While exploring Vietnam, don't miss out on discovering the best things to buy in Vietnam as memorable Vietnamese souvenirs. In this article, we introduce a wide range of products, from intricately designed lacquerware to traditional ao dai dresses, embodying the essence of Vietnam's rich culture. Enhance your Vietnam travel experience by bringing home these unique and authentic pieces!
1. Traditional clothings – the best things to buy in Vietnam
When considering good things to buy in Vietnam for souvenirs, one cannot overlook traditional clothing, which reflects the cultural identity of the Vietnamese people.
1.1. What is famous in Vietnam to buy? – Ao dai
The ao dai, traditional attire for Vietnamese women, is a quintessential symbol of Vietnamese femininity and grace. It is one of the best things to buy from Vietnam, embodying the unique characteristics of the S-shaped country. The Vietnamese ao dai skillfully blends traditional and modern elements, enchanting with its long, flowing design. Its simple yet extremely flattering fit, available in various colors and patterns, surely makes it a beautiful and meaningful gift for the women you love.
1.2. Silk scarf
Silk scarves are among the most unique and popular Vietnamese silk souvenirs for foreigners. Besides their soft material and diverse colors, silk scarves are also designed with traditional Vietnamese motifs like lotus flowers, phoenixes, and plants, making them visually stunning. These designs carry deep cultural meanings and represent the finesse of Vietnamese art.
1.3. Silk pajamas
Silk pajamas are also a popular choice of the best things to buy in Vietnam among tourists. You can give your loved ones the gift of luxury and comfort with Vietnamese silk pajamas. Their smooth and soft texture makes these pajamas a joy to wear, ensuring a peaceful night's sleep. Often adorned with delicate embroidery or traditional patterns, they add a touch of elegance to bedtime wear.
1.4. Tribal textiles
Ethnic minority textiles represent the traditional beauty of Vietnamese culture. Foreign visitors enjoy wearing clothes with bright, unique, and distinctive colors. Therefore, these make excellent Vietnamese souvenirs for foreigners. Additionally, there are other products like handbags, wallets, and keychains made from these textiles for you to choose as gifts.
2. What to buy in Vietnam for souvenirs? – Artisanal products
Vietnam is also known for its exquisite and interesting handicrafts, making artisan products some of the best things to buy in Vietnam.
2.1. Conical hat
The traditional Vietnamese conical hat, or non la Vietnam, is among the cool things to buy in Vietnam, embodying the culture of the country. These hats are delicately decorated by artisans, and besides shielding them from sun and rain, they also complement traditional Vietnamese attire like the ao dai, making them a beautiful, meaningful, and affordable souvenir.
When asking what is famous in Vietnam to buy, one cannot forget about Dong Ho paintings—traditional prints on paper with vibrant colors inspired by familiar Vietnamese images. In addition, tourists can purchase Vietnamese silk paintings and rice paintings—two unique forms of art that showcase the skillfulness of Vietnamese people—perfect for souvenirs or gifts for friends after a trip to Vietnam.
2.3. Hand fans
Hand fans, often seen in traditional Vietnamese dances, are popular Ho Chi Minh City souvenirs. Made of bamboo and either paper or silk, they come in various sizes and can be used for cooling or as decorative items at home. Vietnamese hand fans are typically adorned with images of Vietnamese landscapes, making them a beautiful keepsake. So, don’t miss one of the best things to do in Saigon Vietnam—visit Ben Thanh Market and buy a beautiful hand fan!
2.4. Hand embroidery
The art of hand-embroidered garments and items is a treasured handicraft tradition in Vietnam. When looking for the best things to buy from Vietnam, don't overlook hand-embroidered products. You can choose items like clothing, scarves, bags, pillowcases, and handkerchiefs and have artisans embroider scenic nature scenes, symbolic letters, or personal images to create a unique, personalized product.
2.5. Lanterns – one of the best things to buy in Vietnam
Vietnamese lanterns, one of the most popular Hoi An souvenirs, are admired for their vibrant colors and traditional beauty. The Vietnamese believe lighting and floating lanterns on the river bring health and good luck. Therefore, if you visit Hoi An, don't miss the opportunity to release lanterns on the river and buy colorful lanterns as a memorable souvenir.
