This Map Shows the Top Souvenirs Around the World. The Philippines' Is a Toy

This iconic toy beat other souvenirs in the Philippines.

Despite how popular you might think it is, the barrel man is not the top souvenir from the Philippines. It’s something more iconic and found all over the archipelago: the jeepney.

A new study by Club Med has revealed the top-selling souvenirs from around the world on an illustrated map. The colorful toy jeepney beat other popular items such as the barrel man, dried mangoes, Philippine pearls, guitars, and wooden keychains. 

According to Club Med, the toy jeepney is popular among foreign travelers to the Philippines. Back in the ’90s, it was common to see the face of the Virgin Mary juxtaposed with logos of NBA teams. But the “King of the Road” is as iconic as it is a fading art. Rarely would you see jeepneys these days covered in colorful vinyl art. Their body of galvanized iron is now usually bare. Nevertheless, travelers still see it as a powerful cultural icon of Filipinos

Photo by ARTYOORAN | Shutterstock.

Map of Top Souvenirs in the World

Photo by Club Med.

According to Club Med, the Philippines is the only Asian country where the top souvenir favored by tourists is a toy. In Japan, the top souvenir is origami—an art of folding paper. Tea is the top souvenir from South Korea, coffee for Indonesia, krama for Cambodia, and pewter for Malaysia. Harem pants are the most popular souvenirs from Thailand, while the iconic Merlion statue is for Singapore. 

Top Souvenirs in the Philippines and the Rest of Asia

Photo by Club Med.
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When it comes to Europe, tourists have a funny idea of the best souvenir from the United Kingdom: an umbrella! The notoriously unpredictable weather in the U.K. has made an impression on travelers. Meanwhile, travelers take home beer from Germany as their favorite souvenir, as the country is famous for its lagers. Interestingly, Denmark's top-selling souvenir is Lego. One particular European souvenir is also found in the Philippines. The Dala Horse or Dalecarlian Horse is Sweden's most popular souvenir, something that can also be found in the streets of Antipolo

Dala Horse

Photo by Shutterstock.

Top Souvenirs in Europe

Photo by Club Med.

In North America, people always seem to bring home all sorts of sweets from the United States. Filipinos are well aware of this: Their balikbayan boxes are always filled with chocolates from America: Hershey's, Reese's, and Mars. Maple syrup is the top souvenir from Canada, while the lucha libre mask is Mexico's most iconic. Cigars are always the top souvenir from Cuba. 

Top Souvenirs in North America

Photo by Club Med.

Anyone going to Morrocco should always remember to bring home some argan oil, the country's top export and souvenir. Papyrus scrolls are Egypt's most popular items. The use of papyrus dates back 5,000 years ago. Seeds of the gigantic baobab tree are Madagascar's most popular souvenir (the main character in Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince was fascinated with Earth's baobab trees because of their size).

Top Souvenirs in Africa

Photo by Club Med.

In Oceania, The Dark Lord Sauron's The One Ring is flying off the shelves in New Zealand! The golden ring has the inscription: "Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul" ("One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them"written in some form of Elvish. New Zealand was the filming location for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. 

The One Ring

Photo by Elentaris Photo | Shutterstock.

Meanwhile, the boomerang, an ancient tool of Aboriginal Australians, is the most popular tourist gift Down Under. 

Top Souvenirs in Oceania

Photo by Club Med.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
marioalvaro[email protected]
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