Maybe they have a thing for Malaysian street fashion. Maybe they’re very, very serious about Japanese animation.
If there’s an eastern country that calls to them, here are just a few gifts that will rattle their entire teacup!
For Spiritual Vigor: Tibetan Singing Bowl Set With Healing Mantra Engravings
Handcrafted in Nepal, this “singing” bowl is a great meditative tool for yogis, mystics, reiki masters and health gurus. It was hammered by real craftsmen, so each product is slightly imperfect. It comes with both a wooden striker and a hand-sewn cushion for resting it in a sacred place when not in use.
There are even mantra engravings to increase its capacity for soothing and healing. If you know someone who is carefully attuned to their spiritual energies, they’re sure to appreciate an authentic cultural token like a Tibetan singing bowl.
What Does the Fox Say: Dangling Fox Enamel Hair Pins
Foxes can be seen in everything from Vietnamese folk tales to Japanese theater productions; they have deep, symbolic meanings in a variety of Asian cultures. Why don’t you celebrate their heritage with the gift of dangling enamel hair pins? They depict red-and-white foxes on thin golden chains of bells, beads and fans.
The wearer will give off a soft jingle whenever they stand up or turn their head. Best of all, since the pins straddle the line between formal and informal, they can be worn with both casual outfits and ceremonial robes and gowns.
To Live Like an Anime Character: Rabbit Blossom Bento Box Set
Bento boxes are like the cooler older cousins of lunchboxes. They come in small, portion-controlled sizes, and they offer liners and dividers to keep your food separated. This one even lets you save space by sliding the smaller container into the bigger one after you’re finished eating.
As a bonus, you can carry the whole thing in a blue fabric bag that’s been printed with flowers and rabbits! It’ll be an adorable way to take a lunch break. It’s also ideal for dates and picnics!
To Let the Light Shine: Cherry Blossom Bedside or Table Lamp
Cherry blossoms are another one of those things that you can find in many different Asian countries, so whether your friend is a fan of Japanese, Chinese or Korean culture, they should be delighted by this beside lamp.
Painted screens are joined together with natural wood, and they’re decorated with cherry tree branches and pretty calligraphy. The screens are white, but when you turn on the lamp, they’ll take on pink and golden hues like a sunset.
This is a beautiful gift for a beautiful spirit.
Build Your Own Empire: Taipei 101 of Taiwan Building Blocks
With more than 1,500 pieces, this building block tower will be an engrossing gift for crafters, builders, puzzlemasters, game enthusiasts and anyone else who can appreciate a challenge. It creates a lofty replica of Taipei 101, a Taiwanese skyscraper that used to be the tallest in the world, and it requires a lot of painstaking attention to detail.
Each piece has a designated spot, and each floor will get the building closer to the top spire. By the time that they’ve added the last support beam, they’ll have an impressive reproduction that can double as a display item around the house.
To Learn a New Skill: Chinese Calligraphy Sumi Brush Writing/Painting Set
There’s an art to calligraphy. You can’t achieve the broad, sweeping lines or delicate little adornments without the right tools for the job. Fortunately, this Chinese calligraphy set comes with everything that you’ll need to create beautiful scrolls and paintings.
There are brushes with sharp tips; there’s an ink pad and an ink stone; there are seals, bowls and brush rests. There’s even a small metallic spoon for advanced artists who want to control the exact level of moisture in their ink!
For Astrologers, Horoscopists and Fortune Tellers: 12 Ceramic Chinese Zodiac Animal Figurines
While there are plenty of gifts out there for followers of the Chinese zodiac, this one is much less serious. In fact, it’s downright darling! Each animal of the zodiac is represented with a small ceramic figure that’s been given a cute face and matte finish.
From the friendly rabbit to the glitter-dusted ox, wild animals have never looked so approachable, making this a great gift for people who aren’t afraid of a little cuteness in their home decor.
Bring Home the Buddha: Buddha Head Statue Tabletop Zen Garden
If you can’t decide between a zen garden, tealight holder, incense burner and spiritual statue, this handy gift combines them all. There’s a compartment filled with sand and pebbles if you like to relieve stress through raking and rearranging, and there’s a little bowl for a tealight candle if you want to illuminate the impassive bronze face of the Buddha.
