Tips for Shopping in Hoi An

January 11, 2022 - 5332 views

Coming to Hoi An on a journey, besides enjoying the city's fabulous sightseeing and experiencing its local cuisines, shopping is also a quite irreplaceable essential part of the trip. To help avoid any possible confusion, follow our articles for tips on how to go Hoi An shopping wisely.

Where to go shopping in Hoi An?

Based on the research, normally when people want to go for some Hoi An shopping, these are the highly recommended places:

Hoi An Central Market

Location: Nguyen Hue and Tran Phu on the Thu Bon River

Coming to Hoi An Central Market is a perfect opportunity for you to practice your bargaining skill. The first thing you will notice is that this market has a super-strong smell of a mixture of herbs, spices, and even fish (because it’s located by the riverside). Most commonly, if you want to buy food-related sections, fish, live chickens, and vegetables are always available and you don’t even need to question their freshness. For spices, cinnamon and saffron are always in high demand.

Besides the vivid smell, you will be easily distracted by the colorful corner on the east side where the building of tailors and different types of silks is located. Fine silk tailoring here has a more competitive price than other places in Hoi An, so don’t miss a hot spot. In general, pay attention that stalls near the entrance are the most expensive ones, so keep going inside for a better deal.

Hoi  An Market

Hoi An Market

 

Hoi An Night Market

Location: Nguyen Hoang Street

If you are interested in shopping, Hoi An night market is for sure the ideal location to pay a visit. The whole 300 meters-long street is packed with over 50 vendors. Specifically, the most common ones that you can find are silk items, colorful paper lanterns, traditional apparel, and souvenirs that include T-shirts, keychains, etc. Not only is it a wonderful marketplace, but Hoi An Night Market is also a gorgeous spot for picture taking and street food experiencing. However, keep in mind that if you want to take a picture here, please ask the stall owners for their permission first.

 

Shops in Hoi An Ancient Town’s centre

In order to avoid any confusion, there are a couple of main shopping streets in Hoi An Ancient Town which are Tran Phu, Bach Dang, Nguyen Thai Hoc, and Le Loi that we highly recommend you to visit. In general, the most popular shops that you can go to are silk shops ( Quoc Huy Silk, B’ Lan Silk), tailor shops ( Yaly, AoBaBa Hoi An),  lantern shops ( Tuoi Ngoc, Ngoc Thu), and shoes (Ocean shoe shop, Friendly shop shoe 3). As a result, it can be incredibly convienient for you since you don't have to go far away to shop, all the top-pick stores are in a walking distance, so it will save so much time, effort, and money, and energy. 

 

Galleries

If you are an art lover, don’t skip the opportunity to go visit a famous “gallery street” that is situated in Nguyen Thai Hoc Street. There must be around 100 art galleries around this route in which 20 galleries sell original and authentic paintings of professional artists while the remaining 80 sell copies and are mass-produced. It's a great place to admire artistic beauty and if you are interested, you can buy a piece of beautiful art back home. However, we can't put a price on an art item since it will depends on different elements.

 

Workshops and handicraft villages

When mentioning a workshop, one impressive name that tends to appear the most is Lifestart Foundation Workshop. You will be able to both shop for trendy handbags, handmade T-shirts, and unique souvenirs that are all made from disable people and do something good for society since all the profits made will be given to those disabled locals. On the other hand, don’t forget to come to Hoi An Silk Village that is located at 28 Nguyen Tat Thanh, Hoi An for the best quality and high-end silk items like suits or dresses at a cheaper price. It’ll be fun because, besides shopping, you can also learn the process to produce silk.

Hoi An silk village

Hoi An silk village

 

What to buy in Hoi An?

Tailor-made suits and dresses 

Getting tailor-made suits and dresses is one of the must-try things when you are in Hoi An since Hoi An is well-known for its high-quality materials, delicate seam, and stick, and sophisticated details to the tailor’s professional skills. Just tell them what you want specifically and they will finish as soon as possible for you, it might even be delivered to you in less than 24 hours. Compared the price to get a tailor-made suit in different cities and countries, Hoi An offers a much competitive price of $80-$300 (for mid-range stores such as Bao An Tailor, Sewing Bee, etc), and for high-end segmentation, the price will range from $115- $700 (Yaly Couture). For dresses, in general, depends on the fabric, length, and style, they will start from $25 to $80 for mid-range stores and are up to $250 to higher-end stores.

Tailor Made Suits Hoi An

Tailor Made Suits Hoi An

 

Leather products 

Leather products which comprise bags, shoes, and sandals are also in high purchasing demand. They are rich in types, excellent in quality, and beautiful in designs. If you want your item to be one of a kind, you can even ask the shop owner to custom-made it. They will measure the size for you, then you just need to tell them which style, color, and shape adding together with details what you want, they will note it down and deliver it to you within 1-2 days. It’s also a thoughtful gift to bring back home. A fair price for a good leather handbag in Hoi An is around $80 and for luggage, it has a higher approximate price of $120. For shoes, it usually starts at $35.

