Shopping in Vietnam – What To Get And Where To Buy

Ethnic handicraft products – Reflexion of Vietnamese ethnic cultures

Ethnic handicraft is a type of art that includes products made by minority groups living in Vietnam. Each group has its own distinct culture, which is depicted in its patterns and clothing styles. The most popular items are scarf, bag, textiles, paintings, clothing items, and even woodworks, all of which are unique and impressive. 

This is an ideal gift for those who are into exotic cultures. Normally, these products are widely sold in almost every site, but if you want to buy the authentic ones, find some stores that provide the true handmade items, though they are maybe more expensive. If you have an opportunity to travel to the Northern region or the Highland region, you can observe the making process and then buy these products directly. Traveling, basically, is experiencing.

Price: depending on different items (scarves, bags, painting, clothing items, woodworks, etc), but in general it ranges from VND 30,000 – VND 500,000

Watch how H’mong women make their own pillow:

Where to buy ethnic handicraft in Hanoi

Shop Craft Link – 43 & 51 Van Mieu Street, Van Mieu Ward, Dong Da District

Indigenous – 36 Au Trieu Street, Hang Trong Ward, Hoan Kiem District

Or you can travel to Sapa and explore all the ethnic handicraft

#5: Stay confident when you tell the prices

There is an intangible worry that many inexperienced shoppers are afraid of being insulted or even beaten by the merchants when they tell the bargained prices. Also, some experienced sellers know this, and they might frighten the faint-hearted buyers by scowling or grimacing. Nonetheless, do you remember the golden rule “Customer is king”? You have the rights to buy and not to buy. Therefore, remain firmly with your expected prices and let the vendors know, whether or not they are happy with the numbers. In return, they have the rights to sell and not to sell; none forces them to sell at the non-profit charges.

Hoi An: 4-6 days

Calling Hoi An touristy is an understatement, but there’s a reason people from all over the world flock to this UNESCO protected city. We spent almost one week here, but easily could’ve been there for two.

Where to stay in Hoi An:

Hoi An is known for wonderful homestay accommodation, which is more like a bed and breakfast than the traditional homestay you may be imagining. A fantastic option for those traveling on a budget is Countryside Moon Homestay. Feel right at home as this wonderful family welcomes you into their home.

You’ll rest easy in the large, clean ensuite rooms and have free breakfast waiting for you in the morning. It’s a bit out of the city center but the bicycles are free to rent and they can arrange a motorbike rental for you at a reasonable price. 

What to eat in Hoi An: 

One of the cheapest and tastiest street foods in Vietnam is a Bánh mì baguette sandwich. For the best in town, head to Banh My Phuong for this tasty dish. Anthony Bourdain recommended this place on his show No Reservations and it was ahhh-mazing.

Also don’t forget to try the famous cao lầu (noodle soup) in the local market. The noodles in cao lầu are made using a secret recipe by a local family and Hoi An is the only place you can taste the real stuff. Another ubiquitous dish in this city is the Hoi An White Rose, which is a delicate dumpling filled with meat or shrimp. 

Typical Motorbike Repair Costs

There is no point denying that your motorbike will break down. With a Chinese copy motorbike it is inevitable, and buying a genuine Japanese usually just isn’t worth it.

However, one of the things that makes Vietnam such an attractive place to motorbike across is the abundance of motorbike mechanics. And they’re cheap!

Here are some of the most common breakdowns with a rough price guide for repairs:

  • Repair a tire tube – VND 30,000 (USD 1)
  • Change tire tube – VND 50,000 (USD 3)
  • Change an entire tire – VND 200,000 (USD 9)
  • Tighten chain – VND 30,000 (USD 1)
  • Change engine oil and filter – VND 150,000 (USD 6.5)
  • Repair cracked motorbike frame – VND 200,000 (USD 9)
  • Replace rear swing arm bolt – VND 200,000 (USD 9)

It is best you learn to do the following easy repairs by yourself; change the spark plug, clean the spark plug, adjust the brake and clutch cables, pump up your tyres.

Global Sources

While the main focus is on China, they still have a decent search for suppliers in Vietnam. Global Sources is one of the 3 websites (along with Alibaba and 1688) that I would recommend to every project. Global sources is a Hong Kong-based company that provides a very well-vetted list of suppliers and puts on several trade shows. Global Sources was started in 1960, and its first suppliers’ databases were published on CD-Roms. Global Sources also runs a sourcing trade show that runs in the gaps of the Canton Fair.

