You’ve arrived in town and looking to buy some Hoi An souvenirs. But what makes a good souvenir or gift from Vietnam? Where can you buy them?
A simple walk around the Old Town will bring you in contact with copious Hoi An souvenir shops. You’ll find ornately painted fans, lacquered coconut dishes, tourist chopsticks, tapestry bags adorned with wide-eyed owls, off-their-head banana shirts and so much more. 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, T shirts and all manner of kitsch Vietnamese souvenirs.
Finding something unique 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, try Hoi An’s markets. 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).
My Little Vietnam
One of Hoi An’s most beautiful souvenir shops, My Little Vietnam, oozes elegance, charm and originality. Stocking handicrafts and art from all over Vietnam, you’ll find rugs from Sapa, Vietnamese essential oils, throw mats, paintings, delicate sketches, jewelry, soap, face oil, wall hangings even babies’ hand-crafted dresses. And for a gift shop of this caliber, the prices are ridiculously cheap. Pick up an exquisite Vietnamese themed multi-use notebook on natural unprocessed paper for 65,000 VND or an ornate ceramic tea sets for 695,000 VND (30 USD) – a steal! Or a really cute, Dumbo mosquito repellent for kids at 95,000 VND (4 USD). In a town dripping with copycat merchandise My Little Vietnam offers truly unique Hoi An souvenirs and gifts at truly unique prices. So if you’ve come to Hoi An wondering what souvenirs to buy : start here.
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 90,000 VND (3.8 USD) or a wooden owl candle holder for around 2,500,000 VND (10 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.
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 100,000 VND (4 USD) or go for one of the larger ones with its roots for arms and legs at 400,000 VND (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.
Cocobana Tea Room & Gardens
Cocobana is a hidden oasis for tired travelers. Upon entering, you’ll find a collection of teas and chocolate on sale. They come from all over Vietnam, are beautifully packaged and make easy lightweight gifts. Walk the length of this tea room to discover a café, green garden, and souvenir shop that can double as a small gallery. On sale are local crafts, Vietnamese pottery, artifacts, ancient ceramic dishes, candles, wooden artifacts, historic pieces and more. If you’re on a quest to find the best souvenirs from Vietnam, there is plenty to choose from here. But no visit to Cocobana is complete without trying their incredible selection of teas and drinks. Our favorite is the organic lychee tea but the mango green iced tea is pretty good too! If you’re in the mood to really indulge your senses, order their combo special. It includes a foot bath along with your choice of drink for 100,000 VND (4 USD). Great value! Your tea even arrives with a little Buddha incense holder to maximize relaxation.
Truc Thanh (Blue Bamboo)
Stepping in to Truc Thanh gift and souvenir shop is like stepping into Santa’s workshop. You are immediately immersed in a harlequin of hanging mobiles. All made from felt they swirl from every imaginable crevasse. Even more amazing these hanging felt wonders are all made by owners Thao and Phuong. This incredible duo are either obsessive compulsive with a felt fetish or two sad girls in need of a life. Whatever the case, they’ve created a magical world that is hard to walk past. Apart from the countless felt mobiles there’s also toys, lights, key rings, hats, women’s handbags, purses and so much more. Keychains are priced at 100,000 VND (4 USD) and mobiles are 180,000 VND (7.8 USD). They also offer free embroidering for customers. Thuc Thanh is one of Hoi An’s most fun handicraft workshops and is a great place to pick up an original, fun and colorful Hoi An souvenir. (Quay Luu Niem (“Souvenir Stall”), across the street at 83 Tran Phu offer a similar selection of goods at the same prices.)
