The best souvenirs to buy from Vietnam

Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country on the South China Sea known for its beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas and bustling cities. Hanoi, the capital, pays homage to the nation’s 20th-century history with landmarks like Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, dedicated to the revolutionary leader, and curving French colonial streets in the Old Quarter. Vietnam is also home to Hoi An, a beautifully preserved trading port where Chinese, Japanese and European merchant houses display Ming- and Qing-dynasty influences. In the south, Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) has French colonial landmarks, plus Vietnamese War history museums and the Cu Chi tunnels used by Viet Cong soldiers. Other popular places to visit in Vietnam include Halong Bay, Hue, Nha Trang and Sapa. Here are some family-friendly Vietnam tours that make it easy to plan a trip.

Halong Bay in Vietnam
Halong Bay in Vietnam. I had an amazing time here with my family. Photo by Karen Chow

Halong Bay is one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist destinations, and it’s easy to see why. The bay is dotted with over 1,600 islands and islets, making for a unbelievabl scenic tour. Take a cruise through the limestone formations, visit caves and lagoons, and enjoy the fresh seafood. You can even overnight on one of the many floating villages. No matter how you choose to experience Halong Bay, you’re sure to have an unforgettable time.

With its rich culture, welcoming people and gorgeous landscape, it’s no wonder that Vietnam is such a popular destination for travelers from all over the world.

What are the Best Souvenirs from Vietnam?

If you’re planning a trip to Vietnam, you might be wondering what the best souvenirs from the country are. This is a great question, and one that has a lot of different answers depending on who you ask. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best souvenirs from Vietnam, and why they’re the best.

One of the best things about Vietnam is that there are so many great souvenir options to choose from. Whether you’re looking for something traditional or unique, there’s sure to be a souvenir that’s perfect for you. Here are just a few of the best souvenirs from Vietnam:

Conical Leaf Hats (Non La)

When it comes to buying souvenirs, there are many options available. However, one of the most popular choices for Vietnamese souvenirs is the nón lá. Also known as the conical hat, the non la is a symbol of Vietnam that can be found throughout the country. Available in both traditional and modern designs, the non la is a practical and stylish choice for a souvenir.

Woman wearing conical leaf hat (non la)
Woman wearing conical leaf hat (non la). Photo by Hisu lee on Unsplash

Not only is it lightweight and easy to pack, but it also provides excellent sun and rain protection. In addition, the non la is an affordable option, with prices starting at just a few dollars. Whether you are looking for a traditional or contemporary souvenir, the non la is a great choice.

Musical Instruments

Vietnam is home to a wide variety of musical instruments, many of which make for great souvenirs. Traditional instruments like bamboo flutes and drums are always popular, but there are also more traditional instruments suchs as the 16 string zither.

sao mong flute
The sao mong is a transverse flutee played by the H’mong in Vietnam. Photo by Etnian.

Áo Dài

Áo dài are traditional Vietnamese garments that are worn by both men and women. They come in a wide variety of colors and designs, and make for a truly unique souvenir. You can find áo dài in most major cities in Vietnam.The ao dai is a traditional Vietnamese garment that dates back to the 18th century. It is typically made of silk and consists of a long tunic with slits up the side, worn over loose-fitting trousers.

A beautiful ao dai dress on a woman in Vietnam
A beautiful ao dai dress on a woman in Vietnam. Photo by Sang Tran on Unsplash

The traditional ao dai is often considered to be an elegant and feminine form of dress, and it is often worn by Vietnamese women on special occasions. The ao dai has also been adapted by other countries in Southeast Asia, including Cambodia and Laos. In recent years, the ao dai has become increasingly popular among Vietnamese Americans. Many young Vietnamese American women view the ao dai as a symbol of their cultural heritage, and they wear it proudly on important occasions.

Propaganda Posters

Propaganda posters were once a common sight in Vietnam, and today they make for interesting and unusual souvenirs. You can find propaganda posters in many shops around Vietnam, especially in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

Propaganda poster from Vietnamese Propaganda art poster shop in Hanoi, Vientam

Wooden Clogs

Wooden clogs are another traditional Vietnamese item that make for great souvenirs. They’re comfortable and stylish, and can be worn with just about anything. You can find wooden clogs in many markets and shops around Vietnam.

