Hoi An Souvenirs, Gifts & Touristy Things

Hoi An Shopping | Art & Gifts

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You’ve arrived in town and looking to buy some Hoi An souvenirs. But is Hoi An good for souvenir shopping? Is Hoi An the best place to buy your Vietnamese souvenirs? What makes a good souvenir or gift from Vietnam? Where can you buy them?

Firstly, yes – Hoi An is a great place to buy gifts. You will find mementos to purchase in many shops around the Old Town. Indeed, even if you don’t go looking for souvenirs to buy, the ubiquitous Hoi An souvenir street sellers will come looking for you. You’ll get vendors crashing your restaurant with ‘What you want?’ and shoving cards that spring to life with stand up flowers in your face.  Along the streets you’ll be harangued to buy mechanical flying birds, multi-colored, light-flashing spinning tops and all manner of kitsch Vietnamese souvenirs. 

Best Souvenirs and Gifts to Buy in Hoi An

Hoi An offers a host of beautiful gifts and souvenirs to buy. And if you can’t fit them all in your suitcase, no problem. Buy another from the Central Market. But whatever you do, take advantage of the many unique and beautiful things to buy at eye-watering, bargain prices. You’ll regret it if you don’t. There are many great things to purchase in Hoi An but for gifts and souvenirs, here are the best.

Leather Bag – buy one from a leather shop or get one made up.

Traditional Vietnamese Dress (Ao Da) – buy direct from any number of clothes shops, or choose your silk and get one tailored; these outfits look great on all body shapes

Lantern – What better memento than a lantern from the ‘City of Lanterns’., Hoi An. They make great gifts and souvenirs.

Bespoke Clothes – You can not come to Hoi An without taking home a tailor-made shirt, suit or dress.

Shoes – Get a pair copied or design them yourself.

Silk Scarf – light to pack, beautiful to give (or keep), these make wonderful gifts to take back home. Buy a lot and you can really barter the price.

Carving – there are many places to buy unique wooden figures or masks around Hoi An. They make great souvenirs.

Lacquered plates, coconut dishes & ceramics – any or all of these make a wonderful reminder of your time in Hoi An

Mask – We love the Timing Mask Workshop for mask buying, they are bright, colorful and cheap. Alternatively, do the work shop and make your own.

Banana Shirt – Oh, why not!

Where’s the Best Place to Buy Souvenirs in Hoi An?

Begin with a simple walk around the Old Town. It will bring you in contact with copious souvenir shops. Many of these shops offer similar merchandise. You’ll find cheap jewelry, tapestry bags adorned with wide-eyed owls, off-their-head banana shirts, bamboo place mats, coconut candle holders, ornately painted fans, lacquered bamboo plates, brightly colored coconut dishes, fridge magnets, T shirts, tourist chopsticks, and so much more. 

If you’re in a hurry and want to get your souvenir shopping over and done with, head straight to the market end of Hoi An Old Town’s, Bach Dang Street. This is your One-Stop Shop for souvenirs at bargain prices. Here, amid the noise and bustle, fish and vegetable smells, you will find every type of gift and cheap souvenir Hoi An has to offer. A walk along here is like venturing in to an Aladdin’s Cave of souvenir treasures. Shops and market stalls ooze with ceramic dishes, silk scarves, key rings, bamboo bowls, lanterns, bags of all shapes and sizes; fake jewelry, wicker boxes, straw hats, silk sheets, you name it – they’ve got it.

But this shopping experience is not for the faint hearted! Be prepared for an avalanche of Vietnamese market sellers, simultaneously screaming, ‘You, you, you!’ as they vie for your trade. Hold on to your nerve, do not get upset. Barter gently and firmly – with a smile. If they won’t budge on the price and you think they should, walk to the next vendor. It’s what the Vietnamese do. The next seller would have been watching. The price they offer will be more reasonable and more than likely, the original seller will scream ‘Okay, okay’.

Whilst souvenir shops are plentiful in Hoi An, Finding something unique to buy can be hard. 

Unless you know where to look.

For those who like to shop (and explore), we recommend taking a few days to walk around the Old Town, comparing inventory and prices from shop to shop. For those who hate shopping or are short on time and patience, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best places in Hoi An to buy original souvenirs and higher-end arts and crafts.  These are the shops you need to visit when you hit Hoi An’s souvenir shopping scene.

We show you the best places to buy high-end ceramics, traditional Vietnamese textiles, made-in-china trinkets, artificially aged ‘antiques’ – even puppets!

All of our listed souvenir shops have set prices. But if you’re more thrilled by the unpredictable hustle and bustle of Vietnamese life and like to barter, Hoi An’s markets are where you should look. For cheap jewellery, postcards, trinkets and even pottery we recommend exploring  Central Market and for a lantern-lit wonderland experience, try Hoi An Night Market (and if you’re not sure what you should pay, see our Price Guide).

