Even if you don't want to buy anything, come and have a look at the Central Market its the only Vietnamese market here.
It seems to be crowded most of the time, perhaps the middle of the day is a quieter time to visit, and I also found it was quiet when the stalls were just opening.
I found Hoi An had lots and lots of silk scarves for sale, and also lots of bags in all shapes and sizes.
Don't buy at the 1st stall you see something you like, prices do vary a lot, and remember to haggle!
Take a tape measure with you as an "extra large" may only be the same size as a "medium " in your home country! I have been caught, so a tape measure did the trick!
I also took measurements from home for the children I was buying for, and did the same thing, stood at the stall and measured the garments before buying.
If buying for children, its also no use saying your children's age, as against their children
( they are so smaller built) you will need a different size
eg. 8yr old in home country probably takes a size 8, here, they ask, but you will probably need a larger size.
Also, watch that the item you have purchased is being wrapped, that it hasn't been replaced with a chipped or scratched one, this does happen!
As it is very busy, keep your money close to you, a pickpocket victim you do not wish to become!
On returning home this time, every clothing item fitted the person I had bought for!
After saying all this, have a good time, its a market full of interesting items for sale, and you can get cheap massages as well.
In Vietnam or any Asian country in general, sizes are probably much smaller than in your home country. As you often buy from market stalls [I do], you can't try anything on, only hold the garment against yourself.
I have bought underwear that I had to give to the 'poor' shop - good for them, not for me! I found with T shirt's or clothing, go up about 2 sizes.
What I do now, is write down measurements before leaving home, and take a tape-measure with me, this has meant I get the correct size!
What to pay: About $3.50
On top of all the small shops catering to the big tourist industry in Hoi an the town also has a very local market right in the center of town.
It's a classical coverd market where you also have lot's of small stall holders sitting outside the market selling their goods which is mostly fruits and vegetables from their own backyard.
It's a very colorful and exotic experience to go there and it's one way you can help small local businesses.
So i suggest that you go there both to enjoy the vibe and to buy some fruits when you are in town as you help some small local farmers very directly by doing so.
The market is also one of the best places to go if you want some really good photo shots.
This is a small shop located in the old town of Hoi An. Friendly Shop is special and different because it's the only shop that refund money if you are not satisfied with the shoes. So it's safe and i didn't find the same for the clothes shop.
You can choose design on internet, using the computer or browse the catalogues. In 12h, you will get your shoes to measure.
What to buy: Leather and suede shoes to measure.
What to pay: One classic shoes costs around 35$ with good leather
Hoi An is a really good place to stock up on books and dvd's.
The town has many little shops selling copies of these things and there is not really one in particular i prefer.
I think the best thing is to shop around and see who has got what you re looking for.
Right now (april 2012) the going rate for dvd's is 1 dollar a piece and the books range from 3 to 10 dollars a book depending on what kinda book it is.
Be ware that this is copied items and not legal in many countries, but i have never heard of anyone being procecuted for bringing home a couple of books or dvd's so you should be fine buying them as long as you don´t stock up to a poing where it looks like you will be selling them back at home.
I was in Hoi An in November, 2011 and had four shirts and four pairs of pants made by a fantastic tailor called Miss Forget Me Not, at the Hoi An Cloth Market, Stall #20. The Cloth Market is located just a block or two from the main market in Hoi An and is located at Ng. 1Tran Phu Street.
Miss Forget Me Not is also called Hoa Thi Huynh. She says her first name--Hoa--means small blue flower, which is similar to the small blue flower called Forget Me Not, so that's how she came up with her English name.
Anyhow, Miss Forget Me Not came highly recommended by some other sites on the Internet. I loved her. She made me the most beautifully-fitted clothes at wonderful prices--- $15-20 for a shirt, the same for pants and I was requesting high quality, machine-washable silk. She doesn't push. Her prices were so reasonable, I didn't feel the need to bargain with her.
The Cloth Market was a great place to order---if Miss Forget Me Not didn't have a certain fabric in stock, she walked through the market and found what I needed, so the fabric selection was great. Miss Forget Me Not can't afford to buy a storefront. She doesn't hire people to tout her. But she's a great tailor and I felt great about giving her my business.
I found the Hoi An tailor scene to be somewhat overwhelming. So I really appreciated being able to walk into Miss Forget Me Not's Stall #20, ask for what I wanted and relax.
I also read an interesting article about her and the tailoring business in Hoi An here: http://artofbackpacking.com/darker-side-tailors-hoi-an/.
I can't recommend her highly enough. Just go to Stall #20. There's a banner on one side that says "Ngoc Hien, #20 and a sign on the other side that says "Miss Forget Me Not--Best Tailor in Hoi An."
What to buy: tailored clothes
What to pay: huge range, you will pay less in The Cloth Market than in bigger store fronts. Watch out for paid touts.
I have travelled in Hoi An for a week. According to some recommends in internet, I came to Tony The Tailor and made 3 dresses, 1 jacket and 5 pants for me. I was very happy that every thing was fitted my body just the first time. Until now, I wear clothes of this shop and my friend also love these style. If you have chance to visit Hoi An, you should come to this shop.
Address: Tony The Tailor - 294 Nguyen Duy Hieu str, Hoi An
Good - Good - Good
Tony and his family have 15-year experience in tailoring. Making clothes with quality material and good price. Amazing that they can make all my clothes in 1 day and I had to come back 2 times to fitting all. Their service is also wonderful. I really love this shop.
