In Hội An’s charming Ancient Town, even shopping counts as a cultural experience! From the 15th to 19th centuries, Hội An welcomed foreign traders who came by boat to this riverside port to buy silk, spices, gems, and ceramics. Today, in the same atmospheric shophouses, you’ll find these items and many more to fill your bags. Here are a few places to start.
Clothes & Accessories
While Hội An has gained fame for its tailored clothes, but there are some wonderful ready-to-wear options. Metiseko (142 Trần Phú) offers bold and unique prints on silk and organic cotton. Along with resort-wear for men and women, you’ll find cute accessories such as colourful fans and printed clutches. Women looking for funky easy-to-wear clothes that can be layered should head to Avana (57 Lê Lợi). Some pieces incorporate traditional cloth woven by ethnic Co Tu women.
TIP: For kids, Copenhagen Delight (76 Nguyễn Thái Học) offers classic Danish-designed baby and kids’ clothes at non-Nordic prices.
While Hội An isn’t on the coast, the beach lies just 10 minutes away. If you forgot your swimsuit—or just want more—hop into Thaikila Blue Glue (28 Trần Phú), which transforms recycled plastic into eye-popping bikinis. Think ruffles and sequins and pompoms, oh my! Hot Chili (86 Nguyễn Thái Học) also offers swimsuits and quality cotton t-shirts and beach dresses.
Many visitors have leather shoes and custom-made leather bags made in Hội An. Bring pictures or design your own boots, carrying cases, and weekend bags. Be sure to confirm every detail from the leather to the lining to the zips and the colour of thread you prefer. There are many options in town, but Friendly Leather Bag Shop (44 Phan Bội Châu) is known for its quality.
If you love all things sparkly, you’ll find it hard to walk past Lotus Jewellery (82 Trần Phú), which is packed with silver jewellery—some inset with semi-precious gems like citrine, rose quartz, and topaz. Pricier but more unique gold, silver and gemstone jewellery in organic shapes may be found at GAM (130 Nguyễn Thái Học), which also houses a stylish cafe and little museum displaying raw gemstones and crystals unearthed in Vietnam.
For those blessed with a large luggage allowance, the nearby woodcarving village of Kim Bồng produces incredible hand-carved wooden statues, parallel boards inscribed with lucky messages and furniture. If you lack the time for a boat ride out to Kim Bồng, check out the intricately carved wooden statues and souvenirs at Âu Lạc Wood Art (152 Trần Phú).
A favourite store in Hội An is Reaching Out (103 Nguyễn Thái Học), home to sophisticated housewares, lovely ceramics and bedding made by disabled artisans. Browse their selection of tea light holders, cotton áo dài tunics and tea sets if you’re looking for gifts to take home.
If you have space to spare in your luggage, Mekong Quilts (36 Trần Phú) stocks beautiful bedding handmade by disadvantaged women. More feel-good shopping can be done at Lifestart (14 Nguyễn Thái Học), which sells everything from body lotions to handmade toys and supports scholarships for local students and programs for disabled locals. Cotic (60 Nguyễn Thái Học) is another winner, displaying art installations in the front and essential oils, silver jewellery and scarves in the back room. The old wooden building is stunning.
TIP: At the Hoi An Handicraft Workshop (9 Nguyễn Thái Học) you can try your hand at making local crafts via workshops in embroidery, mask painting, lantern-making and more.
The Cocobana Tearoom (16 Nguyễn Thái Học), the perfect place for a much-needed tea break. Their beautifully displayed and packaged teas make great gifts. This shophouse is among the most beautiful in town. If you’re lucky and the doors are open, you can get a peek into the back altar room, a vision of red and gold lacquer.
At any of several Hoi An Roastery outlets, smiling staff will grind and package Vietnamese coffee beans for you on the spot. Sister store Cocobox also displays a range of tempting made-in-Vietnam goodies, all beautifully packaged. Spicy black pepper, pineapple and ginger jam and Vietnamese chili sauce will give you a taste of this country after you’re back home.