Vietnamese Souvenirs? 8 Things To Buy

07 Jun, 2015 | Travel Blog

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Coming to Vietnam, foreign travelers often buy unique Vietnamese Souvenirs to give their family, relatives, and friends as gifts after their travels. The following things tourists should not forget to bring home.

1. “Tho cam” products by Northern Ethnic People

“Tho cam” is one of the favorite Vietnamese souvenirs which both Vietnam people and foreign travelers are interested in. “Tho cam” products are made from ethnic fabrics by people living in an upland village of the country. "Tho cam" is not only used to embellish people’s beauty but also considered the symbol of love at a  wedding. The contours shown on "tho cam" are special features of the culture associated with national identity. Travelers can buy “tho cam” when visiting northern ethnic villages, the most famous among them is Sapa.

“Tho cam” is one of the favorite Vietnamese souvenirs.

2. Lacquer paintings

If tourists are fond of products requiring meticulous skills, they can visit the Vietnamese souvenir shops which have lacquer paintings. They are traditional products designed artistically and sophisticatedly in the stores along Ly Quoc Su Street, Hang Gai Street, Hang Bong Street, Temple of Literature, and so on. These handicraft products are highly appreciated for the terms of aesthetics.

A lacquer painting

3. Pottery

The history of Vietnamese pottery began with items made from clay mixed with unglazed shells powder based on the relics found in Hoa Binh, Bac Son, Quang Yen, and Thanh Hoa province. Nowadays, pottery in Vietnamese mind is famous in Bat Trang village and Phu Lang village. Though pottery in modern life has some changes, it basically keeps the traditional features of the pottery in the past.

Some pottery products

4. Silk fabric

Silk is a kind of animal protein fiber of insects. Silk fabric is silky and soft. Those who wear this kind of fabric once will like using it on normal days and special cases. According to the manual method, silk will be soaked in tea, betel leaves, sap, etc. Then it will be rinsed, dyed, and dried twice to have the perfect color.  Colors to dye are made from natural materials such as leaves, coal, brick, etc. Today, the modern dying technique brings silk fabric more vibrant and various colors but the simple natural color is preferred.

Silk fabric is silky and soft.

5. Ao dai (Long dress)

Ao dai” is not simply a traditional custom, it is a cultural feature to express Vietnamese spirit. Being the slave of China in more than one thousand years, controlled by French military near a hundred years, “Ao dai” exposed both strong cultures of humanity, the Eastern and the Western. However, “Ao dai” overcame all challenges to become a national custom, a symbol of women, the pride of Vietnamese people. In Vietnam, “ao dai” is suitable for all ages. It has become standard custom for formal occasions or national holidays, weddings, etc. Therefore, “Ao dai” will be one of the best choices for tourists when they want to buy souvenirs from Vietnam.

Vietnamese girls are beautiful in long dresses. 

6. Lantern

Easy to find silk lanterns in Vietnam but the most popular place to buy them is in Hoi An. Hundreds of shops in the beautiful Old Town selling colorful lanterns. You can see them are being hung up on the windows, doors, in the streets, in the restaurants, and even shops that sell other products as a sign to recognize Hoi An. Lanterns will be folded to flat making it's easy for delivery, so they will take much space in your suitcase. 


7. Water Puppets

Come to Vietnam and don't see a water puppet show? You're definitely missing one of the best things of the country. Small wooden puppets will tell you the history and tales of the Red River Delta through their songs and funny stories, giving you a relaxing time with lots of smiles. You can buy a water puppet at the Water Puppet Theatre after the show. But if you don't have time to be in a performance, you can buy it in some shops in the Old Quarter.

8. Miniature copper drum

Miniature copper drums are moulded entirely from pure bronze with skillful patterns. Their bottom diameter is 10 cm and they are often 8 cm high. They are imitated from  Dong Son drums which fabricated by the Đông Sơn culture in the Red River Delta of northern Vietnam. Foreigners are quite interested in these souvenirs from Vietnam because these imitated drums make them understand water rice civilization in Vietnam partly.


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