Top 20 Traditional Vietnam Souvenirs to Collect on Your Travels

Are you travelling to Vietnam and wondering what unique keepsakes to bring home?

Vietnam offers a rich array of traditional items that capture its vibrant culture and history. From intricate handicrafts to delicious local treats, the best souvenirs from Vietnam are as diverse as the country itself.

In this article, we’ll guide you through 20 must-have traditional Vietnamese souvenirs that will make perfect mementos of your trip.

1. Conical Hats (Nón Lá): Best Traditional Vietnam Souvenir

Conical Hats, known as Nón Lá in Vietnamese, are quintessential Vietnamese souvenirs embodying the essence of Vietnam. Crafted from palm leaves or bamboo, these lightweight headpieces boast a distinct conical shape and are often adorned with intricate designs.

Beyond their aesthetic appeal, Vietnamese traditional hats serve practical purposes. They shield from the sun's glare and rain showers while seamlessly blending into everyday fashion. Symbolizing the nation's rural roots, they are a staple among farmers and rural workers.

  • Where to buy: You can buy Nón Lá at local markets or tourist hubs like Hanoi's Old Quarter and Ho Chi Minh City's Ben Thanh Market.
  • Note: Remember to pack them carefully to avoid crushing.

Iconic Vietnamese conical hat, a symbol of cultural heritage. (Source: Internet)

2. Vietnam Traditional Dress Áo Dài

The Áo Dài, traditional Vietnamese clothing, symbolizes elegance and grace. This long, fitted dress worn over trousers is traditionally made from silk or cotton and often intricately embroidered.

Worn during special occasions, festivals, and traditional ceremonies, the Vietnamese Áo Dài dress holds deep cultural significance. It is a cherished garment representing the beauty and heritage of Vietnam. It has also become a popular choice for everyday wear among young Vietnamese.

  • Where to buy: Custom-made pieces are available at tailor shops in Hanoi, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City, while ready-made versions of these Vietnamese souvenirs are available in major markets.
  • Note: When packing or buy Áo Dài, especially a custom-made one, fold it carefully to prevent wrinkles.

The Áo Dài, traditional Vietnamese clothing, symbolizes elegance and grace.(Source: Internet)

3. Vietnamese Silk Souvenirs

Vietnamese silk souvenirs offer a unique blend of elegance and cultural heritage. Authentic Vietnamese silk is transformed into exquisite scarves, ties, clothing items, and captivating paintings. These souvenirs serve as fashionable accessories or beautiful home décor pieces.

Owning silk souvenirs in Vietnam connects you to the rich history and tradition of silk weaving in the country. The delicate craftsmanship and intricate designs showcase the dedication and artistry of Vietnamese artisans.

  • Where to buy: You can buy Vietnamese silk at some silk villages like Van Phuc (near Hanoi), silk shops in Hoi An and Hue.
  • Note: When choosing silk souvenirs, consider the silk's weight and weave, as these factors influence its drape and durability.

Vietnamese silk souvenirs offer a unique blend of elegance and tradition. (Source: Internet)

4. Vietnam Lacquerware Souvenirs

Vietnamese lacquerware gifts are prized for their beauty and craftsmanship. Skilled artisans meticulously apply multiple layers of lacquer to create stunning bowls, trays, vases, and paintings. These items can be both decorative and functional, adding a touch of Vietnamese artistry to any home.

With a history dating back centuries, lacquerware from Vietnam is deeply rooted in culture. Each piece often features intricate designs, vibrant colors, and motifs inspired by nature, mythology, or daily life.

  • Where to buy: Craft shops in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and artisan villages like Ha Thai.
  • Note: Keep in mind that authentic and traditional Vietnamese lacquerware requires time and skill to produce, so investing in a quality piece ensures you're supporting local artisans and preserving this unique tradition.

Vietnamese lacquerware offers a diverse range of gifts that are sure to impress. (Source: Internet)

5. Handcrafted Embroidery Keepsakes

Traditional Vietnamese embroidery keepsakes encompass a wide range of items, from exquisite embroidered paintings and tablecloths to delicate pillowcases and unique clothing. Each piece is a testament to Vietnamese artistry, featuring intricate designs and meticulous craftsmanship.

