Saturday, February 15, 2014

Hoi An: a greedy man's heaven

You want shirt? You want suit? You want bag, purse, shoes? We make it for you! You pick color and design! Custom, custom!

If I had a dollar for every time I heard that, I’d own the whole city! Hoi An is a quant, touristy town burrowed in a delta on the central coast of Vietnam. The people are very friendly and nice, especially if you’re at their shop. Hoi An’s claim to fame is their custom shops. There’s leather stores and fabric stores. You pick everything from the design and color to the pickup time, and they will make anything for you! The price though, that is definantly negotiated.

Viet Nam, like many other countries, is based around bartering. Though, Hoi An is another kind of animal. They will fight until the end over 2,000 VND (about $0.10). They love Tet because then they can say “it’s a happy new year price, no negotiation”. As you walk though the market people shout at you “Buy something, please” or “come in, look around, best price in town”. We spoke with traveler coming from India who said the bartering here was the most intense and exhausting they’ve ever seen.

Suzie and I had the opportunity to have coffee with a local. This is when we found out most all the clothing is made by the same “big tailor”/factory no matter where you’re shopping. So, pick the shop on the price because they are all the same quality. It is funny knowing this while shopping because the sellers say they are the tailor or their mother or father makes the clothes. At one shop a women told me she made the clothes and the next day she mentioned her mother would make the clothes. Ha! Yaa right!! Shoes though, are a different story. The shops make them individually so be careful where you buy them!


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