What to buy in Vietnam? Vietnam souvenir shopping is also a cultural experience. There is a large variety of things you should buy  when travel to Vietnam, including Ao Dai Vietnam, conical hat Non La, silk products, ceramic and pottery, art works, Vietnamese snacks and food… Vietnam is also famous for its high quality handicrafts (hand embroider, scarves, dresses, lacquerware, woodwork…). So, here is a list of top 17 Vietnam souvenirs which you can gift family members, friends, and all others.

1. Ao Dai

Thought to be inspired by the imperial Chinese of the Qing Dynasty and known as Cheongsam, recognized as a national garment for males and females (more for females nowadays) in Vietnam, it’s a tight-fitted long dress worn over long pants. The style and traditional variety may have seen an evolution over the years, but the same is still being used by Vietnamese women.

Ao-Dai-Vietnam-souvenir

Vietnamese Ao Dai could be worn by male, female and kids

The Ao Dai we see today is tight-fitting, which brings out and flatters the women’s curves. Nowadays, Ao Dai is only worn by men or women in special occasions such as festivals or formal events such as wedding, graduation… Ao Dai and conical hat are known as the signatures of Vietnam culture. It also have the male style and kid style. Ao Dai is an ideal Vietnam souvenir for international tourists to remember of this beautiful country.

Where to buy Ao Dai?

In Hanoi, you should purchase the material first on Hang Gai street in the Old Quarter or Cho Hom market. Then you could bring the material to a local tailor to get it made. Some famous local tailors are:

  • Ao Dai Minh Duc: 41 Dang Tien Dong, Trung Liet, Dong Da, Hanoi +84 24 6276 2064
  • Ao Dai Thanh Mai: 428 Bach Mai, Truong Dinh, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi +84 24 2212 2859
  • Van Phuc Silk Trade Village:  Van Phuc, Ha Dong, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Luong Van Can Street

In Ho Chi Minh City, you could purchase the fabric at Ben Thanh market, Tan Dinh market, Binh Tay market, An Dong market…  Then bring it to one of these shops to get made:

  • Nhat Nguyet (28 Mac Dinh Chi, District 1 +84 28 3823 4985)
  • Huong Collection (67 Thu Khoa Huan, District 1 +84 83 603 1137)
  • Nice Silk (237 Le Thanh Ton, District 1 +84 90 399 6331)
  • ABC AoZai Fabric Shop (19 Ly Chinh Thang Street, District 3 +84 83 848 3823)

Price: The price of Ao Dai are various ranging from $25 to several hundred dollars. The more expensive Ao Dao usually means better fabric quality and tailor skill. The best thing to do is to get one tailored. It will have better quality and will fit you perfectly.

 

2. Bamboo and wooden products

Vietnam-souvenir-bamboo-and-woven-product paradise travel

Bamboo and wooden products as Vietnam souvenirs

Bamboo and wooden products in Vietnam are all hand woven and available in a large variety of colors. You can buy the same as beautifully carved bamboo hats or salad bowls, trays, baskets and more such items made out of bamboo and wood. Also, bamboo baskets are another specialty made by the Vietnamese people. Apart from being cheaper alternatives, they are also eco-friendly in nature. Bamboo dragonfly is also a very unique souvenir that will make great decoration in your house.

Where to buy:

In Hanoi:

  • Bamboo Village Shop at 108 Xuan Dieu street, Tay Ho distric, Hanoi
  • Bamboo Shop at 4B Hang Hang Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

In HCMC:

  • Life Impress – An Tuong at 49 Ton That Thiep, District 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam   +84 28 3821 4521

  • Mekong Creations at 1st Floor, 68 Lê Lợi, District 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam  +84 28 2210 3110

Price: The price of bamboo and wooden product are various depend on the size and complexity of the object.

3. Ceramic and pottery

Ceramic products are another popular souvenir which you can take home from Vietnam. Ceramic and pottery are a form of Vietnamese art. In the beginning, Vietnamese pottery and ceramics were influenced by Chinese ceramic. But over time, the art also incorporate ceramic features from Cambodia and India as well as developed its own style. The beautiful variety one can find here is simply appealing, but just traveling can be tricky where you must handle the same very carefully. You can easily find here ceramic vases, lacquer vases and more such variety in a plethora of sizes, shapes, and colors. All these ceramic items are handcrafted by trained Vietnamese people who still rely on the traditional methods.

