What are the wackiest, most fun, interesting and plain fabulous souvenirs you have ever bought or been given? A few bloggers and travelers share their best souvenirs from around the world.

From Russia with a spoon

Best Souvenirs from around the world
On our Trans Siberian trip we had to fight with the fierce old Russian lady (the Provodnitsa) in our carriage, you don’t want to mess with her. We managed to steal 2 teaspoons from her and they became prized possessions through our trip in Asia. You can use them for stirring instant coffees or for eating papayas. A random but great travel souvenir”, confesses Stefan, from Gay travel blog Nomadic Boys.

A tattoo from the last tattoo maste

Tattoo from a tattoo maste 

Will from The Broke Backpacker, definitively has one of the most memorable souvenirs. “By far the best souvenir I’ve ever gotten was the tattoo on my arm. I trekked for hours to reach Whang Od, the last tattoo master, in the hopes that she would like me enough to tattoo me. She is the last of her kind, and tattoos using thorns, soot, and a bamboo hammer. It was an absolutely amazing experience, and a souvenir I’ll keep with me forever!”

Indonesian fabric

Indonesian fabrics
Noel, from Travel Photo Discovery, bought some beautiful batik fabric. “On my recent trip to Indonesia, I didn’t have space to carry any large souvenirs so I decided to look for Indonesian fabrics I could easily adapt into tableware, fashion and even bed spreads. I now have a wonderful collection of fabrics which remind me of the fun shopping trips I took throughout Indonesia and the many little stories I treasure.”

Hand-woven wool jacket from Ireland

hand-woven wool jacket from Ireland

For Billie, it’s a jacket. “Eighteen years ago I fell in love with a heathery purple hand-woven wool jacket at a shop across from the ocean in County Galway, Ireland. I didn’t think I’d ever wear it and it wasn’t really in my budget so I left the shop without it. After a night of agonizing over my decision, I went back to the shop and bought it. I still wear it, a lot! Whenever I put it on it takes me back to Ireland. Looking back, it’s not the things I buy that I regret, it’s the things I didn’t buy. Thankfully, I brought this treasure home with me.”

A kilo of Parmigiano Reggiano

A kilo of Parmigiano Reggiano
Eric from With Husband in Tow, drools over a piece of Parmigiano. “We received this 1kg wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano as part of our FAM trip with the Emilia-Romagna Tourism board. It traveled from Italy to Qatar (flight layover) to India (10 day trip) finally to Bangkok (arrived Sept 29th). It was never questioned by Customs in any of the countries and is patiently waiting for us to eat it.”

A hand carved Moai Statue

Souvenirs from around the world: Moai Statue

“I brought this handmade wooden statue of Moai from Easter Island. That place was magical so I knew I needed a ‘bigger souvenir’ to bring home! Fortunately one day we came across an artist who sold real quality ones. He was very laid back, possibly even under influence of something 🙂 Well, he did a great job and I enjoy every day having the wooden Moai sit on top of my bookcase” says Veronika from Travel Geekery

Baby hammocks from Nicaragua

Baby hammocks from Nicaragua

Samantha, from My Tan Feet, loved the baby hammocks from Nicaragua. “They are hand made by locals in Granada, Nicaragua and it’s part of a project to give jobs to the local youth and teach them a skill. They make tiny hammocks, hammocks for babies and huge hammocks that can fit 5 people. I love the little ones, they are so cute!”

A painting from Cuzco

A painting from Cuzco

“A few years ago, I went to Cuzco, Peru, for the trip to Machu Picchu and I fell in love with the paintings sold around town”, says Laura from Savored Journeys. “This one caught my eye and I just had to take it home with me. The painting is a bit quirky and it gets a lot of confused stares and questions. I have to admit, it’s not really clear what the image is depicting. Is it Inca warriors or is it wine glasses? I prefer to think it’s a little of both.

A charm bracelet from the world

A charm bracelet from the world

Eat Sleep Breathe Travel author Hannah most precious souvenir is a charm collection. “When I first moved to Ireland I bought a silver bracelet and a little leprechaun charm as a memory of my time in the Emerald Isle. It didn’t start as a tradition, but over the past four years has quickly become one. In every place I visit I try to find a silver charm to add. I’m up to three full ones now and need to start my fourth. Not only is it pretty, and a good conversation starter, but I love that, down the road, I can pass it on to someone who will continue the tradition.”

