- Good Things to Buy in Vietnam
- Ao Dai – Vietnamese Traditional Dress
What Souvenirs Should You Get from Vietnam?
Vietnam is overflowing with culture and is one of Southeast Asia’s most interesting and enjoyable countries to visit. The nation’s streets are overflowing with things beyond restaurant and stores — Vietnam is the home to some of the best shopping that Southeast Asia brings to the table.
Almost every other shop window displays excellent handicraft and high-quality gifts that every visitor wants to buy right away. Vietnam is a country that is rich in culture and heritage, and the richness of its tradition can be seen through the things you find there. Its culture is embedded into all its decoration pieces and even basic household items.
Everyone who visits a foreign country like to bring back souvenirs that reminds them of the time they spent there. Vietnam is a place that is well-known for its exotic culture and rich tradition, so there is a variety of souvenirs that you can take home to keep on your shelf or gift to your friends and family.
Good Things to Buy in Vietnam
Below are a few Vietnam famous products that you should consider buying when you visit.
Conical Hat or Straw Hat
Non la is a round cone cap that is crafted from bamboo cataphylls and is a cultural symbol of Vietnam. The hat not only protects you from the sun but also offers shelter from the rain. These hats are worn by all the locals and can be found abundantly throughout the country. High-quality conical hats can be found in traditional villages like Chuong, which is 30 km south-west of Hanoi, where conical hats made from palm leaf are popular. These conical hats serve as beautiful souvenirs that are not only stylish but also useful.
Ao Dai – Vietnamese Traditional Dress
The ao dai is a long traditional dress that is worn by Vietnamese women. Throughout the 20th century, there have been many variations and changes in this traditional dress, from floral to checkered patterns, from the enhancement of contrast and hues to unique wearing styles. Today, it’s a tight-fitted long dress worn over pants or skirt by Vietnamese ladies for customary celebrations.
The dress is available in a variety of colors and styles. There are three different styles available, and the dress can also be custom made by ao dai tailors. An ao dai may cost you up to VND 700,000, but if you want something stylish and high-quality, it may cost you up to VND 1,500,000.
Silk is a fabric that is a symbol of royalty and luxury and has been worn by nobles for hundreds of years. The silk from Vietnam is woven from the cocoons of the silkworm. If you’re fond of silk fabrics, Vietnam is the right place for you to get a souvenir.
You can find silk scarfs, silk dresses and many other silk products that offer the best quality. There are a lot of boutiques and outlets where you can find rich silk shirts, ties, accessories, and dresses at relatively affordable prices.
Sadly, fake merchandise is extremely common in Vietnam, so you will have to be careful about where you buy the best souvenirs in Vietnam. The best places for pure silk items are Hoi An Silk Village and Van Phuc Silk Village (around 10 km south-west of Hanoi).
Customary Vietnamese silk commonly costs VND 70,000 for every meter, while premium textures are valued over VND 100,000 for each meter.
One of the most unique and stunning souvenirs you can find in Vietnam is a sand painting. These sand paintings have been made and sold in Vietnam since 1997 and today, they are known as the pride of Vietnamese people.
Sand painting is the art of pouring shaded sands and powdered colors extracted from stones, minerals or other natural or manufactured sources onto a base of smooth sand to frame a painting. These paintings take a lot of time to be created, and the hard work and dedication can be seen clearly from the tidiness and precision of these decoration pieces. It can make more than 8 hours for a single sand painting to be made.
Make sure you consider buying these as souvenirs because they ae bound to leave people in awe when placed on a wall in your home.
We have often seen Vietnamese ladies dance with hand fans. These hand fans are a part of the traditional heritage of Vietnam and can be found in almost every household. They are made using paper and bamboo. Fan making techniques from China are also utilized.
What makes these fans so special is the artwork and paintings on the top of these fans. This imagery may include Han Nom characters (the nation’s script) for Heaven, Land and People which are said to symbolize the history and culture of Vietnam. If you are searching for souvenirs that are beautiful yet useful, you should purchase these hand fans.
Handmade Vietnamese Embroidery
Embroidery is an art and skill that has been passed down from generation to generation in Vietnam. It takes up to 8-10 years for a person to become an embroider, and the hard work is evident in the beautiful embroidered work.
You can find embroidered clothes, scarves, bags and purses from different villages in Vietnam. Embroidered pictures are also popular in Vietnam. You can easily find hand-embroidered pictures with stunning landscapes, portraits, and pictures of flowers and scenery.
Handmade musical instruments are also quite popular souvenirs from Vietnam. Bamboo flutes and t’rungs are the most bought musical instrument. Since the flute is like a small rod and the t’rung can be dissembled, they can easily fit in your luggage back, so you can easily take some for yourself and for your family and friends.