Embroidery gifts from Vietnam serve as both functional and decorative pieces. Embroidered paintings and tablecloths enhance the beauty of any home, while pillowcases and clothing add a touch of elegance to personal style. They are perfect gifts for loved ones or cherished additions to one's own collection.

  • Where to Buy: Embroidery villages like Quat Dong, Dong Xuan market in Hanoi and ethnic minority communities in Sapa.
  • Note: Certain craftsmen have customisation options, so you may ask for unique patterns or hues for Vietnamese embroidery souvenirs. This might be a wonderful strategy to get a sentimental and distinctive memento.

Embroidery gifts from Vietnam serve as both functional and decorative pieces. (Source: Internet)

6. Vietnam’s Pottery and Ceramics

Vietnamese ceramics and pottery are a must-have for any souvenir collector. They come in various forms, from intricate bowls and vases to charming tea sets and decorative pieces. Many feature stunning designs, such as delicate floral patterns or vibrant landscapes, often adorned with unique glazes that shimmer in the light.

These traditional Vietnamese ceramics aren't just pretty; they carry deep cultural significance. Pottery is an ancient craft in Vietnam, with distinct styles originating from regions like Bat Trang, Chu Dau, and Thanh Ha. Each piece reflects centuries of tradition, a connection to daily life, and the remarkable artistry of Vietnamese artisans.

  • Where to Buy: You can buy Vietnamese pottery in Bat Trang, Phu Lang, Chu Dau ceramic villages, art galleries, and boutiques in Hoi An.
  • Note: Remember to pack them carefully, wrapping them in bubble wrap and placing them in a sturdy box with cushioning, to ensure they arrive home safely.

Vietnam's pottery and ceramics are a testament to the country's rich artistic heritage and skilled craftsmanship. (Source: Internet)

7. Bamboo and Rattan Products: Top Handmade Vietnam Souvenir

Bamboo and rattan products are quintessential Vietnamese souvenirs, reflecting the country's rich tradition of craftsmanship and connection to nature. From intricate baskets and trays to elegant furniture and home décor, these items are not only beautiful but also sustainable and lightweight, making them perfect for travel.

Crafted from natural materials, bamboo and rattan creations embody Vietnamese resourcefulness and ingenuity. Each piece often carries the mark of the artisan's hand, telling a story of tradition passed down through generations.

  • Where to Buy: You can buy bamboo crafts at Hang Gai Street (Hanoi Old Quarter), Hoi An Handicraft Workshop, Artinus 3D Art Gallery (Ho Chi Minh City).
  • Note: Consider sturdy suitcases or bags for extra protection during transit.

Bamboo and rattan products also support local communities and sustainable practices. (Source: Internet)

8. Must-buy Vietnam Souvenir: Coffee and Coffee Accessories

Bring back a taste of Vietnam with authentic coffee beans! As the world's second-largest coffee producer, Vietnam offers diverse flavors from various regions and roasts. Savor the unique cà phê sữa đá, the iconic Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk, a perfect blend of strong coffee and sweetness.

Recreate the authentic Vietnamese coffee experience at home with traditional brewing tools. The phin filter, a small metal filter, is a coffee accessories in Vietnam and essential for brewing the perfect cup. Explore different coffee makers, from simple single-serve phins to elaborate designs.

  • Where to Buy: Look for the best Vietnamese coffee at local shops, supermarkets, or specialty stores like Trung Nguyen Legend, Highlands Coffee, or Phindeli.
  • Note: Vacuum-sealed bags for coffee beans to preserve freshness.

Vietnamese coffee is renowned for its unique brewing method and bold, robust flavor. (Source: Internet)

9. Vietnamese Tea: A Natural Gift

With its diverse flavors and aromas, Vietnamese tea makes for a unique and meaningful souvenir. Loose-leaf teas, ranging from delicate green teas to robust black teas, oolong, and flavored varieties like jasmine or lotus, are often presented in beautiful packaging, reflecting the artistry of traditional Vietnamese tea culture.

Tea cultivation in Vietnam has a long and rich history. Tea is deeply intertwined with traditions of hospitality, health, and well-being. Sharing tea is a gesture of friendship and respect, and preparing and savoring tea is considered a form of mindfulness.