Global Sources’ main draw is that they do a much better job with supplier quality control, and the website is made for English speakers. The website is clean and is much easier to navigate and use than Alibaba. Global Sources also provide several tools to help you organize quotes.

Calligraphy – The meaningful and special word art

Vietnamese calligraphy, for a long time, has become a meaningful custom in daily life, as well as on some special occasion. Calligraphy refers to works using scripts, including both the Chinese-based characters and Latin-based ones, in different styles.

During tet holiday, giving this form of writing is believed to bring happiness and wealth to families. Also, the art of calligraphy is performed at some well-known festivals. Calligraphy is an indispensable part of Vietnamese culture. This type of artwork is printed and sold on many street pavements or in bookshops. Plus, Hue and Hanoi are the 2 most famous places for calligraphy.

Price: VND 200,000 – VND 500,000

Buying/ asking for Calligraphy is a part of Vietnamese culture:

Best Vietnam sim card in 2022

My conclusion is probably already clear for you. Buying a sim card for tourists in Vietnam is very easy but finding the best deal nearly impossible! Every shops sells you something different for a different price, but when we compare the sim card deals and volumes of the packages they are kind a like the same. And above all it is CHEAP!

However, Viettel is the best sim card in Vietnam in 2022

Let’s keep it short and simple there is only one Vietnam sim card that I recommend you buying and that is Viettel! Why?

  • Viettel has the best 4G/5G network in Vietnam
  • A Viettel sim card will cost you on average about $2 USD – 45,000 VND
  • For $1.3 USD – 30,000 VND you can already get 7 GB data for 1 week
  • For $5.2 USD you get 60 GB for 1 month

Buy a Viettel sim card in the arrival hall of the airport. You might pay 2-3 dollar more then in the city, but it is simple, fast and convenient!

If all of this sounds like too much hassle to you then I can recommend you to buy a Vietnam sim card online and get it shipped to your home address before your trip.

Centro Supermarket – Grocery Shopping in Amman

Centro Supermarket on Medina Street provides the best grocery shopping experience in Amman. I feel it is the only place that gives you a relaxed shopping experience, with super friendly, kind staff, great food, and a calm, clean, quiet environment nowhere else found in Amman. Vegetables and fruits are fresh and old stuff are thrown away. The bakery has great bread, cake, ma’ajenat, cookies and lots of other things. The meat and fish section is great.

They have a good selection of fresh meat and some marinated foods. The cheese corner is also great. The staff knows what they are selling and this is the best advantage. The store is very clean, it is calm and there are always people to help. You can approach them in English and they are helpful. The garage is fine as well. Upstairs you can find some glass and porcelain, hygiene products, and other stationery you might need. The selection is a bit smaller than in the hypermarkets, but we always find what we need.

The service, quality, and knowledgeable staff, of course, has its price. However, Carrefour cannot compete in quality and service and Cozmo is also overpriced, since there is no service, so for me, Centro is worth it. Of course, you can also decide to buy a few things at Centro.

#1: Research the average prices before you bargain in Vietnam

Before the bargaining adventure, it’s necessary to come prepared with basic knowledge about the average prices of several items in the country. For instance, a T-shirt in the flea market is just around USD5 – USD10. Also, a pair of sneakers in the street market cannot be more expensive than USD50; the price must be lower. Provided that you’re shopping in a night market with many booths, the smart idea is to visit some booths to check the prices before you bargain and make a deal. This brings the exhilarating experiences in which you shop like the locals do. Know that some Vietnamese women even stop at five cloth booths before they finally buy a dress.

How Much to Budget Per Day

Your $100 can go a long way in Vietnam. Budget travelers can expect to spend up to $25 a day on food and lodging. Middle-budget spenders can enjoy good restaurant food, hire cabs, and stay comfortably in good hotels for about $35-65 a day.

To keep costs down, eat street food for every meal; it’s not just good money sense, it’s an experience you shouldn’t miss when in Vietnam. Street food in Hanoi is exquisite, worthy of Presidents and international TV hosts, at a surprisingly low cost.

Domestic air travel has become significantly cheaper, with the advent of VietJetAir (Vietnam’s only budget airline) competing with full-service airlines like Vietnam Airlines and the “Reunification Express” train service.