T’rungs can usually cost you anywhere from VND 300,000 to VND 1,000,000, and a small bamboo flute can cost around VND 10,000. The musical sound from these souvenirs is likely to remind you of the time you spent in Vietnam.
Vietnamese puppetry is a standout among the most exceptional works of art around the world. Puppet shows serve as a mode of entertainment and have been around for thousands of years. The puppets are made out of wood and then painted. Throughout history, water puppetry has been Vietnam’s national pride which has been protected and passed on through generations.
Puppets as souvenirs can serve as reminders of the rich and traditional culture of Vietnam. If you are willing to buy, you can easily find these puppets in Old Quarter, Hanoi.
Pop-Up Paper Cards
Pop-up handmade greeting cards from Vietnam are incredibly beautiful and interesting. You should definitely buy them on your visit and gift them to your friends and family. Most of the unique cards are inspired from origami and kirigami art. You also have the option to get customized and personalized gift cards made for you. Cards are a quite personal and special form of greeting, so this souvenir is definitely going to make your family and friends happy. You can easily find such cards all over the country.
If you are searching for clothes in a particular style and made of the material of your choice, Vietnam is the best place to get them. Highly skilled and professional tailors reside in Hoi An and in other parts of the country, who are willing to create customized garments for you at a very reasonable price. All you need to do is guide them about the style you want, and they will get it made for you in less than a week.
Marou, Faiseurs de Chocolat was established by Samuel Maruta and Vincent Mourou, who were French. They gave such a gift to Vietnamese people that it has placed Vietnam among the holders of one of the best chocolate brands out there. The ingredients for the chocolates are procured from the cacao plantations in Mekong Delta. The chocolate is made in factories near Ho Chi Minh City.
Marou’s chocolates have a distinct taste and aroma that make them different from other chocolate brands. These chocolates are made from local beans. Hence, if you’re someone who loves chocolate or have friends and family who love chocolate, you should seriously consider buying Marou chocolate to take back.
Ceramic products are well-known souvenirs in Vietnam for a long time. The lifestyle of Vietnamese people is beautifully depicted on these porcelain cutleries using paint. You can find these ceramic products in all shapes, sizes and colors.
Ceramic products from Bat Trang Ceramic Village are very well-known and popular among tourists and locals since the 15th century. These products are handmade by the locals, and their work is well-known in the international market as well. If you are confused about what to buy, you should know that these ceramic products are definitely worth your money.
A unique souvenir you can only find in Vietnam is bamboo dragonflies. Vietnamese people in the Thach Xa commune in Thach That District, Hanoi make dragonflies carved out of bamboo. These bamboo dragonflies appear to be quite real. An extraordinary feature of the bamboo dragonfly is that due to the pointed beak on its face, it can balance on a spot as little as the tip of a finger, the edge of a table, a branch, and so on.
There is no doubt that Vietnam does not lack in propaganda-style art. Demonstrations of the style can be found on anything from shirts to posters and calendars. A lot of this work conveys vital information about the historical background of Vietnam. The majority of the popular pictures were made during the nation’s most unstable and war-torn years.
Along with presenting the solidarity and power of Vietnamese people, the pictures present portraits of people, landscapes and writings that represent the unity of the nation.
You can find a large range of propaganda art in Thanh Long Galley and Hanoi Gallery.
For years, lacquer painting has been enhanced through practice in Vietnam. Even though lacquer painting is famous all over Asia, lacquerware from Vietnam is very different and unique. Resin from the sơn tree is used, which is where the artform got its name, son mai. This approach toward art in Vietnam established during the mid-1900s from the French impact. It has been passed down in craftsman families for a considerable length of time already.
Lacquer painting is a very delicate and beautiful artform, and most top-notch items experience 20 retouches before they are ready to be sold. Lacquerware is available as a form of cutlery and paintings. These paintings are one of the best things to buy in Vietnam.
Vietnamese coffee has been a major source of income for Vietnamese people. In 1857, the French introduced coffee plantation which, with time, became a flourishing economic force in Vietnam. The coffee is well-known for its delicious and thick consistency. The process of making it and the blend of beans help give Vietnamese espresso its specific taste.
Vietnamese coffee beans are also exported to other states and are well-known for their flavor. If you can get powdered coffee from Vietnam, make sure you brew yourself some coffee and take some back to your home with you.
Different cities and villages of Vietnam are popular for different traditional items. These souvenirs are Vietnam’s famous products that are loved by many tourists. However, you should look for genuine items because fake products portrayed as real are also sold here. You should also use your bargaining skills because there is always a price margin. No matter which city you visit, you are bound to find things that you are going to love and a time you won’t forget. Thus, make the most of your time in this beautiful country and get souvenirs to remember it!