  • Where to Buy: Explore and buy Vietnamese tea at renowned stores like L'ang Farm, Phuc Long, or local markets for authentic selections.
  • Note: Opt for airtight containers or resealable bags to preserve freshness. Consider packing fragile items like ceramic teapots separately to avoid damage.

Lotus tea, a fragrant and delicate Vietnamese specialty, is steeped in tradition and symbolism. (Source: Internet)

10. Calligraphy Art Souvenirs in Vietnam

Vietnamese calligraphy art souvenirs, meticulously crafted on scrolls, framed art, or personalized pieces, embodies the essence of this rich culture. Often adorned with poetic verses, auspicious wishes, or meaningful quotes, these masterpieces serve as cherished souvenirs and unique gifts.

Calligraphy is a revered art form in Vietnam, with deep roots in literature, philosophy, and spirituality. Each stroke and character is imbued with meaning, reflecting the artist's skill and emotional depth. Owning a piece of traditional Vietnamese calligraphy offers a glimpse into the nation's cultural heritage and intellectual traditions.

  • Where to Buy: Calligraphy art can be found in art galleries, markets, and temples, especially during festivals. Notable places include Dong Phong Art Gallery (Hanoi), Ben Thanh Market (Ho Chi Minh City), Van Mieu Temple (Hanoi),...
  • Note: Look for calligraphy souvenirs in Vietnam during Tet (Lunar New Year). Many artists create special pieces for this festive season, often with lucky greetings and wishes for the new year.

Vietnamese calligraphy is a revered art form that combines the beauty of writing with profound cultural meaning. (Source: Internet)

11. Traditional Wine: An Unique Vietnamese Souvenir

Vietnamese rice wine, or "rượu," is a cherished part of the country's cultural heritage. Rượu gạo (rice wine), “Rượu đế” and “rượu cần” are popular varieties, but a true standout is Võ Xá rice wine from Quảng Bình. This clear or amber-colored spirit boasts a unique aroma and flavor thanks to meticulous production methods passed down through generations.

In Vietnamese culture, wine is an essential element of celebrations, rituals, and offerings to ancestors. Võ Xá rice wine, in particular, embodies the regional traditions and craftsmanship of Quảng Bình. Its distinct taste and high quality make it a sought-after souvenir for those seeking an authentic taste of Vietnam.

  • Where to Buy: You can buy Vietnamese wine in specialty alcohol stores, local markets in every province. For Võ Xá Rice Wine, you can shop in Dong Hoi market (Quang Binh) or souvenir shops catering to tourists.
  • Note: If you purchase more than 1 liter of wine, please pack it carefully in a foam box for check-in when traveling by air. Ensure thorough packaging to prevent breakage during transit.

The production of rice wine involves a meticulous process of steaming glutinous rice. (Source: Internet)

12. Spices and Sauces: An Authentic Vietnam Souvenir

Vietnamese cuisine is renowned for its vibrant flavors; traditional spices and sauces are crucial in creating those signature tastes. Aromatic spices like star anise, cinnamon, turmeric, chili sauces, and fish sauce are essential ingredients in many dishes.

Bảo Ninh fish sauce in Quang Binh, in particular, is highly regarded for its rich umami flavor and traditional production methods, making it a sought-after souvenir. These spices and sauces enhance the taste of food and carry cultural significance.

  • Where to buy: You can easily find these Vietnamese spices at local markets, grocery stores, and specialty food shops. For an immersive experience, visit Bến Thành Market in Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi Old Quarter.
  • Note: When buying traditional Vietnamese spices, look for brands that use traditional fermentation methods and avoid those with added sugar or preservatives for the most authentic taste.

Fish sauce is a staple in Vietnamese households and restaurants, used to enhance the flavor of various dishes. (Source: Internet)

13. Coconut Candy: Must-have Delicious Vietnam Souvenir

Vietnamese coconut candy is a beloved treat. Chewy, sweet, and bursting with tropical flavors, it is crafted from fresh coconut milk and sugar and often infused with pandan, durian, or coffee, offering a delightful range of tastes.

Each bite is a journey through Vietnam's rich coconut culture. Often shared during holidays and celebrations, these candies symbolize prosperity and good fortune. As a popular souvenir, they offer a sweet reminder of Vietnam's vibrant flavors.