Tho Gian 2
Situated in Tran Phu Street, a few steps from the Japanese Bridge, you’ll find the relatively new and utterly charming, Tho Gian 2 Handmade Craft Workshop. One of three similar shops dotted around Hoi An, Tho Gian 2 (Time 2) is a visual feast of souvenirs and gifts from soaps, bags to fans, cushions, essential oils and colorful coconut bowls. On top of this potpourri of novelty delights, the shop is oozing with antique ceramic dishes, cups and vases (220,000 VND / 9.5 USD). You’d almost believe they were the real deal if it weren’t for the other two hundred ‘unique’ ones next to them. But it is the puppets that steal the show. Little ones, big ones and in between ones, these beautiful – creepy to some – figures make for a fabulous and utterly unique Hoi An souvenir. If it wasn’t for the fact that I buy something everywhere I go, I would have walked away with the big guy on the horse. At 3,450,000 VND (15 USD) this absolutely stunning two-foot high puppet with his cute puppet eyes is a steal. ‘I’m coming back for you big guy, don’t you go cantering off with somebody else, do you hear?’
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 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.
Pro-tip: If you’ve been browsing Instagram for Hoi An inspiration, you might’ve seen a number of photos that feature the “Hoi An Vibes Only” wall. Come in to the SUNDAY courtyard (76 Tran Phu) to snap your very own photo with the wall and watch as the ‘likes’ roll in.
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 fine housewares, children’s clothing, and silver jewelry. 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 tour of their workshop to see how your gifts are made or winding down with a cup of tea or coffee at their sister teahouse on the next block over.
Note, the gift shop has a strict, zero photo policy. The picture used here is from their teahouse. Similar teawares can be found at the shop.
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.
Hoi An Craft 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 Craft 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 Craft Ships. 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 850,000 VND / 36 USD (very reasonable considering the craftsmanship); they also take visa and package with a guarantee.
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.
If you’re a lover of tea or just looking for an easy and lightweight Hoi An souvenir or gift, then try Tra Viet (literal translation: ‘Tea Vietnamese’). Their range of teas is extensive. You’ll find all manner of intriguing tea flavours such as Hibiscus, Rosemary, Lavender, Rose tea and Oolong along with the more familiar like English Breakfast and Earl Grey. One of our personal favourites is their Pandan Gingsen Green tea. Like many similar specialty shops in Hoi An, Tra Viet’s presentation is exquisite. Boxes explode from shelves with bright colours and exquisite packaging. If you’re not sure what to buy then they sell an assortment of gift and tea sampling sets. There’s also free tea tasting to help you with your purchase! The sales staff are delightfully friendly so don’t hesitate to grab a stool and ask to try any of the teas that interest you. (This is how we came across Pandan Gingsen Tea). For a complete keepsake of Hoi An, buy one of their ceramic tea sets too.
There are three Tra Viet shops in Hoi An as well as several in Hanoi and Saigon as well.
The Timing Masks Workshop
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).
Full of vibrant colors and fun prints, Viet Made’s shops are perfect for the young and the young at heart. Stocking only items that have been made in Vietnam, Viet Made is full of whimsical handmade toys, tote bags, colourful children’s lights and trinkets. There is a huge amount of eye-catching gifts and souvenirs to choose from at prices that won’t break the bank. Down the back of the shop you’ll also find clothes in breezy cotton fabrics and polka dotted prints. They also have a nice selection of children’s clothing. A Viet Made romper comes in at just under 200,000 VND (8 USD). Our favorite items are the adorable patchwork stuffed animals that come in all shapes and sizes. Fairly priced at 150,000 VND (6 USD) for a medium stuffed animal, you can stock up for the nieces, nephews, kiddos or grandchildren in your life. And if you feel like lighting up one of the kids lives (or your own) buy some of Viet Made’s amazing fairy lights. They come in all shapes, colors and sizes including animals (the bulbous-eyed green frogs are adorable).
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).
If you’re looking for a break from bargaining, head over to Viethands. Here, you’ll find a fine selection of ethically made silk scarves at fixed prices. Created by women from rural villages in Northern Vietnam, the scarves are made from 100% natural fiber with eco-friendly dyes. The colors and prints offered are some of the nicest you’ll find in Hoi An. A silk-cotton scarf will set you back around 230,000 VND (10 USD), while the 100% silk options go for higher. Whilst scarves are the predominant item here, other gifts and souvenirs include handmade cloth toys (like granny used to make), wooden jewelry, cloth bags and ceramics. Feel free to take your time and look around. There’s no pressure to buy at this shop.
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