Over the past 20 years, Vietnam has become such a popular tourist destination. Known for its interesting history, natural landscapes and flavourful cuisine, Vietnam showcases its diverse culture teeming with Japanese, French, and Chinese influence. We’ll outline the best things to buy in Vietnam, whether you are visiting for the first time, or returning for the tenth – you won’t want to leave without these items.
Vietnam is a shopper’s paradise. There are so many great things to buy in Vietnam including food, souvenirs, clothes, and artwork. This guide will introduce some of the many great items available for purchase, the best places to buy these items, and what they will cost you.
First-time travellers to Vietnam may find it difficult to know what ‘good’ prices are, so here are some tips:
- Make sure you bring your bartering skills – this may seem a little strange at first but this is the norm in Southeast Asian culture. A rule of thumb is to pay around 40-50% of the first price offered. Always ask how much one item would cost first, then try to see if you can get a deal when buying two or more items.
- For Vietnam souvenir items, don’t buy them from the first place you see. Scope out the prices that the other stores are offering first. The chances are, the same or a very similar item will be available at the same market.
- Remember 10k VND equivocates to about $0.43 USD, so don’t get too caught up haggling over a small amount of money. Use that time to enjoy your holiday.
If you’re visiting Ho Chi Minh City, then make sure to check out our guide to the best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City.
1. Food – Vietnam Must By Snacks
You can’t go to Vietnam without feasting away at the amazing dishes they have to offer. Even better, Vietnamese cuisine is amongst the healthiest in the world, utilising fresh herbs and vegetables. You won’t feel bloated after a meal which means you can get up straight after your meal and enjoy the rest of your holiday.
There are so many dishes to choose from, so we’ve narrowed it down to our five favourite dishes and our favourites places we tried them at. You can also check out our guide to the best restaurants to eat at in Ho Chi Minh City for a detailed look into Ho Chi Minh City’s finest cuisine, or book the best street food tour in Ho Chi Minh City here.
Fresh Spring Rolls – Goi Cuon
40k VND for street food and local cafes – 80k VND at restaurants. Usually, four rolls are served.
This Vietnamese delight is a healthier alternative to the deep fried spring roll. Typically, the rice paper roll is filled with vegetables, vermicelli noodles, pork and prawn. This is my favourite Vietnamese dish – I happily ate these every day I spent in Vietnam.
Our top pick for goi cuon:
Mountain Retreat Restaurant at 36 Le Loi Street, Ben Nghe, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Located down an alleyway, this place is one of Ho Chi Minh City’s hidden gems. While this place isn’t so popular with the locals, this has become a popular spot in recent years for tourists. It’s a little pricier than street and cafe food, but it tastes spectacular and is definitely worth it. Check out the beautiful view from the balcony!
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Beef Noodle Soup – Pho Bo
40k – 160k VND
Pho is the most recognised Vietnamese cuisine worldwide consisting of rice noodles, broth and beef or chicken. When served, you’ll get a side plate of herbs and chilli.
The Vietnamese consume this dish daily and with the rich flavours from the herbs and broth, and the spice from the chilli you can definitely see why this is a popular dish.
Our top pick for Pho Bo:
Pho Thin at 13 Lo Duc Street, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi
You know it’s going to be a good choice when you see a lot of locals eating here. It’s unassuming from the road, but don’t let that fool you. The pho is amazing! The place does get really busy but they run such an efficient service that you don’t have to wait long.
Sizzling Pancake – Banh Xeo
40k – 120k VND
Banh xeo, or the sizzling pancake, got its name for the sound the batter makes when poured onto a pan. The pancake is made from rice flour, water and turmeric to give it the characteristic yellow colouring. The pancake may have meat or may be served vegetarian. You will be given a plate of herbs, mostly mint and lettuce.
To eat the pancake, tear a piece off and wrap the lettuce around it. The crunch from both the crisp lettuce and pancake add to the experience.
Our top pick for Banh Xeo:
Madam Thu at 45 Vo Thu Sau Street, Hue
Located right in the middle of the backpacker area of Hue city, Madam Thu has become incredibly popular with both locals and tourists alike. You’ll likely have to put your name on the waitlist, which gives you some time to walk around and admire the city in the meantime. The wait is definitely worth it!
