Even if you travel to any place, any country you visit, you may always want to keep all the beautiful memories of that place. So, shopping at tourist destinations is a fact of life for everyone who travels. There are many shopping options and every souvenir you buy will remind you of your interesting and unforgettable trip.
In Vietnam, there are traditional crafts such as: ceramics, bamboo products, lacquer, mother-of-pearl inlays but also clothes and food that are very typical souvenirs of the country. You are wondering what you can buy from Vietnam? Here we tell you a little more about what is worth buying in Vietnam to bring as a souvenir or to give away, in case you lack inspiration!
There is a wide variety of handicrafts to buy in Vietnam and therefore souvenirs to bring back home.
Each souvenir comes with an account, and experience, or simply helps you at some point in your life. A beautifully decorated gift enhances your home with a multicultural feel. A meal enhances the diverse culinary experience of every land in the world. A personal item is convenient and unique to you. Vietnam – the country with a deep nationality, the culture characteristic of the East and also the modernity of the West. When you arrive in Vietnam, you will be surprised by every item, by every person, and you will not forget to buy gifts for your family, your friends and also for yourself. However, where to buy and what to buy in Vietnam are the questions that can cause you discomfort. “The Shopping Experience – The Secret of Memories You Can Buy in Vietnam” will be a treasure trove for you, where we provide the best gifts for a trip to Vietnam.
1. Ceramics and porcelain – The representative of the Vietnamese people
A set of teapots and cups, a set of bowls and plates, or a ceramic and porcelain vase will satisfy you the moment you buy it in Vietnam. Pottery and porcelain in Vietnam is very famous, especially that of Bat Trang. It is widely used in Vietnamese families. The ceramic products show sophistication in design, meticulousness in shape and ingenuity in production. Therefore, it is a great aesthetic decoration, a classic breath of the Vietnamese.
The prices of ceramics and porcelain depend on each product. Be careful to move it with care and gentleness.
There are many villages throughout the country that produce ceramics. Some of these villages include Phu Lang in Bac Ninh Province or Bat Trang. Located on the left bank of the Red River, about fifteen kilometers from Hanoi, the village of Bat Trang is famous for the quality of ceramics made with all the talent of its craftsmen, who pass on their knowledge for several generations.
2. Bamboo and taran products – The success of the ingenious hands of the indigenous people
Bamboo and rattan are abundant sources of material used by Vietnamese artisans. The advantages of these products are that they are light, durable and termite resistant. Among the most popular are baskets, pots, lampshades and shelves.
In addition, the bamboo products have been decorated and sculpted with the beautiful scene of the countryside, the landscape of Vietnam, images of famous places and relics in Vietnam. That’s an interesting gift for you. Bamboo products are affordable. A set that includes bamboo spoon, bamboo sticks and bamboo straws only costs VND 100,000.
3. Artistic painting – Rural paintings take the breath of the Vietnamese
Sandpainting was born in Vietnam after 1997. It is the national product and the pride of the Vietnamese people. The sand paintings are the result of a meticulous process of craftsmen who send their love of the country in each work. Sand paintings in Vietnam usually have the theme of a farmer harvesting rice in the field, a boy playing a flute on the back of a buffalo, or a girl dressed in Ao Dai. In addition, you can order a painting according to your taste as your portrait or a landscape you want.
A sand painting costs at least USD 50. If you order a painting as you wish, the price will be more than double.
Each painting contains a deep meaning, which is a popular lesson that Vietnamese have experienced in everyday life. They teach it as a form of art education.
It sells a lot in the Tet – Lunar New Year because hanging the popular paintings on the wall in the Tet is a custom of the Vietnamese. A small painting costs about USD 12.
Painting of rice
In Vietnam, rice is not only the main food of each family, but it is also used to create a beautiful work of art that is the Painting of Rice. Artisans place each grain of rice in paintings. The paintings represent landscapes, portraits, calligraphy art, humans and animals.
A small souvenir rice painting costs USD 10, while the portraits or paintings above cost USD 35.
In the past, embroidery was mainly reserved for the upper class, temples and pagodas. The technique of this art form was quite simple and involved only five colors of thread.
