Everyone who travels loves to buy gifts for their family and friends after their trip. Indeed, shopping is a way to immerse yourself in local cultures during holidays. Vietnam is a famous tourist destination for its diversity of culture features, alongside thousands of specialties. It has a wide range of choices for souvenirs, including the decorative and the food ones. These kinds of souvenirs have their own charms that are really worth purchasing. This article will give you 20 things to buy in Vietnam, followed by useful information. Check it out!
1. Ao dai – The national costume of Vietnam
Ao dai is the national costume of Vietnam. It is the combination of elegant tight fitted dress and long stylish pants. Ao dai is a highlight in Vietnamese fashion, which follows both traditional and temporary styles, symbolizing for Vietnamese feminine beauty. Because Ao dai is available at many stores through the country, you can easily find a suitable one for yourself or for gifts. Normally, this outfit is already in the ready-to-buy form, but if you want to make some priority with the material and the design, you can buy the cloths first and then order at some tailor’s, but it does certainly cost higher.
Hanoi, Hue, Hoian and Ho Chi Minh are the 4 places that are the most famous for Ao dai. Ao dai is suitable for all women at all ages. It will be such a surprising gift for your mother, your sister or your grandmother. The price of a set of Ao dai may vary, depending on different designs, materials, quality, and colors.
Price: VND 500,000 – VND 2,000,000/set
Where to buy Ao dai in Vietnam?
Where to buy ao dai in Hanoi?
Where to buy Ao dai in Hue?
Where to buy Ao dai in Ho Chi Minh City?
2. Silk – The high-fashion and charming material
Silk, or “lụa” in Vietnamese, which used to be considered as a luxurious material, was worn by the Imperials and high class. Also, Ao dai, which is the traditional costume, is often handmade of silk. Nowadays, Vietnamese designers use it to create high-fashion items which are to appear in famous fashion shows. Though Italia, Chinese, Japanese silks have good reputations, Vietnamese silk gains its own distinctive charm in the area and it is absolutely one of the best things to buy in Vietnam.
When it comes to Vietnamese silk, you can easily get access to some traditional villages where silk is still made on conventional handlooms and hence gives the best textiles. It is highly recommended that you buy it at Van Phuc silk village in Hanoi. However, as silk is sold widely in Vietnam, you can also find it in any markets or silk stores, especially on Hang Gai Street of Hanoi Old Quarter, Hoian Ancient Town and Ho Chi Minh City. Normally, these stores sell silk fabric, but sometimes and other silk items such as scarf, bag, tie, etc are available.
Price: VND 150,000/meter
Where to buy Silk in Vietnam?
Where to buy Silk in Hanoi?
Where to buy Silk in Hoi An?
Where to buy Silk in Ho Chi Minh City?
Thai Tuan Silk – 419 Hai Ba Trung Street, Ward 8, District 3
3. Conical hats – a symbol of Vietnamese agriculture
Conical hat, or straw hat, has long been the symbol of Vietnam, it stems from a legend related to Vietnam’s rice-growing culture. Being in the shape of a circular cone, conical hats are made of palm leaves, bamboo cataphylls and is an ideal souvenir for tourists traveling to Vietnam. This stuff is kinda versatile when can be used in any weather conditions to help users feel more comfortable. Also, nowadays, there are a variety of types, varying in designs, alongside with sizes and quantity, which makes it easier to select.
Conical hat is the most suitable for those who enjoy outdoor activities such as gardening. You can find this souvenir at almost all souvenir shops along the country with a cheap price. But it is highly recommended for you to buy conical hat directly at some villages such as Chuong conical hat village (Hanoi), Phu Cam conical hat village, Tay Ho conical hat village (Hue).
Price: VND 10,000 – VND 50,000
Where to buy conical hats in Vietnam?
Where to buy conical hats in Hanoi?
Dong Xuan Market – Hang Khoai Street, Dong Xuan Ward, Hoan Kiem District
Where to buy conical hats in Hue?
