The No-haggle Option
Selfie-stealing hipster vibe aside, we still love this heritage hood for its cluster of independent shops, but shuffling through the streets with a few hundred tallying tourists without a clue where the good stuff is at will likely only leave you reflecting on the tedium of it all. Ta Da! The tip-top old town spots and where to find them.
Making it easy: fashionistas should head to Avana, Hot Chilli or for kids, Copenhagen Delights. For photography lovers with a blank wall or four, Couleurs D'Asie is an essential stop. Stylish environmental warriors? Metiseko, or for gifts that give back, Reaching Out. For bling head to GAM or Lotus Jewellery and for all of the above under one festive little roof - head directly to the O collective.
THE ULTIMATE GIFT SHOPPING GUIDE
With a wide range of the most gorgeous rings, necklaces, pendants, bracelets (or cufflinks, for the boys) and with the option to add on complimentary engraving, or to design your very own unique piece, Lotus Jewellery are a perfect choice for an extra special gift. For precious gems, head for GAM Gem Art Museum on Nguyen Thai Hoc and choose a one-off piece from the exclusive collection designed by the Milan-based artist Nga Duong then head up to the balcony with a glass of something sparkly and enjoy one of the best views of the old town.
Lotus Jewellery: 82 Tran Phu St, Hoi An
GAM (Gemstone Art Museum): 130, Nguyen Thai Hoc, Hoi An
Hot Tots! Fab gifts for kids
Copenhagen Delights is a family run business nurtured by love and a passion for sourcing the very best products from around the world. They offer the coolest kids clothes and toys alongside gifts that you just won't find anywhere else. The collections are made locally from 100% natural fibres such as cotton, linen and silk and come in beautiful prints and functional designs, allowing kids to move freely – perfect for your precious little ones.
If you can’t make it over to the store it's not a problem, their website is the ideal stop for a little internet shopping – trust us, you’ll want it all.
Copenhagen Delights: 29, Le Loi Street, Hoi An
Designer goodness at Metiseko
While we all love a mass chain store, there is something so wonderful about buying local and sustainably! Metiseko uses only 100% Certified organic cotton, silks and non-toxic colours to create elegant, simple pieces that will fit seamlessly into your wardrobe. Their staple items use clean lines and playful patterns to create striking pieces that will give you an instant sophisticated style. Expect flirty classics in eco-friendly materials alongside quirky homeware and décor in two of the most beautifully restored traders houses in the old town.
Metiseko, 140-142, Tran Phu St, Hoi An
Marilyn Monroe knew exactly what she was talking about when she claimed “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.” Give her the bag to match and she'll be forever yours. Both Shoe Shop 09 and Friendly Shoe Shop in the old town can zip up both overnight and to boot, they'll be custom made. For real brownie points, finish them off with a custom engraved or embroidered tag for something super unique.
Shoe Shop 09: 65, Tran Hung Dao St, Hoi An
Friendly Shoe Shop: 18 Tran Phu, Hoi An
What better way to send your wishes than via a hamper filled to the brim with goodies!? Pick-up a reed bag for a dollar or two from Hoi An's central market and pack it full of spices like Vietnamese peppercorns (rumoured to be the best in the world), cinnamon, star anise and black cardamom (the backbone of a good pho). For the town's best Quang Nam chilli jam, head for Nguyen Thai Hoc St and dive into the small trader's house opposite Green Mango (the lady here makes it onsite). For customs friendly, artisanal rice wine, jams, honey and spices (buy your cinnamon here), try the Hill Station and for coffee and tea - try Hoa Champa, 49 Phan Chau Trinh.
The Hill Station: 321 Nguyen Duy Hieu, Hoi An
Postcards, Prints & Wall Art
This beautiful museum cum gallery shophouse houses photographer Rehahn’s incredible cache of portraits, landscapes and private collection of antique traditional garb. What started as a personal photography fetish has evolved into an enviable stash of award winning photos collected on travels around Asia and Cuba. If you’re lucky, the famous Frenchie will be on-hand to regale you with the stories behind the works.
Couleurs d'Asie Gallery: 7 Nguyen Hue St
Rehahn's exhibition, Beauty of Hoi An, will be on display along Nguyen Phuc Chu until January.
A few doors down from Hoi An's central market is Xu Dang Trong – this hip heritage studio-shop is one of the most beautiful in the hood, showcasing small-batch and directional Vietnamese ethnic minority handicrafts and art, Hmong ethnic beaded accessories, stationery and one-off curios, plus a stack of cracking ceramics.
For a really personalised gift, join one of their many artisan craft classes.
Xu Dang Trong: 9, Nguyen Thai Hoc
Gifts that give back
Set in an old town house the color of a French mustard bottle and decorated with fanciful antiquities—The Reaching Out Arts and Crafts Shop is home to a vast workshop with a dedicated crew of less abled artisans. Here you’ll be able to watch as they create the most intricate, ornate crockery, silver and glass wear or learn about the intricities of embroidery and weaving techniques that give each and every gift item in the shop it’s own unique story.
Reaching Out: 103, Nguyen Thai Hoc St, Hoi An
The O collective/O85, is a one-stop-shop for a range of personalised gifts for the whole family. Bringing together like minded 'Made in Vietnam' brands to collaborate and create a unique shopping experience that caters for him, her, babies and everyone in between. Choose from bohemian designerwear by O'Thala and Mambo Soul, vintage bags, colourful homewear and arty accessories.
85, Nguyen Thai Hoc