Guốc Mộc Vietnamese wooden shoes. Photo by Lazada.

Palm Leaf Paintings

If you’re looking for a unique and meaningful souvenir from Vietnam, look no further than a palm leaf painting. Palm leaves are an important part of Vietnamese culture, and they have been used for centuries to record history, tell stories, and express artistry. Palm leaf paintings are created by hand-painting or carving designs onto dried palm leaves. The finished product is both beautiful and durable, making it a perfect keepsake from your travels.

Sugar palm leaves painting. Photo by Vietnam Plus.

Palm leaf paintings can be found in many different styles, ranging from traditional to modern. Whether you choose an abstract design or a scene from Vietnamese folklore, a palm leaf painting is sure to be a cherished reminder of your time in Vietnam.

Hand Fans

When it comes to Vietnamese souvenirs, few items are more iconic than the hand fan. These simple fans are collapsible and easy to carry, making them a popular choice for travelers. They also come in a wide range of designs, from traditional Vietnamese patterns to more modern styles. Whether you’re looking for a unique gift or a memento of your own trip, a hand fan is a great option.

When shopping for a hand fan, it’s important to keep in mind that not all fans are created equal. The quality of the materials and workmanship can vary greatly, so it’s worth taking the time to examine each fan before making a purchase. In general, higher-quality fans will have stronger frames and more intricate designs. If you’re unsure about the quality of a particular fan, ask the seller for more information or look for reviews online. With a little bit of research, you can be sure to find a hand fan that’s both beautiful and well-made.

Coconut Candy

Coconut trees are plentiful in Vietnam, and coconuts are an important part of the Vietnamese diet. Coconut candy is a popular sweet in Vietnam, and it makes a great souvenir for visitors. The candy is made by boiling coconut milk and sugar together, then cooling and shaping it into small disks. It is chewy and sweet, with a strong coconut flavor. Coconut candy is generally available in souvenir shops near tourist sites, and it makes a delicious and unusual memento of a trip to Vietnam.

Coconut candy from Vietnam
Coconut candy from Vietnam

Handmade Textiles made on Traditional Handlooms

When you think of Vietnam, what comes to mind? For many people, it is the country’s rich history and culture. One of the best ways to experience this is through its textiles. Vietnam has a long tradition of textile production, and hand-woven textiles are still produced using traditional methods.

Handmade textiles from a traditional handloom
Handmade textiles from a traditional handloom can be used to make a scarf or bag.

These textiles are not only beautiful, but they are also made with great care and attention to detail. They make wonderful souvenirs and gifts, and they are sure to be treasured for years to come. When you give a hand-woven textile from Vietnam, you are giving a piece of the country’s history and culture.

Snake Wine

Vietnamese snake wine is a type of alcohol made by putting a whole snake in a bottle or jar with rice wine or another type of grain alcohol. Then, it is left to sit for several months. Sometimes, herbs and spices are added to the mixture to make it taste better or to cover up bad smells. Some people also add other animals to their soups, such as scorpions, insects, lizards or even small birds. All of these animals are used in Chinese medicine because they are believed to have medicinal properties.

Snake Wine from Vietnam
Snake Wine from Vietnam. Photo by snake wine vietnam | victoria sterling | Flickr

People also like to drink snake blood wine. To make it, cut open a snake and pour its blood into a bowl with rice wine or some other grain alcohol. You can also empty the gallbladder for an extra strong flavor. People say that this method keeps all of the snake’s medicine in the wine.

Whether you prefer your snake wine with just the snake or with a little extra something-something, it makes for a unique and potent souvenir from Vietnam.

Silk Products

There are few things more quintessentially Vietnamese than silk. From beautiful Ao Dai dresses to intricate silk paintings, this delicate fabric is used in a wide variety of traditional handicrafts. If you’re planning a trip to Vietnam, then you’ll definitely want to pick up a few souvenirs made from silk—but what exactly should you look for? And where’s the best place to buy it?