Vietnam-souvenirs-ceramic-and-pottery paradise travel

Bat Trang pottery village and Phu Land pottery village are the most famous ones. Bat Trang is the one closest to Hanoi City. The history of this village started since 14th century. Today, Bat Trang pottery village still produce bowls, dishes and vases for the domestic market and for export. It also welcome tourists to come visiting and experience making their own pottery product.

Where to buy ceramic and pottery product?

Besides purchasing from Bat Trang Pottery  village, you could purchase from many Bat Trang Pottery shops in Hanoi or HCMC.

In Hanoi:

  • No 12, Dang Thuy Tram, Cau Giay, Hanoi
  • 393 Kim Nguu, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi

In HCMC:

  • 21 Nguyen Van Linh, Tan Phong, District 7, HCMC
  • 6 Che Lan Vien, Tay Thanh, Tan Phu, HCMC

Read more about Bat Trang Ceramic village:

 

4. Conical Hats

Referred as leaf hat or Non La, these are a symbol of Vietnam and can be seen on drums as old as 3000 years. The same can be used as an umbrella during rains and sun protector during summers. Attaching with the agricultural origin of Vietnam, Non La is associated with farmers’ lives on rice paddies as well as boat men and women. Nowadays, they are still worn frequently by farmers or used as an accessories when going to festivals and pagodas.

Vietnam-souvenirs-conical-hat-non-la-Paradise-travel

Non La is a typical and beautiful Vietnam souvenirs to gift yourself, friends and family

It is made with simple natural materials such as palm leaves and bamboo. However, the process of making it is 100% hand-made and take quite a long time (5-6 hours) to finish making one. The conical hats are available in a large variety (some main types are “Non Ba Tam”, “Non Quai Thao”, and they could have different designs on them). Conical hat is a unique Vietnam gift restricted to only this part of the globe.

Where to buy Non La?

In Hanoi:

  • Souvenir shops in Old Quarter, Hanoi
  • Dong Xuan Market in Dong Xuan, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

In HCMC:

  • Binh Tay Market

Price: conical hat Non La ranges about $5 – $10 each.

5. Do paper and Dong Ho’s folk paintings

Do paper is made from the bark of the Do tree, a wild plant commonly found around local riverbanks. It was popular for many years before the modern paper came. The process of making this paper is very complex, which takes up to three months. But the results are soft, light and durable paper. There are archeologist finding of Do paper that is 800 years old (according to BBC).

Vietnam-souvenirs-do-paper-paradise-travel

Nowadays, Do paper is used only to make Hanoi’s ethnic greetings cards, water color, folk paintings and bamboo-bound notebooks. You could use this type of postcards to send friends back home as a gift from your Vietnam travel.

Where to buy Do Paper?

In Hanoi:

  • Zo Paper Shop no 27, Railroad, 10A Dien Bien Phu Street, Hang Bong
  • The Old Quarter Area

In HCMC:

  • Ngan Thong Craft Supply 64 Le Loi, Ben Nghe, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Price: Do paper cards with embroidered squares, hemp covered notebooks cost more or less $2, bamboo bound notebooks are from $1.5. They could be found in most book stores in major cities.

6. Coffee

Vietnamese coffee is well-known for its preparation (drip coffee) as well as putting condensed milk or egg into very strong coffee (Vietnamese iced milk coffee, Egg coffee). The majority of Vietnamese coffee is Robusta, which carries a stronger amount of caffeine than Arabica and tastes a bit bitter. Combine these two and you will have a unique strong taste and thick brew cup of Vietnamese coffee.

vietnam-souvenir-coffee-and-fin-paradise-travel

Vietnamese filter, grounded coffee, condensed milk and 10 minutes – Voila, Vietnamese Ca Phe Sua Da

Besides enjoying coffee in Vietnam, you could purchase it as a gift to bring back home. With a Vietnamese coffee filter, some Vietnamese coffee and a recipe (could be found online), you and your friends back home could together enjoy Vietnam famous styles of coffee.

Where to buy coffee bean or ground coffee in Vietnam?

In Hanoi:

  • In the Old quarter area
  • Le Van Huu street
  • Oriberry Coffee 25 Xuan Dieu
  • Highlands Coffee shop opposite the KFC near Hoan Kiem lake

In HCMC:

  • At any Phuc Long coffee shop

Price: the price of Vietnamese coffee ranged from $5 to $18 for 250 gram (Trung Nguyen coffee).

