In the past it was always exciting to shop and buy something you could not find anywhere else but when you traveled. It was part of the trip. It was the excitement of coming upon a “find”.
Going to Hong Kong was a dream come true. Walking through the night market at temple street for Chinese souvenirs or wandering around the China Arts and Craft Center for silk pajamas just seemed exotic.
However in today’s world of eBay and Amazon anyone can buy just about anything and so coming upon something special and really unique in your travels is getting much more difficult. But there are still cool things to get in special cities.
Here is a list of things that are still a real “find” on your journeys.
Let’s start in Paris
As a child, I found the most beautiful boutique called Comptior Sud Pacifique . It was a beautiful little shop in the center of Paris. They specialized in rare fragrances and small leather goods with an exotic island influence. It was a husband-and-wife who started this business. Unfortunately the store closed years ago and it was bought out by a large American company. They dropped many of the original fragrances. Recently an entrepreneur in Paris purchased the name and went back to its roots selling items like the exotic Vetyver Haiti fragrance.
With fragrances there’s no point buying it on the web because you have no idea how they really smell. So, walking into this beautiful store will let you try something you can’t get anyplace else.
34 Place du Marché Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris .
Paris is also known for incredible food . Have a walk around Galleria Lafayette and go to the food hall. You will be sure to find some very special treats that you can bring home as a souvenir. Remember if you’re coming back to the USA always tell customs you have food even if it is prohibited or non-prohibited food items.
There is still much to find in Hong Kong that you really don’t see in the rest of the world.
Markets of the best example like Stanley Street or Temple Street market are full of artwork and knick knacks to bring home. I love some of The Chinese calligraphy that is done by local artists.
You also have access to the most affordable and best tailors in the world. Here you can get custom fitted shirts for men for around US$50 . I recommend Sammy Tailor on Modi Road.
Again, this is something that you could only find if you’re there.
By the blue Mosque you’ll see one of the largest markets in Turkey. There’s a lot of the normal kind of things you’ll come across in any market around the world but here they also have rare custom-made tiles and hand woven rugs.
This is a great place to search for a one-off centerpiece of a rug. They are handmade from silk and wool and none of them are alike. The tiles are artistic and might just be the perfect decor item which you are looking for.
Pat Pong market still has some of the same merchandise I have been seeing over 25 years. So not much has changed, but you can still find some wonderful incense and Thai soaps.
I also love some of the wood sculptures that you can only find in Thailand. I have often purchase these and had them shipped home. From small sculptures to big sculptures, they are unique and hard to find anywhere else in the world. You will tend to see more of this as you go out to the outskirts of Bangkok or destinations like Phuket. Just make sure they are set up to ship internationally and check the prices as shipping can be quite expensive.
Wherever you shop in Tokyo you will see things that unique. From everything Hello Kitty to funky designer clothes that are never exported. Sizes are small to western standards so shoes in big sizes will be hard to find.
Also Japan is still expensive. Local candy and chocolates make for unique gifts (even if you can’t read the ingredients).
Daniel Green, the Model Cook is a Celebrity Chef known for his healthy approach to food and living well. With TV, books, magazines and live appearances, Daniel spends his time helping fans to cook better, feel better and live better. He’s also an avid traveler and a self-confessed Foodie.