Finding and Using ATMs

You’re certain to find an ATM to withdraw from in any of Vietnam’s major cities, but smaller towns have also begun to bring their A-game. That’s not guaranteed, though, so it still makes more sense to withdraw in the cities before making your way out to the boondocks of, say, Mai Chau.

Are ATMs better than changing dollars at the airport? It really depends who you ask.

If you’re spending more than a few days in Vietnam, changing all your money to Vietnam dong increases the risk of theft: one robbery and you’ll be broke till the end of your trip.

Some will say that the peace of mind that comes with just withdrawing every couple of days from an ATM is worth the withdrawal fees charged.

Fees and charges vary: ATMs near backpacker districts like Pham Ngu Lao in Saigon reportedly charge an extortionate rate of three percent on top of your usual bank charges. More reasonable fees may hover down to about 1-1.5 percent per transaction.

Banks allow a maximum withdrawal of between VND two million to VND ten million, dispensing 50k- and 100k-dong notes. As millions of dong can add up to a thick wad of cash, be careful when withdrawing large amounts from an ATM.

vinhdav/Getty Images


Although printed T-shirt can be found in many Southeast Asian countries, this is still one of the top things to buy in Hanoi because of its cheap prices and amazing meanings. Paying around $4-5, you will have a nice piece of cotton T-Shirt of all colors and pictures including some famous images in Vietnam such as Beer Hanoi, Hanoi Traffic, I Love Pho, Hanoi Food, Essential Attractions in Hanoi, etc.

Where to Buy: You can easily find them in the Hanoi Old Quarter, where boasts the best souvenir shops in Hanoi.

For those looking for big size clothes in Hanoi, you can pay a visit to Dong Tac Street in Dong Da District – 6km from Hanoi Old Quarter. The street boasts a large number of vintage shops of all kinds including some famous-brand vintage clothes (Polo, Kangol, Nautica). You can also find original vintage shoes, bags, hats there.

Tourist Taking Photos with Friendly T-Shirt Seller in Hanoi Old Quarter

Bamboo and Coconut Products

For sustainable Vietnamese souvenirs, consider purchasing products made from bamboo or coconut. Choose from a variety of bamboo kitchenware such as spoons, chopsticks, bowls, and straws. As with coconuts, we like the bowls made out of the coconut shells. It’s great for holding dessert. Another fun item is a small hand purse made of the coconut shells. The great thing about these items is that they are light and won’t add too much load to your luggage. 

Where to Buy: We found a lot of the coconut products sold in the Mekong Delta area (which is a good place to visit as a day trip) as coconuts are plentiful in Ben Tre. You can also find these at the local markets and souvenir shops.

Ba Be National Park

Ba Be National Park

Tranquil Ba Be National Park is absolutely stunning with the three interlinked Ba Be Lakes at its heart, rimmed by jagged karst peaks and thickly forested slopes.

Most visitors come here to take peaceful boat trips or kayak on the lake and explore the caves full of stalactites and stalagmites in the vicinity, but for the more active, there’s also excellent hiking and trekking in the hills here between ethnic minority villages.

This is one of the most peaceful spots in Vietnam, and travelers who spend the night here sleep in traditional stilt-house homestay accommodation along the lakeshore, allowing an experience of simple rural life.

Tailored Clothing and Shoes

This is a gift more to yourself than to family and friends, but you can get customize clothes, such as áo dài (Vietnamese outfits) and suits, and shoes made for you. While Hoi An is famous for having tailored clothes made, you can get these done in the main cities such as Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi. 

What is great about the tailored clothes is that you can choose your style (it’s best to bring a photo of your design), choice of materials (silk, linen, wool, etc), and have the fit made to your body size. We’ve had dress shirts, suits, and business pants made in Hoi An during our Vietnam family trip back in 2013.

If you’re in Ho Chi Minh City, check out Minh Nguyen Tailor on 38 Thủ Khoa Huân in District 1 as Justin recently had a suit and a two shirts made.

The process is the same for choosing your shoes. I had a pair of boots made and they were great. It was too hard to find the right boot size in the U.S. due to my calf size.

Tip: Don’t forget to add at least 3 days to your Vietnam itinerary to account for fittings and adjustments to your customized items.

Vietnamese coffee – The gifts from Highland, Vietnam

Vietnamese coffee is definitely one of the best things to buy in Vietnam when it comes to Vietnam famous products. You can find this special gift at every corner of the country from the coffee companies, coffee shops, shopping malls to local markets. Make sure to do some research to find a reputable address if you don’t want to get fake coffee. Amongst the countless branches throughout the country, Trung Nguyen is the most famous, popular and favorite local coffee brands in Vietnam.

