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Vietnam Travel Blog – Hoi An Shopping and What to Buy

Curiosity Shop in Hoi An, Vietnam

For most people who visit Hoi An, the two main shopping allures are the Central or Riverside Market and the plethora of cheap tailors downtown. With the sheer number of tailors available Hoi An is definitely a buyers’ market and the visitor who doesn’t bargain down the price of a suit or silk shirt is really missing out. Of course, many other items are on sale in Hoi An and the ancient charm of the town makes an afternoon or evening out shopping a delight.

Tailors speak both French and English – most stores are open from 08:00 to 21:00.

Hoi An Central Market

Hoi An Central Market, Vietnam

Sharpen your bargaining skills and head south east to Hoi An Central Market, one of Vietnam’s best, offering an unmissable shopping experience. Rich in the smell of fragrant herbs and spices and the vibrant colours of Vietnamese silk, delve deep and you are guaranteed a bargain. Prices tend to be more inflated at the stalls closest to the entrance so head right in for the best buys. There is a vast array of foodstuff for sale including spices such as saffron and cinnamon which are superb purchases as are the exotic fresh fruit and vegetables on display. Due to its riverside location there is also a huge selection of fresh fish available.

The marketplace is renowned for its tailors who have a section of the market all to themselves. Fine silk tailoring is cheaper here than anywhere else in Hoi An with garment makers running up a dress, shirt, jacket or full suit usually within 24 hours. Souvenir and local handicraft hunters will also find plenty to browse through at the Central Market.

Hoi An Central Market Highlight

Vietnam traditional products, Hoi An

Resting on the banks of the Thu Bon River, bustling Hoi An Central Market is certainly worth a look for its authentic slice of Vietnamese life. The market is busy throughout the day with locals bargaining hard alongside tourists so its best to arrive first thing in the morning. The negotiating over fish usually starts around 07:00 as the fishermen drop their catch off and the market vendors and local buyers dive in to get the best fish. Be warned that it can get very messy, nevertheless it’s certainly a sight not to be missed.

Inside the market there are also plenty of live ducks and chickens tied together and ready for sale alongside row upon row of Vietnamese cooking ingredients. The smell can get quite strong as the day heats up and the market will also become a lot busier and louder as the day progresses. If you want to avoid this, then head to the east side and the large shed type building which houses the tailors and all manner of Asian silk and textiles.

Good to Know

As a tourist browsing round Hoi An Central Market you can expect plenty of stall holders pushing their wares on you quite hard, the best course of action is to simply smile and continue on your way. When you do decide to make a purchase then remember that the first price you will be told will be over inflated, you should then offer around half and then work up to a price that you are both happy with. Be prepared to walk away and you might be surprised by the fair price you are then offered. Opening Hours: daily from 06:30 and is best visited early starting with a walk by the docks to watch the fish arrive before you enter. Location: Nguyen Hue and Tran Phu on the Thu Bon River.

Remarks: It’s a good idea to wear closed shoes as the floor in the market can get damp and sticky, especially if you are visiting the fish section.

155 Art Gallery

Painting shop in Hoi An, Vietnam

155 stands out amongst an assortment of galleries that grace Hoi An’s streets. With mostly water and oil based pieces decorating the wall the pictures for sale here are all by local painters. Most revolve around traditional Vietnamese life including nature, people and costumes; many depict a bygone era. There are some outstanding works of art for sale by very talented local artisans. Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00.

Location: 155 Tran Phu Street (next to the Japanese Bridge), Hoi An.

Cloth Market

Cloth Market in Hoi An, Vietnam

The Hoi An Cloth Market is a dream of silk with some of the finest in Vietnam on sale. The range is wide and varied with plenty of tailors to run up your dream silk suit. Select your cloth yourself from the Cloth Market and choose only the best, remembering to haggle politely on price. When you are ready to take your fabric to a tailor it usually pays to find someone who will not make it in a rush, so avoid the 24 hour merchants where possible. Opening Hours: 06:00-22:00.

Location: 01 Tran Phu Street, Hoi An.

Lifestart Foundation Workshop

Lifestart Foundation Workshop in Hoi An, Vietnam

The Lifestart Foundation Workshop sells products made by a cooperative of disadvantaged and often disabled people from around Hoi An. Handicrafts sold return 100% of the profit right back to the person who made it as shop overheads and running costs are taken care of by the foundation. Products on sale include trendy handbags, hand painted T-shirts, unusual souvenirs and vases made from chopsticks. Opening Hours: 09:00-17:30.

Location: 77 Phan Chau Trinh, Hoi An.

Lotus Jewellery

Lotus Jewellery, Hoi An, Vietnam

Lotus is the place to buy superior quality sterling silver jewellery made by owners Phil and Nguyen. Designs are original and very well made with their trade mark lotus flower pendant being a very popular purchase. From elaborate and striking, to discreet and delicate, there are rings, necklace, broaches, bracelets and more to suit any taste. Service here is also second-to-none and prices are very fair. Opening Hours: 08:00-22:00.

Location: 53, Le Loi Street.

Reaching Out

This shop features handmade products made by disabled and disadvantaged Vietnamese. The staff members are all on a set wage and will therefore earn an income regardless of how much of the produce is sold. The gift shop was founded by a disabled couple who ensure that any proceeds go towards retraining and subsequent employment of those who are at a disadvantage across Vietnam. Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00.

Location: 103 Nguyen Thai Hoc (next to Tan Ky House), Hoi An.

Shop 45

Shoes, bags and clothes with the option of having whatever else you want made within 24 hours. The focus at Shop 45 is on fashion, including vintage pieces made to measure. There are literally piles of magazines with clothing illustrations for you to choose from exactly what you want and have it made your way. Prices are amazingly cheap given the quality, style and time it takes to make exactly what you want. Opening Hours: 09:00-18:30.

Location: 45 Hoang Dieu Street, Hoi An.

Tailors’ Market

Tailors’ Market, Hoi An, Vietnam

The place to head for if you want to select a tailor from a market of many! With so much choice it may be confusing, it always makes sense to find a tailor who will offer as many fittings as possible and will take time in the making of your outfit. The tailors who offer a quick turnaround and tell you that you don’t need many fittings are the ones to avoid.

Location: Along the river from Central Market.

Trang Tailors

Choose your favourite designer outfit and have it made to measure at Trang Tailors where a team of 25 skilled craftsmen stand head and shoulders above others in Hoi An. The tailors here are nothing short of meticulous in their measuring and fitting to ensure that you have the perfect garment. There are plenty of fabrics on offer and books available for inspiration. Dresses, suits, shirts, trousers, everything can be made. Opening Hours: 08:00-20:00.

Location: 43 Trang Hung Dao Street, Hoi An.

Yaly Fashion

Yaly Fashion Shop in Hoi An, Vietnam

Yaly is rapidly gaining a reputation as the tailor to go to for quality and cutting-edge fashion tailoring. Prices here are higher than elsewhere but the finish and fitting is superb. Yaly can copy pretty much any catwalk or designer outfit in about three to four days. Bring some photos with you and have your dream couture outfit created just for you. There are a couple of branches across Hoi An plus a larger department store style outlet. Opening Hours: 07:00-20:30.

Location: 358 Nguyen Duy Hieu.

Palm Vietnam Travel – Posted by Ms.Jessica