Today, embroidered products serve useful and decorative purposes. The embroidery industry has developed and now includes pillowcases, sheets and kimonos. The most skilled type of embroidery is portrait production, which requires the use of up to 60 different colors of thread.
The varnish is very typical of Vietnam, although it also exists in other Asian countries. Popular products include wall paintings, vases, jewelry boxes, trays, chess boards and screens.
Very popular are also the lacquer paintings. They are handmade in a lot of workshops in Vietnam. They use duck eggshells, putting their pieces one by one with a pair of tweezers until they give a magnificent result.
5. Mother-of-pearl inlay
The artisans who make inlays use different types of oyster shells and pearls, which offer a wide range of colours. You have a wide selection of or
Inlaid is widely used in the furniture industry to make tables, desks, chairs and trays that represent ancient stories. These stories are shown as scenes from nature, with birds or butterflies, lotus and banana ponds. They are also used to make all kinds of jewelry.
6. Stone sculpture
Most of the traditional sculptures are made in the province of Danang, more specifically near the Ngu Hanh Son (Five Elements Mountains or Marble Mountains).
Sculptors use marble to carve valuable items such as bracelets, ashtrays, Buddha statues, ornamental flowers, leaves and trees, and statues.
7. Artistic Shell – A Gift from the Sea You Must Buy in Vietnam
Most of the tourist areas in Vietnam, especially the famous beaches, visitors can see the products made of shells by the hands of the indigenous people. Gifts from the sea are used to create simple, cheap, not very eye-catching art shells, but they attract a lot of curiosity from visitors with their strange and unique shapes.
Most artistic shell souvenirs are probably rings, necklaces, key chains, etc. There are also products in complete form such as boats, wind chimes, owls, dogs, roosters, etc. that cost only a few dollars.
8. Paper Lanterns – A Nostalgia Attraction
The ancient city of Hoi An is very famous for its paper lanterns. They are beautifully decorated with things that are very close to the Vietnamese culture, such as lanterns in the shape of a pumpkin, a cake, a canarium, a moon or garlic. The paper lantern has become a “special” culture of the citizens of Hoi An. It is always attractive to visitors who travel to Vietnam.
9. Water Puppets – Souvenirs that will tell you about life in the river delta
The water puppet show is a traditional folk theatre art form, born of the wet rice cultivation of the flat population, especially in the northern delta. From a popular art, water puppets have become a traditional and national art, a special and unique creation in Vietnam.
The water puppet is made of fig wood – a type of wood that can float on water. The appearance of the puppet is characteristic of each character, usually it is cheerful, funny, humorous and highly symbolic. A water puppet is worth approximately USD 5.
As early as the second century, the Vietnamese used gold and silver to create jewelry. There are three different techniques for making gold and silver jewelry, including complex carving, casting in the form of a flower, leaf or bird, and a metal polishing process. This is used to create beautiful necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, trays, and cups.
There are also items of clothing and accessories you can buy in Vietnam.
11. Ao Dai – The traditional costume with pure beauty
Since the 18th century, Ao Dai has been honored to become the national costume of Vietnam. The traditional Ao Dai is a popular image of the Vietnamese in everyday life. Ao Dai is worn at weddings, schools, festivals and events. It has witnessed and is a companion of the Vietnamese for a long time of history.
To make an Ao Dai, the tailor takes 3 days. Traditional Vietnamese clothing has so far maintained the style of traditional craftsmanship. There are many styles, the traditional style is the pure white suit with long skirt, with neck and with the tight shape, it is elegant and seductive. The new style “Cach Tan” (innovative Ao Dai) is constantly changing to suit modernity, but it is also based on the traditional. Its skirt is shorter than the traditional suit, while its colors and patterns are more diverse. The men’s costume is made of a thicker fabric, similar to brocade, and is called Ao Gam.
To get the best traditional costume, you must book or buy at Ao Dai’s shop in Hanoi or Hue. The best Ao Dai, with a price of more than US$ 25, is made of silk fabric, which is the most popular because it is soft and high quality. There are some notes that when you wash Ao Dai, be very careful. Do not wash with hot water, use soap or shampoo instead of powdered detergent. Always hang it on hangers where there is no direct sunlight.