 

7. Hand Fan/Paper fan

Practically, paper fan is a familiar item in Vietnamese daily lives. Symbolically, paper fan is considered as one of eight artsy and luxurious objects one could have in their houses, including a quill pen, gourd bowl, an orchid, a Ty Ba (4 string guitar), a chess-set, a feather duster and a sword.

Vietnam-souvenirs-hand-fan-paper-fan-paradise-travel

These fans are made with sturdy bamboo and paper or silk. They could be used for fanning or decorative in your house. The size of fan are various, it could be hand size or even bigger. And they are usually decorated with drawing of Vietnam scenic views or calligraphy. If you want to visit and experience the process of fan making, you should visit Thach That, the most famous paper fan-making village in Vietnam.

Where to buy hand fan/ paper fan in Vietnam?

In Hanoi:

  • Souvenir shops in the Old Quarter Area
  • Chang Son, Thach That village, Hanoi, Vietnam

In HCMC:

Price: depend on sizes and designs, the price of a fan could range from $3 (hand fan) to $100 (wall-hanging fan).

8. Hand embroidered item

An art passed down from ages, Vietnamese hand embroidery is a tradition with over 700 years old. In Vietnamese culture, traditionally, girls are expected to know how to do hand embroidery to decorate pillowcases, handkerchief, tablecloths… The mastery and explicit craft are bound to amaze you. So, when on a Vietnam trip don’t forget buying at least one embroidered piece from there.

Vietnam-souvenirs-Hand-embroidered-item-paradise-travel

There is a wide range of available hand embroidered products from painting, bed sheets, quilts, pillowcases, bed throw, place mats, napkins, table runners, cosmetic bags, night dresses…This could be the best gift for your mother and wife/girlfriend.

Where to buy hand embroidered item in Vietnam?

In Hanoi

  • In the Old Quarter Area

In HCMC

  • Sh Vietnam 114A/7 Tran Quoc Toan, Sub-district 7, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City

Price: $5 to $13 per handkerchief. $2 to $6 per cosmetic bag. $8 per napkin.

 

9. Guoc Moc

Vietnam-souvenirs-guoc-moc-paradise-travel

Guoc Moc or wooden clogs are traditional footwear for males and females in Vietnam. Like Ao Dai or Non La (conical hat), Guoc Moc or wooden clogs have been an useful tools close to Vietnamese lives for thousands of year. This form of footwear was appeared and used before leather, fabric or plastic shoes and sandals become common. It also accommodate the hot and humid weather of a tropical country. Females in Vietnam wear these with the traditional Ao Dai to add to their beauty.

Today, wooden clogs have become famous internationally and domestically as a touch of fashion or used in performance art. They are made with diverse designs, colors and materials. The traditional usage of Guoc Moc might have faded away, but you can still buy these at many traditional stores in Vietnam.

Where to buy Guoc Moc in Vietnam?

In Hanoi:

  • In Old Quarter Area
  • At Dong Xuan market

In HCMC:

  • Hai Theu Sai Gon 285/6 Vo Van Tan, Sub-district 05, District 3, Ho Chi Minh city

Price: a pair of Guoc Moc could range from $5 to $15. There are wooden clogs for both males and females.

 

10. Lacquerware

Lacquerware in Vietnam is distinct in its style of using resin from Son tree. The art links to the French influence in Vietnam and the same is a work-intensive art form. It’s said that high-quality lacquer products go through 20 stages of development and can be used to craft dishes, bowls, vases, and more in beautiful colors and intricate designs. In the beginning, the ingredient of plastic latex was known for its stickiness, durability and resistance to rain, sun, salt and even humidity.

Vietnam-souvenirs-lacquerware-art-paradise-travel
Lacquerware products come in with different sizes and designs

If you are interested in visiting the shop and watch the complicated process of making lacquerware, some traditional lacquer villages in Vietnam are Cat Dang village, Ha Thai village, Tuong Binh Hiep… There are some galleries exclusively dedicated to this art where you can see some really great collection as well as purchasing souvenir, such as Thu Huong Lacquer art, Lacquer Art Tay Ho, Vietnam Fine Arts museum…

Where to buy lacquerware in Vietnam?