Types of Silk Products

There are two main types of silk produced in Vietnam: embroidered silk and brocade silk. Embroidered silk is often used in Ao Dai dresses as well as blouses, table runners, and other garments. Brocade silk, on the other hand, is a thicker fabric that’s commonly used in wall hangings and tapestries. Both types of silk make for beautiful and unique souvenirs that will last for years to come.

brocade silk
Brocade silk can be used to make different items, like dresses, wall hangings, and shawls.

Where to Buy Silk

The best place to buy silk in Vietnam is definitely at one of the many local markets. Haggling is expected (and even encouraged!), so don’t be afraid to bargain with the vendors until you get a price that you’re happy with. However, it’s important to remember that even if you do manage to get a good deal, the prices will still be higher than what you would pay for mass-produced items at a souvenir shop. But trust us—silk products are definitely worth the extra expense!

Vietnamese market
Learning how to haggle at a market is part of the fun of traveling. Photo by Alice Young on Unsplash

Lacquer Vases

Lacquerware is a type of decorative art that has been popular in Vietnam for centuries. Lacquer is derived from the sap of cay son trees, and it is used to create a variety of objects, from vases and bowls to furniture and paintings. One of the reasons that lacquerware is so popular is that it is extremely durable. Lacquer vases, for example, can last for centuries with proper care. In addition, lacquerware is often quite beautiful, with intricate designs and bright colors. For these reasons, lacquer vases make an excellent souvenir for anyone interested in Vietnamese culture or art.

Vietnamese Lacquer Vase
Vietnamese Lacquer Vase. Photo by Daysharvu.

Vietnamese Lanterns

Vietnamese lanterns are one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. They’re traditionally made out of rice paper or silk fabric, and they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. You can get them plain, or you can get them decorated with all sorts of intricate designs. They’re usually hung up outdoors, and they look absolutely stunning when they’re lit up at night. I just love how they make everything look so magical and dreamy. Every time I see them, I can’t help but smile.

Hoi An lanterns
Colorful Hoi An lanterns. Photo by No Back Home.

Guoc moc

Guoc moc is a traditional Vietnamese dish made with rice and mung beans. The beans are soaked overnight, then cooked with rice and water until they form a thick paste. This paste is then formed into small balls and fried. Guoc moc is typically served with a dipping sauce, such as nuoc cham or sweet chili sauce. While it is often eaten as a snack or side dish, guoc moc can also be enjoyed as a main course. For a heartier meal, it can be served with grilled meats or vegetables. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a satisfying meal, guoc moc is sure to please.

Places to Buy Souvenirs

Trying to decide where to buy your Vietnamese souvenirs? Here are some of the best markets to check out.

Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ho Chi Minh City. The market offers a wide variety of goods, from clothes and souvenirs to fresh produce and seafood. The market is also a great place to sample local cuisine, as there are many stalls and restaurants offering traditional Vietnamese dishes. Despite the large number of visitors, the market is well organized and easy to navigate. Prices are also very reasonable, making Ben Thanh Market a great place to shop for bargains.

Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh Market . Photo by Thu Nguyen on Unsplash

Hang Gai Street

Hang Gai Street is a must see when visiting Hanoi. The street is home to many of the city’s most important historical sites, as well as a number of traditional shops and restaurants. The street is also a great place to people watch, as it is always bustling with locals and tourists alike. Visitors can expect to see a wide variety of sights and sounds on Hang Gai Street, making it an essential stop on any trip to Hanoi.

Hang Gai Street in Vietnam
Hang Gai Street, Hanoi (3) | Hang Gai Street, Hanoi | Flickr

Hoi An Cloth Market

Finally, we have the Hoi An Cloth Market in Hoi An. This market is known for its textile products, so if you’re looking for traditional Vietnamese fabrics, this is the place to go. The prices here are reasonable, and you’ll be able to find a wide variety of products to choose from.

silk fabrics
Silk fabrics available for sale at the Hoi An cloth market

So there you have it – three of the best markets to buy Vietnamese souvenirs from. No matter what you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it at one of these markets. Happy shopping!

