20 Best Travel Gifts & Souvenirs in Vietnam to Buy for Your Loved Ones
Buying a souvenir when traveling is a good way to remember your great trip. Also, you can gift it to your loved ones to show how they are in your mind everywhere you go. Furthermore, shopping is sometimes a way to immerse yourself in the local culture. When coming to Vietnam, you can find a lot of travel gifts and souvenirs that stick with the country’s culture and traditions.
There is a wide range of categories for travel gifts and souvenirs in Vietnam to buy, including decorations and food. These types of products have their own charms that are really worth your purchase. Among them, there are the 20 best products that go with the top value of the country. Let’s read through this article, and have some ideas for your best travel gifts and souvenirs in Vietnam that are worth every penny!
1. Ao Dai – Vietnam’s National Costume
Ao Dai is the national costume of Vietnam. Of course, it’s so famous that its name is one of the few Vietnamese words added in the English-language dictionary. It is a combination of elegant tight dress and stylish trousers. Ao dai is a highlight in Vietnamese fashion, following both traditional and temporary styles, symbolizing the feminine beauty of Vietnam.
Since Ao Dai is available at many stores throughout the country, you can easily find one that is right for you or as a gift. Normally, this outfit is already ready-to-buy. Yet, if you want to prioritize the material and style, you can buy the fabric first and then order it at some tailors. However, it will certainly be more expensive.
Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City are the 4 most famous places for Ao Dai. Ao Dai is suitable for all women of all ages. Surely, it will be an interesting gift for your girlfriend, wife, mother, or grandmother. The price of a set of Ao Dai may vary, depending on different designs, materials, quality, and colors.
2. Non La (Palm-leaf Conical Hat) – The Symbol of Vietnam’s Agriculture
Non La, or palm-leaf conical hat, has long been a symbol of Vietnam. Its origin is from a legend related to Vietnam’s rice-growing culture. The conical hat is made of palm leaves in the shape of a round cone. Surely, it is one of the most ideal travel gifts in Vietnam to buy on your trip.
This Non La is very versatile as it can be used in all weather conditions to make the user feel more comfortable. In addition, today, there are many types, diverse in style, along with sizes and quantities, making it easier for you to choose.
Particularly, Non La is best suited for people who enjoy outdoor activities like gardening. You can find this product at most souvenir shops across the country for a cheap price.
3. Silk – High-class and Glamorous Fashion Material
Silk was originally considered a luxury material, worn by royalty and the high class. In addition, the Ao Dai, which is a traditional costume, is often handmade with silk. Nowadays, Vietnamese designers use it to create high-fashion items that will appear in famous fashion shows.
Although Italian, Chinese, and Japanese silk has a good reputation, Vietnamese silk also has its own special charm in the region. Absolutely, it is one of the best and most meaningful items to buy in Vietnam.
When it comes to Vietnamese silk, you can easily reach some traditional villages where silk is still produced by hand and from there yield the best textiles.
However, since silk is widely sold in Vietnam, you can also find it in any silk market or shop, especially in Hang Gai Street of Hanoi Old Quarter, Hoi An Ancient Town, and Ho Chi Minh City. Usually, these shops sell silk fabrics, but sometimes other silk items such as scarves, bags, ties, etc. are available.
4. Pottery – An Attractive and Handcrafted Souvenir
Pottery is another ideal travel gift in Vietnam that you can take home. There is a wide range of ceramic products, including vases, bowls, plates, cups, etc., which are very attractive and beautiful in different colors and patterns. Especially, these ceramic products are handmade based on traditional methods.
The most well-known destination where you can find these types of products is Bat Trang Pottery Village. Make sure you visit this place when traveling to Hanoi.
5. Products from Bamboo, Coconut, and Wood – Eco-friendly Souvenirs
In most tourist destinations across Vietnam, you can easily find bamboo and wooden products as travel gifts & souvenirs to buy. Especially, they are mostly handcrafted and available in a wide range of designs and colors.
Typical bamboo items are baskets, bowls, straws, hats, decorations, chopsticks, or even furniture. Wood products are quite similar. These kinds of products are not only good in price but also friendly to the environment. Certainly, they are smart choices as gifts for your family.
By the way, there is a good business that sells coconut-made products on Amazon. If you are a fan of environmental-friendly products, you may want to check it out. Make a try, and buy some in Vietnam the next time you travel.
6. Handmade Embroidery – A Special Gift for Your Loved Ones
Vietnam is famous for the art of embroidery. Products are varied such as embroidered bags, clothes, nightgowns, scarves, blankets, tablecloths, wallets, bed sheets, pillowcases, etc. You can buy many types of products as there are wide selection, quality, and price when traveling to Hanoi.
