What Souvenirs Should I Buy in Ho Chi Minh City?

When exploring the bustling streets and vibrant markets of Ho Chi Minh City, one cannot resist the allure of bringing home a piece of this captivating city. Whether you're seeking unique keepsakes for yourself or searching for memorable gifts for loved ones, Ho Chi Minh City offers a plethora of enticing souvenirs. 
From traditional handicrafts and exquisite textiles to flavorful culinary delights and iconic wartime memorabilia, the city has something to cater to every taste. Embark on a delightful shopping adventure as we uncover the must-buy souvenirs that encapsulate the spirit and charm of Ho Chi Minh City, allowing you to cherish your memories of this captivating destination long after your journey has ended.

Non La (Conical Hat) - The Iconic Ho Chi Minh City Souvenir

The Non La, a Vietnamese conical hat, represents the country's charm and cultural identity. Its simple yet iconic design, which features a sturdy bamboo frame and a palm leaf covering, symbolizes the Vietnamese people's creativity and resourcefulness back in the day. While it's slightly less common in large cities like Ho Chi Minh City, it is regularly worn in rural regions where farmers use it to shield them from the sun and rain. 
Hat artisans take care of every needle and thread of each Vietnam Conical hat, a must-have Ho Chi Minh City souvenirs
Hat artisans take care of every needle and thread of each Vietnam Conical hat. | Source: skhcn.thuathienhue.gov.vn
By displaying it in your house or wearing it proudly, you can share a bit of Vietnamese culture and charm with others. It also acts as a physical memento of your stay in Vietnam, reminding you with images of crowded markets and friendly faces. Usually, the price of a Non La can vary between 50,000 and 200,000 VND, depending on the materials and designs. Some people prefer the basic form, but others like to use it as a decoration, so they opt for more unique drawings and textures on the Non La -one of the quintessential Ho Chi Minh City souvenirs. 

Ao Dai

If you enjoy one-of-a-kind costumes that hold special importance for you, Ao Dai is the perfect keepsake. The Ao Dai has great cultural significance, reflecting Vietnamese identity and history via its exquisite form and fine craftsmanship, making it a timeless fashion statement. Owning an Ao Dai allows you to not only appreciate the originality of Vietnamese fashion but also to support local craftspeople who work hard to preserve this unique art form. Wearing an Ao Dai connects you to Vietnam's vivid history and rich legacy, recalling fond memories from your stay in Ho Chi Minh City with each elegant movement. It's a cherished addition among Ho Chi Minh City souvenirs.
Vietnamese women gracefully wear Ao Dai - one of must-have Ho Chi Minh City souvenirs
Vietnamese women gracefully wear Ao Dai | Source: e.baonghean.vn
Ao Dai prices can vary greatly according to materials, styles, and brands. If you just want something economical with adequate quality, prices will range from 300,000 to 500,000 VND. If you want one of a higher quality that is tailored to your physique, expect to pay between 500,000 and 1,000,000 VND. Ao Dai made from high-quality silk or premium textiles will often be significantly more expensive; when combined with reputable brands and tailors, an Ao Dai may cost between 1,000,000 and 2,000,000 VND. 

Silk Products

Purchasing silk products as gifts from Vietnam provides a unique opportunity to learn about the country's rich textile customs. Vietnam is well-known for its high-quality silk, and purchasing silk items allows you to take home a piece of the country's fine artistry. 
Tailors carry out the steps of choosing fabric, designing, taking measurements of the wearer. The result is beautiful and comfortable Vietnamese silk outfits that are extremely loved by Western tourists. | Source: Collections.
Tailors carry out the steps of choosing fabric, designing, taking measurements of the wearer. The result is beautiful and comfortable Vietnamese silk outfits that are extremely loved by Western tourists. | Source: Collections.

Whether it's a silk scarf, apparel, or home decor, each piece showcases the intricate weaving skills and attention to detail that Vietnamese artists have mastered over decades. Silk is known for its rich feel, bright hues, and natural shine, making it a classic and elegant choice to buy as a souvenir. 