Dong Ba Market – 2 Tran Hung Dao, Phu Hoa Ward, Hue City
Where to buy conical hats in Ho Chi Minh City?
Ben Thanh Market – Le Loi Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
4. Hand embroidery – The special gift for your precious ones
Vietnam is famous for embroidery art. The products include embroidered quilts, bed sheets, pillowcase, table runners, bags, clothes, scarfs, purses, nightdresses, etc. Hanoi is a great place to purchase this kind of product because there is a wide range of in selection, quality, and price. Also, if you have a chance to visit Sapa, you can get access to different villages of the valley, where you can see how handmade embroidery products are made and buy them in the local markets. The best items are usually found on special cotton and linen and the best designs. Anybody who appreciates hard work and culture will definitely like these beautiful handmade gifts. This is an ideal option for gifts to those who are passionate about culture or just simply the special ones in your life (mother, wife, girlfriend)
Price: depending on different products (bags, clothes, pillowcase, bedsheets,etc), ranging from VND 50,000 to VND VND 1,000,000
Where to buy hand embroidery in Vietnam?
Where to buy hand embroidery in Hanoi?
Where to buy hand embroidery in Hoi An?
XQ Hoi An – 27 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street – Minh An Ward
Where to buy hand embroidery in Ho Chi Minh City?
5. Bamboo and woody products – The eco-friendly souvenirs
Bamboo and wooden products in Vietnam are two of the most popular things to buy in Vietnam that are sold in almost every tourist sites in this country. They are all handmade and available in a wide range of designs and colors.The typical bamboo items are baskets, strays, bowls, hats, decorative things (especially the cute dragonfly that can stand on its mouth), chopsticks or even furniture. Timber products are quite the same. These two products are not also cheap, but also eco-friendly. They are such the smart choices for your family. But remember to choose to authentic ones.
Price: depending on different items (clothing items, decorative things, furniture,etc)
Where to buy bamboo and woody products in Vietnam?
Where to buy bamboo and woody products in Hanoi?
Where to buy bamboo and woody products in Hue?
Where to buy bamboo and woody products in Hoi An?
Reaching Out Teahouse – 103 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Minh An Ward
Where to buy bamboo and woody products in Ho Chi Minh City?
Ben Thanh Market – Le Loi Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
6. Pottery – An appealing and handmade kind of souvenirs
Pottery is another ideal kind of Vietnamese souvenirs that you can bring home. There are a variety of ceramic products, including vase, bowl, dish, cup, etc, which are appealing and beautiful in different colors and patterns. All of these ceramic items are hand-crafted based on traditional methods
In Vietnam, pottery can be found at many stores, but if you have a chance, we recommend that you should pay a visit to some traditional villages such as Bat Trang (Hanoi), Phuoc Tich (Hue), Thanh Ha (Hoian) to buy them directly, as well as experience these products’ making process. The price is affordable, but sometimes high because of the quality and size. By the way, be careful when handling them because they are rather fragile.
Price: depending on different products (vase, bowl, dish, cup,etc), ranging from VND 20,000 to VND 10,000,000
Where to buy pottery in Vietnam?
Where to buy pottery in Hanoi?
Where to buy pottery in Ho Chi Minh City?
Hey Camel Ceramics – 116/19A Tran Quoc Toan Street, Ward 7, District 3
7. Ethnic handicraft products – Reflexion of Vietnamese ethnic cultures
Ethnic handicraft is a type of art that includes products made by minority groups living in Vietnam. Each group has its own distinct culture, which is depicted in their patterns and clothing styles. The most popular items are scarf, bag, textiles, paintings, clothing items, and even woodworks, all of which are unique and impressive things to buy in Vietnam.
This is an ideal gift for whom are into exotic cultures. Normally, these products are widely sold in almost every site, but if you want to buy the authentic ones, find some stores that provide the true handmade items, though they maybe more expensive. If you have an opportunity to travel to the Northern region or the Highland region, you can observe the making process and then buy these products directly. Traveling, basically, is experiencing.
