Souvenirs with unique characteristics of each country are not available everywhere. It is only when you visit a particular place that you have the opportunity to purchase such items as gifts. When visiting Vietnam, what should you buy? Vietnam also offers many distinctive products, primarily in the categories of food and handmade items. In this article, S Vietnam Travel will suggest 10 souvenir items that international tourists often buy when visiting Vietnam.
1. Ao Dai – Traditional Vietnamese Costume
Ao Dai is a traditional costume of the Vietnamese people, dating back to ancient times. It is designed with a very special style to accentuate the beautiful curves and femininity of women, while also being modest and elegant.
Ao Dai is available in many stores across major cities, you can easily find one that suits you or buy it as a gift to commemorate your visit to Vietnam. Typically, this attire is ready-made for purchase, but if you want to personalize it with specific materials and designs, you can place an order at some stores, where they will measure and tailor it according to your size, although it will come at a higher price.
Read more: What to wear in Vietnam
2. Conical Hat – Fantastic accessory when paired with Ao Dai
Alongside the Ao Dai, the conical hat, known as “non la,” is also an iconic symbol of Vietnam. This product is highly favored by foreigners and is often included in the list of preferred souvenirs. The conical hat is particularly suitable for outdoor activities such as gardening. It serves not only as protection against rain and sunlight but also embodies the graceful and gentle beauty of Vietnamese women.
At tourist spots, conical hats are widely available in various sizes and styles. You can choose to purchase a hat embroidered with words, images of Vietnamese women, scenic landscapes, or other themes. This will undoubtedly be a fantastic gift idea that any traveler will appreciate.
3. Silk – Premium and alluring fashion material
Silk has always been considered a luxurious material, and Vietnamese Ao Dai – the traditional attire is often handcrafted using silk. Nowadays, Vietnamese designers utilize silk to create high-end fashion items showcased in renowned fashion events.
Vietnam is known for producing some of the most beautiful and impressive silk products, especially silk made from silkworm cocoons. It is considered a cherished traditional heritage of the Vietnamese people. Vietnamese silk comes in various colors and unique patterns.
However, as silk is widely available in Vietnam, you can find it in any market or silk shop, particularly on Hàng Gai Street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi, the ancient town of Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City. It is mostly crafted into items such as scarves, handbags, clothing, and more. You can also purchase whole pieces of silk fabric as gifts for your friends and family.
Read more: Best Time To Visit Vietnam
4. Hand-Embroidered Paintings – Gifts for loved ones
Vietnam is renowned for its embroidery art. Products include embroidered blankets, bedspreads, pillowcases, tablecloths, handbags, clothing, scarves, wallets, nightgowns, and more. Hanoi is an excellent place to purchase these products due to the wide range of choices, good quality, and reasonable prices.
Anyone who appreciates diligence and culture will surely love these beautifully handmade gifts. They are an ideal choice for gifting to those passionate about culture or simply to special people in your life.
You should choose embroidered paintings with characteristic themes of Vietnam, as these are also favored by foreign visitors. For example, paintings featuring the lotus flower, famous Vietnamese landmarks, conical hats, Vietnamese young women in traditional dresses (Ao Dai), and more.
Read more: 12 Best Places to Visit in Vietnam
5. Bamboo and Wood Products – Environmentally Friendly Souvenirs
Bamboo and wood products are among the most popular items to buy in Vietnam and can be found in most tourist destinations. They are all meticulously handmade with attractive designs and colors.
Bamboo is also seen as a symbolic representation of the willpower and spirit of the Vietnamese people. In Vietnam, you will find a wide range of exquisite and delicate bamboo products such as bamboo kites, cosmetic boxes, bamboo baskets, and more.
These products are skillfully crafted by talented artisans, making them not only beautiful but also gentle and impressive. To save space in your luggage, you can prioritize choosing smaller-sized bamboo products that fit well.
Read more: Hanoi Train Street Coffee
6. Pottery – Artisanal Souvenirs
Fine ceramic products are created by the skillful hands and creative minds of talented artisans. The production process involves multiple stages, most notably firing at temperatures ranging from 900 to 1300 degrees Celsius. These products are durable and “immune” to environmental influences. You don’t need to worry about pottery being attacked by pests like wood or rusting like metal.
High-quality pottery comes in a diverse range of designs and types, suitable for both decoration and daily use. It can be exquisite vases, paintings, or elegant tea sets. Most pottery gifts have high practicality in real-life applications.
The next gift you can consider buying is handicrafts. These are also standout products that showcase the distinctive characteristics of the Vietnamese people. Vietnamese individuals, known for their diligence and skilled hands, have created numerous art pieces that require meticulous attention to detail, especially in the realm of ethnic handicrafts. Each handicraft item carries simple yet profound lines that embody the local culture, depicting nature, people, rural villages, and more.
The most popular items include scarves, handbags, textiles, paintings, clothing, and even wooden crafts. All of these are unique and impressive choices to purchase in Vietnam.
8. Fresh Roasted Salted Cashews
Cashews are among the most nutritious nuts and are often incorporated into healthy meals. Cashews contain proanthocyanidins, which help limit the growth of cancer cells. Additionally, they contribute to memory development and brain function due to their high content of healthy saturated fats.
Vietnam is one of the largest exporters of cashews globally, so the quality of cashews from Vietnam is excellent. You can easily purchase pre-packaged cashews at supermarkets in Vietnam.
9. Whole Bean Coffee
When it comes to specialty gifts in Vietnam, one cannot overlook coffee, as Vietnam is the world’s second-largest exporter of coffee. Vietnamese coffee is often Robusta, accounting for about 90% of production, known for its bitter, bold flavor and aromatic scent, while Arabica makes up the remaining 10%.
To purchase whole bean coffee as a gift, you can visit large supermarkets in Vietnam. However, to find the best quality coffee beans, it’s advisable to seek out reputable coffee shops that specialize in coffee, such as Cafe Mai, Cafe Nhân, Cafe Trung Nguyên, and more.
10. Tea – Pure and Fresh Beverage of Vietnam
According to research in Japan, regular consumption of tea can contribute to a longer lifespan. Moreover, drinking tea, especially green tea, can slow down the aging process of the skin and various organs in the body.
The tea plant is the main ingredient used to create the flavors of Vietnamese tea. There are four renowned tea-growing regions in Vietnam, known for their hilly landscapes: Thai Nguyen, Phu Tho, Lam Dong, and the Northwest region.
There are several delicious tea varieties that you can purchase as gifts, such as lotus tea, Hue royal tea, jasmine-infused green tea, and more. You can easily find them in supermarkets throughout Vietnam.
With the list of 10 souvenirs from Vietnam that we just provided, you can choose a few items to purchase, keeping in mind the size of your suitcase and ensuring it can accommodate them. There are still many things that we couldn’t list here. If you’re interested in traveling to Vietnam, please contact our travel advisors for assistance and to have all your questions answered.