In Vietnam, shopping is all about the boutiques that appeal to you, the artisans with a interesting point of view, and the cool finds that leave you with a story to tell. Vietnam is rich in crafts, from weaving to woodblock painting. Its colourful history and mixed cultural influences provide a wealth of inspiration for contemporary brands. Here are 10 interesting collectibles to bring home from your Vietnam trip, as well as a list of favourite places to shop around the country.
Stationery and posters – Zo Project
Stationery lovers will easily become enamored of Zo Project’s artistic products. Zo Project is a social enterprise that aims to preserve Vietnam’s traditional paper-making techniques. Zo’s understated calendars, notebooks, and contemporary posters are beautiful Vietnamese mementos that double as art pieces.
TIP: For an immersive experience, join Zo Project’s tours to a paper-making craft village outside Hanoi.
Ceramic tea sets and accessories – Reaching Out
Vietnam has several renowned pottery villages and distinctive styles of ceramics. In the town of Hoi An, Reaching Out employs people with disabilities in its riverside workshop, which turns out exquisite, hand-painted tea accessories. Treat yourself to the tea-for-one set, which stacks into its own matching teacup, or the very Vietnamese drip-filter coffee mug.
Lacquerware trays and chopsticks – Hanoia House
Hanoia House taps Vietnam’s ancient lacquerware techniques to create modern home accessories and jewelry. Using traditional methods, each piece, no matter how small, requires at least 100 days to craft. Stop into Hanoia’s stylish boutiques to search for lacquerware trays, chopsticks and coconut bowls to brighten your table back home.
See #VietnamNOW from Vietnam Tourism Board on Vimeo.
Silk dresses and scarves – Lam Boutique
Simplicity and intimacy are two characteristics of a Lam Boutique dress. Founded in Ho Chi Minh City by a local designer, the brand’s luxe dresses and skirts evoke the elegance of Old Saigon. Visit the boutique to pick up a Vietnamese tunic, or a silk kimono to wear around the house.
Tropical fruit jams from the Mekong Delta – La Petite Epicerie
Now you can bring a little Vietnamese sunshine back with you — in a jar! The Mekong Delta’s abundant fruits and spices inspired the founding of La Petite Epicerie. The brand’s premium jams deliver local flavours with a delicious twist. Mango with ginger, guava with lemongrass, and pineapple with cinnamon are some bestsellers. Choose between standard size jars or small jar gift boxes.
Vietnamese deck of playing cards – Gingko
This chic deck of cards is one of the sassiest gifts on the shelves at Gingko’s nationwide stores. The deck features famous characters from Vietnamese history, such as General Tran Hung Dao, Emperor Gia Long, and the Trung Sisters. The deck is beautifully designed, and a pullout sheet presents short descriptions of the heroes and heroines on the cards.
Fine Vietnamese chocolate – Maison Marou
Chocolate lovers mustn’t miss Marou’s flagship store in Ho Chi Minh City or its ‘cacao embassy’ in Hanoi. The chocolate cafe serves luscious hot chocolates and pastries, but the shop is where you’ll find Marou’s six, award-winning single-origin bars, Origin Plus bars mixed with ingredients such as Dalat Arabica, and exclusive Maison Marou bars and bonbons.
Hanoi and Saigon Monopoly boards – Vietnam Themed Games
Go back in time to the Paris of the East (Hanoi) and the Pearl of the Orient (Saigon) with these vintage-themed Monopoly board games. Hanoi and Saigon Monopoly features Vietnam’s major cities as they stood in the 1880s. The property, chest and chance cards are accurately illustrated with old photos, and the adorable pawns wear Vietnamese ao dais and non la.
TIP: When looking for Vietnamese brands, check out stores such as Collective Memory, LIVIN Collective and Cocobox which spotlight local products and artisans.
Printed clutch bags – Eugenie Darge
Steal a slice of Vietnamese street life with these edgy canvas wristlets from Eugenie Darge. The printed bags depict classic motifs from the streets of Vietnam, such as birdcages, wall prints, and water stains. The brand also created colourful cushion covers, framed prints and totes inspired by Vietnam’s ethnic minorities.
Gourmet tea and coffee – Hatvala
Vietnam has a long history with tea, and there are countless brands to choose from. However, few pursue the search for great coffee and wild teas the way Hatvala does. The company is dedicated to sourcing and introducing fine, hand-picked Vietnamese teas to the world. Hatvala’s sample tea sets will delight you with a taste of Vietnam long after you’ve returned home.
Where to Shop
Collective Memory, Hanoi
Hanoia House, Hanoi
Tan My Design, Hanoi
Livin Collective, Nha Trang
Reaching Out, Hoi An
L’usine, Ho Chi Minh City
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