Price: depending on different items (scarves, bags, painting, clothing items, woodworks,etc), but in general it ranges from VND 30,000 – VND 500,000
Where to buy ethnic handicraft in Vietnam?
Where to buy ethnic handicraft in Hanoi?
Where to buy ethnic handicraft in Quang Binh?
Tree Hugger Café – 30 Nguyen Du Street, Dong My Ward, Dong Hoi City
8. Vietnamese paintings – The storyteller about Vietnamese culture
Vietnamese painting is a unique product which depicts every moment of Vietnam in an iconic artistic way. Normally, there are a lot of painting materials such as silk, sand, oil, etc, each of which has its own characteristics and beauty. Besides, these paintings are rich in colors and motives but they are all incredible for the story insides. Hanging these pictures on the walls is one of the good ways to decorate your house. In Vietnam, it is not difficult to find a store that provides these paintings because these paintings are sold at many souvenir shops and bookstores. However, the price maybe rather higher than other kinds of souvenirs, but it is worth collecting.
Price: VND 250,000 – VND 1,500,000
Where to buy Vietnamese paintings in Vietnam?
Where to buy Vietnamese paintings in Hanoi?
Amazing Hanoi – 69 Hang Gai Street, Hang Gai Ward, Hoan Kiem District
Where to buy Vietnamese paintings in Hue?
Nguyen Dinh Chieu Walking Street – Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, Phu Hoi Ward, Hue City
Where to buy Vietnamese paintings in Hoi An?
Hoian Fine Art Gallery – 42 Phan Boi Chau Street, Son Phong Ward
9. Vietnamese musical instruments – Traditional and unique instruments
Musical instruments are also favourite kinds of souvenir in Vietnam for their sweet tones and other feature of Vietnamese music. Among them, bamboo flutes, Vietnamese violin (dan Nhi), and mini t’rungs are the most popular choices. They are occasionally hand-craft and easy to handle. They are widely used and it is not difficult to find a Vietnamese musical instrument store. But by the way, check the instruments carefully when purchasing because there are many products not good as they may seem.
Price: depending on the kind of instruments (flutes, Vietnamese violins, t’rungs, drums,etc), ranging from VND 50,000 to VND 1,500,000
10. Lacquerware – The distinctive artworks of Vietnam
Vietnam has long traditions of lacquer work. Indeed, lacquerware-making in Vietnam has been a unique art form for many years. Lacquer products in Vietnam are jewelry boxes, photograph albums, dishes, bowls, vases, which all have distinctive styles and quality, compared to those from other Asian countries. Normally, it takes 20 stages and 100 days to make high-quality lacquer products, followed by hard and careful work of the lacquer makers. There are some galleries featuring this art where you can find really great collections.
These products are the most suitable for some senior family members, as well as your friends. Though lacquer art is highly developed in Hue, Hoian, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, you can find this souvenir at many tourist sites. However, be careful when purchasing lacquerware because they maybe in low quality and condition.
Price: VND 180,000 – VND 1,500,000
Where to buy Lacquerware in Vietnam?
Where to buy Lacquerware in Hanoi?
Where to buy Lacquerware in Hue?
Where to buy Lacquerware in Hoi An?
Lam Kieu traditional lacquerware and sculpture, 41 Tran Phu Street, Minh Ward
Where to buy Lacquerware in Ho Chi Minh City?
11. Vietnam books – Necessary things to buy in Vietnam for knowledgeable travelers
Vietnam is famous for its historical and architectural heritages. Some of them are Hue Citadel, Nguyen’s famous tombs, Hanoi Literature Temple, etc. Visiting these sites, you may need a book, or just a brochure to acknowledge the history and culture, along with other interesting information of them. These products are sold at some corners of each destination, including not only Vietnamese version, but also the English one. Traveling would not be nicer when you gain yourself cultural knowledge on your own holiday.
