What should you buy in Hanoi as a gift for your family and friends? In fact, the capital of Vietnam offers visitors varied choices, ranging from food, clothes, handicrafts to silk, ceramics, jewelry… There is such a variety of stuffs available that some may find it hard to pick things that are not only unique but also representative of Vietnamese traditions at the same time.
We’re here to help you make a quicker decision. Let’s check our list of cool gift ideals and some nice places where you can get them.
1. Traditional Vietnamese food gifts
#1: Ô mai (salted or sugared dry fruits)
Ô mai is a unique specialty of Hanoi. It is a perfect combination of many flavors: sour, salty, spicy and natural sweet taste. Ô mai is favored by lots of people, especially Vietnamese women and foreigners due to its diversity of flavors, reasonable prices and easiness to carry on flights (it’s a type of dried fruit).
In fact, Hanoi is well known for many types of tasty delicious sugared dry fruits, from dracontomelum, peach and lemon to the mandarin, apricots and plums. However, the most famous ô mai among them is dracontomelum because it is a mixture of a little sour, sweet flavors and spice of gingers, which brings about a new and interesting experience.
– Where to buy: you can visit these below addresses for traditional and quality ô mai:
- Ô Mai Hong Lam: 11 Hang Duong Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi or check out Hong Lam Shop outlet system.
- Ô Mai Tien Thinh: 21 Hang Duong Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.
- Van Loi – 24 Hang Da Street, Hoan Kiem.
- And many other stores on Hand Duong street, Ly Quoc Su Street.
#2: Com (green rice)
If you visit Hanoi in Autumn, it is recommended to try Cốm, a type of green rice wrapped in 2 layers: the inner is the green leaf which keeps the rice from drying out or fading colors, the outer is a layer of fragrant lotus leafs. Com is perfect for eating with ripe bananas and there are lots of products made from this green rice such as: Stir-fried green rice, geen rice cake…
– Where to buy?
- Fresh green rice: Vong village, Cau Giay Street, Hanoi.
- Stir-fried green rice: Qua Que store near Hoan Kiem lake (go to Dinh Liet street, the store is near the intersection with Hang Bac and right next to the famous snail shop). Remember to book in advance if you want to buy a large quantity.
- Green rice cake: there are many good stores on Hang Than Street (for instance: Nguyen Ninh store, 11 Hang Than) near the intersection with Yen Phu Street.
Note: Remember to check the expiry date and be careful as the green rice cake can quicky gets stale under hot temperature.
#3: Lotus Tea
Lotus tea is specialty that foreigners should try in Hanoi. This will definitely be a precious gift for relatives and friends because marinating lotus tea is an art that costs a lot of time and effort.
West Lake lotus tea is the most famous brand due to its bold flavor and the complicated making procession. In particular, all the ingredients have to meet standard requirements. Tea leafs must be Thai Nguyen type 1, then marinated with lotus rice many times to absorb the special flavor. Also, the lotus must be from in the West Lake to have a standard aroma.
– Where to buy West Lake lotus tea? Hang Dieu Street, Hoan Kiem district, Ha noi.
2. Handicraft products
#1: Non la (conical hats)
The conical hat has been attached to Vietnamese people, especially farmers, from the middle of the 13th century to the present. Hence, it is well known to tourists as a symbol of Vietnam.
People can use Non la for many different purposes. Apart from being a sunshade hat, Non la is also an special accessory for traditional outfits such as Ao Dai and Ao Ba Ba as it brings out the charm and beauty of Vietnamese girls.
– Where to buy Non la?Non la of different sizes can be found at almost every tourist spots in Hanoi. If you don’t want to buy the normal-sized conical hats, just go with the key chain models. Those are small gifts but filled with the soul of Vietnam.
#2: Guoc Moc (wooden clogs)
Guoc moc are sandals worn by Vietnamese and considered by many as a national dress or a symbol of Vietnam. Small and simple as they may look, wooden clogs actually contains the rustic beauty of Vietnamese people and culture. When worn along with the Ao Dai and conical hats, a pair of wooden clogs is able to make the images of Vietnamese girls turn out more beautiful than ever. Therefore, they are indeed and special gifts for your female friends or relatives.
– Where to buy wooden clogs: Dong Xuan market, Hom market, Hang Dau street, Cau Go street.
Brocade Vietnam is a kind weaving fabrics that can make a strong impression on many international visitors when coming to Vietnam. Its patterns are colorful and eye-catching with many geometric shapes creating symmetry and loop on the work. Embroidered by hand, the brocade represents images of grass, flowers and the soul of Vietnam, which makes it a meaningful gift.