  • Silk Scarves: Silk scarves are versatile accessories that can add a touch of elegance to any outfit. They come in various sizes, designs, and colors, often featuring traditional Vietnamese motifs or contemporary patterns, and range between 150,000 and 500,000 VND.
  • Silk Blouses: Silk blouses are known for their luxurious feel, breathability, and ability to drape beautifully on the body. Depending on the designs, materials, and brands, it can cost between 500,000 and 3,000,000 VND. 
  • Silk Pajamas: Vietnamese silk pajamas are not only comfortable, but also exude a sense of luxury. They are typically adorned with delicate embroidery or subtle patterns, making them an exquisite choice for loungewear, with prices varying between 300,000 and 2,000,000 VND. 
  • Silk Pillowcases: Vietnamese silk is known for its smooth and soft texture, so silk pillowcases can provide a gentle and comfortable surface for your skin and hair. It usually costs around 100,000-500,000 VND. 
  • Silk Crafts and Artwork: Vietnamese artisans create stunning silk crafts and artwork, including silk paintings, silk lanterns, and silk tapestries. These pieces showcase the rich artistic traditions of Vietnam and can be displayed as beautiful works of art. Depending on the size, the art style, and how well-made the crafts and artwork are, the price can fluctuate between 500,000 and 5,000,000 VND. 
With its rich feel, vibrant colors, and natural luster, silk stands out as a classic and elegant choice among Ho Chi Minh City souvenirs. No matter your preference, I'm convinced that Vietnamese silk products are an exquisite and timeless reminder of your visit to Ho Chi Minh City, encapsulating the city's charm and cultural heritage in every thread.

Handicrafts

Vietnam is recognized for its craftsman villages, which create traditional handicrafts. If you have the opportunity, we recommend visiting craft villages such as Bat Trang (ceramics) and Van Phuc (silk) to see the production process and obtain original gifts from the craftspeople. These one-of-a-kind pieces embody the essence of Vietnam with brilliant colors, detailed patterns, and cultural elements. 
Beautiful Vietnamese handicraft items - must-have Ho Chi Minh city souvernirs.
Beautiful Vietnamese handicraft items. | Source: Collections

Each artwork offers a tale that reflects the country's ingenuity, craftsmanship, and cultural variety. Thus, purchasing handicrafts as souvenirs from Vietnam allows you to bring home unique works that highlight the country's rich artistic traditions and cultural history. Additionally, it is also a great option to give your friends gifts that you can’t really find anywhere else except Vietnam. 

  • Lacquerware: Vietnam is famous for its excellent lacquerware items. From exquisite bowls and lacquer paintings to trays and vases with prices ranging from 100,000 VND for small items to large, one-of-a-kind paintings for around 10,000,000 VND. 
  • Bamboo Products: Vietnam's skilled artisans create various bamboo products, including baskets, lampshades, coasters, and tableware. Bamboo is a sustainable material and represents the country's commitment to eco-friendly craftsmanship. A nice thing about bamboo products is that the price is very affordable compared to other handicrafts products, which usually cost between 20,000 and 500,000 VND. 
  • Ceramics: Vietnamese ceramics are renowned for their elaborate patterns and delicate beauty. Vases, plates, teapots, and figurines are all beautiful and artistic souvenirs that can be handcrafted from ceramic. A set of teapots, for instance, can cost anywhere from 300,000 to 1,000,000 VND.
With their artistry and affordability, Vietnamese handicrafts, particularly lacquerware, bamboo products, and ceramics, shine as meaningful and unique Ho Chi Minh City souvenirs. Each piece not only reflects the city's rich artistic heritage but also supports local artisans and their time-honored traditions.

Where to Buy Souvenirs in Ho Chi Minh City?

Places to buy high-quality Ho Chi Minh City souvenirs

If you are looking for high-quality Ho Chi Minh City souvenirs, you can explore these popular places known for offering authentic and well-crafted items:
  • Son Mai Dai Viet  
    • Address: 142 Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, Ward 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
    • Opening hours: 9:00 AM- 5:00 PM
    • Products: lacquerware, silk products, coffee beans, Vietnamese snacks...
  • Minh Long Ceramic 
    • Address: 17 Ba Huyen Thanh Quan Street, Vo Thi Sau Ward, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
    • Opening hours: 8:00 AM- 8:00 PM
    • Products: more modern ceramic tablewares, vases, figures...
  • Khong Gian Gom Bat Trang 
    • Address 1: 96-98 Vo Thi Sau Street, Tan Dinh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
    • Address 2: 89 Pasteur Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City (specialize in souvenirs)
    • Opening hours: 9:00 AM- 9:00 PM
    • Products: traditional style ceramic tablewares, vases, figures...
  • The Craft House 
    • Address 1: 1st Floor, 28 Nguyen Trai Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
    • Address 2: 107 Nguyen Hue Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City 
    • Address 3: 32 Dong Khoi Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
    • Opening hours: 9:00 AM- 9:00 PM
    • Products: arts & crafts
  • Saigon Centre (Shopping Mall)
    • Address: 96-98 Vo Thi Sau Street, Tan Dinh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
    • Address 2: 89 Pasteur Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City (specialize in souvenirs)
    • Opening hours: 9:00 AM- 9:00 PM