There’s even an incense holder for firing up a stick of sandalwood! It’s several gifts in one, especially for a friend who could use some R&R.
For Hungry Mouths and Flexible Fingers: Natural Wood Chopsticks With Holders
Wooden chopsticks are some of the most durable on the market, and since this collection offers five different sets, your friend won’t run out anytime soon. They can enjoy the smooth, polished surfaces of the natural wood and lacquer, and when they’re between bites, they can rest the chopsticks on ceramic stone holders that have been painted with flowers and sunbursts.
If they cook a lot of Asian dishes, they’ll definitely get some use out of these.
When a Lottery Ticket Is Just Too Obvious: Feng Shui Golden Money Tree
Perfect for bankers, realtors, stockbrokers and business owners, this money tree is a unique gift to encourage financial prosperity. It’s made with imitation Chinese coins from the imperial dynasty, and they’ve been cast in bronze and arranged on the branches of a heavy golden tree for good luck.
The trunk is solid, not hollow, so it will make a satisfying thud when placed on a desk or shelf. Many buyers use it as a feng shui piece in hopes of receiving a windfall.
For Fierce Home Decor: Dragon and Tiger Wall Tapestry
Who would win in a fight between a dragon and a tiger? Place your bets with this jaw-dropping tapestry of two battling beasts in front of a gushing waterfall. Its colors will pop right off the fabric, and its immense size will ensure that it draws every eye in the room.
Despite being classified as “wall art,” it’s just as easily used as a tablecloth, beach towel, couch covering or dorm decoration, so it’s one of the more versatile Asian gifts on this list.
Embrace the Phenomenon: “Powered By K-Pop” T-Shirt
Korean pop music has become a force to be reckoned with, and with this “powered by K-pop” shirt, your favorite dongsaeng can express energy and enthusiasm for her favorite hobby. The best part is that it doesn’t single out a particular K-pop group, so whether she swoons for BTS or gets a girlpower charge from Blackpink, she can wear this t-shirt with pride.
It’ll never go out of style.
When Worlds Collide: Handmade Matryoshka Kokeshi Set
This might be the most adorable culture clash that you’ll ever see. Kokeshi are traditional wooden dolls that are crafted as children’s toys in Japan, and matryoshka are the famous Russian nesting dolls that neatly fit inside of each other.
When they combine, they become a set of egg-shaped, kimono-wearing girls with flowers in their hair, and they can be displayed separately or stacked together depending on your decorating whims.
A Keepsake for the Heart: Singapore Map Coaster
You’ll never forget your first trip to Singapore, especially when you set your bandung on these coasters. They have topographic maps of the entire island engraved on their wooden surfaces, and the maps have a stunning level of detail that will take you right back to the streets and stores that make up Singapore.
They’ll be a wonderful, heartfelt gift for someone who’s already missing the place and counting the days until they can go back. They might also make an aspirational gift for someone who’s never been to Singapore but dreams of going!
Wearable Cuteness: “This is How I Roll” Panda T-Shirt
Available in multiple sizes and colors, this is a fun gift that doesn’t even require an interest in Asian culture. It has a baby panda cavorting across the front with the text “this is how I roll.” At one point, his legs are totally splayed in the air as he falls over and lands on his little backside.
They might have survived Baby Yoda, but they’ll just die at Baby Panda!
To Play a Gentle, Natural Song: Traditional Japanese Bell Wind Chimes
Japan is a place that’s steeped in tradition, and even their wind chimes are created with delicate details that come together as a meaningful whole. With furin, small strips of paper flutter in the breeze while hanging from bell- or dome-shaped chimes.
They’re meant to hang from windows and eaves during the summer to bring cool relief. They’re also quite pretty! They can be made with glass, iron, metal or other decorative materials, and they can be painted for an extra pop.