Exquisite Cultural Gallery

Was ever the name of a gallery more apt? Situated just steps away from the Ancient Town, ‘Exquisite – Cultural Gallery’ is in fact, quite exquisite. The one-room gallery is built around a large wooden table that acts as a stage for a vast array of Vietnamese pottery, wooden sculptures and textiles.  Almost everything on sale here is made by minority groups from all over Vietnam.  Seeing many of their country’s artistic traditions slowly slipping away, owners Giang and Kiet, have provided a creative platform for Vietnam’s ethnic minorities to tell their rapidly disappearing tales.  And the owners are keen to tell you about it.  Purchase any piece here and you’ll be regaled about its background.  Prices vary.  You can buy authentic Vietnamese pottery, such as M’Nong ceramics for around 4 USD or a wooden owl candle holder for around 210 USD.  In a sea of touristy Hoi An souvenir shops, Exquisite – Cultural Gallery offers something unique.  Take take home anything from this shop and you are taking home some of the best souvenirs Vietnam has to offer.

Con Nhan, Cam Thanh, Hoi An (see map below)
10am – 7pm

Phuong Do

In our ever-changing world of modernity, so many countries’ cultures are under threat.  Vietnam is no exception.  So, it is wonderful to come across artisans like Huynh Phuong Do.  Passionate about preserving the Vietnamese craft of sculpting art from bamboo roots and stumps, you’ll find him busy at work outside his shop on Bach Dang street carving his next masterpiece.   With roots for their whiskers and joy in their chiseled faces, one of these bamboo heads is an essential buy if you want to take home a little bit of Hoi An.  Inspired by historical Vietnamese figures, each piece is totally unique.  They are also ridiculously cheap.  Pick up a small carving for 4 USD or go for one of the larger ones with its roots for arms and legs at 40 USD.  These figures make a great Hoi An souvenir or gift and are extremely popular with tourists.  For that little bit of extra memory, bring along your camera and photograph the master at work.  I’m sure you can tell: Phuong Do is one of our favourite shops.

26 Bach Dang
11am – 7pm

SUNDAY in Hoi An

In a sea of mass-produced souvenirs and gifts, SUNDAY in Hoi An merchandise feels a little more special. Here, pastel ceramics, statement earrings, and straw baskets reign supreme. Fashion-forward shoppers, look no further than SUNDAY on your search for that new coffee mug or silk headscarf. SUNDAY will help get you ready for your next Instagram/Facebook photo op. If you’ve been wandering through Hoi An Old Town and eyeing those woven market bags but are uncertain about all the use of bright red and orange, venture into SUNDAY to find the muted versions of these Vietnamese classics.

 

184 Tran Phu
9am – 9pm

Reaching Out Gift Shop

Reaching Out Gift Shop, is one of Hoi An’s most special places.  It offers beautifully crafted, high-quality gifts for the discerning and social conscious shopper. At this mission-driven shop, differently-abled artisans are given an opportunity to showcase their talents, working alongside their abled-bodied colleagues to create a host of fine housewares. Exquisite ceramic tea sets, rattan basket ware, pottery, lanterns and silver jewelry are just some of the things on sale. For Hoi An gift ideas or meaningful souvenirs, this is a great place to spend your money.  Prices are higher than the average Hoi An gift shop, but you’re paying for quality. If you have some time to spare post-shopping, we recommend taking a peek at their workshop out the back to see how your gifts are made.  But first, wind down with a cup of tea or coffee in the teahouse.  It will do your soul good.

 

131 Nguyen Thai Hoc
8:30am – 9:00pm (Mon – Fri) & 10:00am – 8:30pm (Sat – Sun)

Hoa Champa ‘Coffee Craft Shop’

Since its introduction by the French in the 19th Century coffee has not only been embraced throughout Vietnam, it has made the country very rich (they are now the second largest exporter of coffee in the world).  So, if you are looking for an authentic souvenir of Vietnam to take back home venture in to one of the many coffee gift shops exploding all over the Old Town.

We particularly like Hoa Champa which doubles as a gift and specialty store.  Inside this small and very pretty rustic setting you will find many possibilities for souvenirs to take back home.  Ceramic dishes, ornate tea sets, old-style coffee grinders, Vietnamese pottery, Agarwood jewellery as well as all manner of coffee and teas.    They also have an extensive coffee menu which includes Vietnamese drip coffee, Americano, Lattes and even Yoghurt coffee.  We recommend the coconut coffee, it’s delicious.

Weasel Coffee (Kopi Luwak): Is an expensive and very popular novelty coffee made from the droppings of weasels. It is a popular Hoi An souvenir that all sounds very cute in the literature:  “This little guy eats the coffee beans, out comes the poop, we have special coffee.”   However, there’s a dark side.