The Hue version of banh xeo is served here, called banh khaoi. These are very similar to the original dish, except are smaller and contain chunks of pork and prawns.
Vietnamese-style Baguette – Banh Mi
25k – 40k VND
Banh Mi perfectly combines French influence with Vietnamese cuisine. The baguette is filled with meat, pork being the most common, paté and vegetables such as cucumber and pickled carrots. They are finished with chilli, coriander and mayonnaise.
We used to buy three or four at a time and snack on them throughout the day. They are the best sandwiches we’ve ever had!
Our top pick for Banh Mi:
Banh Mi Phuong at 2B Phan Chau Trinh Street, Hoi An
Made famous by Anthony Bourdain’s visit, this is one place you should not miss. The lines go for metres down the road, but the staff are able to make up the sandwiches so quickly so you’ll be waiting for less time than you’d expect.
Try the chicken and cheese – this is our favourite banh mi we’ve ever tasted, and we’ve sampled most (if not all) on the menu! It’s the only place that we’ve come across to have this particular flavour available.
Grilled Pork and Noodles- Bun Cha
30k – 120k VND
Bun cha is another amazing noodle dish. Consisting of white rice noodles and grilled pork. Occasionally it may be served with pork belly, but our favourite version is with pork meatballs. You’ll be served a side of herbs to put into your noodle dish and dipping sauce.
Although Bun Cha is thought to originate in Hanoi, you’ll find this all over Vietnam.
Our top pick for Bun Cha:
Bun Cha 145 at 145 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
In the middle of the city parallel to backpacker street, there is a small, modern restaurant. You’ll get a menu in English where you can tick the items you’d like to order, including the option to have extra noodles and vegetables.
Make sure you get the passion fruit drink with your order, the sweet, syrup-like juice was very refreshing after a day in the Vietnamese heat.
Prepare to wait in a queue for a seat, but the tables do have quite a high turnover so you’ll only have to wait up to ten minutes.
2. Tailored Clothing
Vietnam is famous for cheap tailored clothing, making it such a great alternative to clothes shopping. The price depends greatly on the quality. The following are pricing examples of a budget versus high-quality tailor.
|Item||Cost at Budget Tailor||Cost at High-Quality Tailor|
|Short Casual Dress||500k VND||800k VND|
|Midi Evening Dress||1.2m VND||2m VND|
|Collared Long Sleeve Shirt||600k VND||1.2m VND|
|Full Suit (Jacket, Pants and Shirt)||2.5m VND||4.5m VND|
With tailoring, you really get what you paid for. Sure, you can get clothing made for ridiculously cheap but you do sacrifice the material quality and workmanship. Simple, adequately-made clothing may be all you are after and if so, you can save quite a bit by going that route. For suits, evening dresses and work attire, we’d suggest going somewhere with great reviews and quality materials.
Do your own planning beforehand and bring in pictures of what you would like to get made.
Discuss the pricing strategies before you settle with getting anything made. This way, you’ll know exactly what you have to pay at the end. You may have an option to barter for a discount when getting multiple garments made at budget tailors, but this is frowned upon in higher-end stores.
Where to buy:
A good quality tailor with outstanding reviews is Yaly Couture in Hoi An. They have three stores located within Hoi An:
- 47 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street
- 47 Tran Phu Street
- 358 Nguyen Duy Hiew Street
They have plenty of tailors available so you’ll never have to wait. You’ll make appointments with the same tailor so they know exactly what you’re looking for, and they schedule plenty of fittings to make sure your garments are perfect. They’re knowledgeable and give good suggestions.
The costs for the high-quality tailor are indicative of the prices we were charged at Yaly.
3. Elephant Print Pants
80k – 100k VND would be considered a good price.
If you didn’t buy elephant print pants, did you even go to Vietnam? In all seriousness though, these are the most comfortable and breezy pants for Southeast Asian climates.
The designs are usually quite colourful and a bit out there, but you’ll see many, many tourists adopting this trend. Even if you’d only wear these pants while travelling through Southeast Asia, the price makes it worth buying a pair and feeling comfortable in the heat. The elastic waistband makes it suitable for all body shapes.
I’m guilty of buying multiple pairs for myself, my friends, and family. They take up virtually no space in your suitcase.