12. Non La (The conical hat) – The symbol of the Vietnamese spirit
Non La is known by foreign tourists as a symbol of Vietnam’s wet rice civilization. It has appeared in Vietnam since the mid-13th century and has been familiar to all Vietnamese people in everyday life activities ever since. In addition to being worn as a head covering by people, Non La is also a beauty item when combined with Ao Dai or other traditional Vietnamese costume models. The typical Vietnamese straw hat they wear to protect themselves from sun and rain. It can serve as an original decoration.
Non La is traditionally white and has the right size for the head. There is also a very famous type of Non La which is Hue’s poetic Non. It is special because the poems, letters or paintings of Vietnamese people are drawn on the Non. There are also some very small types to hang on key rings, to decorate, or for souvenirs.
Non La is sold in resorts and destinations with prices ranging from VND 30,000 to VND 100,000.
13. Vietnamese silk – A luxury gift you can buy in Vietnam
Silk is a luxury, quality and valuable material. Silk is created with many unique designs, popular and traditional patterns, and styles with national identity. At present, there are quite a few guild villages and silk shops that sell 100% pure silk. The silk products are very diverse such as clothes, scarves, bags, towels, etc.
There are many different silk materials, which is the basis for their prices from minor to major. This is a valuable gift for visitors to Vietnam. Every meter of natural silk that is bought in Vietnam is priced from US$ 40 to US$ 50. A silk scarf atHoi An is only VND 150,000.
You must distinguish natural silk from low-quality industrial silk. Traditional Vietnamese silk is soft, shiny, absorbs heat and moisture, and can also prevent mold residue, while industrial silk products do not have these characteristics.
14. Guoc Moc (woodcarvings) – The elegant beauty of the Vietnamese woman
Guoc Moc are traditional Vietnamese wood carvings that have been around for a long time. Guoc Moc, together with Ao Dai and Non La make a complete and perfect suit. To this day, the Vietnamese still wear it, in particular, at national festivals to express the pride of the nation and the elegant beauty of the Vietnamese.
Wood carvings in Vietnam are no longer very popular, but you can buy them in big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Their price is a bit high, but the quality is worth the money you spend.
15. Brocade Products – An Eye-catching Gift from the Mountains
Brocade is not only popular with ethnic minorities in the high mountains, but it also becomes the imprint of many international visitors. Brocade patterns are very striking and colorful, hand-made that express the soul and life of people living in mountain areas. You can buy brocade products such as bags, towels, clothes, hats, skirts and key chains in many tourist resorts. The average price is VND 100,000 for one product.
16. Red shirt with yellow star – The dynamics of young Vietnamese
The T-shirts that have the color and image of the Vietnamese flag are representative of the people and the country of Vietnam. With this T-shirt, you can feel integrated in the indigenous atmosphere. The red T-shirt with yellow star will be a memory that will remind you of your trip to Vietnam.
The T-shirt is very cheap, about USD 4, so you can easily buy it as a gift for your friends and relatives.
17. Tailor-made clothing
If you go to Hoi An especially, the city of tailors, you can make a unique piece, or copy one that you like into an embroidery or fabric of your choice. All over Vietnam you will find tailors who copy and make clothes and besides being an original gift, it is also a very special souvenir.
And of course, products with unique fabrics made in Vietnam
18. Vietnamese Coffee – The traditional taste you can buy all over the country
Coffee was introduced to Vietnam by France in the 19th century and today it has become one of the largest coffee exporters in Asia. Give a packet of coffee as a gift accompanied by one of the special Vietnamese coffee filters. Don’t forget to mix it later with condensed milk for a real Cà phê sữa.
Today, Vietnamese coffee is not only known for its world-class production, but it also creates the very taste of Vietnamese coffee. The two most popular types of coffee in Vietnam are Arabica and Robusta. Each type is famous both at home and abroad for its production, quality and taste.
The Vietnamese have their own style of enjoying their coffee as a cultural feature: drink and think. You simply drink your coffee while reading the newspaper, listening to music, chatting with friends, working, and also reflecting on life.
