1. Non La
The conical hats which were originally used by Vietnamese farmers have now become the symbol of Vietnam and is an ideal souvenir to bring back home. It is usually made from palm leaves, bamboo cataphylls or straws and is available in various designs and sizes. Finding your fit is hence very easy. Non La can be bought in almost all souvenir shops across the country but is best bought in villages like Chuong (Hanoi), Phu Cam and Tay Ho (Hue).
Non La can be bought at prices as cheap as VND 10,000 to VND 50,000.
2. Vietnamese Fruit Shirts
Just like Thailand is famous for its shirts with giant elephant print, Vietnam is known for shirts with fruit patterns. These unisex shirts are available in all sizes and in various patterns from bananas, watermelons, pineapples or mixed fruit patterns. However, the most popular ones are the banana shirts. You can also buy shorts, maxi dresses or shoes with the same patterns to go along with it. These shirts will be quirky yet memorable souvenirs to take back home from a trip to Vietnam.
The fruit-patterned shirts are available in all tourist markets in Vietnam and can be bought at around VND 100,000.
Vietnam has a wonderful collection of metal and woven bead jewellery at very affordable prices. Rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings are some of the articles one can find being sold here. Woven bracelets with beads and charms are also a specialty here in Vietnam. Jewellery is very easy to purchase and carry and hence a good choice to buy as a souvenir for your friends and family.
The jewellery articles cost between VND 30,000 and VND 50,000.
4. War Memorabilia
The Vietnam War is something everyone has heard of and it was an important milestone in the history of Vietnam and aided in the reunification of North and South Vietnam. Today, there is a museum commemorating the war. The souvenir shop in the museum sells various articles such as photographs, books, flags and medals and propaganda posters from during the war.
The price of the memorabilia depends on the kind of thing you are buying and whether it is an original or a replica.
5. Vietnam Chocolate
It might not be very well-known to people, but Vietnam also produces Cacao. The French set up chocolate making factories and ever since, fine quality chocolate has been available in Vietnam. Two major chocolate companies in Vietnam are Marou and Alluvia Chocolatier. Vietnamese chocolate has a distinct flavour and is sure to leave you wanting for more. There are also options of chocolate tours you can explore.
Chocolate bars in various sizes and the cost of it differs according to that. The chocolate factory and Cacao garden tour costs about VND 700,000.
6. Sim Wine from Phu Quoc Island
Sim Wine is a specialty of the Phu Quoc Islands and is made from one of the locally grown fruits called Sim or Rose Myrtle. The wine is pink in colour and has a sweet and sour flavour with a concentration ranging between 10% to 29% of alcohol.
The price of a bottle of Sim wine ranges between VND 150,000 and VND 250,000.
7. Woven Handicrafts
The ethnic minority communities, especially women weave different types of handmade goods to make a living. You can find purses, wallets, backpacks, scarves in bright colours and intricate and creative designs being sold in villages. You can get a guide or a translator to accompany you so you can converse with the women and learn all about the making of these beautiful handicrafts. By buying their products, you can also help these communities financially.
These products are popular in the Da Lat regionand near the Cat Tien National Park. The price of these handicrafts range between VND 10,000 and VND 25,000.
Lacquer is another art form which is unique to Vietnam. It involves a painstaking 100 days and 20 phases to produce one good quality lacquerware product and the number of hours the craftsmen of Vietnam put in is clearly seen in the artefacts. Various lacquer products include jewellery boxes, photo albums, dishes, bowls and vases in myriad designs and colours.
The best lacquerware products can be bought at any of the popular cities of Vietnam. Prices start from VND 180,000 and can reach upto VND 1,500,000.
9. 3D - Pop Up Cards
As the name suggests, these are greeting cards with intricate and colourful designs that pop up when opened. These can be found being sold by vendors on the streets of Vietnam. The pop up greeting cards are apt for all occasions, birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas or New Year’s! There are also blank cards with a famous Vietnamese landmark cut out in them. The amount of detail which goes into making these cards is sure to mesmerize you.
These pop-up cards can cost anything between VND 12,000 and VND 35,000.
Postcards might seem a very old fashioned and cheesy souvenir to take back home. However, it is a great way to show your family and friends that you care about them by sending a Vietnamese postcard with a handwritten note. You could also send a postcard to yourself. The postal service in Vietnam is very slow so do not expect the postcard to reach its destination before 2-3 weeks.
It is also a great idea to send your postcard from the iconic Saigon Central Post Office in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
Do let us know if you know of other souvenirs to pick up from Vietnam, in the comment section!