Lacquerware is a traditional form of craftsmanship commonly applied to furniture, dishes, bowls, vases, and paintings, a process that can take up to four months to complete. Therefore, you can purchase it as a souvenir or gift for friends and family. In the Old Quarter of Hanoi, shops are selling high-quality lacquerware at reasonable prices, many featuring depictions of mythical creatures and daily life in Vietnam.
Vietnamese ceramics are renowned for their smooth glazes and diverse designs. If you choose to buy ceramics as gifts, you might want to visit the traditional pottery village of Bat Trang, Hanoi. Here, you will find a variety of Bat Trang ceramics, like cups, vases, bowls, and plates. You can also visit the pottery museum and experience making your own ceramic piece.
2.8. Water puppets
What are the best things to buy in Vietnam? Water puppets are used in water puppetry, a traditional Vietnamese art form that can become a culturally rich souvenir. You can visit Hanoi and buy meticulously crafted water puppets with vibrant and lively colors, each puppet representing a character from Vietnamese folktales and legends.
2.9. Bamboo products
The image of bamboo symbolizes the resilience and enduring strength of the Vietnamese people. Skilfully crafted by artisans, bamboo has been transformed into interesting items, making them one of the cool things to buy in Vietnam. Items made from bamboo, ranging from baskets to bowls and boxes, are simple yet captivating, often decorated with images of rural life and famous Vietnamese landscapes, helping you preserve memories of your time in this beautiful country.
3. The best things to buy in Vietnam in terms of cuisine
What to buy in Vietnam? If you visit Vietnam and don't purchase some food souvenirs to bring back, you are truly missing out. Don't overlook the list of good things to buy in Vietnam, which also happens to be the cheapest things to buy in Vietnam in terms of cuisine, outlined below!
3.1. Coffee and tea
Vietnam is a country with a culture of tea and coffee consumption, offering premium tea and coffee products. In addition to savoring Vietnamese coffee and Vietnamese tea varieties such as drip-filter coffee, egg coffee, lotus tea, and snow Shan tea, you can also purchase dried tea products, coffee beans, and instant coffee in a variety of flavors. These items make excellent gifts, providing a deeper understanding of Vietnamese culture and serving as a nostalgic reminder of unforgettable moments during your travels in Vietnam.
3.2. Mung bean cake
Vietnamese mung bean cake, a delicious item in the treasure trove of Vietnamese cakes, is another fantastic Vietnamese food souvenir and one of the cheap things to buy in Vietnam. Formed into small blocks with a sweet, smooth texture, it carries the rich aroma of mung beans and pairs perfectly with tea. This cake was so favored by ancient Vietnamese royalty that it often featured a golden dragon symbol on top, making it a not-to-be-missed treat.
3.3. Rice paper
Vietnamese rice paper is among the best things to buy in Vietnam, capturing the essence of Vietnam's culinary culture. Made from finely ground rice flour and sun-dried, it possesses the rustic flavor of Vietnam's countryside and has a thin, translucent, and flexible structure. It is an essential ingredient in many traditional Vietnamese dishes, such as fried spring rolls and fresh summer rolls, allowing you to bring the flavors of Vietnamese cuisine home.
3.4. Fish sauce
Vietnamese fish sauce is a staple in almost every Vietnamese meal throughout the S-shaped country and is considered "the soul of Vietnamese cuisine." Made from salted fermented fish over several years, Vietnamese fish sauce, with prominent brands like Phu Quoc fish sauce and Phan Thiet fish sauce, boasts a rich, savory taste and a distinctive aroma. It is regarded as a precious and characteristic gift, especially for those who appreciate Vietnamese cuisine.
3.5. Coconut candy
When contemplating the best things to buy in Vietnam, coconut candy from the Mekong Delta should top your list of foods to buy in Vietnam. Made from the bounty of coconut groves, it boasts a deep sweetness, a rich coconut aroma, a heavenly fragrance from pandan leaves, and a delightful chewiness. You can even participate in a coconut candy-making workshop to craft this sweet treat by hand and gift it to your sweet-toothed friends.