Handmade Thai skirt

Handmade Thai skirt
Girl Unspotted Erika found the perfect garment. “My most versatile purchase is a handmade Thai skirt from my first trip to Bangkok. It’s a beautiful fabric that wraps around with intricate embroidery stitches of elephants and other similar Thai characters. I specifically bought it to use for my visit to the Grand Palace, but it’s become a necessity for me over the years as I’m able to use it as a beach blanket, picnic blanket, a general blanket for the plane or long bus/train rides, or a shade paraphernalia. For 500 baht, it was a great investment.

A Chinese calligraphy poem

A Chinese calligraphy poem
Josh will never forget a special gift that he received from one of his students, while teaching English in China. “I found out that one of my students liked to practice Chinese calligraphy and told how awesome I thought it was. The following week, he came in with a delicate sheet of paper and presented it to me – it was an old Chinese poem about long-distance ever-lasting friendship written in his calligraphy skills! I teared up. One of the memories I will cherish for years to come.”

A pair of wine glasses from Lisbon

A pair of wine glasses from Lisbon

“It was the day before my 28th birthday. Jon and I shared a toast to a new chapter of my life as we watched the gorgeous sunset in Castelo de São Jorge in Lisbon, Portugal. The wines we enjoyed were from different parts of Portugal and they were great, but the best part was that we got to keep the wine glasses as a reminder of my birthday and our 3 months in Europe. Through our trip around the world these glasses have come in handy and have brought us back good memories,” says Gia from Mismatched Passports

 

A carved elephant figurine

A carved elephant figurine
“Of all my souvenirs, my carved elephant from Elephant Nature Park stands out. All rescued elephants at ENP have a mahout. While the elephants are out roaming, their mahouts carve figurines of their elephant out of pieces of driftwood from the nearby river. While at ENP, I had a touching moment with one of the elephants called Sri Prae. One afternoon, I noticed her really focusing on me. We locked eyes and she looked deep into my soul. I was mesmerized and I knew I had to have a figurine of Sri Prae to remind me of our time together.”, says Sadie from Eclectic Trekker.
 

A Daruma doll

A Daruma doll
“Our favorite souvenir is a Daruma Doll we bought in Tokyo on our honeymoon. This little red ornament was purchased as we wandered around the Sensoji temple. The dolls are considered a symbol of good luck in Japan and, as we were beginning our lives together as a married traveling couple it only seemed fitting!” confesses Nic from The Roaming Renegades

13 Indian turbans

13 Indian turbans
“During our travels in India, we picked up the most ridiculous of souvenirs: handmade turbans from Jaipur. Eloise instantly fell in love with all of them, and much to my dismay insisted we buy all 13 of them! What would have made a better photo was me lugging them for several weeks in a separate bag until we flew back to the UK! At least we’ve got 13 amazing turbans now (sarcasm)!”, laughs Stu from Am I nearly There yet?

A witch puppet

Witch Puppet
Rishabh, from gypsycouple, bought a Witch Puppet from Prague.

The puppet laughs hysterically and has red glowing orbs for eyes. “A bit scary”, he admits, “a very good idea for a scare prank and definitely the quirkiest souvenir we’ve ever bought.”

A wooden giraffe

A wooden giraffe 

For Katrina, from The Two Week Traveler, the greatest souvenir is a 4 foot tall giraffe they picked from South Africa. “This is Jeffrey, our handcrafted wooden giraffe. We got him from a craft market in Johannesburg at the end of our two week honeymoon. He’s quite tall, so we were afraid we’d have trouble getting him home. He’s so cool that everyone who comes over comments on him”

 

A Kalevipoeg

A Kalevipoeg 

“Estonia’s national epic is a great bit of literature, a poem woven from ancient folk tales of giants, maidens, demons and journeys to the ends of the earth. For four days I went into practically every bookstore in Tallinn to look for a bilingual version of Kalevipoeg. It was a heavy beast to lug all over Europe and it’s been two years now and I haven’t even finished reading it yet!” confesses Nic from Rambling Feet

