Travel Report: Hoi An Central Market, Vietnam.
May 2018. Another Asian city, another market. But this time I wasn’t just merely sauntering, I had a specific mission! Hoi An is world famous for its skillful tailors and their many workshops knocking out high quality, wallet-friendly, measured-to-order clothing. There are a billion options in Hoi An, enough to put your head in a spin as you try and nail down the right place. I wanted to be able to compare as many prices as I could under one roof, so off I came to this bustling market located by the Thu Bon River around Nguyen Hue and Tran Phu streets.
May 2018. Expect to be hit with the hard sell the moment you enter. Some of the stall owners are desperately annoying, others totally obnoxious. In the end it was ‘45 Cloth Shop’ and their team of yellow-shirted women that charmed me into sitting down and crunching some numbers. I was looking for three short-sleeved cotton summer shirts and two pairs of cotton shorts. You can tell the material is decent quality as soon as you run your hands over it. You also have full control over colors, numbers of buttons, pockets and any decorative flourishes.
May 2018. I had to bargain hard with these guys before finally putting pen to receipt. “I have a travel blog you know, I’d be happy to promote you if the service is good, blah blah blah”. Turnaround was pretty quick too: I visited in the morning and returned to pick up my goods at around five o’ clock in the afternoon. Here I am modeling one of my pairs of shorts. Stylish and very, very comfortable.
May 2018.“You need a belt?” a voice whispered in my ear while I was paying the bill. It was the wily owner of a nearby stall who’d been watching me bag up my shorts. As it happened I did need a belt, my current one having descended into a fraying state of disrepair. So we scooted over to her belt empire and I picked one out before she measured me up and punched out the necessary holes.
May 2018. My decision to choose ’45 Cloth Shop’ turned out to be a huge success! They did an amazing job on all five pieces and indeed the shirts have been a godsend during the often-unbearable summer heat here in Ruian, China. I paid $10 per shirt and $12 for each pair of shorts, bringing my bill to a solid and ridiculously reasonable $54 (£41/€46). My only regret was that I didn’t order more!
For more on the sights of this beautiful city, dive into my other articles on Hoi An.
Like these? Check out many more of my pieces from all over Vietnam.
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