Remember to barter for these – the first price you’ll be offered is likely to be up to 200k. We bought most of ours for 80k VND.
Where to buy:
You’ll have no trouble finding these. Walk into any market and they’re bound to be available.
4. Vietnamese Coffee Grounds and Phin Filter
Coffee: 60k – 250 VND per 500g bag depending on the coffee grade.
Phin filter: 40k – 120 VND depending on the type of filter.
Trying Vietnamese coffee is an absolute must-do during your trip. Vietnam is the largest producer of Robusta coffee beans in the world. This gives the coffee a unique flavour differing from the Arabica bean taste a lot of people are used to.
Even if you’re not a big fan off coffee, give one a taste. You can buy an iced coffee for as little as 20k VND which is a great, refreshing way to start the day. I personally am not a large fan of coffee due to its bitterness, but I can happily sip away on Vietnamese coffee sweetened with condensed milk.
There’s no better gift for coffee lovers than Vietnamese coffee grounds and a phin filter. Bring some back for yourself too for when you have a case of post-holiday blues. We actually bought some back home to enjoy we can’t get enough of it! We have since been buying online every time we run out.
Where to buy:
Trung Nguyen is the Vietnamese equivalent of Starbucks. There are many outlets all over the country, most of them being in Ho Chi Minh City. The trendy cafe is a great place to grab a bite and a coffee, and while you’re there, buy some coffee to bring back home.
The staff are very knowledgeable and speak a good level of English. Since there are many different types and grades to choose from, they can help you choose the right one for you.
For the phin filters, you can buy these everywhere from the supermarket to the outdoor markets. You can buy aluminium ones for as little as 40k VND, or ceramic ones for around 120k VND.
5. Affordable Accommodation
Vietnam is a pretty affordable destination and as such we found some of the best value for money accommodation we’ve ever stayed at in the entire world.
On the cheap end of the spectrum nice hostels offer great places to stay on a budget of around $20 USD a night for a private room.
Higher budgets will allow you to experience legitimate 3, 4 or 5-star hotels without breaking the bank.
Ho Chi Minh City
Budget: Full House Hostel – This beautiful hostel has cheap private rooms, located perfectly in District 1, making it a great option for budget-minded travellers heading to Ho Chi Minh City.
Mid-Level: Vien Dong Hotel – A great 3-star hotel located right in the busy tourist district in Ho Chi Minh City. We stayed here a few years ago and it was nothing too special but awesome value for around $50 a night.
Luxury: Mai House Saigon – One of the most popular 5-star hotels in Ho Chi Minh City, Mai House is stunningly gorgeous. You can expect to be treated like a celebrity here as you lounge around the pool, dine in the beautiful restaurant or get pampered.
Budget: Hoi An Love.Ly Hostel – Since the pandemic our favourite hostel Tribee Kinh has permanently closed and now Hoi An Love.Ly Hostel looks like the best replacement. Hoi An Love.Ly looks gorgeous and has free breakfast, definitely planning to stay here next time we visit.
Luxury: Allegro Hoi An – The highest-end luxury hotel in Hoi An, Allegro is located right in the heart of town in Cam Pho district. If you opt to venture outside then this will make it easy to see all the sites.
Budget: Hanoi City Backpackers Hostel – A clean hostel with a great vibe located right in the Historic Old Quarter of Hanoi, perfect for backpackers or couples on a budget.
Mid-Level: Hanoi La Siesta Hotel & Spa – A little on the pricier side of mid-level, La Siesta is a pretty luxurious 4-star hotel located in a perfect part of town. The service is definitely 5-star and the rooms are immaculate. Amazing value for money if you have a bit to splurge, but not too much!
Luxury: Sofitel Legend Metropole – This historic landmark is truly the best of the best, a hotel that would cost thousands back home, Sofitel Legend Metropole is a must-stay for anyone wanting to treat themselves, even just for a night.
Since the 16th century, lanterns have become ingrained in Vietnamese culture. Settlers into the country brought lanterns with them to bring good luck and they since gained popularity amongst locals and tourists alike.
Single coloured lanterns made of plastic are very cheap to buy. We’d recommend spending a little more and buying the hand-painted wooden lanterns. There are so many ornate designs to choose from and they can fold down which makes packing easier and allows for the possibility of buying a larger lantern.