Places to buy affordable-quality souvenirs in Ho Chi Minh City 

If you're looking for affordable yet good-quality souvenirs in Ho Chi Minh City, consider exploring the following options: 
  • Ben Thanh Market
    • Address: Ben Thanh Market, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
    • Opening hours: Day Market: 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM; Night Market: 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Products: clothing, accessories, handicrafts, souvenirs all kinds... 
  • Saigon Square
    • Address: 77-89 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
    • Opening hours: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
    • Products: clothing, accessories, handicrafts, souvenirs all kinds... 
  • Central Market 
    • Address: 4 Pham Ngu Lao Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
    • Opening hours: 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM
    • Products: clothing, accessories, handicrafts, souvenirs all kinds... 
  • Street Vendors and Sidewalk Stalls
    • Address: Along Le Loi Street and Dong Khoi Street
You can find sidewalk shops and street vendors offering a variety of Ho Chi Minh City souvenirs all across the city. These sellers provide a variety of goods at reasonable costs, including postcards, magnets, keychains, and tiny trinkets. Explore these booths for reasonably priced keepsakes while strolling through well-known tourist destinations.

Tips for buying souvenirs in Ho Chi Minh City 

How to bargain in Ho Chi Minh City 

Before diving into the art of haggling for Ho Chi Minh City souvenirs, find out what the fair price is for the things you want by checking online, asking hotel staff, or watching how much the locals pay. Be friendly and polite as you go about the process in Ho Chi Minh City. 
Begin by inquiring about the item's pricing, but be ready for the initial offer to go above your budget. Make a counteroffer, usually for 30–50% less than what was initially requested. Smile while negotiating and strike up a conversation with the vendor. Continue to be patient and flexible until a reasonable price that works for all parties is found. And remember to keep your temper in check, act respectfully, and have fun with the process; it can be an interesting experience for you while traveling here. 
how to bargain in vietnam
The seller will be happy and the buyer will also be happy. | Source: thanhnien.vn

Here are just a few basic manners when bargaining. If you want to learn more about how, where, and when to bargain, as well as things to keep in mind when bargaining, check out our article The Culture of Bargaining in Vietnam: A Comprehensive Guide 2024.

Check the quality of souvenirs before purchasing

Before purchasing souvenirs in Ho Chi Minh City, it's advisable to check the quality of the items to ensure that you're buying authentic and well-made products. Depending on what type of souvenirs you intend to buy, here are some tips to help you assess the quality:
With silk products
  • Begin by feeling the texture of the cloth to make sure it is silky, velvety, and well-made.
  • Look at the silk's shine and luster under proper lighting; silk of this quality should have a soft, glowing shine.
  • Examine the fabric's thickness and weight, trying to get a balanced feel that is neither too thin nor too heavy.
  • Check for consistency and tightness in the weave, and make sure the hems and edges are finished neatly and without fraying.
  • To verify the dye quality, test the color by lightly dampening or rubbing a tiny area.
With ceramic products
  • Start by visually examining the ceramics and searching for any obvious imperfections like cracks, fractures, or uneven surfaces.
  • Check the item's thickness and weight to make sure it seems solid but well-balanced.
  • Trace your fingers along the surface to make sure the glaze is evenly set and free of rough areas.
  • Try tapping the ceramic softly to see if it produces a clear, resonant tone.
  • Check for consistency and vibrancy in the glaze and colors, focusing on small details and patterns.
  • If there is a practical use for the ceramic, think about how well it functions. Think about a bowl or cup, for instance, and how useful it is. Make sure it satisfies your needs and tastes by looking at the form, size, and general design.
With handicraft products
  • Make sure the materials are natural, sturdy, and suitable for the craft by first looking at them.
  • Examine the craftsmanship and finishing, keeping an eye out for neat, sturdy components, smooth edges, and accurate details.
  • Verify the handicraft's structural soundness to make sure it is strong and long-lasting.
  • Ask the owners about the product's origin and legitimacy to ensure that it was created by true local artisans.
  • Take into account its practicality and functionality to make sure it can accomplish the goal for which it was designed.
Diving into bustling Ho Chi Minh City's vibrant markets and charming shops for the perfect Ho Chi Minh City souvenir is an unforgettable part of your adventure. From the iconic Non La and elegant Ao Dai to exquisite silk products and unique handicrafts, there’s something for everyone. 
Don't forget to haggle with a smile – it's part of the fun! Enjoy your journey and take home special Ho Chi Minh City souvenirs to cherish the memories of your visit. At KissTour, we’re here to guide you through every step of your cultural discovery!

Author: Vy

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