Friendly bags owned by the same owners of Friendly shop is the shop in town to get a custom-made leather bag. Just like their sister shop, it is the only shop in Hoi An that only uses genuine leather and has access to the best leather available. They have some great bags already on display in the shop but if you have a design of your own they will be able to make it for you. I have made a handbag for my wife 2 years ago and still looking great and I have used it plenty of times to make gifts for family relatives, never disappointed. They follow the same policies as their other shop, 100% reimbursement if you are not satisfied with their products. No Like = No Pay is their slogan.

Leather products Hoi An

Leather products

 

Silk 

Besides suits and dresses, silk items such as ties and scarves are classy and elegant good to shop for. They have plenty of colors and patterns that look incredible to choose from. Even though the material and design seem so fancy, actually silk products have a low-cost price of only $5.5 approximately for a scarf or tie. It would be a practical, fashionable, and lovely gift idea to bring back to your friends and family.

 

Lanterns 

Hoi An is the City of Lanterns, it will be a pity if you don’t go shop for your own personal pretty lanterns. There are so many colors, shapes, and sizes to pick at an affordable price. If you want your lantern to be more unique and meaningful, you can take a lantern-making class to do it yourself. It’ll be a fun and unforgettable experience. For reference, the price you have to pay to get a small lantern is $3.5 and for a big lantern, it is $5.5, so don't pay more than that.

Lanterns Hoi An

Lanterns

 

Pottery 

Pottery is also a great shopping choice in Hoi An. They have various patterns and designs from glamorous, fancy, ancient, mysterious, to simple, trendy, and modern. It’s more like a miniature IKEA that you want to get lost in. Just remember to wrap it carefully to bring back home since the products can be extremely fragile. The price of a pottery product can be varied based on the size, design, etc. If you want to get a more unique experience, you can make your own pottery. Thanh Ha Pottery Village seems like the right place to go, and there are some pottery tours that you can take a look at. Besides purchasing a premade products, if you choose to take lessons to learn how to make pottery from scratch,  the products you made during class will be free to take home.

 

Piece of art 

As we mentioned above, there are various galleries that you can visit for a piece of art (photos and paintings). The price can vary based on the popularity, authenticity, and meaning of the artwork, so that's quite hard to determine a number on that. Besides galleries, you can also go to some handicraft workshops to hunt for artwork. In addition, for those who are interested, lots of local souvenir shops also offer photos/paintings about Hoi An daily life.

 

Embroidery 

Embroidery tends to be more personal, unique, and elegant. Having a piece of embroidery can show a part of your artistic personality. It’s also valuable that it’s super rare to find embroidery that has the exact same stitches and designs as yours, so if you are looking for something special, don’t skip embroidery. In Hoi An, the price is quite reasonable.

Embroidery Hoi An

Embroidery

 

Jewelry 

Being a city town that combined both glorious ancient and classy modern fashionable taste, of course buying fashionable items such as jewelry can be a wonderful experience. You will have a lot of options to choose from starting from the materials, designs, shapes, color, and styles. Depends on all of these different characteristics, the price will fluctuate a lot, of course as you knew, the price of a gold piece of jewelry is absolutely a lot higher than a silver product. Luckily, pretty designs include rings, bracelets, necklaces, anklets, etc.. are all sold at a reasonable price. 

 

Tea and coffee 

Vietnam is famous worldwide as one of the biggest tea and coffee producers and consumers. As can be known, each city and region has its own signature type of coffee and tea, so it will not taste the same everywhere. Buying tea and coffee in Hoi An is great since it will be perfectly suitable for a souvenir since its signature, light to pack, and the price is acceptable.

Tea & Coffee Hoi An

Tea & Coffee

Ancient coins 

For some collectors, collecting coins is an essential part. When you go to Duc An Old House, you can buy coins based on the Chinese Zodiac Sign, which are in the form of an animal as your sign like chicken, buffalo, etc.

 

Hoi An Shopping Tips

  • Take your time to shop a little bit every day instead of rush shopping on the last day.
  • Bargaining is key. Don’t settle for something more expensive than its value.
  • Be specific about what you want, especially when you want to customize items. 
  • Pay attention to details to figure possible errors.
  • Focus on the quality. If it’s a high-quality product, then be more flexible on the price.
  • Go to different stores to compare the quality and price.
  • Avoid bargaining hard and not buying in the early morning.
  • Wear comfortable shoes since you will walk a lot.
  • If it’s in the rainy season, ask for a delivery to your hotel.
  • Write a list of things you want to buy in advance to avoid going over your budget.
  • Do your own research before actually going shopping.
  • Ask for recommendations from the locals.
  • Consider whether this type of item is practical or not.
  • Go to the main shopping streets so you can visit lots of shops at the same time.
  • Make sure you have enough room in your luggage to store.
  • Free delivery, during the rainy season, ask the shop to deliver, they will do it for free.
  • Credit card 3% charge – the shop should cover the Vietnam bank charge, stand your ground
  • Glue, I know I am repeating myself, ask for stitching, it is and should be free.
  • Do some groundwork on real vs fake leather so you will be able to tell the difference.

