Best Things to Buy in Vietnam: Gems & Souvenirs!

tl;dr: The best things to buy in Vietnam

If you’re planning a trip to Vietnam, you’re in for a treat when it comes to shopping. From traditional clothing to unique handicrafts, Vietnam offers a wide range of products that make for perfect souvenirs or gifts. In this article, we’ll explore the best things to buy in Vietnam, including traditional Vietnamese clothing, handicrafts and souvenirs, local coffee, spices and herbs, traditional Vietnamese art, handmade jewelry, and local snacks and treats.

Traditional Vietnamese clothing

When it comes to traditional Vietnamese clothing, two items stand out: the Ao Dai and the Non La.

Ao Dai

The Ao Dai is the traditional Vietnamese dress for women. It is a long, form-fitting dress that is often worn on special occasions such as weddings or festivals. The Ao Dai is known for its elegant design and vibrant colors, making it a popular choice among tourists looking for a unique piece of clothing to take home.

Non La

The Non La, also known as the conical hat, is another iconic symbol of Vietnam. Made from palm leaves, the Non La is not only a fashionable accessory but also provides protection from the sun and rain. It is a must-have item for anyone visiting Vietnam, and you can find them in various sizes and designs.

Handicrafts and souvenirs

Vietnam is famous for its handicrafts and souvenirs, which showcase the country’s rich cultural heritage. Some of the best items to buy include wooden carvings, lacquerware, and silk products.

Wooden carvings

Vietnamese artisans are known for their skill in wood carving. From intricate sculptures to practical household items, wooden carvings make for unique and beautiful souvenirs. You can find a wide range of wooden carvings depicting traditional Vietnamese motifs, such as dragons, lotus flowers, and pagodas.


Lacquerware is another traditional Vietnamese craft that has gained international recognition. Made by applying layers of lacquer onto wooden or bamboo objects, lacquerware items are not only visually stunning but also durable. From bowls and plates to jewelry boxes and vases, there is a wide variety of lacquerware products to choose from.

Silk products

Vietnam is renowned for its silk production, and silk products are a popular choice among visitors. From silk scarves and clothing to home decor items like cushion covers and table runners, Vietnamese silk products are known for their high quality and exquisite designs. Don’t miss the opportunity to bring home a piece of Vietnam’s silk heritage.

Local coffee

Vietnam is the second-largest coffee exporter in the world, and its coffee is highly regarded for its unique flavor. When it comes to buying coffee in Vietnam, there are two main options: whole bean coffee and coffee filters.

Whole bean coffee

If you’re a coffee lover, you’ll be delighted by the variety of whole bean coffee available in Vietnam. From robust dark roasts to milder Arabica beans, there is something to suit every taste. Buying whole bean coffee allows you to experience the freshness and aroma of Vietnamese coffee in its purest form.

Coffee filters

Vietnamese coffee filters, also known as phin filters, are a must-have item for any coffee enthusiast. These small metal filters are used to brew traditional Vietnamese coffee, which is known for its strong and rich flavor. The process of making Vietnamese coffee with a phin filter is simple yet satisfying, and it’s a great way to bring a taste of Vietnam back home.

Spices and herbs

Vietnamese cuisine is famous for its bold and aromatic flavors, thanks to the use of spices and herbs. When it comes to buying spices and herbs in Vietnam, three essentials stand out: cinnamon, star anise, and lemongrass.


Vietnamese cinnamon, also known as Saigon cinnamon, is prized for its sweet and spicy flavor. It is commonly used in both savory and sweet dishes, adding a warm and fragrant touch to Vietnamese cuisine. Buying Vietnamese cinnamon allows you to elevate your cooking and bring a taste of Vietnam to your kitchen.

Star anise

Star anise is a key ingredient in many Vietnamese dishes, including the famous pho. It has a strong licorice-like flavor and adds a distinctive aroma to soups, stews, and marinades. Whether you’re a fan of Vietnamese cuisine or simply enjoy experimenting with different flavors, star anise is a spice worth adding to your pantry.


Lemongrass is a staple herb in Vietnamese cooking, known for its citrusy and refreshing flavor. It is used in a variety of dishes, from soups and curries to marinades and stir-fries. Buying lemongrass in Vietnam allows you to experience its vibrant taste and incorporate it into your own culinary creations.

Traditional Vietnamese art

Vietnam has a rich artistic heritage, and traditional Vietnamese art makes for a unique and meaningful souvenir. Two popular forms of traditional Vietnamese art are paintings and calligraphy.


Vietnamese paintings often depict scenes from nature, rural life, or historical events. They are characterized by their vibrant colors and attention to detail. Whether you prefer traditional or contemporary styles, there is a wide range of Vietnamese paintings to choose from, allowing you to bring a piece of Vietnam’s artistic heritage into your home.


Calligraphy holds a special place in Vietnamese culture, and it is considered a form of art in its own right. Vietnamese calligraphy is known for its elegant and flowing strokes, which are often used to write meaningful phrases or poems. Owning a piece of Vietnamese calligraphy not only adds beauty to your home but also carries a deeper cultural significance.

Handmade jewelry

If you’re looking for a unique piece of jewelry, Vietnam offers a wide range of options. From gold and silver jewelry to gemstone jewelry, there is something to suit every style and budget.

Gold and silver jewelry

Vietnam has a long history of gold and silver craftsmanship, and you can find exquisite pieces of jewelry made from these precious metals. From delicate necklaces and earrings to intricate bracelets and rings, Vietnamese gold and silver jewelry is known for its craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Gemstone jewelry

Vietnam is also home to a variety of gemstones, including rubies, sapphires, and jade. Whether you’re looking for a statement piece or a more subtle accessory, Vietnamese gemstone jewelry offers a wide range of options. Each gemstone has its own unique properties and meanings, allowing you to choose a piece that resonates with you.

Local snacks and treats

No trip to Vietnam is complete without indulging in the country’s delicious snacks and treats. Whether you’re a fan of savory or sweet flavors, there is something to satisfy every palate.

Rice crackers

Rice crackers, also known as banh trang, are a popular snack in Vietnam. Made from rice flour and various seasonings, these crispy crackers are perfect for munching on the go or pairing with dips and spreads. They come in a variety of flavors, from spicy to savory, offering a taste of Vietnam’s culinary diversity.

Dried fruits

Vietnam is known for its abundance of tropical fruits, and dried fruits make for a convenient and tasty snack. From dried mangoes and pineapples to jackfruit and dragon fruit, you can find a wide variety of dried fruits to satisfy your cravings. They are not only delicious but also a healthy alternative to sugary snacks.

Coconut candy

Coconut candy, or keo dua, is a popular sweet treat in Vietnam. Made from coconut milk, sugar, and sometimes peanuts, coconut candy has a chewy texture and a rich coconut flavor. It is often wrapped in colorful packaging, making it a great gift or souvenir to bring back home.


When it comes to shopping in Vietnam, the options are endless. From traditional clothing and handicrafts to local coffee and spices, there is something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a unique souvenir or a taste of Vietnam’s rich cultural heritage, exploring the best things to buy in Vietnam is an adventure in itself. So, don’t forget to leave some space in your suitcase and get ready to bring a piece of Vietnam back home with you.

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