Price: Depending on the sizes and printing materials of books
12. Calligraphy – The meaningful and special word art
Vietnamese calligraphy, for a long time, has become a meaningful custom in daily life, as well as on some special occasion. Calligraphy refers to works using scripts, including both the Chinese-based characters and Latin-based one, in different styles.
During tet holiday, giving this form of writing is believed to bring the happiness and wealth to families. Also, the art of calligraphy is performed at some well-known festivals. Calligraphy is an indispensable part of Vietnamese culture. This type of artworks is printed and sold on many street’s pavements or in bookshops. Plus, Hue and Hanoi are the 2 most famous place for calligraphy.
Price: VND 200,000 – VND 500,000
13. Lanterns – A colorful symbol of luck, health, and happiness
Chinese or Japanese lanterns may seem familiar with you before, but Vietnamese ones are rather one of a kind. As Hoian used to be a trading port, there is inter-culture in this old town. Lantern, hence is a special product of Hoian ancient town. Once traveling there, you will be deeply impressed by the gorgeousity of lanterns hanging in front of almost every house to bring luck, health, and happiness.
Hoian lanterns are special for its design and durability. Normally, they are made of brocade or silk. They are in a variety of shapes such as circle, diamond, garlic,…, as well as the colors. It’s better to buy lanterns at night because you will be able to check how they are when lit up. Lanterns are really suitable to decorate your house. You can buy them at many local shops in Hoi An. There are also many available shops in other cities such as Hue, Hanoi. Price varies due to the difference in size, color, and material.
Price: VND 30,000 – VND 150,000
Where to buy Lanterns in Vietnam?
Where to buy Lanterns in Hanoi?
Lantern Lounge – 80 Ma May Street, Hang Buom Ward, Hoan Kiem District[/su_list]
Where to buy Lanterns in Hue?
Where to buy Lanterns in Hoi An?
Where to buy Lanterns in Ho Chi Minh City?
Ben Thanh Market – Le Loi Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
14. Dried fruit (O mai) – A special gift of Hanoians
O mai is a specialty of Hanoi, which is sugared or salted dried fruits, mixed with other spices to gain a harmonious taste. The most common fruits that are used to make O mai are apricot, plum, peach, kumquat, and mango. To many Hanoians, O mai is not only a kind of snack, but it is also a gift in some special occasions. Its flavour is the best when served with a cup of lotus tea.
This is the best gift for those enjoying dried fruits and want to have interesting tea breaks. There are a lot of O mai brands in Vietnam, but we highly recommend Hong Lam and Tien Thinh, which are the most famous and popular. These stores are available in every part of Hanoi and the price may vary, based on different types of fruits, as well as the brands.
Price: VND 40,000 – VND 150,000/box
Where to buy O mai?
Where to buy O mai Hong Lam?
Where to buy O mai Tien Thinh?
15. Fish sauce – A staple sauce of Vietnamese cuisine
Fish sauce, which is a condiment fermented from salted fish, is a familiar and staple seasoning in Vietnamese cuisine. In Vietnam, you can easily buy fish sauce in any coastal areas, but Phu Quoc is known for its high quality sauce for a long time. Phu Quoc fish sauce, thus, may have a higher price than one in other areas.
However, carrying this kind of sauce may lead to some certain problems. You should beware because if there is a leak, you will have a funky gift coming off the luggage. Plus, it is not allowed to bring this kind of liquid on the plane. Hence, the best way is that you buy the product which is already exported to your country.
Price: VND 150,000 – VND 180,000/650 ml
16. Tea – A pure and fresh beverage of Vietnam
Tea is one of the favourite beverages of Vietnamese of all ages and it plays an important role in Vietnamese culture. Sipped at any periods of day, this drink always brings peace in mind to people, even they are in the busiest time. Normally, there are 3 main categories of tea: green tea (tra xanh), plain black tea (tra man) and scented tea (tra uop huong). While the young prefer scented tea, green tea and plain black tea are appreciated because people believe they bring a unique and pure taste, which combines both sweetness and bitterness. Having a tea talk with friends insides on a gloomy day, or just serve yourself a pot of tea, along with some cookies and favourite music can definitely make your day. In Vietnam, you can buy tea at many stores and markets, which can be easily found in any parts of the country.