Besides that, if you can visit the villages in Sapa, you can find the locals produce handmade embroideries. You can buy them directly at their houses or at the local markets. The best items are in the best designs on exceptional cotton and linen.
Anyone who appreciates hard work and culture is sure to enjoy these beautiful handmade gifts. Surely, this is an ideal gift for culture enthusiasts or simply the beloved people in your life.
7. Ethnic Handicraft Products – Vietnam’s National Culture
Actually, ethnic handicrafts are an art form including products produced by minority groups living in Vietnam. On top of that, each group has its own distinct culture, which is described in its patterns and clothing styles. The most popular items are textiles, paintings, clothing items, scarves, bags, and even furniture. They are all unique and impressive travel gifts in Vietnam to buy.
Usually, these products are widely sold on most websites. Nevertheless, if you want to buy genuine, look for some stores that offer real handcrafted items, although they can be more expensive. If you have a chance to travel to the Northern region or the Central Highlands region, you can observe the production process and then buy these products directly. Travel, basically, is experience.
8. Vietnamese Paintings – Storytellers About Vietnamese Culture
Vietnamese painting is a unique product. It depicts each moment of Vietnam in an iconic artistic way. Usually, there are many paint materials such as silk, sand, oil, etc., each with its own characteristics and beauty.
Besides, these paintings are very rich in color, image, and meaning. Hanging these pictures on the wall is one of the impressive ways to decorate your home.
In Vietnam, it is not difficult to find a shop that sells these paintings as they are sold at many souvenir shops and bookstores. However, the price can be quite high compared to other types of souvenirs, but it is worth collecting.
9. Vietnamese Musical Instruments – Traditional and Unique Musical Instruments
Musical instruments are also a favorite souvenir in Vietnam because of their sweet melodies and other characteristics of Vietnamese music. Among them, bamboo flute, erhu,… are the most popular choices. They are sometimes handmade and easy to handle. Additionally, they are widely used and it is not difficult to find a musical instrument store in Vietnam. However, you should check the tools carefully when buying because there are many products that are not as good as they seem.
10. Lacquer Paintings – Vietnam’s Unique Works of Art
In fact, Vietnam has a long tradition of lacquer work. Indeed, Vietnam’s production of lacquerware has been a unique art form for many years. Lacquer products in Vietnam include jewelry boxes, scrapbooking, dishes, vases, jars, etc. They all have distinctive designs and quality, compared to products from other Asian countries.
Normally, it takes about 20 stages and 100 days to create high-quality lacquer products, followed by the painstaking work of lacquer manufacturers. There are a number of these art galleries where you can find really great collections.
These products are best suited for some senior family members, as well as your friends. Although the art of lacquer is very developed in Hue, Ho, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City, you can find this souvenir at many tourist sites. However, be careful when buying lacquerware as it can be of low quality and condition.
11. Calligraphy – 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 occasions. Calligraphy refers to works that use scripts, including both original Chinese and Latin characters, in different styles.
During the tet holiday, giving this form of writing is said to bring happiness and wealth to families. In addition, you can find the art of calligraphy performed at some famous festivals.
Calligraphy is an integral part of Vietnamese culture. This type of artwork is printed and sold on many street sidewalks or in bookstores. Particularly, Hue and Hanoi are the two popular places for calligraphy.
12. Vietnam Books – Essentials to Buy in Vietnam for Knowledgeable Travelers
Vietnam is well-known for its historical and architectural heritage. For example, some of them are the Hue Citadel, the famous 7 Imperial Tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty, the Temple of Literature Hanoi, etc. In order to enjoy your visit to these places, you may need a book, or just a brochure to acknowledge the history and culture, along with other interesting information about them.
These products are sold in several corners of each destination, including not only the Vietnamese version but also the English version. Traveling is more beautiful when you get cultural knowledge on your own holiday. Moreover, those books will also be your memorial and valuable collection after you finish your trip to Vietnam.
13. Lantern – Colorful Symbol of Luck, Health, and Happiness
Lanterns are a special product of Hoi An Ancient Town. Once traveling there, you will be deeply impressed by the splendor of the lanterns that hang in front of almost every house to bring good luck, health, and happiness.
Hoi An lantern is special for its design and durability. Usually, they are made of brocade or silk. They come in many different shapes such as circles, diamonds, etc.
It is better to buy lanterns at night because you will be able to check how they are when lit. Lanterns are really suitable for decorating your home. You can buy them easily in Hoi An Ancient Town. Also, there are many stores available in other cities like Hue and Hanoi. Prices may vary due to differences in size, color, and material.
