It’s not unusual for travelers to bring home some items as reminders of the places they visited. The best souvenirs from Vietnam that awake sweet memories of your stay in this country will become meaningful takeaways and occasionally substantial investments.
You can hardly have enough money and luggage space to get all the things you fancy in Vietnam. So, think carefully and learn the art of bargaining in Vietnam travel tips before making any purchase. Whether you are into culture and art or being a fan of Vietnamese food, there is a wide variety of Vietnamese famed products that you can gift yourself or your family and friends.
Best souvenirs from Vietnam
Each and every destination in Vietnam has unique souvenirs that will put you in shopping mood. Listed here are some of the hints to find the best souvenirs to bring home after the best of Vietnam tour.
The image of Vietnamese women wearing conical hats or Non la has become an essential part of Vietnamese culture. The conical hat is handwoven using bamboo or palm leaf, with its shape varying a bit depending on the region. More than the cultural meaning, Non la offers a practical use that is to protect one from the sun and the rain. Though Non la is just an accessory, it can turn your outfit into fashion looks to remember.
# Where to buy: Old Quarter, Dong Xuan Market in Hanoi, Ben Thanh Market, Binh Tay Market in Ho Chi Minh City
The Vietnamese national garment is a tight-fitting long dress. Despite the fact that the Ao dai has gone through many significant changes in history, it still showcases the best part of Vietnamese costume. You can find Ao dai in traditional and modern style, both of which are favored by the locals and foreign visitors.
The traditional Ao dai comes in long sleeves, a stand collar, and the side seam slits up to the waist, worn over palazzo-style trousers. The modern Ao dai takes unique forms, including emboldened cuts and materials, patterns, and colors. Ao dai is not for women only, men can wear it in style as well.
# Where to buy: You can buy ready-made Ao dai at Cho Hom Market, Hang Gai Street in Hanoi, Ben Thanh Market, Tan Dinh Market in Ho Chi Minh City. If you visit Hoi An, don’t miss out on a chance to experience the world-famous quick tailoring service for custom-made Ao dai and any clothes you want.
Wooden clogs or Guoc moc are old-fashioned footwear for both Vietnamese men and women. A combination of Ao dai, Non la, and Guoc moc used to be extremely trendy for a long time. However, you hardly see local Vietnamese wear wooden clogs as this kind of shoes is not a good fit for quick movements. Anyway, you can take wooden clogs as a souvenir from Vietnam that can tell a lot about Vietnamese culture.
# Where to buy: Dong Xuan Market in Hanoi, Ben Thanh Market, An Dong Market, Binh Tay Market in Ho Chi Minh City
As one of the best souvenirs to buy in Vietnam, silk can be easily found at any souvenir shop or market. To bring home silk, you have a wide variety of items to consider, from the scarves, paintings to many other traditional costumes. Silk is the symbol of elegance and affluence, highlighting the complicated craftsmanship with one-of-a-kind designs and colors.
Aesthetes would love elaborate Vietnamese paintings. Through every piece of art, you find different stories about Vietnam’s landscapes and people. Varied in sizes, colors, materials and artists’ style, these paintings will be a perfect item to decorate your house. Paintings may cost a little higher than other kinds of souvenirs but they really worth your purchase.
You will find a variety of hand-embroidered products from paintings, quilts, cosmetic bags to night dresses. Embroidery stitches have an incredible range of skills that have been passed down for generations. That’s why every piece of hand embroidery should be highly valued for their historical values connected with the artisans’ hard work.
Hand-embroidered pictures are inspired by nature, daily life, or even the buyer’s portrait. If you want something that is uniquely yours, deliver your idea to the artist who will later give you the best souvenir after a week or sooner.
# Where to buy: You can buy hand-embroidered items at Dong Xuan Market in Hanoi and Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City. If you visit Sa Pa, buy some of the best from ethnic minorities in Sa Pa’s markets.
Lanterns give you a reason to love Hoi An Ancient Town. Already enchanted by the hidden charm of Hoi An? You will want to bring some lovely items from this town, one of which must be a lantern. Local people hang colorful lanterns in front of their houses or release them into the river with the strong belief that they will bring happiness, health, and good luck.
Buy a lantern and you can travel back to your home country with the best wishes from Hoi An and Vietnam. It’s better to look for the lanterns that can be folded for easier packing and carrying. Lantern shopping in Hoi An will be one of the best nighttime shopping experiences you have ever got.
# Where to buy: Ngoc Thu Lantern Shop, Nguyen Boi Lam Lantern, Hoi An Handicraft Workshop
Don’t forget to bring home something special for children, who are easily intrigued by fancy colors and patterns. Children would love bamboo dragonflies which can stand by their mouth on the top of one’s finger. Bamboo dragonflies reflect the rustic beauty of Vietnam’s countryside that goes worldwide. This eco-friendly and children-friendly souvenir is a product of creativity made by people in Thach Xa Village, Thach That, Hanoi.
# Where to buy: Souvenir shops
Traveling to Vietnam and go back without Vietnamese food, you don’t want to make that big mistake. While Vietnamese street food seems to be the charter for travelers to Vietnam only, you can share the culinary epicurean with anyone in your home country with some specialties.
♣ Coconut candy: If you visit Ben Tre and the Mekong Delta, you cannot skip these sweet treats made from coconut. You can buy them right in Ho Chi Minh City, in Ben Thanh Market, Binh Tay Market or An Dong Market.
♣ O Mai: Coconut candy is popular in Southern Vietnam, and O Mai prevails in the North. O Mai is fruit mixed with sugar, salt, lime, and spices. Head to Hang Duong Street in Hanoi or Ham Nghi Street in Ho Chi Minh to get the best salted dried fruit with all kinds of flavors, sweet, sour, salty, spicy, etc.
♣ Coffee: One of the best things to buy in Vietnam is perhaps coffee. Coffee packs will remind you of the coffee culture in Vietnam where people enjoy filter coffee, egg coffee, or iced milk coffee in their own way. Some famous Vietnamese coffee brands are Trung Nguyen, VinaCafe, and Phuc Long.
One of the must-do things that most travelers have in any trip is probably buying souvenirs. You will do that wonderfully in Vietnam and travel back with great fun. Choose your favorite souvenirs, preserve the best memories of your tour and bottle them from time immemorial.
Trinh Tran written for Maika Tours
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