Gifts and souvenirs from Vietnam
Conical palm hat is one of the main symbols of Vietnam. Once in Vietnam, you’ll notice that locals still wear such hats, especially in rural areas, although in the city you can also see traders in such hats here and there, which are called “non la”. You can buy a hat in one of the many souvenir shops. Buy many and put them one in another to stop them from breaking during transportation. They are inexpensive, so you can afford to bring hats to your numerous friends.
Products with lacquer painting are beautiful and useful gift. Vietnamese paint trays, boxes, screens, vases, paintings and other products with lacquer. Painting with lacquer is a very painstaking task. After all, it dries very quickly, so the artisans have to work quickly and skillfully. You can also find some interesting products decorated with egg shells. Such an unusual material looks original, but beautiful! You can buy such products at the lacquer factory in Saigon during your sightseeing tour, as well as in small souvenir shops.
If you want to please a person who really appreciates art, you can buy him a picture embroidered with silk as a gift. These paintings are not cheap, but it is understandable. It takes days or even month of hard work to make one piece. Some paintings are embroidered on both sides of the canvas. An incredible number of shades of silk threads is used for the embroidery, that creates special 3D effect for each picture. You can buy these paintings during a tour to Dalat, at the silk factory or in XQ shop, located in the center of Nha Trang.
If you are looking for a gift for a woman, it’s a good idea to buy some jewelry with pearl. The prices for pearls are really low all over Vietnam, because it is produced at one of many special pearl farms. The pearls are natural, but grown artificially. It means, they were not found by divers in the sea, but grew inside the shells around small balls put there. You can buy a finished product or ask sellers to collect beads of any length and number of threads to your taste.
Coconut vodka infused with a snake can be an interesting gift for men. According to the Vietnamese, this drink, consumed in moderation, gives you longevity, health and male power. The tincture is sold in different containers and with different types of snakes. Vodka with cobra is especially popular. Be sure to ask the seller whether you can drink the tincture, since there are also souvenir tinctures that are not drinkable.
Fabric lanterns can be the most romantic gift. They are very popular in the Vietnamese city of Hoi An. Hundreds of colored lanterns light in the historic center after dark, and it looks incredibly beautiful. Today these lanterns are sold not only in Hoi An, but also in other Vietnamese cities. You can create a romantic and cozy atmosphere with a few colored lanterns at home.
You can buy Vietnamese tea or coffee as a souvenir. Check out the lotus tea produced in the North of Vietnam. To prepare this fragrant drink, farmers collect lotus stamens, mix them with tea leaves and leave for a few days. Then the old stamens are removed and new ones are put. The process repeats several times. As a result, tea acquires a special lotus aroma, which is appreciated by both Vietnamese and the tourists who tried this drink for the first time. As for coffee, in Vietnam you can buy coffee beans as well as ground coffee, which is brewed using a special filter called “fin”. You can buy this filter in any shop selling coffee. In Vietnam you can buy coffee blends of several varieties, as well as packs of one variety, such as Arabica or Robusta. And, of course, you can find the most expensive type of coffee in the world here. It’s called kopi luwak or civet coffee, and it’s produced in Vietnam.
Flower bulbs sold in Dalat can be an interesting gift for gardeners. This city is famous for breeding beautiful orchids and you can buy bulbs of these flowers and later plant them in a pot at your house, so the blooming orchids will stay with you for a long time after your vacations.
Maybe it’s not right to call medical products based on natural ingredients “souvenirs”, but nevertheless various balms, ointments, tinctures are very popular among travellers. They are inexpensive and can be really beneficial. Inhalers for the common cold, Gold Star and White Tiger balms, Cobratoxan ointment, various ginseng-based tinctures can also serve as original gifts for relatives and friends. Natural cosmetics can be a nice gift for women. Aloe balm and coconut oil are especially popular. Vietnam produces great hair masks, as well as creams based on snail slime, algae, turmeric, ginger or pearls. Many people like clay face masks with aloe, olive oil or other natural ingredients. Coconut oil is widely used for hair and skin treatments.
Vietnam has a lot to offer for those who have a sweet tooth. First of all, try some coconut toffees. A box of these candies can be a great gift for colleagues at work. Dried fruits, candied fruits and jelly, called “mit” by the locals, are sold in Vietnam in large quantities ans varieties. “Mit” is made from tangerines, coconuts, ginger, tamarind and other plants and fruits. The fruits are especially abundant on the eve of the Vietnamese New Year Tet. Candied fruits taste quite exotic, that makes them an interesting gift.
If you want to please your family with something exotic, bring them some fresh Vietnamese fruits. The staff in fruit shops will help you choose the fruits that are not too ripe to withstand the trip. They will be packed in paper and placed in a special plastic basket you can take on board of a plane. Contact the airline to find out more about the specific rules of carriage, since they can differ. Usually there is no problem with taking a basket of fruits as a carry on luggage.
If you want to easily make your loved ones happy, send them a colorful postcard with the local landscape or holiday from Vietnam. You can buy the postcards at any post office. It takes from three weeks to one month for the card to get to its destination.
As you can see, there are many interesting and useful souvenirs in Vietnam. So don’t limit yourself with predictable magnets. Wander through the shops, galleries and markets and you will surely find something unusual, useful and interesting for yourself and your loved ones.
People usually want to bring something unusual, interesting and at the same time useful from an exotic country. What kind of souvenirs one can buy in Vietnam to give to family and friends or even to keep for themselves?