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What to buy in South East Asia?

Florian Gray

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Whenever I travel I tend to buy a few things whether they be functional or simply to remember my adventures. Since I'm going to SE Asia in a month, I was wondering what fellow members have bought on their trips (e.g. Cobra Whiskey, MTM shirt, Opium Pipe). Eager to hear from you guys!
 

ter1413

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young girls!
 

ter1413

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Originally Posted by Florian Gray
Aside from the obvious...


ladyboys if that's ur thing..
 

changy

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Where in SE asia? Myanmar is quite different from Singapore.
 

PeterMetro

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In my opinion, there is not much to buy in these places. Can you find cheap tailoring and tourist souvenirs? Yes - particularly in Thailand and Vietnam. Do you actually want these things? I didn't, but there's no accounting for taste.

In my opinion, the best things to bring back from these countries are photographs (that you take yourself). You may be able to find some crafts (I still have a carved wood frog I bought in Siem Reap, that I like), but for the most part the stuff is of poor quality. They are, however, exceedingly beautiful places, and provide great opportunities for pictures.

If you're in Bangkok or Saigon, there are some young artists doing some cool stuff, and you may find something unique that you like.

My last recommendation is interesting food stuffs that are hard to find outside that country. I have a particular fondness for hot sauce, and in each of those places you can find small jars of it for a song.
 

wetnose

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Thailand - thai silk of course. Jim Thompson makes some really nice silk shirts. Or just look for some silk brocade for display - some nice ones can be found in Vietnam as well. Also look around for Thai farmer's pants - really cool in the summer.

Be sure to bargain HARD - vendors are merciless with their foreigner premium.

If you're in Vietnam, go to Hoi An - avoid the tailors of course. But at 5'ish....it's a real treat seeing all the teen schoolgirls bicycling home in their white ao dais. Like a procession of brides.

Still regret not taking a px when I saw that.
 

changy

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Originally Posted by wetnose
Thailand - thai silk of course. Jim Thompson makes some really nice silk shirts. Or just look for some silk brocade for display - some nice ones can be found in Vietnam as well. Also look around for Thai farmer's pants - really cool in the summer.

Be sure to bargain HARD - vendors are merciless with their foreigner premium.

If you're in Vietnam, go to Hoi An - avoid the tailors of course. But at 5'ish....it's a real treat seeing all the teen schoolgirls bicycling home in their white ao dais. Like a procession of brides.

Still regret not taking a px when I saw that.


 

medtech_expat

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Originally Posted by PeterMetro
If you're in Bangkok or Saigon, there are some young artists doing some cool stuff, and you may find something unique that you like.

+1

Was in Thailand and Vietnam over the holidays. I've long given up on shopping in south Asia, but on this last trip dedicated a few half days to visit a number of galleries and found a few interesting paintings.
 

gwolf

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thailand- silk boxers? i bought a lot of cheap clothes that fit really well when i was there. chaktuchak? market is awesome for cheap finds.

i would be interested in art as well but be careful with buying the mass produced stuff. they do look good but i think some of them even rub off. i'm sure medtech e went to a proper gallery though.
 

matstyleku

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One of the nicer things I brought back from Cambodia are called Kam-ma's, basically traditional Cambodian scarfs. These scarfs are used everywhere from bathing, to wrapping babies and basically used in their everyday life. The basic pattern is pretty recognizable, I bought a few that are the length and width of scarfs and gave them out as gifts and use one myself, probably one of the better buys. If you are interested in other gifts, a lot of NGOs run projects that teach homeless kids or disabled folk basic artisan skills, you can buy their paintings, sculptures and other various things, albeit at a much higher price than you'd find in a normal market.
 

dw5678

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If you are going to HCMC, I can recommend a decent tailor. He is much cheaper than your typical Bangkok tailors but the fabric selections in Vietnam are not very good, so you are better off bringing your own fabric. Unless you are just getting cotton shirts done up, then you can find adequate fabric in Vietnam. The only problem with the tailor in HCMC is that he doesn't do the 48 hour turn around. He will measure then have you come back in about 2 or 3 days and then check the suit on you, then finish it for pickup the next day. If you are interested, I can PM you the name of the tailor.
 

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