We bought these as gifts for both of our mothers back home and they loved them!
Where to buy:
Hoi An is without a doubt the best place to buy lanterns. A town adorned with lanterns makes such a beautiful view. Then at night, the lanterns light up the night sky.
We found a small shop in the backstreets of the Old Quarter filled with hanging lanterns. A woman was inside painting a cherry blossom on a lantern. Seeing the workmanship that went into producing the lantern meant we were happy to pay a little more for the quality. We paid 250k each for hand-painted lanterns around 25cm in diameter.
If you’re heading to Hoi An, make sure to check out our list of the best hotels in Hoi An.
200k – 1.5m VND
This is amongst one of my top picks for things to buy in Vietnam. Filled with rich colours, each painting tells a story. Seeing the locals painting these on the streets, you can see how much work goes into a piece and the attention to detail required.
For many souvenirs and items to buy in Vietnam, our advice is usually to look around and scope out other prices before buying. There is a chance you may see the same or a similar item cheaper elsewhere. There is an exception to the rule. All hand-painted artworks are unique and express different styles, colours and art mediums. If you do see one you like, consider buying it as you may never see anything else like it.
Roll it up in your suitcase to keep it free from creases.
Where to buy:
The best places to buy paintings are either on the streets of Hoi An or in small boutique shops. You can watch many locals sitting outside their shops or on the streets of the Old Quarter in Hoi An painting their works of art. We also saw many small stores in Hoi An and Hanoi with beautiful pieces.
8. Conical Hat
The conical hat, or the farmer’s hat, is a symbol of Vietnam’s agriculture. Nowadays, the conical hat is still widely worn by rice farmers and locals in the city alike. It serves as great sun protection from the Southeast Asian heat and doubles as a rain hat to keep out light rain.
The shape makes it quite difficult to carry your luggage, so a great tip is to wear it on flights or when travelling between accommodation.
Bring these home for your green-fingered friends – this hat is the perfect shield from the sun when gardening.
Where to buy:
You can buy these at virtually every market in Vietnam – there definitely will be no struggle to find them. If you’re in Ho Chi Minh City try Ben Thanh Market, one of the most well-known markets in the country. We bought ours on the way to the Mekong Delta at a small stall for 30k VND.
9. Fake Luxury Items
Varies greatly depending on the type of product. Aim to pay around 40-50% of the first offer.
Fake luxury items have created such a huge business. The Vietnamese do like their fake Gucci. You’ll be able to spot Gucci t-shirts, belts and bags as far as the eye can see.
Take your pick from Fendi, Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton, and even all major sporting clothing brands such as Nike, Under Armour and Adidas.
Fake luxury items are one of the things I’ve mentioned where you shouldn’t buy the first item you see. Whatever you find, there will be another one in the same market, sometimes located only a few metres away. Scope out the prices, then buy the one offering the best price.
Where to buy:
There are markets everywhere in Vietnam, and most of the items there are trinket souvenirs, fresh fruit and fake luxury items. Ben Thanh market in Ho Chi Minh City is notorious for fake items – they have everything under the sun! Start there and practice your haggling, or take this Ben Thanh market tour to get a headstart.
10. Ao Dai
500k – 2m+ VND
Ao dai is the name given to the traditional Vietnamese costume. The set consists of a tightly fitting long sleeve dress with slits from the hips to the floor. Underneath, flowy pants are worn.
The price of the costume varies greatly. If you’re looking for a custom-made Ao dai made from high-quality silks, you may pay more than four times the price of one found in a popular tourist market.
There is a huge variety of colours, designs and sizes to suit all. This makes the Ao dai such a great gift for family and friends back home.
Where to buy:
Ho Chi Minh City: Ao dai Minh Duc at 41 Dang Tien Dong Street, Trung Liet Ward, Dong Da District
Hue: Ao dai Bich Thuy at 47 Vo Thi Sau Street, Phu Hoi Ward
Hanoi: Ao dai Ngoc Chau at 148 Nguyen Thien Thuat Street, Ward 3, District 3
11. Silk in Vietnam
120 – 160k per metre
Silk in Vietnam is used in many Vietnamese costumes, including the traditional Ao dai dress. Previously worn by only the imperials, silk is now commonplace for the locals.
