Is Hoi An hell if you don't shop?

What we say: 3.5 stars

If you have a proper look around Hoi An you can’t fail to notice that the tailor shops win hands down in terms of numbers, with restaurants coming in a close second, shoes third and sneaking in at number four a whole new wave of spas. It would seem that this is a town for the ladies — though not all, of course, while some men are going to go gaga over the shops too. It’s no wonder fresh beer has become so popular, with restaurants packed to the rafters with abandoned menfolk updating their Facebook statuses with photos of 20 cent beer. But other than drink beer, what else is a shopping-hating boy or girl to do? Here are some options.

Twelve beers, four games of chess and just two hours in..

For sheer exhilaration to match the adrenaline thrill of the shop (you know, for some) you could go down to An Bang beach and catch a few waves. Both The Banyan Bar and Le Plage offer the use of both surf and body boards to their customers, and Banyan even reward you with all you can drink deals… which are probably best avoided at least until after you get out the water. Novices can sign up for private or group lessons with Bondi surfer Dale’s Surf Lessons. If it’s flat you can always try your hand at paddle boarding.

An aptly named tailor shop.

If sports tickles you, there’s no better place to watch your chosen game than at the 3 Dragons Sports Bar in town, offering 24/7 live satellite sports, cold beers and proper sports tucker along with understanding sports mad staff to buddy up with. They have even got calming riverside dining should your little shopper want to join you for a spot of lunch between rounds, meaning you need only move chairs, not location.

For those that need a little assistance finding the sea — you might want to sign up for a lesson.

Good old Montgomerie Links have noticed the gap in the market for lost boys and every day from 16:00-18:00 its happy hour down at the driving range. For less than $10 you can hit as many golf balls as you like at targets on the range, with a half hourly moving target in the guise of a golf ball collection cart with a small Vietnamese driver at the wheel; she’s so used to being the bullseye that she’s got handbrake turns completely licked. They also throw in a pitcher of beer and unlimited salty nuts.

Target practice.

Hoi An Motorbike Adventures have a couple of half-day adventure ride outs on dusty, dirty Minsks with testosterone pumped tour guides, which will keep you out of trouble for a good few hours.

Now if you do have to, say, get yourself a nice little suit, it is very possible to put the blinkers on and get fitted up in next to no time so long as you know what you are doing and where you are going. For backpackers, head straight for Lan, just around the corner from the 3 Dragons. A favourite with expats, she can get you measured up at half time and get a business suit sewn up in 24 hours. Flashpackers should head for Mr Xe on Le Loi, the campest most darling man who takes the most accurate inside leg measurements in town. Midrangers should head to Yaly, where you’ll find complete professionalism, high standards of service and, well, matching prices.

3 Dragons Sports Bar
51 Phan Boi Chau St, Hoi An

Dale’s Surf Lessons
T: (84) 01203 976102

Hoi An Motorbike Adventures
54A Phan Chau Trinh St, Hoi An

www.motorbiketours-hoian.com

Lan Tailor
31 Hoang Dieu St, Hoi An

Mr Xe
71 Nguyen Thai Hoc St, Hoi An

Yaly
47 Nguyen Thai Hoc St, Hoi An

Last updated: 13th November, 2014

About the author:
After years of camping in her back garden in the New Forest, Caroline Mills’ parents went wild and jetted her off to Morocco where her dream of becoming a traveling belly dancer was born.
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