>> Explore Vietnam with our tour: Vietnam South to North Only From INR 28,099 <<

Price: from 4- 21 USD depending on the quality and branch

Where to buy Vietnamese coffee

  • Café Mai – 79 Le Van Huu Street, Ngo Thi Nham Ward, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi
  • Da Lat Chon Xua Café – 103 Nguyen Truong To Street, Vinh Ninh Ward, Hue City
  • Hoian Roastery – 135 Tran Phu Street, Minh An Ward, Hoian
  • Trung Nguyen Café – G7 Counter, 207 Nguyen Van Troi Street, Ward 10, Ho Chi Minh

>> Related: Explore 10 Best Cafes in Hanoi

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

One of the best places to visit in Vietnam for caving, World Heritage-listed Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is a dramatic karst mountain formation honeycombed with huge caverns, which are home to superb stalactite and stalagmite displays.

The most popular destination within the park is the Paradise Cave, which extends for a staggering 31 kilometers below ground.

The yawning caverns here are truly spectacular. Tu Lan Cave is a “wet cave,” and a visit here includes swimming through the cave-systems river.

The other most popular excursion is to the Phong Nha Caves, where the interior is accessed by boat.

You can access Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park from Son Trach.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park


Ceramic is surely one of the best souvenirs to buy in Hanoi as it reflects the traditions, culture and local life of Vietnamese people. Ceramic stuff is solid and easy to use in many ways such as cooking, entertaining, decorating, etc.  You can buy many useful things made from ceramics at reasonable prices such as cups, flower vases, bowls, dishes, statues.

Tiny Ceramic Dishes of Bat Trang Village

Where to buy: Located 14km South-East of Hanoi, Bat Trang Ceramic Village is the best place in Hanoi to buy pottery goods. The pottery-making tradition started in the village a hundred years ago.  Paying a visit to the village, you will also have a chance to first-hand create your own pottery products – a not-to-be-missed experience

>> Suggested Read: Enjoy a Memorable Day Out With the Best Day Trips from Hanoi

Bat Trang Village – Home to the Best Ceramic Stuff in Hanoi

Best Cities To Live In Vietnam

Vietnam is home to several fantastic places to live. As an expat, you look for specific aspects of life, such as the expat community, cost of living and quality of life to find that perfect place. 

If you are wondering where to live in Vietnam, here are three of the best cities to live in as an expat.


Hanoi is located in the North of Vietnam and is the capital of the country. You are really able to experience the Vietnamese culture throughout the city.

Hanoi is the second-largest city in Vietnam, so the crowds and busy roads can be a shock to some people at first.

It’s a lively city with always something to do. There is also an excellent expat community in Hanoi, as it’s one of the cheapest places to live in Vietnam. 

There is always something to do in Hanoi, but it is also close to many other beautiful parts of Vietnam for a day trip or weekend getaway, including Sapa and Ha Long Bay.

Planning your upcoming adventures? Travel by bus! (It’s cheap!)

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Da Nang has it all – beautiful beaches, green mountains to explore, and a vibrant city. It is the third-largest city in Vietnam, so while it is still about 1 million people, you don’t find the traffic or craziness you might find in the larger cities.

There is a tight expat community in Da Nang, and everyone is welcoming and friendly.

Da Nang is about a 30-minute drive from the quaint town of Hoi An. Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a great place to visit and even live! It’s a small town, but you will be taken in by its beauty and warm community. 

Ho Chi Minh 

Ho Chi Minh, also called Saigon, is located in the South of the country and is the largest city in Vietnam. The city is divided into 12 districts, each with its own residential areas, restaurants, and entertainment. 

Ho Chi Minh is a modern city, with skyscrapers being added to the skyline, lots of commercial shopping, and rooftop bars.

If you want to immerse yourself in the Vietnamese culture, but still be able to find a taste of the West, Ho Chi Minh is an excellent option.

Order a sim card for Vietnam online

Save yourself the hassle of buying a Vietnam sim card on arrival and get one online. These are sim card deals for Vietnam that you can buy online and get shipped to your home address before your trip. Put the sim card in your phone and get online as soon as you land. Simple and easy but more expensive:

3. Three PAYG AIO15 – $29.90

  • 12 GB data
  • NO calls, NO text
  • Valid 30 days

Click here to order one of the above Vietnam sim card deals directly online or find more info and offers. Personally I recommend the last one: Three PAYG AIO20, click on the link for more detailed info.