If you know someone who could use a nice patio accessory, consider gifting them a set of furin
Laugh in the Face of Sunburn: Traditional Hand-Woven Bamboo Hat With Palm Interlining
Asian hats can range from the long flaps of the Korean ayam to the pointed cones of the Vietnamese non la, but unless you’re living in an Asian country, these things will look out of place as everyday street wear.
If you want to give someone Asian-inspired headgear that won’t make them seem like a cosplayer, consider something subtle like this bamboo-woven straw hat. It can masquerade as a regular gardening hat, but if your gift recipient knows their stuff, they’ll recognize its signature style from the Sichuan countryside in China.
To Inspire Envy: Cat-Shaped Rice Ball Mold Set
If you’ve ever caught them sighing over the cuteness of an anime character’s bento box, give them this rice ball molding kit. The main tool will sculpt their rice into a cat shape, and the secondary tools will allow them to add eyes, ears, noses, whiskers and paws.
It’s as simple as pressing down the molds into warm, sticky rice. They can make anime-worthy bento lunches with almost no effort at all, but they can let their friends think that they’re just masters in the kitchen.
For Ethical Fashion: Thai Hippie Bag Elephant Sling
Made with soft, seamless materials, this bag will be a comfortable alternative to hard purses or backpacks with lots of buckles. It isn’t great for organization since it only has one main compartment, but it does come with a zipper to keep everything safely inside, and it can be worn either over the shoulder or across the body.
It’s a supple, slouchy accessory that will showcase a person’s love for elephants, and it comes from an ethical company to boot.
When They Have the Munchies: Deluxe Asian Snack Box
There’s something delightful about a box of foreign snacks, especially when it combines chips, cookies, noodles, gummies and sodas from multiple Asian countries. Is that green cupcake flavored like watermelon or wasabi? Are those little round things gumballs or breath mints? Your gift recipient won’t know until they bite down, so they’ll enjoy an adventure with every new treat.
Wish them luck!
To Represent the Motherland: Indonesia Garuda High-Definition Knit Scarf
The garuda is the national symbol of Indonesia, and he looks glorious on this high-quality, high-definition scarf. As promised, the print is so HD that you can see the individual feathers on his wings, and his colors are a splendid red and gold that represent his passion for his country.
If you know someone who is equally enamored with Indonesia, this is a gift that will help them hold their head high.
For Caffeine on the Go: Cherry Blossoms Ceramic Tea Cup With Infuser Basket and Lid
Everyone loves a good cup of tea, and with this portable, easy-to-use tumbler, they can whip up their favorite gyokuro karigane in no time flat. It comes with a built-in infuser basket for loose leaf tea, and there’s a lid for both transport and temperature control.
The double-walled ceramic will be safe to the touch and fine to throw in the dishwasher or microwave. If you’re looking for a pragmatic gift for a tea drinker, this is it!
To Play Coy: 10-Piece Floral Folding Hand Fans
Flutter your eyelashes like a geisha behind these silk fans. You’ve probably seen cheap ones handed out as party favors, but these are the real deal. They’re printed on silk fabrics with lace trims, and their frames are cleverly hidden with embroidered details on the folds.
Their colors range from deep reds to electric blues and royal purples. They come in a set of 10, so your gift recipient can use them for travel, cosplay, cultural events, outdoor activities or just home decoration.
There are plenty to spare.
Cuddly and Colorful: Oriental Peacocks Luxury Mink Blanket
Peacocks are another animal with a lot of meaning in Asian culture, so snuggling beneath a luxurious blanket is a cozy, comfortable way for someone to get in touch with their Asian side. The peacock print is beautifully detailed with reds, oranges, blues and yellows, and the fabric is so velvety that they’ll feel like they’re drifting on a cloud.
The blanket can be used as both a bedspread and a throw for the couch. It’s big enough for multiple uses around the house or in the car.
For Group Gifting: Nepal Woven Friendship Bracelets
Offered in a pack of 12, these cheerful friendship bracelets are perfect when you’re looking for small and casual gifts for an office, classroom, book club or bridal shower. They’re hand-woven by Nepalese artists, and according to legend, each one can offer the wearer a single wish.