3.6. Salted dried fruits
A specialty of the capital Hanoi and a centuries-old snack in Vietnam, salted dried fruits, or "o mai," are created by blending dried Vietnamese fruits like plums, apricots, and peaches with sugar, salt, lime, chili, or ginger. The outcome is a unique combination of sweet, sour, and salty flavors that explode in your mouth with every bite, offering numerous health benefits. It is undoubtedly a must-buy food souvenir in Vietnam.
3.7. Peanut and rice paper brittle
Peanut rice paper candy is a unique confection comprising thin rice paper, crushed peanuts, and caramelized sugar. The delightful stickiness of peanuts and molasses is perfectly complemented by the satisfying crispiness of toasted rice papers. Originating from the province of Ha Tinh, this candy is one of the most beloved Vietnamese food souvenirs, highly cherished by travelers worldwide looking to bring a taste of Vietnam home.
3.8. Pia cake – among the best things to buy in Vietnam for food lovers
Pia cake, originating from Ben Tre province, boasts a delicious taste and is undoubtedly one of the most esteemed food souvenirs from Vietnam. Made with a simple yet exquisite combination of glutinous rice flour, sugar, mung bean paste, and optional flavors like durian, the thin and crispy pastry shell encapsulates a flavorful filling, creating an unforgettable taste harmony.
3.9. Green sticky rice
What are the best things to buy from Vietnam? Green sticky rice, or "com," is another specialty of autumn in Hanoi, captivating tourists with its lush green appearance, delightful taste, and sweet, nostalgic fragrance. As one of the best Hanoi souvenirs, this pure and precious gift can be enjoyed directly with green tea or processed into green sticky rice cake, or “banh com," "xoi com," and more, all incredibly aromatic and tempting.
3.10. Marou chocolate
Made using cacao beans sourced locally, every Marou chocolate bar guides you through a distinct flavor adventure across Vietnam's varied landscapes. Whether it is the bold dark chocolate with earthy undertones from the Mekong Delta or the milk chocolate infused with tropical fruity notes from the central highlands, Marou Chocolate captures the essence of Vietnam's beauty and flavors in a way that is truly unparalleled.
3.11. Scorched rice
Scorched rice is a popular Vietnamese snack that also serves as one of the excellent Vietnamese food souvenirs for those wanting to bring a taste of Vietnam home. This savory delicacy is made by crisping rice until it becomes crunchy, offering a unique and irresistible texture. It is often enjoyed with fluffy strands of pork floss and spring onion oil, and the smoky aroma from the slightly burned grains adds an extra layer of mouthwatering flavor.
3.12. Sesame candy
Made from roasted sesame seeds, sugar, malt syrup, and peanuts, sesame candy—a delicacy of sophisticated Hue cuisine—offers a harmonious blend of flavors and textures that will leave you yearning for more. The crispy, caramelized exterior contrasts perfectly with the nutty tenderness inside. Sesame candies are easy to carry home, making them an ideal gift or personal treat that truly represents the rich flavors and culture of Vietnam.
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When pondering what to buy in Vietnam, the array of choices reflects the country's vibrant culture and history. The best things to buy in Vietnam range from aromatic coffees and teas to exquisite handcrafted silk, representing the nation's diverse heritage. These souvenirs not only serve as a tangible reminder of your journey but also offer a glimpse into the traditional Vietnamese lifestyle, making them perfect gifts for loved ones or cherished keepsakes for yourself.
Vietnam is a country renowned for its many cultural, natural, and historical tourist attractions, such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, and Ha Long. When traveling to these cities, in addition to shopping for handicrafts, cultural products, and culinary delights, you can enhance your vacation experience with luxurious stays at Vinpearl's hotels and resorts. Vinpearl offers lavish accommodations, fine dining, rejuvenating spas, inviting pools, and even picturesque golf courses, ensuring a truly indulgent retreat for all.
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