Top 10 Vietnamese Souvenirs to buy in Hanoi

Though you probably won’t be forgetting your trip to Hanoi any time soon, it’s nice to have a few souvenirs from your time here to remind you of the magnificence of the city and of Vietnam overall. A souvenir is whatever you want it to be, but the ones that people love from Hanoi often come in small and colorful packages. Here are the top 10 Vietnamese souvenirs to buy in Hanoi.

1. Clothing

Though the Vietnamese are very slender people, there are tailors around Hanoi catering to the Western market. Vietnam has some of the most iconic clothing on the planet and a Vietnamese Ao Dai or Non La can really add a touch of exoticism and class.

1.1. Ao Dai

One of the most popular of the Vietnamese souvenirs; there is really no finer ambassador for the beauty of Vietnam than a traditional long dress, or Ao Dai. The Ao Dai has developed over several hundred years to become the sleek, form-fitting dress and trouser combination that features in every special Vietnamese occasion, such as weddings and graduations. 

Where can I buy an Ao Dai?

There is no shortage of places to get a good quality Ao Dai in the capital. Buy your coloured silk from Hang Gai Street in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, or at Hom Market in the French Quarter, before taking it to a tailor. Duc Minh – 24 Hang Da is a popular tailor, as is Yen Boutique – 115 Han Gai.

The traditional Ao Dai - Vietnamese Clothing

1.2. Non La

The ubiquitous Vietnamese straw hat is a thing of beauty and necessity around Vietnam. Its conical shape protects it from sun and rain and its ancient design remains unchanged today. As a Vietnamese souvenir, it poses a bit of a problem when it comes to the packing stage, but a tactical adjustment to the layout of your suitcase should see it fit in just fine. 

Where can I buy a Non La?

For the adventurous, Chuong Village in Hanoi’s outlying Thanh Oai district is the home of Non La production in Hanoi, with regular Non La markets featuring every variation imaginable. If this is too far to travel, then try any of the souvenir shops around Hoan Kiem Lake or look out for ladies selling Non La on the street. Start your Vietnam itinerary from Hanoi, you can see many local people wearing this kind of traditional hat to avoid rays of sunshine.

The cost for a Non La is about 2 to $US 3.

Non La Vietnam

1.3. Woven handbags

Of the many beautiful products made by ethnic minority tribes around Northern Vietnam, hand-woven handbags from tribes such as the Hmong and Tai always become popular Hanoi Souvenirs for tourists and local Vietnamese. The colorful patterns amid a plain black background are a trademark of these tribes and they add an authentic international flavor to any ensemble.

Where can I buy woven handbags?

If you’ve missed the chance to go to the amazing Bac Ha Market in Sapa where Hmong tribes gather every Sunday to sell their beautiful wares, then you can find several authentic shops in Hanoi. Craft Link – 43 & 51 Van Mieu is a shop near the Temple of Literature that sells all kinds of genuine tribal goods for a fair price, along with donating a very healthy amount of the profits to community projects in impoverished regions.

1.4. Silk

The elegance of Asia is woven into its silk, and there are few countries more adept at creating gorgeous silk products than Vietnam. Aside from the Ao Dai, silk scarves and tablecloths make fantastic Vietnamese souvenirs to present as gifts, and they are usually very cheap because of how prolific their production is around the country.

Where can I buy silk?

Van Phuc Silk Village is the only place you need to go for these graceful Hanoi souvenirs. Located about 8km from the Hanoi Old Quarter in Ha Dong district, you can see the processes of production at the factories before heading to the many surrounding shops to pick up a bargain on the soft, nimble material.

The colorful Vietnam silk

2. Decorations

Thousands of years of creating handicrafts in unchanged ways have made the Vietnamese incredibly skilled at the production of house decorations. Vietnamese souvenirs on display in the house always add a certain shine.

2.1. Coconut bowls

The lacquered shells of coconut bowls create quite an artistic scene. Usually dark brown around the outside and one or two colors on the inside, these are constantly popular souvenirs for their easy transportability, price, and versatility around a Western household.

Where can I buy coconut bowls?

All of the souvenir shops in Hanoi sell these beautiful bowls, where you can usually bargain for a cheaper price if you buy a few. If it's absolutely quality and choice you want, then a trip to Vietnam Handicraft Co. – 1/194 Nguyen Thai Street in Thanh Xuan district will prove very fruitful.

Coconut Bowl

2.2. Ceramics

Coming in an incredibly vast array of sizes and shapes, works of pottery in Hanoi create beautiful impressions within a room. From thumb-sized tea drinking cups to flower pots taller than the person who created them, you’re sure to find a decorative piece of work for your home.

Where can I buy ceramics?

Bat Trang Ceramics Village just outside of Hanoi is the perfect place to spend a morning or afternoon shopping around the ceramic markets. Most ceramic souvenirs in Hanoi come from Bat Trang anyway, so you can save a bit by going straight to the source. The ceramics here are sturdy and should last the journey home if wrapped in soft clothing.

Ceramic plates

2.3. Paintings and propaganda posters

The traditional art of Vietnam mostly features a very graceful series of brushstrokes depicting romantic scenes of flowers, boats, mountains and farm life. More modern art is an interesting take on propaganda posters, with idealistic communist scenes coupled with Vietnamese wartime slogans.

Where can I buy paintings and propaganda posters?

Most markets in the capital feature an art section where you can see the range of art and bargain accordingly. Dong Xuan Market has a decent selection of old-style art, while interesting and colorful propaganda posters can be browsed on Ly Quoc Su Street.

2.4. Pop-up cards

These simple but beautifully crafted cards are a great decoration to have around the house. They are usually plain red on the outside but open up to a fantastic 3D scene of an iconic Vietnamese item; some are basic bicycles but others are incredibly intricate boats or fields of flowers.

Where can I buy pop-up cards?

Usually sold from the back of a bicycle around Hang Gai Street, these cards are usually only $1 or $2 each, which is crazy considering the amount of skilled work that goes into them. Make sure to get 4 or 5 to give yourself more bargaining leeway.

Handmade crafted cards

2.5. Chopsticks

As useful as they are beautiful, chopsticks are used throughout Asia for the consumption of foods where a regular fork just won’t cut it. The practical, disposable wooden ones are obviously not a great Vietnamese souvenir, but vibrant, patterned ones are available to take on a decoration role, reminding you of the delicious Vietnamese food you had during your trip.

Where can I buy chopsticks?

A huge choice of chopsticks sits in their adorable cases alongside a wealth of other bamboo products on Hang Hanh Street in Hanoi Old Quarter. Souvenir shops around the center also stock these popular Hanoi souvenirs.

Wooden chopsticks

2.6. Military Memorabilia

There’s usually one member of the family who’s into military history, and Hanoi obviously has a lot of its own. Many replicas and genuine products can be found throughout the city in the form of helmets, boots, jackets, dog tags, and various other surplus military items.

Where can I buy military memorabilia?

Just to the left of Hanoi’s main train station on Le Duan Street is a paradise for army fanatics. You can buy several items from the army or even police surplus, but it is hard to tell which are replicas and which are authentic. Xom Phuot - 31/279 Giang Vo is a great shop exclusively selling the real deal.

Vietnam War Militaria collection

There are plenty of things to purchase during your trip to Hanoi, Vietnam. Each region offers its own unique gifts and souvenirs. The items mentioned above are 10 popular gifts that are readily available. Reach out to Incredible Asia Journeys for more information about tours and deals!

Don't forget to check out our travel blog "Best time to visit Vietnam" to choose the most favorable time during your Hanoi travels!

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