Hoi An, in south central Vietnam, is one of those picture perfect enclaves with just the right blend of local flavor and tourism.
Home to 120,000 people, the town has been recognized as a World Heritage Site and boasts an exceptionally well-preserved, centuries-old South East Asian trading port. Here you can watch fish trawlers enter and leave port all day. You'll also see the local women sorting through the latest catch, making baskets and even playing cards.
Hoi An is easy to explore on foot, or even better, by bicycle. You can ride out to the beautiful beaches on the South China Sea and walk among the many local shops selling a wide variety of local crafts and artwork.
But a visit to Hoi An would not be complete without a clothing fitting. In great abundance are garment shops, all willing to create any imaginable piece of clothing from a dizzying array of fabrics. You can even bring a magazine clipping of something you admire and it will be fashioned for you within hours.
One evening after dinner, I ventured into a shop, explaining that I really liked the shirt I was wearing. The workers quickly took careful measurements, helped me pick out fabric and told me to return the next morning.
When I came back, three shirts in three different patterns had been fabricated, for about $5 each. Extremely well made, I still wear all of them to this day,