In Hanoi:

  • Hoa Lu Craft Shop – 17 Dang Dung – Ba Dinh – Hanoi
  • Many shops in Old Quarter Area

In HCMC:

  • Showroom My Nghe Viet – No 4 (Villa 704), Road 19, An Phu, District 2, HCMC
  • Son Mai Hong Dao – 112 Le Duc Tho, Sub-district 6, Go Vap District, HCMC

Price: $2 for a small dish, $4 for large dish, $12 for a set of table mats,…

 

11. Musical instruments

vietnam-souvenir-traditional-musical-instrument-paradise-travel

Among good things to buy in Vietnam, handcrafted musical instruments here are a great option. The range you could choose from are mini T’rung, bamboo flutes or miniature bamboo xylophone. These all are great choices since they are inexpensive, carrying them is very easy and can make that perfect souvenir for all music lovers, reminding you of your Vietnam tours for long.

Where to buy traditional Musical Instrument in Vietnam:

In Hanoi

  • Hang Non or Hang Manh street in the Old Quarter

In HCMC

  • Nguyen Thien Thuat street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Price: the musical instrument souvenir in Vietnam cost from $13 to $45

 

12. O Mai

In the beginning, this was used as a food with medical purpose in Vietnam and China. Nowadays, it is more popular used as a snack/food. The main ingredients of O Mai are fresh fruit such as plum, lime, peach, star fruit, pineapple… After picking the good ones, they will be spiced, dried and add more spices. The flavors of O Mai are diverse with sweet, sour, salty, spicy…

vietnam-souvenir-O-Mai-salted-dried-fruits-Paradise-travel

Edible souvenirs are great idea

If you are wondering of any food to bring back from Vietnam, this is a special snack from eastern culture. It will make a great gift since it is easy to carry, hard to get spoiled and bring a very different cuisine experience for Westerners.

Where to buy traditional O Mai in Vietnam:

In Hanoi

  • O Mai Hong Lam –  11 Hang Duong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • O Mai Tien Thinh – 21 Hang Duong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

In HCMC

  • O Mai Hong Lam – 82 Ham Nghi RD, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Price: O Mai could be purchased in markets, supermarkets or stores in big cities. Prices are ranged from $2-$5 for 200 grams to $10 for 500 grams.

 

13. Product or the ethnic minorities

Vietnam-souvenirs-sapa-ethnic-product-paradise-travel

If you are wondering what to buy in Sapa, Mai Chau, Moc Chau…, products of the ethnic minorities here could be a wonderful offer. There are more than 50 different ethnic group here in Vietnam with their own distinctive culture, which reflects into their clothing styles. For that reason, the product of ethnic minorities often come with very different woven patterns, colors and designs, which make a unique Vietnam souvenir to gifting. These product not only could be found on mountainous tribed hills but also in major cities of Vietnam.

 

14. Silk

Silk is a natural protein fiber which could be woven into textiles. Silk is produced by several insects such as silk worms, moth caterpillars, raspy cricket… Here, you can find gorgeous silk scarves for men and women, which are popular souvenir from Vietnam. The silk here is still made on traditional handlooms and the best place to buy this is at the silk village in Hanoi (named as Van Phuc) and Hoian as well. Silk in Vietnam is renowned for brilliance and could be bought as some unique souvenirs here.

Vietnam-souvenir-silk-dress

Silk dress – Smooth, cool and luxurious

Where to buy silk product in Vietnam?

In Hanoi:

  • On Hang Gai street in the Old Quarter Area

In Ho Chi Minh city:

  • At Ben Thanh market
  • Toan Thinh Silk – 12 Pham Phu Thu, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam +84 28 3864 2402

15. Silk painting

Silk paintings in Vietnam are a unique product and depict an iconic art form of the artisans living here since olden times. The mystical, simple and poetic themes used in silk paintings make these particularly attractive. The paintings make use of the natural silk colors and textiles as the backdrop which is usually colorful. You can find such paintings on wall hangings, scarves and even on the traditional Ao dai (Long dresses).

