Historic Hoi An

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The tailor city. That’s what it should be called. Hoi An is a very pleasant historic town on a river in central Vietnam. The old town is filled with charming two story buildings which have been built by the merchants over two hundred years ago. Much is still as it was back then, and the streets do not allow cars in, which gives the whole old town a very nice feel. On the other hand, market forces as they are have caused a flurry of tailors to inhabit every crack and crevice in the old town center. Estimates stand at three to five hundred tailors. Anywhere you turn, someone is offering to custom make you a suit, dress, shoes, underwear, or socks. It takes some of the old town charm away.

The town was very pleasant and we’ve spent a few days exploring it, visiting some of the old merchant houses and Chinese assembly halls. We also took a day trip out to My Son, where the old Champa culture had built a set of temples. They sit in ruins as little restoration has been done to roll back the tides of time. Also, it does not help that Americans mistook them for enemy bunkers during the Vietnam-American war and dropped a few bombs for good measure.

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