Top Areas in Vietnam For Handicrafts

If you’re looking for a unique and authentic experience, then a visit to a traditional Vietnamese village is a must. You’ll get to see firsthand how the locals live and work, and you’ll also have the opportunity to purchase some beautiful handmade crafts. The villages are typically located in picturesque settings, so you can also enjoy the scenery while you’re there. And of course, the food in these villages is absolutely amazing. If you love authentic Vietnamese cuisine, then you’ll definitely want to check out one of these villages!

Nha Trang

Nha Trang is a beautiful coastal city in Vietnam that is well-known for its stunning beaches, clear blue waters, and lush vegetation. It is also home to a number of historical and cultural sites, making it a great place to learn about the country’s rich history. When it comes to souvenirs, Nha Trang has something for everyone. The city is famous for its pearls, and there are many shops where you can buy them. You can also find traditional handicrafts made of bamboo, rattan, and ceramic. And of course, no trip to Nha Trang would be complete without trying the local cuisine. The city is renowned for its seafood, and there are many excellent restaurants where you can sample it. So whether you’re looking for a beautiful piece of jewelry or a delicious meal, Nha Trang is sure to have what you’re looking for.

Nha Trang beach in Vietnam
Nha Trang beach in Vietnam. Photo by Nha Trang | Nickolay Veselov | Flickr

Van Phuc Silk Village

If you’re ever in Vietnam, you absolutely have to visit Van Phuc Silk Village. It’s located in Ha Dong district, which is about a 30-minute drive from Hanoi. The village is famous for its production of high-quality silk fabrics, and it’s been around for centuries. When you walk around the village, you’ll see women sitting at their looms, weaving beautiful silk fabrics in all sorts of colors and patterns. You can also visit the silk museum, which has a great collection of historic Silk garments. And of course, there are plenty of shops where you can buy silk products to take home with you. Trust me, Van Phuc Silk Village is an experience you won’t want to miss!

Van Phuc Silk Village in Vietnam
Van Phuc Silk Village in Vietnam. Photo by Van Phuc silk village in Hanoi | van phuc silk village | Flickr

Bat Trang Pottery Village

Bat Trang is a small village located just outside of Hanoi, Vietnam. Although it is best known for its pottery, the village is also home to a number of other businesses, including paper lantern makers and ceramic painters. Visitors to the village can watch as potters skillfully craft vases, plates, and sculptures from clay, and then choose from a wide selection of finished products to take home. In addition to its many shops, Bat Trang is also home to a number of temples and pagodas, making it a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike. Whether you’re looking for unique souvenirs or simply want to explore Vietnamese culture, a visit to Bat Trang is sure to be an enjoyable experience.

Bat Trang Pottery Village in Vietnam
Bat Trang Pottery Village in Vietnam. Photo by Bat Trang Pottery Village | MCaley | Flickr


There are so many great options for souvenirs from Vietnam. No matter what your budget or taste is, you’re sure to find something that you’ll love. So start your shopping early and enjoy bringing home a piece of Vietnam with you!

For more ideas on beautiful places to travel to for your next vacation, visit the 40 best vacation destinations for nature lovers.

Have you ever travelled to Vietnam before? What types of souvenirs do you like to buy to remember your travels?

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  1. Vietnam has so many handmade treasures and beautiful pieces I never even considered until your article. I love wooden shoes souvenirs, but I would want to display them. They are too beautiful to wear. And, instruments make such great gifts for kids.

  2. Wow there are so many choices! I would love to go textile shopping and the clothes are beautiful. I think I prefer no snake in my wine at all, but it would be a notable gift!

  3. Going there next week! I can’t wait to see all these beautiful things with my own eyes! Loved the portraits and for sure I am going to buy a hat! The snake wine looks like a very unique and cool present! I am in the mood to buy everything 🤣

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