 

Read more:

 

16. Snake wine or liquor

vietnam-souvenir-snake-wine-scorpion-liqour-Paradise-Travel

In case you want a unique Vietnam souvenir

Snake wine (or snake liquor) is bottles of medicinal rice wine with a dead cobra, scorpion, lizard or sea horse. As a matter of fact, this product raises many opinions relating to animal cruelty and it is completely understandable. However, this is still an aspect of Vietnam culture since Vietnam is a developing country that has superstition here and there. According to the wisdom of the elder, this liquor “makes man strong” (for recreational purposes). It seems bizarre to drink but it will make a great display and is guaranteed to be a unique Vietnam souvenir. Just make sure to cover it up good so that it doesn’t leak out all over your suitcase.

Where to buy snake wine/ snake liquor in Vietnam?

In Hanoi

  • On Trieu Viet Vuong or Mai Hac De or Pho Hue street

In HCMC

  • Ben Thanh market

Price: depend on the size of the bottle, it range from $10-$20.

*Important: check with your local tour operator to see if you could bring this item through customs.

17. Tea

vietnam-souvenir-vietnam-tea-paradise-travel

Vietnamese tea has been a traditional drink for Vietnamese in household and society in general. Back in the day, tea drinking accompanied aristocratic work or artistic work such as appreciating nature, spending quality time with one another, composing poem, calligraphy…  Nowadays, it is rather a popular drink could be found anywhere. Three most popular tea varieties in Vietnam are green tea, plain black tea and scented tea (jasmine, lotus scented tea…). This will make a great gifts for your parents or friends. High quality tea could be found in stores in big cities.

Where to buy tea in Vietnam?

Vietnamese tea could be purchased in any supermarket.

Price: the average price of tea in Vietnam is $4-$5 per kilogram.

 

In conclusion

Vietnam, from Ha Noi to Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City is flooded with diverse markets and an amazing mix and match of culture and tradition. Each place offers a distinct experience which can be more closely seen with its souvenirs collection. So, stop by when on your shopping spree to get amazed and enticed with the exotic and beautiful yet distinct delights that await you as top Vietnamese souvenirs.

 

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Glad to meet you, my name is Victor. I love traveling to new lands and learn about different people and cultures. Besides that, I like basketball, huskies, EDM, film editing, and programming as well.

Comments(10)

  1. Thank you for the detail tips! I will buy the zo postcards and dragonflies. My families would love those! 

    1. Hi Julia,
      You are absolutely welcome! We are glad that we could help out with souvenir idea. Zo postcards and bamboo dragonflies are unique gifts from Vietnam. Your families will enjoy them for sure.

    1. Hi Fatine,
      We are so honored to know that you adore Vietnam’s products as well as our company’s work. Don’t worry, next time when you travel to Vietnam, you will know for sure which souvenirs you like and where to find them. Keep checking our blog for more tips on traveling to Vietnam.

  2. Hello everyone,
    I would like to buy souvenirs (I think Vietnamese handicraft would be best) back for lots of relatives, friends, co-workers, etc (40 plus people), as such I can’t afford to buy expensive souvenirs. Would you please recommend some Vietnamese souvenirs that you brought back to home country that people seem to enjoy? Any information on how much you paid and which store/market you bought from is greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks in advance

    1. Hi Adam,
      For relatives and friends, you could buy Do paper postcards ($2 each at Zo Paper Shop no 27, Railroad, 10A Dien Bien Phu Street, Hang Bong) or small pottery cup ($2-4 each in Old Quarter Area). The bamboo dragonflies or small bamboo decorations are nice too as they could put on display on worktable ($1-3 each in Old Quarter Area).
      For your coworkers, Vietnamese grounded coffee could be a good choice for the whole office ($5-10 per kilogram and you could find it in many coffee shop in the Old Quarter Area).

    1. Hi Blake,
      There are many Coffee Shop that sell coffee beans or grounded coffee in the Old quarter or on Le Van Huu street. Furthermore Oriberry Coffee 25 Xuan Dieu and Highlands Coffee shop opposite the KFC near Hoan Kiem lake… have very nice coffee with reasonable price as well.

  3. Hello guys, actually I am in hanoi right now, I would like to know where I can buy special postcards (as the ones in the video)? Thanks for the videos, they are very useful! Appreciate your effort!

    1. Hi Harantine,
      Thank you for your encouragement. I will surely share it with the marketing team here. The Do paper postcards in the video are special items could be found at Zo Paper Shop (no 27, Railroad, 10A Dien Bien Phu Street, Hang Bong). You could also contact the shop by calling 0168 432 9379. Hope you will find unique postcards for your friends and families.

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