Phin coffee is considered the favorite drink of the Vietnamese. It can be a hot black coffee, add some milk, drink hot or drink with ice, depending on the taste of each person. Southerners like to drink coffee with ice instead of hot coffee. The North mainly drinks “phin” coffee, black or brown, but it is very dense.
Da Lat, Dak Lak and Buon Ma Thuot are areas with many coffee plantations, so the coffee from these lands always has the best quality. Some of the most famous and best brands of coffee in Vietnam are Trung Nguyen coffee, vinacafé, nescafé.
Civet coffee is one of the most expensive and rare drinks in Vietnam with the highest prices: USD 2750 for a kilogram.
19. Marou chocolate with various unique flavours
For someone who loves chocolate, I’m sure you know the Marou brand chocolate from Vietnam. It’s been called by the New York Times: The World’s Best Chocolate. Produced with cocoa from South Vietnam in the Mekong region, they triumph among the most elite gourmets. A chocolate produced 100% in the country, in an organic way and completely handmade.
Marou is a brand of chocolate with the process of being produced entirely in Vietnam. The design of the package is inspired by the patterns of traditional culture, the package is handmade in an elegant color according to the color of cocoa from each region.
There are 6 types and each type has different taste. The price of each chocolate bar that weighs 100 grams is from VND 90,000 to VND 120,000.
20. Vietnamese sweets – The family dessert of the Vietnamese
Vietnamese candy is the symbol of family reunion. The image of family members eating sweets together is a significant image for Vietnamese. Having a cup of tea and eating sweets is a perfect combo with a traditional flavor. It has natural, clean and safe ingredients made from fresh fruit. In addition to the traditional products like coconut, carrot, pumpkin, jujube, etc. sweets now also feature new flavors like kumquat, plum, ginger and other nuts.
A box of Vietnamese sweets is worth USD 3 and sells well in the spring.
21. Com – An autumn gift with a rural flavour
The best Com is in Vong Village, Hanoi. Remembering the Com means remembering the nostalgia for the green color of the Com seeds. Com is wrapped in lotus leaves, tied with a straw until it forms a beautiful, square, blue package. Once you eat Com, you will be reminded of the soft taste of young, sweet, fragrant, meticulously selected sticky rice. Eating Com is feeling like the autumn of Hanoi, and giving Com to others is sending the aroma of Vietnam to faraway lands.
Com in Vong village is processed into many different desserts like Fresh Com, Dry Com, Banh Com (Com cake), etc and is sold all over the country with the price of VND 280,000 for one kilogram.
22. Tea – Immersion in the peace of aroma
Lotus tea is considered a representative of Vietnamese tea culture. West Lake Lotus Tea, Hanoi is the best because it has a pure West Lake aroma and is unique to the country. Usually people buy lotus flowers in which there is dry tea. However, tourists should buy dry lotus tea because of the convenient movement.
Drink tea immediately after pouring hot water, it should be fresh and aromatic. You should drink it in small sips, slowly to feel the pungency, then sweet and fragrant.
A box of West Lake lotus dry tea costs VND 460,000.
Shan Tuyet Tea (Snow tea)
Shan Tuyet tea is a famous specialty from the highlands of northwest Vietnam. Shan Tuyet tea has a sweet smell and honey yellow color. The tea is processed according to the manual method of Mong and Dao ethnic people. It is also good for health. You should prepare the tea with a glass or porcelain pitcher.
A box of tea costs from VND 100,000 to 400,000.
23. Green bean cake – A traditional recipe you can try in Vietnam
Green bean paste is a type of pasta made from green beans, sugar and vegetable oil or pork fat. There is also essential oil from grapefruit. The most famous cake is the Hai Duong cake. Nowadays, Hai Duong city has many famous brands such as Rong Vang Hoang Gia, Bao Hien, Nguyen Huong, etc. Nowadays, green bean cakes have changed with the trend of time, so new cakes are created such as green tea bean cake, durian cake, taro cake, lotus seed cake, coconut cake, etc.
With so many types of souvenirs, you’ll find that you’ll find exactly what your friends and family are looking for in Vietnam.