– Where to buy wooden clogs? Night markets at walking streets in the Old Quarter area, Hoan Kiem lake. Tourists can find many stalls selling brocade items from bags, towels, clothes, hats, skirts to key chains.
#4: Traditional Paitings (sand paintings, Dong Ho painting)
Sand painting is the type of painting made from sand, born in Vietnam after 1997. Sand paintings are considered one of the national items and are the pride of Vietnamese people. Hence, this is also one of the souvenirs that international tourists buy when coming to Vietnam.
Dong Ho painting is Vietnamese folk paintings printed from woodblocks and created by Dong Ho villagers in Bac Ninh province. They are unique in their colors and and the thin, soft and shiny printing paper, which is made from the bark of the Do tree. Each painting has its own meaning and delivers a philosophic message about about morality, ethics, and religious beliefs.
– Where to buy traditional paintings? The Old Quarter area.
#5: Bat Trang Ceramics
If you want to have a closer look on the handicraft tradition of Hanoi, Bat Trang – the most famous traditional ceramic village in Vietnam is a location you shouldn’t miss.
Bat Trang’s pottery items have their own beauty with distinctive enamel colors and skillful craftsmanship techniques. Besides familiar and famous products such as cups, bowls, cups, cups… there are also products dedicated as gifts such as wind chimes, statues…
– Where to buy Bat Trang ceramics? Check out these official showrooms of Bat Trang brand:
- 10 alley 45, Nguyen Hong street, Dong Da district, Hanoi.
- 12 Dang Thuy Tram street, Cau Giay district, Hanoi.
- 393 Kim Nguu street, Hai Ba Trung district, Hanoi.
OR these below places:
- Craft Link – 43 Van Mieu street.
- Craft Window – 99 Nguyen Thai Hoc street.
- Hoa Sua – 63A Trang Thi street.
- Lacasa – 12 Nha Tho street.
- Love Planet – 25 Hang Bac street.
- Mosaique – 22 Nha Tho street.
- Tân Mỹ Silk – 66 Hang Gai street.
#1: Ao Dai
The Ao Dai is not only the national costume of Vietnam but also a world famous garment with a unique design helping to enhance the beauty of women. This dress is discreet but still able to show subtly the soft and charming curves of a woman. Besides the original form, Ao Dai has been modernized with more youthful and dynamic traits, shorter sleeves and rounded neckline to still retain the traditional but more modern beauty. The renovation of a long coat makes it easier for women to move and can wear it on a variety of occasions.
Hence, getting your wife, mom or female friends an Ao Dai would be a great way to show them your affection. You can buy it or have one tailored.
– Where to get an Ao Dai in Hanoi?
- Luong Van Can Street, the Old Quarter: there are many many decent tailor shops here.
- Ao Dai Minh Duc – 41 Dang Tien Dong, Trung Liet, Dong Da, Hanoi.
- Ao Dai Thanh Mai – 428 Bach Mai, Truong Dinh, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi.
Silk is a special commodity that attracts tourists due to its diversity in colors, weave, and quality. Authentic silk is lightweight and smooth on the surface and you feel soft and cool when touching it. Due to the superior comfy it brings, silk was once extremely luxurious and thus available only to noble families. Nowadays, this fabric has been widely used affordable to anyone.
– Where to buy silk?
- Van Phuc village: a famous location specialized in making cool, thin, soft and less wrinkled like regular silk, which is about 10km from the center of Hanoi.
- Hang Gai Street (silk street): Ha Dong Silk – 102 Hang Gai, Kenly Silk – 108 Hang Gai.
- Co – 18 Nha Tho street.
- Khai Silk – 121 Nguyen Thai Hoc street.
- Kana – 41 Hang Trong street.
#3: Red shirt with Vietnam’s yellow star
This is also a very popular and popular shirt among Vietnamese youngsters, who wear it as a team outfit to participate in events, team building, or cheering football … The shirt shows the dynamics of youth as well as the love for Vietnam because it replicates the image of the national flag.
– Where to buy? This type of shirt is sold at every tourist spots.
Note: Ready to bargain when shopping in Vietnam, especially in markets, otherwise, you may be overcharged. Also, you should avoid shopping in the early morning as sellers in Vietnam really hate people bargaining at this time of the day.
Hope that this article can help you choose cool gifts for your beloveds. Let us know which one you like best in the comment section below.