When out for a walk through any main town in Vietnam, you’re guaranteed to see either a silk tailor or a silk shop every few hundred metres. Buy silk and bring it to a reputable tailor for a custom-made Ao dai, or alternatively, bring the silk back home for your own sewing projects.
One challenge you might have with buying silk in Vietnam is assuring the quality. Make sure to do your research on silk and the store you intend to buy from. The stores below are legitimate sources for buying silk in Vietnam.
Where to buy:
Ho Chi Minh City: Nhasilk at 149 De Tham Street, Co Giang Ward, District 1
Hanoi: Stores within the Van Phuc Silk Village in Ha Dong
Hoi An: Bao Khanh Silk at 101 Tran Hung Dao Street, Son Phong Ward
12. Snake Wine
35k – 150k (in touristic areas/markets) for 0.5L
Originating from Chinese culture, the Vietnamese infuse whole snakes in rice wine or whiskey. The delicacy is believed to improve both virility and health, and acts as an aphrodisiac.
You’re probably wondering, is this safe to drink? Well, apparently the snake venom becomes denatured by the ethanol in the alcohol. In fact, snake wine is traditionally drunk in shot glasses rather than a wine glass due to the high alcohol content.
We were given some to try by our homestay at the Mekong Delta. The wine didn’t taste much more than the alcohol itself, other than tasting slightly fishy. Not really our cup of tea (or wine), but not nearly as bad as we expected!
It is illegal in many countries to bring back snake wine. Check with your country’s laws before doing so. This may be something to buy in Vietnam and try, rather than bring back home.
Where to buy:
Many markets and convenience stores will stock this product. In central tourist areas you may find the prices to be a bit steep compared to other areas.
You really shouldn’t miss the Mekong Delta when you visit Vietnam. There are public buses there or you can ride a motorbike, but both of these options sound both difficult and terrifying to us. Booking a tour, either online or at your accommodation, is the best option for most travellers.
Luxury Option: VIP Cu Chi Tunnels & Mekong Delta Tour
Affordable Option: 1 Day Mekong Delta Small Group Tour with Boat Ride
You can find rings, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces for as little as 30k VND in markets and stores all around Vietnam.
Vietnam is a great place to find affordable jewellery. Woven bracelets with beads and charms only cost about 30k VND each and metal rings, earrings, and necklaces start at around 50k VND.
For those with sensitive ears, I’d recommend against earrings that aren’t made with sterling silver.
Jewellery is perhaps the most compact souvenir you can buy, so barter for a few pieces then bring them home as gifts.
Where to buy:
Vietnam jewellery markets, souvenir stores and street vendors are the way to go!
14. Bia Hoi
Vietnam has a strong beer-drinking culture so it comes as no surprise that the country has some of the best beers! For off the shelf beers, Saigon is a solid beverage, but the OG beer of Vietnam is bia hoi.
The best backpacker beer in the world, bia hoi, will set you back just 5-10,000 VND a glass, or around $0.20 – $0.50 USD, making it probably one of the cheapest beers in the world as well.
You’ll find bia hoi all around the major cities (especially Hanoi), usually advertised on popular intersections with kegs that get delivered daily due to its short shelf-life. Bia Hoi Corner in Hanoi is the most popular spot for tourists, and don’t forget to shout Mot, Hai, Ba, Yoooooo! before downing your drink.
100k VND for unbranded t-shirts
120k VND for sports shirts i.e. Nike
160k VND for a fake luxury brand shirt i.e. Gucci
Printed t-shirts are plentiful in Vietnam. There are so many designs and colours to choose from. Many will have punny or witty sayings on them which makes for a great laugh when browsing. Tourists are the target market here, so they offer western sizes of up to 3XL.
If you’re wanting to do a lot of shopping on your holiday, bring fewer t-shirts with you and just buy them when you’re here. Grab them for as little as $4 USD each!
Where to buy:
Once again, the markets are filled to the brim with these. Browse through and scope out the prices before making a purchase.
16. Musical Instruments
This depends greatly on the type of instrument.
Bamboo flute: 10k – 100k VND
Mini t’rungs: 300k – 1m VND
Vietnamese violin: up to 1.5m VND
Music plays a large part in Vietnamese culture. Three popular instruments tourists purchase are flutes, violins and xylophones.