  • Where to buy: Satisfy your sweet tooth at local markets, candy shops, and souvenir stores throughout Vietnam. Look for the best coconut candy in Vietnam with renowned brands like "Kẹo Dừa Bến Tre" or explore the offerings at Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Note: Choose traditional Vietnamese candy wrapped in rice paper to prevent it from sticking and to preserve its freshness.

Coconut candy is a beloved Vietnamese sweet treat that showcases the country's love for coconuts. (Source: Internet)

14. Dried fruit souvenirs in Vietnam

Dried fruits like mango, banana, jackfruit, and dragon fruit are popular Vietnamese souvenirs. Preserved through sun-drying or dehydration, these snacks retain the fruits' natural sweetness and nutrients while offering a unique chewy texture.

Vietnamese dried fruits are a traditional method of food preservation. They symbolize resourcefulness and practicality. They are a healthy and convenient snack enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.

  • Where to buy: Dried fruits are available at markets and specialty food stores such as Ben Thanh Market, Dong Xuan Market, Lotte Mart, or Anam Gourmet Market.
  • Note: Check the packaging for expiry dates and ensure the dried fruit souvenirs in Vietnam are sealed properly to maintain freshness.

Vietnam also offers a variety of other dried fruits, such as banana, jackfruit, carrot,... (Source: Internet)

15. Traditional Vietnamese Rice Paper

Rice paper, a delicate and translucent sheet made from rice flour, is an iconic symbol of Vietnamese culinary tradition. These versatile rounds are the essential wrapper for fresh spring rolls (gỏi cuốn) and summer rolls (nem cuốn), showcasing Vietnamese cuisine's vibrant flavors and textures. Their thinness allows for an exquisite balance of ingredients, from fresh herbs and vermicelli to succulent shrimp or grilled meats.

Beyond its culinary role, traditional Vietnamese rice paper holds cultural significance as a gluten-free staple in Vietnamese diets. Its production is a testament to generations of craftsmanship passed down through families.

  • Where to Buy: You can buy rice paper at various markets and grocery stores in Vietnam, and local grocery stores like VinMart and Co.opmart.
  • Note: Ensure the rice paper for spring rolls is smooth, without cracks or uneven thickness, to guarantee the best quality for your dishes.

Rice paper is a thin, translucent sheet made from rice flour, tapioca starch, and water. (Source: Internet)

16. Khoai Deo (Quảng Bình Sweet Potato Candy)

Quang Binh dried sweet potato is a specialty gift with a rustic flavour. After harvesting, the sweet potatoes are dried for a long time, washed, and boiled until soft. They are sliced thinly lengthwise and sun-dried. Despite repeated drying, the potatoes retain their original aroma and sweet taste. Delicious dried sweet potatoes are dry but chewy like malt, with a reddish-yellow colour like honey and a taste like rock sugar.

Enjoy the fragrant and chewy Quang Binh sweet potatoes candy, you will feel the sweet taste melting on your tongue. The right way to enjoy dried sweet potatoes is to slowly savor and feel the flavor bit by bit. When the potato becomes soft, we start to chew and feel the chewy aroma of the potato spreading in the throat.

  • Where to Buy: If you travel to Quang Binh, you can buy khoai deo at Dong Hoi Market, specialty stores or souvennir shops.
  • Tip: For the best flavor and experience, look for Khoai Deo with a vibrant orange color and a soft, slightly moist texture.

Khoai deo is a must-buy souvenir if you travel to Quang Binh. (Source: Internet)

17. Instant Pho: A Top Vietnam Souvenir

Bring the flavors of Vietnam to kitchens around the world with instant pho! These convenient packages contain dried rice noodles and aromatic broth base, making it simple to recreate a steaming bowl of phở, the iconic Vietnamese noodle soup. It's a taste of Vietnam you can enjoy anywhere.

Phở is more than just a meal; it's a culinary symbol of Vietnam, representing the nation's rich culture and vibrant flavors. The best instant phở offers a convenient way to share this beloved dish with friends and family, allowing them to experience the heart of Vietnamese cuisine.

