Besides strolling on the roads to explore the spectacular landscape of Vietnam or have a taste of the excellent culinary here, tourists are recommended to bring home souvenirs that are full of traditional traits. Read on for our hand-picked list of the top Vietnamese souvenirs to buy in Hanoi.
Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam. Therefore, there is no doubt that this is the gathering place of exceptional architects, diverse cuisine, and cultural gifts.
Most of the famous souvenirs can be easily found in Hanoi Old Quarter. Here, there are many street vendors and stores densely situated, offering tourists a wide range of selections.
You can easily find the souvenirs that you want to bring back home in Hanoi Old Quarter.
Vietnamese souvenirs in Hanoi are very diverse, from clothes, shoes, silk, ceramics, food and so on. However, the price range of most souvenir shops will be higher than the stores located in handicraft villages. So if you have a chance to visit any handicraft village such as Bat Trang Ceramics Village, purchasing their products as souvenirs are recommended. Otherwise, you need to be careful and bargain to avoid scams.
Put on Non La to protect yourself from the sun and comfortably explore the city.
Non La is considered to symbolize the flood-based agriculture of the country. It is made of local leaves and is harmless to the environment. Ever since the old days, Non La has been used for numerous purposes, especially for outdoor activities like covering your head from the sun and the rain, fanning, or even to use as a basket.
Where to buy: If you are someone who enjoys adventures, consider visiting the origin of Non La production: Chuong Village, Thanh Oai District, which is quite far from the center of Hanoi. Or you can purchase this unique hat at street stores along Hanoi Old Quarter or in Dong Xuan Market.
A Non La costs VND 25,000 to VND 150,000, depending on the design and complexity of the hat.
When it comes to Vietnamese silk, Hanoi has the best silk textiles.
There is no reason for coming to Hanoi without buying some silk since they are famous for being authentic traditional silk that is soft, thin, and elegant. The price of this special silk is also reasonable - fluctuates between VND 50,000 and VND 5,000,000 - due to how prolific silk production is in Hanoi.
Where to buy: There are many local silk brands in Hanoi; however, when it comes to textures and excellent handicraft, Van Phuc Village in Ha Dong District is the best. This village is just 8 kilometers from the center of Hanoi and is perfect for a half-day visit. Here, you can see the process of silk production before heading to surrounding stores and pick up silk at reasonable prices. If you do not have a chance to visit Van Phuc Village, you can still get well-made silk at local brands on Hang Gai Street such as Khai Silk or Duc Loi Silk.
Silk products that you can bring back home may include Ao dai, cosmetic bags, ties, scarves, etc.
Ao dai has long been a national garment for both males and females in Vietnam.
Ao dai is the national costume of Vietnam, and its presence has long been a familiar cultural image with any tourist. A complete set of Ao dai consists of two pieces: a form-fitting long dress and a long loose trouser.
There is no better ambassador for the elegance and profound beauty of Vietnamese women than Ao dai since it has long been featured in many important occasions such as graduation ceremonies or weddings.
Where to buy: You can get a tailor-made Ao dai at Ao dai Minh Duc or Ao dai Thanh Mai. The designs, colors, materials, and quality are various, so your choice is abundant. Otherwise, you can go to Hang Da or Hang Gai Street for ready-to-wear Ao dai.
The price of Ao dai is not as affordable; the minimum cost of a full set is about VND 500,000 to VND 700,000.
The paintings used Do paper are believed to host meaningful symbols.
Do paper is a traditional product that is made from the bark of “Do” tree. This paper has long been used for traditional art, for example, the famous Dong Ho folk paintings.
Where to buy: Visiting souvenir shops along Hanoi Old Quarter will provide you with a variety of Do paper products, from paintings to cards and notebooks.
You can buy products made from Do paper at any stores around Hoan Kiem Lake and Temple of Literature from VND 35,000 to VND 50,000 per item.
The propaganda art of Vietnam bears an encouraging message towards civilians and soldiers during the wars.
Besides traditional art, Hanoi is also very famous for its modern art with propaganda posters and paintings, featuring significant communist scenes or motivating slogans. These propaganda posters were widely used during the Vietnam wars and now during national events.
Where to buy: These colorful posters can be easily bought at old galleries on Hang Bac, and Trang Tien Street at about VND 60,000 each.
Assorted dried fruits deliver a very different Eastern cuisine’s taste.
This specialty is a traditional food of Hanoi, which is purchased by almost every local from other provinces. Assorted dried fruits are a harmonious combination of dried fruits, sugar, salt, lime, ginger, chili, that creates a flavorful taste - salty, sweet, sour, and spicy all together.
This food is eaten during the Tet holiday as a traditional snack to welcome the guests. For its abundant flavors and varieties, along with the affordable prices, assorted dried fruits have always been on the list for Vietnamese souvenirs to buy in Hanoi.
Where to buy: Get this specialty at Hong Lam stores; they have branches in nearly every district in Hanoi. A box of assorted dried fruits is about VND 50,000 to VND 5,000,000.
Coffee and tea should be taken into consideration as a cultural gift from Vietnam.
Vietnam is known as the largest producer of Robusta coffee. Therefore, bringing it back home as a souvenir for someone who loves coffee is a great decision.
Besides coffee, Vietnamese tea is also a popular drink. There is no feeling better than waking up to a cup of hot green tea to start a refreshing day. The choices are variable, from green tea, black tea to lotus or scented tea.
Where to buy: You can pick up these at any stores located around Hoan Kiem Lake, and the price does vary, depending on which type you purchase, it may go from VND 40,000 to VND 3,000,000.
Bringing home ceramic and pottery products require you much care.
Hanoi is the city at which Bat Trang Ceramics Village is situated, so there is no doubt that it has the best quality and diversity of ceramic products to choose from. The design is mostly influenced by Chinese culture and has an East Asian vibe.
You can buy ceramic vases, bowls, cups, keychains… in a variety of sizes, colors, shapes, and designs. If you want to learn how to make a ceramic and pottery product by yourself, visit Bat Trang Ceramics Village.
Where to buy: There are ceramic products at any souvenir stores in Hanoi Old Quarter, and the price is rather affordable, usually at about VND 30,000 to VND 100,000.
Hanoi will not disappoint any tourists when it comes to finding a souvenir. There must always be something for everyone, so, keep our list of the top Vietnamese souvenirs to buy in Hanoi as your recommendations.
© Written by Giang Le for itourvn.com