Two days ago, I went to a high end tailor for the first time in my life, Dung Tailor in Saigon, Vietnam. I got measured and ordered a shirt and a pair of pants. Cost: 1,020,000 VND, or a little more than $50 USD total.
This reminds me of when I was in Chengdu, China five years ago. In Chengdu, I bought a beautiful red leather suitcase for $100 USD, and got shirts and shoes for about $5 each.
So, would it be cheaper for you to fly to another country to buy your items? Here's the calculator I'd use:
1. Figure out what you're going to pay on clothing, shirts, shoes, and hand-crafted gifts in the next year.
2. Assume you can get that at between 40% and 70% off in Vietnam, China, or a relevant part of South America if you live in a Western country.
3. Go to kayak.com - check the cost of flights to your desired country.
4. If the cost of flights is less than or close to half of what you intend to spend on the next year on clothing, luggage, and gifts, you can get a free or almost-free vacation out of the deal. For instance, if someone was going to buy three high-end suits in the USA, it'd probably be break to fly to Vietnam, get them made here over the course of a week, and fly home. This doesn't apply or matter for someone who is a student or whatever, but if you just got a position or promotion where you need to be dressed up, why not celebrate a little effectively for free before going to work?
Here's the contact details from Dung Tailor (pronounced "Yoong"):
221 Le Thanh Ton Street
District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Telephone: 38 29 67 78 or 38 24 56 76
Fax: 38 23 68 08
Mobile: 0903 954 546
Note: This probably applies in reverse on electronics - for whatever reason, third world countries love to put a huge import tax on electronics, so computers, smartphones, that sort of thing often cost 50% to 100% higher than in Western countries. I don't know as much about where to buy quality electronics cheaply, if anyone knows, please feel welcome to let us know in the comments.
For suits, luggage, etc. - definitely go international. I've given this advice to anyone who travels and buys these sorts of things, and only one guy followed up with me and told me he did - bought a year's worth of items in China, paid less than half of what he'd have paid in America, and basically got two weeks in China at no more cost than he was going to pay in the USA. I try to gear up in countries where it's cheap, and go cheap in countries where it's expensive.
Hi Alex and Sebastian,
It's nice to heard that you guys think our vietnamese girls are quite beautiful. How long have you been traveled in Vietnam?
I'll second this tactic. I've bought suits from my uncles tailor in New Delhi, (former justice on their high court), for what I'd pay for a cheap off the rack department store suit in the states. Of course, suits from his tailor are completely custom, and look fantastic...! :)
Funny though – today I was flipping through one of the local newspapers, and all the articles were overwhelmingly pro-government.
Vietnamese press is pure Communist propaganda, its sole role is to praise the government and reassure the reader all is in order. Just like press in the Eastern Bloc was. It's actually—as you noticed—quite funny to read, but it isn't a "real newspaper".
Don't pay too much attention to the press, they are probably all tactic strategy that the government throw to blind publicity. If they like to stick up their ass with that retarded political structure, who are poor still poor no matter what.
And yeah very nice my ex girlfriend- she got some french blood too, but she is already quite american, born in State and so on, it wouldn't be good example then. If you want to know what is going on over there, you really got to talk to local people, but not too obvious that you can get in to trouble with police. You know where you are, don't you?
They probably hate American and France back then but not at this generation. The political issue between VN and China is more current at the moment I think. I bet it all got to do with land and few islands they are fighting over each other. But yeah for sure, Viet Nam was part of China before, even if they want it or not so there is definitely influence but also there is added mixture of all sort of things like France, American, Mongolia, Japan, English, Portugal...I assume. I have american vietnamese girlfriend once- the most beautiful women I know. It was surprise for me too, they seems very moderate political wise, not so extreme like I thought.
Hey man, this is also very good site for electronic: http://kakaku.com/item/K0000089582/
So you are in Viet Nam, I was there 5 years ago . Man, women there is so beautiful! The food is really good too, never really big fan of asian food but it was delicious. We also take a couch to Ha Noi from Sai Gon and stopping at Hoi An for a day. I recommend it! Very unique town! But if you want to do crazy thing with your clothes, please stay in Sai Gon. Hoi An is more well known for traditional clothes if you fancy Ao Dai (long dress) knowing as the traditional costume, I saw a lot of western girl had it made in Hoi An.
Check it out!
The market in Tokyo is akihabara for electronic.
Enjoy the good deal!
yey it is so good . Prada also has the out let in Viet Nam, what do you think ? Cheap labour and these people has the best crafted skilled. A lot more Italian designer start to think about putting their outlet there. But it is not always convenient to fly 17 hours to get the suits done. Traveler often plan to get their clothes made as part of the itinerary rather than the other way.
The best and cheapest electronic stuff you can get in the world is in Singapore and Japan, there is many major open door market is selling them, but you should ask carefully about the transferable voltage, sometimes it is different to us, especially in Japan. You can get good stuff and super cheap ' Made in China' but be extra cautious, there is a lot of fake too.
What a fascinating trip. I just did this route -
Beijing -> Erlianhaote -> Zamyn Uud -> Ulan Bator
Why do I choose such circuitous, crazy routes? Well, lots of reasons.
I want to understand as much as I can about the world, and taking out of the way routes - especially through important border towns - teaches a lot.
Often, you can manage a route like this in a way that's much less expensive than direct flights. Yes, time is money, but money is also money.
Today I was walking home from a rousing game of Rummikub with some friends. I mentioned that my phone was at critbatts, a strange shortened version of slang that Todd and I use, which means "critical batteries". To give credit where it's due, our good friend Elliot actually invented that particular phrase. Until that, we'd only used maxbatts, modbatts, minbatts, and nilbatts.
Anyway, after explaining what critbatts meant, I told my friends about a time in Thailand when Todd was running out of Thai money, Baht, and declared that he was at critbahts. We got a good chuckle out of it since critbatts had since become nearly an everyday word, especially given our use of GPS and such on our phones.
I then remarked that to hit critbahts is difficult, because the money is worth so little - less than monopoly, I joked - that it was almost impossible to run out. Wait a minute.. maybe that's not a joke. Maybe Baht really are worth less than Monopoly money. Math followed shortly after.