Top tips to buy the best souvenirs in Vietnam

Would you like to buy some souvenirs during your Vietnam tours 2020? It could be a memory for you or a gift for your family at home. But you might feel uncomfortable with the purchase style and do not know which ones are the most purchased souvenirs in Vietnam. Let’s Indochina Voyages travel experts help you with the following tips!

Where to find the best souvenir shops

You can search on TripAdvisor for souvenir shops in Vietnam. By reading the reviews, you also estimate the average cost of souvenirs, so it is less likely to be overcharged by locals. It is smarter to check online for price and available Vietnamese souvenirs before going out shopping. 

What to buy as souvenirs in Vietnam

Silk

Vietnam is famous for its silk. If you are in Hanoi, you can go to Van Phuc Village. This village has been well-known for silk for decades. Even locals who are looking for gifts also go there to buy silk scarves. 

 

Van Phuc Silk Village
Decoration in Van Phuc Silk Village during Cultural Week

Bamboo baskets

The reason why you can see some bamboo baskets labeled Made in Vietnam is because this job is a tradition in Vietnamese villages a long time ago. Locals are skillful in woven bamboo.

 

Traditional handicraft in Vietnam
This is a traditional handicraft in Vietnam

Non la (Hat)

The name of this hat literally means (bamboo/palm) leaf hat. It is the simplest souvenir you can choose if you do not want to think too much. This is also a symbol of the country of Vietnam. Actually this one is used normally by women in the countryside. If you travel in rural areas, there is a high chance that you see this kind of hats.

 

Non la
Different sizes of non la you can choose from

Brocade fabric products

If you want an exotic souvenir instead of simple ones as Non la, brocade fabric clutches and purses are great choices. Various designs are available for you to choose from.

If you are in North Vietnam tours, tribes in those mountainous areas make brocade clothes by themselves. It would be interesting to see how products are hand-made. Locals there also wear these kinds of clothes on a daily basis.

 

Brocade clutches and purses
Brocade clutches and purses are popular souvenirs in Vietnam

Ceramic products

One of the most popular hand-crafting traditions in Vietnam is ceramics. In Hanoi, there was a place called Bat Trang where they make famous Bat Trang ceramics. Not only travelers but also locals go there at weekends to buy ceramics for their families or just have fun making ceramics with kids. You can explore and purchase good ceramics for families and friends at a cheap price.

 

Bat Trang ceramics
So many designs that you can choose or you can make one by yourself

Tips to get the best souvenirs at the best price

Check several shops before you decide to buy one souvenir

Normally, every shop offers the same souvenirs. If the first vendor asks you to pay a price that you think is much higher than what you have searched online, go to check another shop in the proximity. It is a high chance that the next one has the same souvenirs at different prices.

Bargaining

Bargaining happens all the time when buyers deal with sellers in Vietnam. In order not to be ripped off by local vendors, you need to know the estimated price for the product you want (remember the first step to search online). Then from the opening offer of vendors, you start the negotiation. Do not feel bad when you make a bargain. It is a common practice so have fun with it. 

Just have some notes before you practice your negotiation skills

  • Do not bargain in the early morning. Vendors do not welcome any bargaining in the early morning as they think that may affect the business for the whole day.
  • Do not afraid of making a bargain for everything
  • One tip recommended by great bargainers is to pretend to walk away from the deal. Vendors may feel lost and try to reduce the price more for you to get it done.

Vietnam currency

Most local shops only accept Vietnamese Dong. So make sure that you have Dong available when shopping for souvenirs. Exchange in banks might cost more compared to local jewelry shops. Note that these shops may offer only popular currencies like USD and EUR. In Hanoi, you can go to a street named Ha Trung street in Hanoi Old Quarter. Here they provide exchange services fast and convenient at a competitive rate. Locals also go there for currency exchange when they travel abroad.

Suggested Vietnam tours

 

Happy traveling!

 

Linh Nguyen – Travel Specialist

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