Price: depending on different kinds of tea, ranging from VND 100,000 – VND 300,000/kilogram
17. Vietnamese coffee grounds and beans – A Highland’s specialty
If you are a fan of coffee, it will be a mistake not to try (and buy) Vietnam’s coffee beans and grounds because they are the popular things to buy in Vietnam. In fact, Vietnam has long been well-known for being one of the biggest coffee exporting countries in the world and its coffee is distinctive from any other kinds of coffee in the world. And as you may know, Buon Me Thuot’s coffee, which is produced in the Highland area, is such a well-known brand in the world’s coffee market.
You can find coffee anywhere throughout the country, from local markets, coffee shops, shopping malls to coffee companies. We suggest you buy directly at retail stores, or order at some coffee shops if you find theirs good. However, be careful when buying because there may be fake coffee. The price may vary due to different types and quality.
Price: VND 100,000 – VND 500,000/kilogram
Where to buy coffee grounds and beans in Vietnam?
Where to buy coffee grounds and beans in Hanoi?
Where to buy coffee grounds and beans in Hue?
Da Lat Chon Xua Café – 103 Nguyen Truong To Street, Vinh Ninh Ward, Hue City
Where to buy coffee grounds and beans in Hoi An?
Where to buy coffee grounds and beans in Ho Chi Minh City?
18. Coconut candy – A sweet treat from Southern Vietnam
Hailing from Ben Tre Province where coconut trees are so indigenous, coconut candy is such a sweet specialty. There are a lot of flavors such as the original one, pandan, durian, or chocolate. What makes this kind of candy so special and in the list of things to buy in Vietnam is not only its great taste, but also the edible rice thin wrapper around it. This is a great gift for friends and family members or who has sweet tooth. The price is rather cheap and it is sold both in Ben Tre and other provinces of the Mekong deltas as well.
Price: VND 30,000 – VND 60,000
19. Young Green Rice (Com) – A little rustic thing of Vietnam
Vietnamese young green rice, or Com,is a rustic specialty of Vietnam, especially Hanoi. It is a kind of sticky rice, which is freshly harvested and then toasted to obtain its delicate flavor. Normally, they are wrapped in banana leaves, which makes the this specailty green.
There are many ways to enjoy Com: you can eat it right away or used to cook other relating dishes such as ice-cream, soup, etc. Vong village, located on the outskirts of Hanoi, is the most well-known to produce Com. Indeed, Com from Vong village has a special place in Vietnamese’ hearts. Traveling to Hanoi in autumn, you can easily find this super fresh treat sold by vendors at many streets in Hanoi because this is the Com season.
Price: VND 260,000 – VND 300,000/kilogram
20. Pepper from Phu Quoc – The great “King of Spices”
For a long time, pepper has been considered as the “King of Spices”. In Vietnam, especially Phu Quoc, where this spice is produced on large scale, pepper is a choice, a familiar product for visitors to bring back home. Phu Quoc black pepper is such a famous brand for its quality. There are 3 kinds of pepper there, including the black pepper, the white, and the red one. In addition, this spice is rather cheap and easy to find.
Price: VND 60,000 – VND 100,000/kilogram
In brief, Vietnam will never disappoint travelers with its beauty. Once visit Vietnam, you will have a chance to live in its amazing mix-and-match cultural and traditional diversity. We hope you find the 20 mentioned-above things to buy in Vietnam interesting and useful when you are confused about what to buy. Each region, each destination has its own charm, hence, go exploring them and get yourself memorable things to bring back home. Have a nice trip!