What to buy: Suits, shirt,jacket for man
Long dress, suit, top for woman
What to pay: Reasonable
This little shop is jammed with some really cool stuff...I found here clothing that were replicas of old traditional dress gowns complete with hats,hand carved replicas of traditional designs of water puppets,old coins [ I wasn't sure of they're authenticity ], ceramics, and other fun things that I wished I could have brought home with me...
In the back of the store there was a small version of a water puppet "stage" and one of the shopkeepers took the time to show me how the whole process of "staging" a show occurred...so go and have a look...and "make it a lucky day for them"...buy something from them...put a smile on they're face..
As Ive mentioned though...I was traveling with a jammed full backpack and buying extras was out of the question for me..
In hindsight...I should have anyhow..I didn't really check prices because i was NOT buying..
If I ever return to Vietnam...Hoi An..and this shop will DEFINITELY be on my itinerary.
What to buy: What I regret NOT buying was a carved replica of a water puppet...there were a few to choose from..they caught my eye and I eventually made it back to Canada WITHOUT one.. :o[
If anyone of my pals here ever gets to Hoi An...maybe you would take an order for one and do me a HUGE favor!!! Ill gladly give you my mailing address and the money to cover the expense!
Similar to many many tailors that you'll find in Hoi An...Toans is a small shop outside of the main core that makes clothing.
It's run by a woman named Tam....and is assisted by a woman named Tam...The names being different in fact...spelled the same but one with an accent that my keyboard doesnt have...one is older...and one is younger..:o] If you meet them you wont be confused..
Its a small store side shop that has neat piles of fabrics lining the walls...easy to find the material that you want...In fact though we needed to take a short motorbike ride to a second location up the street to find the exact material I wanted for a pair of shorts I was having made for me.
It was actually funny...Tam is so tiny and here I am an easy 200 pounds driving on the back of her bike as we scooted down the busy road back and forth to the second location..
If I was ever back in Hoi An...I would likely return for more friendly and efficient service.
What to buy: ANY clothing that you like....I had a well wor pair pf Royal Robbins shorts that have over the years become my favs and they needed replacing...over the last couple of years Ive been looking for replacements and given that they are about twenty years old the styles have obviously changed and what I wanted is not to be found...
Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....dont tell anyone,,,but we copied....exactly....the shorts that I wanted replaced...exactly to the detail of the originals...
I also found a shirt style in a catalog and she took measurements and VOILA...I had one made in two colours...
What to pay: For two pairs of shorts and two shirts...custom fitted and made overnight...I paid a whopping total of 768 000 Dong...about $ 40.00 USA...
Can you say CHEAP...and the workmanship seems to be just fine!!
If you happen to be walking around the Old Quarter...you're going to see a few women from time to time...walking around with shallow baskets of assorted bagged items on a woven basket like tray..
DO STOP and chat with them....they are selling peanuts....candied ginger and candied coconut...
You really should try some...they'll present to you samples using tongs....and the price really is RIGHT and they're products unique I think...and TASTY!!!
It also helps that you're supporting them I suppose and for the 20,000 Dong you'll pay for a bag of peanuts really is PEANUTS...about the equivalent of $ 1.00 USA...I didn't buy more than two bags of anything at a time so I didn't try to beat them down....Haaaaaaa....for a dollar...I don't think so!!
All of them....I remember three in particular...are personable and quite fun to talk with!!!
If you're looking for a really well designed and put together lantern...this is theeeeeeee store for you...
Of all the shops that seemed to sell them this shop had the most variety and had the BEST selection to choose from...
We spoke to the owner one night and decided that if either of us were to buy a lantern this would be the shop...the designs were really cool...and the owner claimed that they were made by him and his staff..
I have to tell you that we were traveling with backpacks...and packing and safely getting things home in one piece was obviously an issue..that's why the discussion.
What to buy: Lanterns lanterns and more lanterns...There was more than one style that folded down to fit flat...
What to pay: The prices varied depending on design but they were not costly considering the craftsmanship that obviously was put into the building of these fine things.
Some of the nicer ones we looked at cost about 100 000 Dong...about $ 5.00 USA...a real bargain for some really nice household decorations.
The work displayed and sold here is really BEAUTIFUL...if I wasn't constrained with packing restrictions I would certainly have bought some art here...it was really quite well done...and quite nice!
Words aren't enough to describe the work you'll see here....please though....DROP BY yourself and take a look...You'll be happy that you did...and hopefully you'll have room in your luggage to bring some of these treats home with you...
What to buy: Lacquered paintings...EXTRAORDINAIRE!!!
What to pay: Honestly because I wasn't able to add to much to my backpack...I didn't even talk prices with the woman working in the store when I was looking...
Hoi An is a place to shop for art and craft of Vietnam. You will find beautiful traditional Vietnamese lanterns in the town area specially near the Japanese bridge. On those shops in small ally streets, you can find bookshops, beg shops, art gallery and etc.
What to buy: Lanterns, Vietnamese Toys, Books, art works, and etc.
My partner and I have visited HERITAGE BOUTIQUE, 29 Nguyen Thai Hoc St, Hoi An, Viet Nam, tel: 084.510.911777, email: firstname.lastname@example.org on 2 separate occasions over the past couple of years for suits, dresses, shoes and bags and all have been of exceptional quality.
The staff there are wonderful and the whole experience pleasent. I'll be back in Vietnam in january to have more clothes made. I can not fault them on any level!
What to buy: - Shirt
- Vietnamese dress.
What to pay: - only $15.00 for a shirt, Vietnamese dress $30.00