The bamboo flute is the best choice for those with little luggage room. The mini t’rungs, like small xylophones, are also a great pick as they can be taken apart and transported easily. The Dan Nhi, a Vietnamese violin, is both the dearest and takes up the most space, so plan ahead to make sure you have enough space to take it back home.
You may incur fees and confiscation when returning to your home country if the wood is not treated.
The instruments make a great gift for musicians and music enthusiasts.
Where to buy:
Head to musical instrument stores near tourist areas. Nguyen Du Street in the Ben Thanh area and Cach Mang Thang 8 Street are recommended in Ho Chi Minh City and Hao Nam and Hang Manh Streets in Hanoi.
17. War Memorabilia
This varies greatly depending on whether originals or replicas are purchased. For replicas, expect to pay prices similar to items you’d buy at markets.
Lasting for an extensive 19 years, the end of the Vietnam War was a huge turning point in the country’s history. The war was fought between the pro-communist north Vietnam and the anti-communist south. The war involved troops from many countries including the US, China and Australia.
From a war of this magnitude and duration, you’d imagine there would be a lot of war memorabilia. In the more recent years, this has become available for purchase, including photographs, books, flags and medals, with the most popular being propaganda posters.
Where to buy:
You’ll be able to find war memorabilia in many of the main cities. For specific locations, check out the places below;
Vietnamese Old Propaganda Posters at 43A Hang Be, Hoan Kiem District
Located in Hanoi’s Old Quarter amongst many other souvenir and clothing shops, you’ll find this little store. There are so many designs to choose from that you’re spoilt for choice!
Le Duan Street near the Ha Noi Rail station
This street tends to have a lot of street vendors and shop owners selling war memorabilia. This is a great place to come to find military uniforms and clothing.
Ho Chi Minh City:
Dan Sinh Market at 104 Yersin Street, Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, District 1
This is a market dedicated to military memorabilia. You’ll find military clothing and equipment including binoculars, canteens and mosquito nets. Bear in mind many of these are replicas, but if this is what you’re looking for, then look no further!
Lotus Propaganda Posters at 25 Dong Khoi St, District 1.
This gallery is a must-see for history enthusiasts. You will be able to purchase both original memorabilia and prints.
100k – 800k VND
Lacquerware in Vietnam varies from crockery to miniature statues, to jewellery boxes and everything in between. Our favourites by far are the bowls made from coconut shells. The outside of the shell is left its natural colour, whereas the inside is hand painted with vibrant designs and mosaics. They’re absolutely perfect to use as a smoothie bowl!
Bear in mind that many countries have strict rules about wooden products. To be safe, buy products that have been treated or varnished.
Where to buy:
Buy these in any market or souvenir shop, these are everywhere so you shouldn’t struggle to find them.
19. Fish Sauce
150k VND for a 650ml bottle.
After spending your holiday feasting on the most flavourful Vietnamese dishes, you’ll probably want to recreate your own back home. Fish sauce is a staple base for Vietnamese cuisine.
If you are bringing some back with you, pack this in your checked in luggage due to the laws around carrying on liquids. Bring ziplock bags over with you then seal the bottle in these bags. The last thing you want returning home is your belongings covered in fish sauce! For more packing tips and hacks, check out our guide on how to pack a suitcase!
Where to buy:
Coastal areas where fish are plentiful are generally the best places to buy fish sauce. Phu Quoc, a small Vietnamese island off the coast of Cambodia, as well as being famous for its pristine white sand beaches is also famous for its fish sauce. Buy it here for the best price, otherwise you may be able to find it sold in other areas with a bit of a markup.
Recommended Tour: Phu Quoc 1 Day Snorkelling Tour
20. Coconut Candy
30k – 80k VND for a bag.
These sweet treats of Southern Vietnam are a must try. With a hint of sweetness, coconut candy is wrapped in a thin, edible rice paper layer adding to the texture of the treat. There are plenty of flavours to choose from as well as the original flavour. If you’re daring, try the durian flavour!
Where to buy:
Coconut candy originated in the Ben Tre Province in the Mekong Delta, where coconut trees thrive. Head down there and stay at a guest house. Your homestay may be able to take you to a place the candy is made and they will give you a lively demonstration of the candy-making process. It’s incredibly interesting to watch the technique that has been handed down for many generations.
