportions by travelers hungry for some new threads. Here, we were told, we could get a new wardrobe for the cost of a fancy dinner back home. While not initially committed to partaking in such an endeavor we were drawn by the promise of a new suit for Jeremy, a fancy dress for Ali, and generally "more adult" clothing to fit the more adult lives that await us when we return home.

Of course if traveling in Asia has taught us anything it is that while anything is possible, nothing is easy. For instance, does the wool-cashmere fabric the saleslady is suggesting for Jeremy's suit actually include polyester and if so, how much harder should we bargain for the price? For instance, if Ali requests double stitching on her dress as she was told to do by a knowledgeable friend, how can she be sure it was done if she doesn't know what double stitching looks like? And anyway, how the hell can you know if you are going to like a shirt/skirt/dress/pair of pants if you can't even try it on before you buy it?

It was an exhausting and strenuous week and it was only exacerbated when a tarantula paid us a visit in our bedroom. No, really we are being much too cynical and grumpy. We got lots of nice, inexpensive stuff made here, as you can see by the pictures, and met some wonderful tailors.

For those of you considering a shopping trip to Hoi An we would highly recommend a pretty little shop called MeKong (336 Nguyen Duy Hieu Rd, owned by a kind and honest couple. For a less enjoyable experience that, with perseverance and a knowledge of exactly what you want, yields equally satisfactory clothing try Nhi Nhi (64 Le Loi St); you can contact the pushy proprietor at If you are tired of the hassle or want a particularly complicated or high quality article of clothing, your best bet is Yaly (358 Nguyen Duy Hieu, where you will be sure to pay much more and be served by a team of highly efficient female tailors.

By the way, Arthur (the tarantula) was last seen loitering on the ceiling in our bathroom. We were dismayed this evening to find it missing.

Check out pictures from Hanoi by clicking here

1 comment:

Cindy Pincus said...

so you're saying the tarantula was missing.....

you both look great in your clothes! im glad you got these nice fancy things and can't wait for you to go crash some weddings.