 

A djembe drum

 A djembe drum 
 “Thanks to a random series of events, I own an authentic musician-quality djembe drum from Ghana.  I inquired about drum lessons where I was staying and was introduced to the father of one of the employees who was a talented musician and often traveled the world playing drums in a group. My lessons went as expected – great teacher but untalented student. When I mentioned I was planning on purchasing a drum as a souvenir, he insisted on helping me get an authentic one from the same place he and his group get theirs. After long negotiations, I was in possession of an authentic full-size djembe drum for much less than the price of a tiny souvenir one.” By Patti from The Savvy Globetrotter

 

Paper cutting 

 Paper cutting  
 “I bought this Chinese paper cutting from a renowned paper-cutter who makes and sells them from her home in a small city in China, Jiaxian. The traditional red paper is as thin as tissue paper, extremely delicate, and she used nothing more than a pair of plain old scissors. She had no fancy equipment nor templates, she visualized the design in her head and cut it out from a single sheet of paper. Notice how fine the fringes are on the phoenix tail and the flower.” Read about the life of a peasant paper-cutter from Shaanxi Province who still had bound feet at “Vignette of an Old Woman” on SKJ Travel.

 

A cross from El Dia de los Muertos

 A cross from El Dia de los Muertos 

For Eileen, from Crooked Flight, it is a cross from the Dia de los Muertos. “I spent my first time in Mexico exploring the west coast during Dia de Los Muertos. In the city of Mazatlan there were countless stalls filled with sugar skulls, light-up toys and La Catrina artwork. But instead I happened upon a local artist gallery that had work stations for builders and even a small pond inside. One whole wall was dedicated to funky crosses and religious icons that the woman said were hammered and carved individually. It cost only a couple of pesos and was still a nod to the remembrance of the dead.”

 

Rotties from all over the world

Rotties from all over the world 
“Where ever in the world we travel we are always on a lookout to buy Rottweiler figures. We love Rotties :)” Says Annie from Sell up Go Travel, a collectible I had never seen. “We got this one from Bangkok March 2015 at Gate Way Mall”
 

Tibetan prayer flags

Tibetan prayer flags 
Joe from Joeography, bough beautiful prayer flags. “I’m a huge outdoor person. A few years ago, I was part of a group that made the trek to Everest Base I was able to walk away with one of my favorite souvenirs: Tibetan Prayer Flags. Prayer flags are used for a variety of purposes, but their primary use is to bless the mountain and help secure safe passage for the any climbers making the trip up the mountain. While it’s only a matter of time before I make it to the Everest summit, these colorful reminders of an epic trip to the base camp will keep me company until I do”

 

Stop working, start traveling

 Stop working, start traveling

“Sometimes pictures are not enough when you travel as much as we do, you want to have something to remind you the places, sites or museums you visited. Usually we buy magnets to fill as much as possible our fridge at home, it’s kind of a collection, we love to stare at our fridge and count our magnets! During our trip to Israel we bought magnets, of course, but we happened to sleep in a top hostel in Jerusalem where they sell amazing gadget such as t-shirts, mugs or bags with a slogan which is perfect for a travel blogger: STOP WORKING, START TRAVELING.” Says Eride from Queidue

 

A shot glass in the shape of a Kvevri

A shot glass in the shape of a Kvevri 

“Georgia is one of the oldest winemaking regions in the world. This is a shot glass made in the shape of a Kvevri. They used to put grapes in these before burying them until the wine was fermented. I got this from the Khakuri Winery tour in Talevi. I don’t buy many souvenirs because I break them, like this one which has a crack in it already!” Says Jordan from Tiki Touring Kiwi.

 

A set of silk pillow cases and all-silk pillows

A set of silk pillow cases and all-silk pillows

Silk pillows

 

“On a trip this year to China I bought a set of silk pillow cases and all-silk pillows.  They are so soft and beautiful!  I don’t allow us to sleep on them yet, just use them as decorative pillows or for resting against when we watch TV.  The factory there was clever because they shrink-wrapped the pillows so they fit right into my suitcase and then puffed up again when I let them out at home.” Says Carole from Berkeley and Beyond.

 
Over to you, what is your best souvenir?