43 Phan Chau Trinh
8.30am – 9pm

Hoi An Handicraft Wooden Ships

In the sea of Hoi An souvenir shops, this shop stands apart.  On sale are incredible model replicas of famous ships such as the USS Constitution, Titanic and Cutty Sark. Apart from well-known ships, there’s yachts, speed boats, tall ships, new ships, cruise ships, ships in a bottle – they even sell ships in a lightbulb!  The craftsmanship and incredible detail involved in Hoi An Handicraft Wooden Ships is amazing, in fact it is hard to relay.  You simply have to see it.  Another lovely touch of detail is the information cards that accompany each of the larger models.  This provides a brief background history on the ship.  Did you know, the Black Pearl was formerly known as the Wicked Wench before Jack Sparrow christened her Black Pearl?

There’s no pressure to buy at Hoi An Handicraft Wooden Ship Shop. But, if you do make a purchase, the ships can easily be broken down and shipped to your final destination at an additional charge. For an interesting Hoi An souvenir or gift, put this place on your list.

A one meter- (3.3 foot-) length Titanic sells for around 36 USD (very reasonable considering the craftsmanship); they also take visa and package with a guarantee.

145 Tran Phu Street
9am – 9pm

Artbook

There are copious souvenir, gift and specialty shops in Hoi An but some are impossible to pass by without entering. Artbook is one of them.  Housed within a traditional Hoi An yellow house, Artbook’s colorful collection of souvenir posters, notebooks, children’s toys and much more certainly catches the eye.  You can find some of the best souvenirs from Vietnam here: Vietnamese pottery, candles, fashion accessories, tea, ceramics and coasters, your souvenir choices are endless.  But it’s the books that make it unique.  You’ll find quintessential English classics, best sellers, travel books, fiction, non-fiction and more.  They also stock a good number of interesting titles from Vietnamese authors to help shed light on the country’s tumultuous decades-long war. If you completely forgot to pack your next travel read, Artbook has you covered.  There are several Artbook stores in Hoi An.  For the largest selection head to 166 Tran Phu which is situated under The Chef restaurant. Renowned for its wonderful rooftop balcony with great views over Hoi An, The Chef serves good food and some pretty nice Sundowners too.  Highly recommended as a perfect resting stop in-between your souvenir shopping spree.

114 Tran Phu, 133 Tran Phu
9.30am – 9.30pm

The Timing Masks Workshop (updating as have a new location)

This entry is being updated.  Details are different to listed here.

There are many craft shops in Hoi An but none more eye-catching than The Timing Masks Workshop on Bach Dang street.  Exploding with wall to wall colour from brightly painted masks of all shapes and sizes, this is a great place to pick up a unique Hoi An souvenir.  All masks on sale are individually painted and while the workshop is all about making your own, these ready-made options (220,000 VND / 9.5 USD) are great for those short on time. But – how much better to make your own!  With more than 40 years of experience under his belt, craftsman Phong Bui is working hard to keep the traditional art of mask making alive in Hoi An.  (The Timing Masks workshop gets its name after the time it has taken Phong Bui to master the craft.)  If you’re looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon, book a workshop with the Phong Bui and his family.  There are several types of workshops, some that go through the entire mask making process or the more relaxed, ‘drop in and paint’ your own.

Workshops : 420,000 VND / 18 USD (duration ~2 hours) / Traditional concert: Every evening @ 5pm, combining folk dancing, classical opera, and storytelling.  Price: 100,000 VND (4 USD).

58/7 Le Loi Street
8am – 6pm
+84 (0) 235 3959 159 & +84 (0) 905 404 495 – Ms Giang

Alluvia Chocolate

Okay, who doesn’t like a chocolate shop?  The smell of chocolate is a glorious experience and let’s face it, the bad name chocolate has accrued is just not fair.  Chocolate is good for you.  Well, the one that’s not quite edible is anyway.  So if you’re looking for an easy to carry Hoi An souvenir that everyone will like, head along to Alluvia Chocolate. Founded by a father-daughter pair, looking to bring chocolate from the Mekong Delta of Vietnam to the masses, you’ll find chocolate of all varieties here.  Whilst the chocolate comes from the Mekong the ingredients come from all over Vietnam. There’s Chile chocolate, cashew chocolate, blueberry, ginger, green tea and more. Sample from their mini sample trays to find the one you like (and pretend you can’t decide and sample them again) – why not!  Small bars start around 90,000 VND (3.8 USD). Whilst it’s not cheap, when was anything nice in life cheap?  Alluvia Chocolate make  great gift ideas (just don’t eat them before you get home).

117 Phan Chau Trinh
9am – 9pm

Like bargains? See what’s cheap to buy in Vietnam in What to Buy

For art souvenirs, see our Best Art Galleries in Hoi An

Written By
Sharon Guest

Primarily a playwright, Sharon has written for magazines and newspapers in many parts of the world. The author of two books, she is also a co-founder of Hoi An Now.

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