Also another last reminder that you can arrange everything online without visiting a store or swapping a physical sim card: order an e-sim card for Vietnam.

Looking for a sim card for that covers all countries in Asia? Click on the link and I show you my Asia sim card comparison.

The Vietnam International Textile & Apparel Accessories Exhibition

This trade show is usually referred to as VITA Tex and is one of the top trade shows in Vietnam for Clothing, Textiles, and accessories (zippers, buttons, etc.). Vietnam is rapidly becoming one of the most important countries for clothing and textile manufacturing. As a result, this show is becoming the hub for clothing manufacturer s in Vietnam, China, and Southeast Asia. If you are interested in creating a new clothing line, then I suggest this even and its two sister events.

This event is also held simultaneously and venues as the Vietnam Int’l Textile & Garment Industry Exhibition and the Vietnam Int’l Footwear Machinery & Material Industry Exhibition. These events are focused more on the machinery and materials used in manufacturing and not on final goods.

  • Focus:

    • Fabrics

    • Accessories

    • Garments

    • Filaments

  • Dates:  November 25-28, 2020

  • City: Ho Chi Minh City

  • Venue: Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center (SECC)

  • 799 Nguyen Van Linh, Tan Phu Ward, Dist 7.


Price Range:

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

Huế: 1 day (or half-day)

We only had a few hours in Hue during a bus transfer, so we tried to pack in as much as we could. Hue is the cultural capital of Vietnam and was the seat of the Nyugen Dynasty emperors. The Hue Royal Palace is in the center of the city and easily visited for 150,000 VND ($6.72 USD).

We didn’t have enough time to explore inside, so we took pictures outside the main gate, which was pretty impressive. If we had more time in Hue, we would have gone to the Thiên Mụ Pagoda and the surrounding parks (we heard there is an abandoned theme park that is pretty cool and creepy). 

Hue is not only the cultural capital of Vietnam, but it’s also famous for is food. Instead spending our time at historic tombs and towers, we ate our way around Hue for a few hours. 

What to eat in Hue: 

Yes, we are fatties and we traveled to Hue basically to eat, but when there’s so much good food to try, you’ve gotta have it all. In the short amount of time we had, these were the 3 dishes we decided to try:

  • Banh Bot Loc: An appetizer of small, clear, shrimp-stuffed tapioca dumplings

  • Banh Khoai: Vietnam’s version of a savory pancake

  • Bun Bo Hue: Spicy vermicelli noodle beef soup. Don’t forget to slurp!

Logistical note: If we had to choose a city to cut from this itinerary, it would be Hue. But if you do end up staying here for the night, we use Agoda to find the best hotel/guesthouse deals around Southeast Asia. 

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.

4Weather varies a lot.

In general, Vietnam is humid and hot.

However, with such an elongated country, it’s only natural the weather changes significantly. And when I say significantly, I mean dramatically. 3 entirely different weather regions. It can be snowing in Sapa and a blazing hot sunny day down in Phu Quoc.

  • Northern Vietnam: expect hot wet summers and cool dry winters up North. It can get quite cold here during northern hemisphere winter – from September to November – particularly next to the border with China.
  • Central Vietnam: experiences hot, dry weather between January & August when temperatures can hit the mid-thirties.
  • Southern Vietnam: boasts a full tropical climate, with only 2 defined seasons – wet and dry. The best time to go is obviously during the latter, from December to April.

Selective Asia has more details on the weather in Vietnam.

12Use tours as a plan B.

Tours to the floating markets in Mekong Delta are some of the most popular. And some of the most problematic too.

You can find all kinds of tours to some of the most popular places in Vietnam such as overnight stay in the Mekong Delta, a convenient Cu Chi Tunnels tour or a romantic cruise in Halong Bay. Heck Vietnam is a giant tour factory!

The catch is: more often than not, they’re terrible experiences and a giant waste of time.

There are endless reports of travelers being treated as cattle, rushing from place to place in cramped vans and stopping by at their friends’ shops and restaurants along the way. If you think about it, once you’ve paid and go for a 1,2 or 3-day long tour, you’re completely dependent on them!