Your group can have fun debating the validity of different wishes and squabbling over the best colors and patterns in the lot. The string ties can be adjusted for any sized wrist, so no one will be left out!
For the Stressed and Depressed: Nihon no Meito Bath Salt
Are they constantly working overtime? Do you worry about their health and happiness? Bring a little serenity to their life with Nihon no Meito bath salts. They have a deep, natural scent that will invoke the feeling of hot springs on a snowy mountain surrounded by pine trees, but unlike the real thing, they don’t contain sulfur.
They won’t harm the porcelain of a bathtub. They’re just a nice and relaxing imitation of a peaceful oasis that will soothe away the day’s stresses.
If They’ve Got the Music In Them: Dizi Black Bamboo Flute
A parent might kill you if you give this to their kids, but if you know someone who lives alone or has access to a nice, soundproofed garage, they might enjoy a dizi. It’s a traditional flute from China, and they can use it to teach themselves everything from simple folk tunes to elaborate orchestral solos.
This particular dizi is made from black bamboo and comes with a storage bag, membrane protector, membrane glue and a stylish dangling knot accessory. It’s Chinese right down to the printed text on the bamboo wood.
A Stylish and Sophisticated Gift: Clear Glass Spice Jars With Display Rack
Add a little flair to their kitchen with this unique spice rack. Whether they’re cooking with Thai ginger or Korean chili powder, they’ll enjoy the chance to show off with stylish glass jars set in an arched wooden display.
There are even mini-spoons to help them dish out the spices! Not only is this a convenient gift, but it will also enhance the cooking experience by putting the spices at the front and center of the countertop.
The chef will be able to see their colors, rattle their granules and anticipate their flavors.
To Pinch More Pennies: Coin-Stealing Panda Piggy Bank
Say goodbye to boring piggy banks! This fun, mechanical version has a panda that will peek out from under the lid and snatch your coins with his paw. You’ll only need a couple of batteries to power it, and you can switch it off when you want to retrieve some money.
It’s advertised as a piggy bank for kids, but who says that cute animals have an age limit? As long as they’re young at heart, your gift recipient will be charmed by this fuzzy little thief.
A Memorable Collector’s Item: Bonsai Snow Globe
Snow globes are quintessential gifts for world travelers, and this one is especially awesome. It features a miniature bonsai tree growing on a green field, so when the flurries start, they make it look like it’s snowing in the summertime.
Some of the snowflakes will even get caught on the branches and make it glitter! It would be a unique gift for anyone, but fans of Asian culture should appreciate it the most.
To End the Day With a Bang: Zen Art Brass Feng Shui Desktop Gong
Gongs are used in China for all kinds of cultural events and religious rituals, and you can offer a little magic to someone who needs it when you gift them this desktop gong. It hangs from a self-standing frame with an attached hook for the mallet, and it’s decorated with two dragons weaving together like yin and yang symbols.
It’ll be great for feng shui enthusiasts, but it can also serve as nothing more than attractive home decor for someone who doesn’t believe.
To Show Your Support: “I’m Not Perfect” Malaysian Mug
If they’re proud of their Malaysian heritage, this is the gift for them. It’s a plain white coffee mug, but it has big, bold text that declares, “I’m not perfect, but I am Malaysian, and that’s kind of the same thing.
” They’ll be able to show off their roots in a fun and cheeky way even as they enjoy it as a practical home or office item. Additionally, all of those coffee-stealing coworkers will have to retire their excuses about using the wrong mug! This is a Malay-only kitchen item!
For a Ferocious Encyclopedia Collection: Chinese Guardian Lion Statue Bookends
You’ve probably seen Chinese guardian lions before; they’re a common ornament in homes, temples, palaces, casinos and anything else with a doorway. Like their name implies, they’re meant to guard entrances from bad spirits.
However, these lions are taking a break from their usual duties to watch over book collections instead! They’re heavy statues that double as bookends, so they’re ideal for bibliophiles who also have an interest in Chinese culture.