21. Fresh Fruit
Pineapple: 5k VND
Banana: 2k VND
Lychee: 30k VND per kg
Mango: 30K VND per kg
The climate allows for tropical fruits to thrive. Fresh fruit is refreshing in the hot, humid weather and provide you with additional sugar and fluids so you have enough energy to explore!
Try jackfruit, rambutans, longans and even durian if you’re up to the challenge! The bananas are also a great pick as they are deliciously sweet.
Where to buy:
You can buy fresh fruit from any market in Vietnam. Our favourite place to go and somewhere which is worth a visit in itself is the floating market in the Mekong Delta. Relax in a traditional sampan along the Mekong River and treat yourself to fresh tropical fruit.
20k – upwards of 1m VND
The intricate detailing you can see in Vietnamese pottery is impressive. If you’re interested in seeing how these products are made, visit the traditional pottery villages; Thanh Ha in Hoi An, Phuoc Tich in Hue and Bat Trang in Hanoi. You can even buy the products here.
Pottery is fragile, so be sure to package them well before travelling and consider taking them in your carry on luggage to ensure the products return home safe. Another tip – if you’re intending to buy pottery, bring bubble wrap with you.
Where to buy:
Pottery can be found at many of the markets in Vietnam. For high-quality products, check these out:
Ho Chi Minh City: Hey Camel Ceramics 116/19A Tran Quoc Toan Street, Ward 7, District 3
Hanoi: Quang’s Ceramics at 93 Ba Trieu Street, Nguyen Du Ward, Hai Ba Trung District
Suggested Tour: Bat Trang Pottery Village Near Hanoi
23. Vodka Hanoi
60k – 90k VND for a 750 mL bottle
Look out for the royal blue label and white writing. This local vodka is used widely in Vietnamese restaurants and bars, which is why cocktails are so cheap to buy. The quality is adequate and it is incredibly affordable for as little as $3 USD per litre!
Men Vodka is also recommended. This one is in a frosted bottle with black writing.
There is cheaper imitation vodka available, but beware, the smell and taste has been likened to petrol. Stick with these two trusted brands and at this price, there’s no reason not to!
Where to buy:
There are small convenience stores all around Vietnam, the most prevalent being the Circle K chain. Grab Vodka Hanoi from any convenience store or supermarket, they’ll undoubtedly have this in stock.
24. 3D Pop-Up cards
12k – 30k VND
The Vietnamese make greeting cards that open up to a 3D picture. Adorning the most ornate designs, the amount of detail that goes into the card will amaze you.
Stock up on these and save them for a birthday, Christmas and other occasions. They also take up virtually no space or weight.
Where to buy:
You’ll find locals selling these on the streets, especially in Ho Chi Minh City. Avoid buying these at tourist areas like Ben Thanh Market as the price will be inflated.
There are so many items to buy so the price ranges drastically. For a small purse, this may only cost 40k VND, whereas a hanging wall piece may cost upwards of 1m VND.
Embroidery art is abundant in Vietnam and makes for great souvenirs and gifts back home as they don’t seem to take up much space in your suitcase. There’s a huge array of products to choose from so you’re guaranteed to find something you like. Choose from pillowcases, table runners, handbags, patchwork animal doorstops, bed sheets, clothing, and scarves to name a few.
Where to buy:
Depending on your quality and budget, you can find embroidery in many markets and stalls across Vietnam. Bear in mind there’s a huge difference in quality between factory-made and handmade products. If you really appreciate beautiful hand embroidered artworks, check out XQ. There are a few locations across Vietnam listed below;
Ho Chi Minh City: 106 Le Loi Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
Nha Trang: 64 Tran Phu Street, Nha Trang City
Dalat: 80 Mai Anh Dao Street, Dalat City
Danang: 45 & 52 Tran Phu Street, Hai Chu Ward
Hue: 1 Pham Hong Street (Walking Street), Hue City
Hanoi: 38 Pho Hue St, Hai Ba Trung District
What is Vietnam Famous For?
Vietnam is famous for its spectacular landscapes, dark history and great shopping. In terms of shopping, Vietnam is known for producing great coffee, snake wine and counterfeit products. Their Silk is also famous and renowned around the world.