Vietnam

Suit Fitting and Drinking Like Locals

I am very glad to be leaving Mui Ne. Yesterday, we saw all the major attractions of the town in a morning tour. Sure we didn’t really spend much time in  Mui Ne proper, but I think we got the gist of the city.

Our trip started at 1:30 PM and we made quite a few pit stops along the way so it was hard to rest.

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We were dropped off in Hoi An before the crack of dawn so we grabbed some food before returning to our homestay.

Viva Homestay

We found Viva Homestay via Hostel World and true to its name, it was technically a homestay and not a hostel. Apparently homestays may be situated near other locals’ homes and the family may cook for you since the building is actually a home-turned-accomodation. Viva felt similar to a hostel except that they only offered private rooms, and had less vacancy.

Whether it be because Hoi An is a smaller town or the fact that it’s a homestay, the people living/working at Viva appear to have more time and would often strike up friendly conversation. One day we almost couldn’t go downstairs because a group of women were sorting goods and had everything sprawled across the stairway and floor.

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The rooms are very spacious, bright, and clean.

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Duna Tailors

Hoi An is known for inexpensive tailored suits so of course we had to get one. We were recommended by our homestay to go to Duna tailors so we checked it out. Apparently you aren’t supposed to go to your hotel’s recommendation because they get commission and charge more. However, we read reviews and the place sounded legitimate.

We also negotiated the price before telling them where we were staying. I’m sure we could have gotten a cheaper price by shopping around, but we didn’t have much time in Hoi An, and the negotiated price was still much cheaper than even an off-the-rack suit in Canada.

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You are able to choose an outer and lining material, button colour, lapel size – almost anything you can imagine.

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At our first visit, the working, Ling, took our measurements and told us to come back the next day for the second fitting.

In the meantime, we took advantage of our homestay’s free bikes and rode ride around the quiet town. The experience was both exhilarating and scary. If you just follow the traffic and be predictable, it is quite manageable. Remember, no need to get startled or offended when you hear car horns. The drivers just want to let you know they are passing and that you may want to move over a bit.

Dinner Like Locals

A few steps away from our homestay was a open-air restaurant that looked busy with locals, which is a good sign. Although we got a few looks when we walked in, the service was friendly. We were seated in the middle of the restaurant with large parties of patrons flanking our sides.

As I ate and drank, I took in the atmosphere and felt like a local. Although theoretically vacations should be relaxing, the reality is that culture shock and human nature makes us worry and are a constant inhibitor over one’s thoughts and actions.

However, occasionally all your worries fade and you are immersed in the moment — it’s an amazing feeling. For me, I felt this immersion during today’s dinner as we ate like locals, drinking beer, eating spit-grilled food meats, and took in the atmosphere around us.

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