Hoi An, Vietnam – A Quaint Town That Employs Half of the World’s Tailors

Hoi An is famous amongst backpackers for its tailors. Word on the street is that Hoi An is the place to get cheap, new, tailor made clothing – that word is right. While in Hoi An we found a tailor (though they aren’t hard to find, the tailor shops line the streets, it’s hard to go anywhere in this city without bumping into someone who wants to make you some kind of clothing!) to make us a few new pieces for our wardrobes.

Hoi An - Motorbike in MarketBe careful walking through the market… you might get run
over by a motorbike!

Hoi An - Jeff at the TailorsJeff getting measured for his new suit.

In addition to its tailors, and probably more important on a cultural level, are the historical architectural sites of Hoi An Old Town that are littered around the city. We spent a couple of days roaming around the city, taking in the sights (and the sites).

Hoi An - Chinese Assembly HallThe courtyard of the Chinese Assembly Hall.

While the sites were interesting, we came across a few that left a lot to be desired. Despite this, it was nice to walk around the city and learn a bit more about it’s history.

Hoi An - IncenseIncense hung from the ceiling in the ancient temples.

While in the area, we also made an early morning trip (5am) to My Son (pronounced Me Son), an old Cham ruin. These ruins were simply the beginning of what we were to see later in Angkor, but they were still amazing, especially so early in the morning before the rush of tourists arrived.

Hoi An - My Son RuinsThey aren’t sure how the buildings were created. The bricks are
melded together with no mortar in between.
Experts believe the
Cham people may have used a glue derived from sap that is found
in a tree common in the area.

The Cham people originally came from Indonesia to Vietnam. They were pushed down the coast and left their mark in ancient buildings scattered throughout Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. My Son is 2,000 years old and was built by various kings throughout the years. It was a temple for the king and his family, a place to worship the Hindu god Shiva. During the Vietnam war the US bombed this site, but it is still fairly intact. They say that these are not the best examples of Cham ruins, the buildings are not in great shape, but because of its placement in the jungle, they are the most interesting.

Hoi An - Jen at My SonTaking in the beauty of the surroundings.
It was so peaceful and quiet.


We met a French family who were disappointed by My Son. I’m not sure what they were expecting, but we’ve learnt to go into things with either low or no expectations. It means that things are usually more enjoyable and we aren’t disappointed very often!

Hoi An - River Lights at NightYou can see the French influence in these buildings on the river.

Hoi An - Street Life at DuskThe streets were small and full of souvenir shops,
places to stop for a quick bite to eat, and tailors.

Aside from the shopping and the history, Hoi An is simply a quaint town that is a nice place to relax from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi and Ho Chi Min City.

Hoi An - Motorbikes at NightMotorbikes at dusk.

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~ by dawseng on August 11, 2009.

3 Responses to “Hoi An, Vietnam – A Quaint Town That Employs Half of the World’s Tailors”

  1. Beutiful pictures !

  2. Thanks for sharing your phots from trips to Vietnam. This is what I learned from history and readings: the Cham people’s ancestors originially came from Cambodia, not Indonesia.

    • Interesting. Our guide said they came from Indonesia, but after a bit of digging, it seems as though they do mostly come from Cambodia. Thanks for the info!

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