For the Nicotine Addict: Personalized Zippo With Asian Tiger Design
A white tiger slinks on the rocks in front of a red-hot sun. That might sound like something from a classical Asian painting, but with this Zippo lighter, it can be given as a quick and easy gift. It has a refillable chamber, so its owner can use it for years, and it comes with other advantages like a windproof lid as well.
It can even be customized with up to three lines of text. How are your foreign language skills?
To Create Their Own Oasis: 6-Panel Bamboo Screen Freestanding Room Divider
It isn’t a casual gift, but if you’re looking to splurge on someone special, this room divider will leave them in awe. It has six accordion panels with flexible hinges that can be adjusted to any length, and the bamboo screens only look delicate: They’re actually quite tough.
Best of all, the divider is printed with an elegant Japanese landscape that includes foggy mountains overlooking a river. It will easily become the centerpiece of whatever room that it graces.
For Chefs Without Borders: Kitchen Vegetable Cutter
It can be difficult to prepare Asian food without the right tools, especially if they’re making something highly specialized like the frog soup of the Muong people. Ease some of their struggle with this vegetable cutter.
It has sharp blades that can both peel and slice, so whether they’re dicing carrots or making long ribbons of green onions, this machine will take them one step closer to the perfect stir-fry. It’s a simple machine, too; it uses a hand crank instead of electricity.
It will never become obsolete by fancy product upgrades!
If They’re Trying to Kick a Bad Habit: Bali’s Best Coffee Candy Jar
Made with real coffee beans that are cultivated from the rich soil of the Indonesian islands, this candy will delight java junkies without sending them into too much of a jittery spiral. It tastes like a good brew, but since it comes in small, individually-wrapped pieces, it will moderate their caffeine consumption.
They can enjoy a pick-me-up without any of the usual health concerns.
For the Language Learner: Dumplings Composition Book
Are they studying an Asian language? Help them succeed with an adorable dumpling notebook. It offers more than 100 lined and unlined pages for writing, doodling and note-taking, so it’ll be a great learning aid.
They can practice their calligraphy skills; they can make vocabulary lists and sentence diagrams. The cute, squishy dumplings will cheer them on from both the front and back covers.
For the Other Half of Your Soul: Yin and Yang Pendant Necklace
Maybe they’re a significant other. Maybe they’re a best friend or even a parent. Regardless of their relationship to you, these yin and yang necklaces can be used to strengthen your bond. They’re made with hypoallergenic silver, so they’re suitable for everyone, and they’re completely free of the lead and nickel that causes problems with other jewelry.
One necklace has the black yin side, and the other has the white yang side. They’re only complete when they’re together, which is exactly why you and your loved one should never part.
“Asian gifts” is such a broad category that it can be hard to know where to start. Here are just a few suggestions for brainstorming, researching and analyzing different products until you’ve found the perfect ones.
1. Know Your Countries
While it’s true that some symbols and motifs are found in multiple Asian cultures, there are usually differences in the way that they’re presented. For example, Chinese dragons have different folklore than their Vietnamese counterparts, and Thailand’s hot sauces are made with different peppers than Korean ones.
If you’re looking specifically for gifts from a certain country, don’t get their products confused.
2. Watch the Languages
Are you unsure about the country of origin for a cherry blossom poster? Look at the text. Every Asian country has a unique writing system, so you should be able to distinguish where that pretty calligraphy comes from.
You might want to run it through an online translator, too; you never know when a retailer has just slapped some “Asian-y” words on a product without doing their research.
3. Watch Out for Bootlegs
You might know that China has a booming industry for knockoffs, but other Asian countries can play similar games.
It isn’t uncommon to see the same products offered by multiple retailers from neighboring countries, so you’ll need to do some research to determine which is the best.
Who invented the original? Who added bad subtitles to a pirated copy? Which version has the best reviews?
These are just a few things to keep in mind when you’re shopping for Asian gifts.
Whether you’re looking at Japanese anime figures or Singaporean hair accessories, you should only want the best for a present!
What do you think of these Asian gifts? Is there anything that you’d like to add?
What products are you coveting from the West? Let us know in the comments!