This is about getting the smaller things done in Hanoi I guess. I have pretty much given up wearing jeans here so I took a pair of cargo pants in to have them altered in the waist. You cannot go to a regular tailor for this. There is a special street in the old quarter where you can find backpack mending, detail work on leather and other materials, and money exchange. Seem like an interesting combination? I thought so too :-).
So of I went to Ha Trung Street based on the recommendation of a tailor. My goal was to find a person who would alter my store bought and cheap cargo trousers by taking them in about an inch in the waist. I guess I’ve lost some weight in the 90 degree heat and wandering 12 to 14k steps per day. I’ve tried to compensate by drinking beer every day. Anyways, here’s the rule in Hanoi. There’s a street for everything and the street I needed was Ha Trung Street. This post also suggests if you want a backpack mended, store bought jeans altered, or other stuff like this you must find the wiggly waggly Ha Trung. I did.
The first few places I stopped were not the ones. The third one was. She took some measurements and had me try on the pants. She smiled a lot and laughed and told me to come back after 5pm. We did not haggle. I came back and the pants were done and fit better. Its worth it because you cannot easily find western sizes for old retired guys like me here. So I find the places that will take care of my needs.
I stopped and talked with the hotel guys and they told me I was going to the right place to get the job done. I will say I spent about $4.00 to have the job done to my satisfaction.
The main message I have for you if you come to Hanoi is find the street of your desire. Electronic repairs? Go look north of Hoan Kiem Lake. I have seen more laptop and electronic repairs there. Clothing? Old quarter is the place pretty much. Do you need some metal? Flowers? Cloth? Candy? I have seen it all wandering the streets.
Its different than the US where you look in a phone book or go online. Here you ask someone. I found that this local tour shop with the nice people will tell me where places are to get things done. Find the places. Its all good in Hanoi. It just takes a different direction to look. Except for Pho. Pho can be found in any old direction you wanna go 🙂