  • Where to Buy: Look for Vietnamese instant phở in the international aisle of most supermarkets and grocery stores.

You can buy instant pho in supermarket or convenient store. (Source: Internet)

18. Handicraft: Vietnamese Souvenir by Ethnic Groups

Bring home a piece of Vietnam's vibrant cultural heritage with handcrafted treasures made by the country's diverse ethnic minority groups. Discover intricately woven textiles, dazzling jewellery, meticulously crafted baskets, and finely carved wood pieces. All Vietnamese ethnic handicrafts tell stories of unique traditions and artistic expression.

Acquiring these traditional crafts in Vietnam not only provides you with a one-of-a-kind souvenir but also supports local artisans and their communities. By purchasing directly from ethnic minority villages or reputable fair trade shops, you contribute to the preservation of their cultural heritage.

  • Where to Buy: Ethnic minority villages, markets in areas with significant minority populations (Sapa, Ha Giang, etc.), and fair trade shops. Prices vary depending on the item and craftsmanship.
  • Note: When buying traditional handicrafts in Vietnam, engage in conversations with the artisans to learn about the techniques and cultural significance behind their creations.

These handcrafted items, often made using traditional techniques and natural materials. (Source: Internet)

19. Vietnam Chopsticks: One of the best Traditional Souvenir

Traditional chopsticks in Vietnam are an emblematic symbol of cuisine and culture. Often crafted from wood, bamboo, lacquer, or even adorned with intricate designs, these pairs of sticks serve as a practical and meaningful souvenir. They evoke memories of flavorful phở noodles, savory bún chả, and countless other dishes enjoyed during your Vietnamese travels.

Beyond their utilitarian purpose, chopsticks hold deep cultural significance in Vietnam and throughout Asia. They are essential eating utensils, representing a shared heritage and dining tradition. The act of using chopsticks signifies dexterity, respect, and a connection to ancestral practices.

  • Where to buy: You can easily find Vietnamese chopsticks in Ben Thanh Market, Dong Xuan Market, night markets in Hanoi or souvenir shops in Old Quarter.
  • Note: When purchasing chopsticks as souvenirs, opt for those made from natural materials like bamboo or wood. They are not only eco-friendly but also offer a more authentic feel.

Typically made of wood or bamboo. (Source: Internet)

20. Traditional Musical Instrument: A symbol of Vietnamese souvenirs

Vietnamese musical instruments embody the nation's rich cultural heritage. From the soothing melodies of bamboo flutes (sáo trúc) to the melancholic tunes of two-stringed fiddles (đàn nhị) and the resonating hum of monochords (đàn bầu), each instrument reflects unique regional traditions.

Traditional Vietnamese instruments aren't just souvenirs, they're a window into Vietnam's soul. Each note played echoes centuries of history, storytelling, and artistic expression. Owning one is like holding a piece of Vietnam's vibrant culture.

  • Where to buy: To buy traditional instruments in Vietnam, explore specialty music stores, craft villages, and markets like Hanoi's Old Quarter or Ho Chi Minh City's Ben Thanh Market.
  • Note: Ask for a demonstration to hear the instrument's unique voice and ensure it resonates with you.

Each instrument has its own unique history, cultural significance, and musical expression. (Source: Internet)

What unique Vietnamese Souvenirs can I find on Oxalis Adventure cave tours?

At Oxalis' offices in Phong Nha (Oxalis Home) and Tân Hóa, you'll find a selection of unique Vietnamese souvenirs perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Choose from trekking gear like t-shirts, pants, jackets, and multi-purpose scarves or practical items like jungle sandals.

You can choose trekking shirts of Oxalis as Vietnamese souvenirs.

Beyond apparel, Oxalis offers souvenirs that give back. Each purchase supports the Oxalis Foundation, which provides swimming lessons for children in Phong Nha and Tân Hóa, scholarships, and aid to those in need. Thus, your souvenir is a memento of your adventure and a contribution to the local community.

In conclusion, these 20 traditional Vietnamese souvenirs offer a glimpse into the country's rich cultural tapestry. Each item carries a unique story, showcasing the craftsmanship and traditions passed down through generations. By bringing home these treasures, you support local artisans and create lasting memories of your Vietnamese adventure.

The Oxalis Experience.

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