Tips for shopping for clothes in Hoi An

  • Take your time - Instead of a shopping spree on your very last day before coming back home, you can take your time to try getting a perfect fit.
  • Be realistic - Please note down or draw what you want the tailor to make for you before asking them to make it. They cannot just work from some vague descriptions to create a perfect fit for you. The happiest shopper in Hoi An is the most prepared shopper in Hoi An
  • Seek recommendations - Talking to travellers who have already made purchases and had positive experiences is the absolute best way to know where to go and where to avoid.
  • Never close your eye: As best fabric might set at a higher price and its quality can vary greatly from store to store. Some shops carry better quality fabric to others so do not fall for a cheaper price trap and look for the best fabric quality instead.
  • Pay attention, even a little detail: Tailors may miss a seam, hem an item too high, or forget a button as there are lots of precise work by one man in a short period so make sure to check each piece before you settle for the final purchase.
  • Be prepared to bargain. Some tailors offer bigger discounts the more you buy. So it’s important to settle on the upfront cost and agree with the tailor by getting a receipt to avoid disputes later. Also double-check the tailor as they are using the best exchange rate. It’s okay to refigure it using the exchange rate that’s posted at banks and go from there.
  • Quality first, Money second – Having all the money. You are in a great position to bargain; however, if you bargain too hard, you will get stiffed on quality. We suggest you insist on quality instead of penny-pinching.

Clothing shop in Hoian

A clothing shop in Hoian

Tips for shopping for shoes

From zany sneakers to posh Brogues, dress heels, or flip flops, Hoi An’ s surfeit of shoe stores and designs to suit all walks of life.

Many designs are heavily influenced by the European style. Check out various shoe shops in Phan Boi Chau street if you prefer a completely original design and high fashion. Like finding the perfect tailor, how do you choose where you buy your shoes? And what features do you look for before footing the bill? Here are some tips from some shoe shop owners in the town.

The sagest advice would be to inspect your prospective shoes carefully. Take your time and compare price/quality among different shops. Most of the shoe shops in town are actually owned by a handful of people. You can check if the shops in town are actually owned by a larger player by simply asking staff if they have other outlets. Because the more shops they have, the more experience the shoemakers will have and the better quality and value.

When you want to have leather shoes, you should ask to see the leather first, feel it, and smell it. You can burn it in order to check if it is synthetic. If it is mixed with plastic, it will have a nasty smell. Another recommendation is you check and compare the leather at the shop with the real products to verify the quality before buying anything.

Moreover, when the design is complete, please check the stitching and gluing, shoemakers usually use both nails and glue to keep the soles sturdy. In this case, you can ask the salesperson to show you how it is made. 

 

Tips for shopping leather handmade bag

You should be ready to start ‘designing’ your bag so here are the things to watch out for:

1# The zippers: Especially when it comes to travel bags that after a couple of weeks in Vietnam will probably be overloaded, there will be some serious pressure on the zipper and if you chose the wrong quality you may end with a broken zip before the end of your travels. Chose a good metal zipper, ask the shop to show you the samples they will have a couple of it may cost a few more dollars but in the long term, it will save you on getting it replaced back home. (costly business)

2# Buckles: Again buckles just like zippers will have samples in the shop chose the heavy metal ones as again the substandard light metals will just break very quickly. Agree on all these minor details before you even start talk price, just like shoes the leather is the main cost for the maker but all these little ‘accessories’ add up in the cost and if it is not discussed in most cases they will use the cheapest buckle and same goes for the zippers.

In the picture, you will see 3 levels of qualities:

  • Left: The best quality, thick and strong.
  • Middle: The mid-quality, still fine for small bags.
  • Right: The ‘cheap’ quality that we highly recommend you don’t use.

3# The lining inside: Exactly the same problems as making shoes in Hoi An, there is some serious cost saving to be made by using tissue instead of leather sued for the lining inside the bags. Again to avoid any bad surprise when receiving the good or a couple of weeks down the line, make sure to tell them that you want a strong suede lining inside.

4# Glue… mentioned over and over again. Tell them that you want proper stitching for the bag.

We hope that this article gives you insightful information including beneficial suggestions and tips to better prepare for a fantastic shopping tip in Hoi An. If you are looking for Hoi An tours, please do not hesitate to visit our website.

You may also like: Top things to do in Hoi An

Joy Pham

Sources: Internet

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