I tend to avoid tours everywhere I go. I much prefer making my own itinerary at my own pace. We actually even learned how to ride a bike in Vietnam to avoid being dependent on day tours – best decision ever!

Conical Hat

Price Range:

20-40k VND

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.

Woven Handicrafts

If you love unique handmade handicrafts, visit the women in the ethnic minority areas of Vietnam. The women are often in rural and impoverished areas and sell their handicrafts as a living. The woven products are gorgeous with the colors and traditional patterns. Purchase items such as purses, wallets, backpacks, scarfs, and more. You’ll get the opportunity to see the women creating their work and have the chance to talk with them (helpful if you have a Vietnamese-English translator.) Let’s be responsible travelers and support these women preserving their culture. 

Where to Buy: If you’re in the Cat Tien National Park area, check out the Ta Lai Village to see the Ma, Stieng, and Tay ethnic people. We’ve also met a woman weaving products in the Chicken Village area in Dalat.

Local handicrafts from the Ta Lai Village


Lacquer work in Vietnam has a long tradition with the unique style of using resin from Son tree. It is a work-intensive art form created through different stages of development with the careful and hard work of lacquer makers.

Lacquerware is one of the loveliest items in Vietnam, which can be bowls, dishes, vases and much more in stunning colors, distinctive styles, and intricate designs. You can visit some art galleries exclusively displayed a wide collection of this graceful souvenir, or for a true glimpse of this traditional work, make your way to some traditional lacquer villages in Vietnam.

Price: from 8-65 USD

Where to buy 

  • An Duy Lacquer – 25 Hang Trong Street, Hang Trong Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
  • Lam Kieu traditional lacquerware and sculpture, 41 Tran Phu Street, Minh Ward, Hoian
  • Minh Phuong Lacquer-ware Gallery – 40 Phung Khac Khoan Street, Dakao Ward, District 1, HCMC

>> You May Like: North & South of Vietnam with Highland and Beach <<


Shopping in Vietnam never fails to bring you delightful shopping experience whatever you’re looking for: lovely local items or the best souvenirs from Vietnam. Buckle up right now and plan for things to buy in Vietnam to make the most of your time indulging in the exotic delights.

11It’s a paradise for foodies.

A standard Vietnamese sit-down meal.

Lying on a delicate balance of sour, hot snweet and salty perfected over centuries, food in Vietnam is unique. I love the flavors of tamarind, chili peppers and also loads of fresh greens that go in almost every dish.

Not sure because gluttony is now my middle name, but a whopping percentage of my memories of the country are food-related. I personally think it’s an unforgettable cuisine with some flavors I haven’t experienced anywhere else. But nothing like trying it out for yourself!

Note: No, didn’t see dog in the restaurant menu. Can’t be sure I haven’t eaten it though.

Dishes you need to try in Vietnam

  • Pho: the national Vietnamese dish. A hearty noodle & meat soup with fresh herbs eaten primarily at breakfast.
  • Bun cha: grilled pork and noodles.
  • Gỏi cuốn: my personal favorite. Fresh spring rolls filled with noodles, meat/prawns/crab and greens.
  • Cha ca: one of Hanoi’s best, it features white fish sautéed in butter with dill and spring onions.
  • Nem Ran/Cha Gio: preferred in special occasions, this fried spring roll involves different combinations of lean minced pork, sea crabs or unshelled shrimps, edible mushrooms and dried onions.

What to buy in Hanoi: Popular Hanoi souvenirs

Popular Hanoi souvenirs include propaganda posters (reproductions of war-era and Communist-style posters), and dong ho prints (traditional Vietnamese woodblocks).

Hanoi is also known for its ceramics, silk and lacquer ware, which have traditionally been produced in villages around Hanoi for centuries.

Hanoi Old Quarter is packed with clothing stores. Ao dai, the traditional Vietnamese women’s garment with a Mandarin collar and slits up the side (ao dai literally means ‘long top’) are particularly popular among tourists—as are non bamboo conical hats.

Heading to Malaysia on the way home? Here are my top Malaysia souvenirs & shopping spots in KL, Penang, Melaka and beyond.

Embroidery, batik and indigo textiles made by Vietnam’s ethnic minority communities are a perennial favourite, although the quality and authenticity varies wildly depending on where you shop.

Fashion, homewares and design objects made by Vietnam’s emerging creatives are quickly becoming increasingly popular Hanoi souvenirs. Locally grown coffee and chocolate make for excellent edible souvenirs.

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