14. Fish Sauce – Boosting the Taste in Vietnamese Cuisine
Fish sauce, a fermented condiment from salted fish, is a familiar and staple condiment in Vietnamese cuisine. In Vietnam, you can easily buy fish sauce in any coastal area, but Phu Quoc has been known for its high-quality sauce for a long time. Therefore, Phu Quoc fish sauce can cost more than one in other regions.
However, carrying around this sauce can lead to certain problems. You should be careful because if there is a leak, your luggage will have an interesting smell. In addition, this type of liquid may not be allowed on board. Therefore, your best bet is to buy products that have been exported to your country. Then, you can show your friends or family how great it is as when you tasted it in Vietnam’s meals.
15. O Mai (Salted or Sugared Dry Apricot) – A Hanoians’ Special Gift
O Mai is a specialty of Hanoi, which is dried fruit with sugar or salt, mixed with other spices to achieve a harmonious taste. The most common fruits used to make salted dry apricots are apricots, plums, peaches, kumquats, and mangoes.
For many Hanoians, O Mai is not only a kind of snack, but it is also a gift on some special occasions. Its flavor is best when served with a cup of lotus tea.
This is the best gift for those who enjoy dried fruit and want to have enjoyable tea sessions. There are many brands of O Mai in Vietnam, but we highly recommend Hong Lam and Tien Thinh, the most famous and popular ones. These stores are available in every area of Hanoi and prices can vary, based on different fruits, as well as brands.
16. Tea – The Pure and Fresh Beverage of Vietnam
Tea is one of the favorite drinks of Vietnamese people of all ages. Yes, it does play an important role in Vietnamese culture. This drink always brings a sense of peace to everyone when taking a sip, even when they are in their busiest time.
Usually, there are 3 main types of tea: green tea, black tea, and scented tea. While young people like scented teas, green and black teas are prized because people believe they offer a unique and pure taste, combining both sweetness and bitterness.
Imagine having a cup of tea while talking with friends on a dreary day, or just serving yourself a pot of tea, along with some cookies and favorite music can certainly make your day more enjoyable. In Vietnam, you can buy tea at many shops and markets, which can be easily found anywhere in the country.
17. Vietnamese Coffee – The Special Travel Gifts from the Highlands of Vietnam
If you are a coffee fan, make sure you come to the coffee shops to try and buy Vietnamese coffee beans. In fact, Vietnam has long been renowned as one of the world’s largest coffee exporters, and its coffee sets itself apart from any other coffee in the world. And as you may know, Buon Ma Thuot’s coffee, which is produced in the Highland region, is such a famous product in the world coffee market!
You can find coffee anywhere in the country, from local markets, coffee shops, shopping malls to coffee companies.
18. Cốm Xanh (Green Rice Flakes) – A Little Rustic of Vietnam
Cốm Xanh is a rustic specialty of Vietnam, especially Hanoi. It is a type of glutinous rice, which is freshly harvested and then baked to obtain its delicate flavor. Usually, they are wrapped in banana leaves, which give this particular green color. People enjoy Cốm Xanh in different ways. You can eat it right away or use it to make other related dishes such as ice cream, soup, etc.
Vong village, located on the outskirts of Hanoi, is the most famous producer of Cốm Xanh. Indeed, Cốm Xanh from Vong village has a special place in the hearts of Vietnamese people. Traveling to Hanoi in autumn, you can easily find this super fresh dish sold by vendors on many streets in Hanoi because this is the season of Cốm Xanh.
Hey, in case you want to try green rice flakes right away before you come to Vietnam to buy, I found a store on Amazon where you can order them to try.
19. Coconut Candy – A Sweet Treat from the South of Vietnam
Coming from Ben Tre province, the land of coconuts, coconut candy is a sweet specialty. Furthermore, coconut candy has been brought to another level with many flavors like original, durian, or chocolate. What makes this candy special and on the list of travel gifts to buy in Vietnam is not only its great taste but also the thin edible rice shell around it.
Certainly, this is a great gift for your friends and family members or those who like to eat sweets.
20. Phu Quoc’s Pepper – The Great King of Spices
For a long time, pepper has been considered the family’s king of spices. In Vietnam, especially in Phu Quoc island, where this spice is produced on a large scale, pepper is a good choice, a familiar product for visitors to bring home.
Indeed, Phu Quoc black pepper is a well-known brand for its quality. There are 3 types of pepper there, including black, white, and red pepper. In addition, this spice is quite cheap and easy to find at stores around the island. Hence, if you love the flavor of peppers in your meals, don’t forget to buy these when exploring Phu Quoc island.
Vietnam will never disappoint visitors with its beauty. Once you visit Vietnam, you will have the opportunity to live in its wonderful cultural diversity and mixed traditions. Each region, each destination has its own charm. Hence, go explore them and get yourself memorable things to take home. Enjoy, and have a great trip to Vietnam!
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