and souvenirs from Vietnam
Most visitors like to take souvenirs and gifts with
them when they go home. The following suggestions
are ‘very Vietnamese’, but not too heavy
or bulky. We can provide advice, and assist you to
get what you want at a fair price. Your guide will
also be a good source of information.
quality Vietnamese tea:
This can be bought in specialist shops in the large
cities. A kilogramme of top-quality tea costs around
$8.00 US if lightly flavoured with flower or herb
‘essence’, or about $5.00 US without flavouring.
quality 'Trung Nguyen' Vietnamese coffee
A kilogramme of top-notch Robusta coffee beans from
Trung Nguyen (the Central Highlands) costs around
$4.00 US. Arabica will be more expensive. An unusual
present would be some ‘Weasel Coffee', but it
is advisable to tell the recipient how it is produced
after he or she has experienced its mellow taste (check
the 'Eating and Drinking' page if you haven't already
scarves, garments, etc.
Items made by members of Vietnam’s many ethnic
groups make excellent and inexpensive souvenirs and
presents. They are available from shops in the tourist
areas of cities, and from towns near communities of
ethnic people. However, ethnic products have usually
been bought at low prices by intermediaries, denying
the producers a fair price for their work. We recommend
buying direct from the producers wherever possible.
a rough guide, a reasonable amount to pay for a woven
scarf should be from $2.00 US upwards, depending on
the complexity of pattern and design. A garment, such
as a woven, embroidered or appliquéd jacket,
should cost from $15.00 US upwards. Natural dyes are
often used, so colours should be fixed before washing.
Lacquerware is a long-standing Vietnamese tradition.
Usually applied to a papier mache object, it is both
light and durable. It is also an artwork technique.
Prices for lacquerware articles begin at $1.00 US
for a small dish, $3.00 US for a large dish, $10 for
a set of table mats, and so on. However, the quality
of lacquerware depends upon the number or processes
used – good quality products are expensive.
A wide range of lacquerware, and lacquer artwork and
objects, are available in souvenir shops and galleries
in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Larger items such as
ornaments and furniture are good value – we
can arrange for them to be shipped to customers’
Products vary from high-quality porcelain to simple
fired clay objects, and the range is enormous. As
an indication of prices, a good quality plate from
Bat Trang Village costs about $2.00 US and a café
cup about $1.00 US. Small tea sets make good presents.
Hand-embroidered items are good value and excellent
souvenirs. Prices vary according to detail and the
quality of the base material. A good pair of pillow
cases or a set of bedlinen, both on a white cotton
base, should cost around $6.00 US and $25.00 US respectively.
Genuine Vietnamese silk is mainly muted in colour
– bright colours are often indicative of Chinese
imports or synthetic fibres. Quality varies widely.
Prices for reasonable quality silk begin at about
$3.00 per metre for 90cm wide material.
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