1. HANOI SPECIALTIES
Renowned as the paradise of street foods and amazing delicacies, Hanoi is rated as the top choice for gourmet travelers in South East Asia. You can easily wander around bustling streets in Old Quarter Hanoi for a street food tour or pay a visit to some of the best places to eat in Hanoi for the finest western-styled dishes like Puku, Gia Ngu Restaurant, Chops Old Quarter, Orchid Restaurants etc. However, it is best to buy some famous specialties for your friends and family members back home. Following are some coolest things to bring back from Hanoi
- Vietnamese Coffee: It is said that Vietnam owns the best coffee in the world. Vietnam coffee is imported to a lot of countries in the world thanks to its charming smell and unforgettable taste. You can have a wide range of choice among Trung Nguyen Coffee, Highland Coffee, G7, Nescafe, etc. Vietnamese coffee can be found at every corner of Hanoi Old Quarter ($3-5 per Pack). Read more the best coffee shops in Hanoi Old Quarter
Vietnamese Coffee - One of the Best Coffee in the World
- Vietnamese Tea: Widely grown in the mountainous regions of Northern Vietnam, Tea is considered as the soul of Vietnamese People as well as an essential part of Vietnam culture. Tea really helps boost more flavors of the food, reduce the smell of garlic or onion in dishes and refresh your meals.
- Dried Seafood: If your country isn’t near the sea. It’s a good choice to purchase Vietnamese dried seafood as the unique food souvenirs from Hanoi for your friends and family. You can buy dried squids, fishes, shrimps at local market at reasonable prices. More importantly, they are so easy to cook/use by grilling, creating other dishes or eating right away – Definitely A meaningful food to bring back from your beach holidays in Vietnam.
Dried Squid - A Impeccable Food Souvenir
- Vietnamese Green Bean Cake: Considered as one of Vietnam must buy snacks, this traditional-styled cake is the best when tasting with Vietnamese tea. It is made of Vietnamese green bean and very good for your health. A box of Vietnamese Bean Cake costs around US$3 – a cheap food to buy in Vietnam
A Beautiful Box of Vietnamese Green Bean Cake
- Hanoi Snacks: Along with famous brands, you should try some local snacks in Hanoi. They are often produced by small companies but their tastes and unique flavors will surely blow your mind.
2. DO PAPER
According to many tourists, Giay Do or Do paper is considered one of the best things to buy from Hanoi. It is made from a self-titled plant and produced in traditional ways for decades. Giay Do is the main material for many products such as printings, books, Toys for Mid-Autumn Festival, joss paper, etc. However, the best products of Giay Do to keep as Vietnamese souvenirs are folk paintings. Paintings made from Giay Do really have special characteristics which distinguish them from the others: different colors, appearances, strength. These paintings are mostly about mysterious images in Vietnam’s legend and famous icons in Vietnamese culture.
Where to buy: The best places to buy Do Paper in Hanoi is Dong Ho Village, a famous traditional painting village on the outskirts of Hanoi. If you want to buy original Dong Ho Paintings in central Hanoi without going to the village, you can consider the AmiA Shop (211 Vu Tong Phan, Khuong Trung, Thanh Xuan, Hanoi)
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A lot of Beautiful Characters on Dong Ho Paintings
There are a large number of cheap shoe shops at the heart of Hanoi Old Quarter. Hence, if you are a shoe enthusiast, then you should not skip buying some when traveling to this beautiful city. Indeed, it is not hard to find some famous and most-wanted brands here such as Nike, Adidas, Puma, Asics, New Balance, etc. For budget travelers, it is a must to spend around $10 to own a pair of sport shoes for their upcoming explorations in Vietnam. If you are a sneaker junkie, just ask the seller to pay a bit more for high-quality ones. It's still much cheaper than in your country.
Tips: Although shoes in Hanoi are affordable, you still have to haggle to get the best prices as the locals always charge foreign tourists more.
Where to buy: Renowned as the shoe street in Old Quarter Hanoi, Hang Dau Street is home to a lot of shoe shops in Hanoi. For those are traveling in a budget, spending less money on shoes is never a bad idea. Keep looking around, fake Nike shoes can easily be found here for just around US$15.
Hang Dau Street - the So-Called "The Street of Shoes" in Hanoi
Ceramic is surely one of the best souvenirs to buy in Hanoi as it reflects the traditions, culture and local life of Vietnamese people. Ceramic stuff is solid and easy to use in many ways such as cooking, entertaining, decorating, etc. You can buy many useful things made from ceramics at reasonable prices such as cups, flower vases, bowls, dishes, statues.
Tiny Ceramic Dishes of Bat Trang Village
Where to buy: Located 14km South-East of Hanoi, Bat Trang Ceramic Village is the best place in Hanoi to buy pottery goods. The pottery-making tradition started in the village a hundred years ago. Paying a visit to the village, you will also have a chance to first-hand create your own pottery products – a not-to-be-missed experience
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Bat Trang Village - Home to the Best Ceramic Stuff in Hanoi
5. HANOI THEME T-SHIRT
Although printed T-shirt can be found in many Southeast Asian countries, this is still one of the top things to buy in Hanoi because of its cheap prices and amazing meanings. Paying around $4-5, you will have a nice piece of cotton T-Shirt of all colors and pictures including some famous images in Vietnam such as Beer Hanoi, Hanoi Traffic, I Love Pho, Hanoi Food, Essential Attractions in Hanoi, etc.
Where to Buy: You can easily find them in the Hanoi Old Quarter, where boasts the best souvenir shops in Hanoi.
For those looking for big size clothes in Hanoi, you can pay a visit to Dong Tac Street in Dong Da District – 6km from Hanoi Old Quarter. The street boasts a large number of vintage shops of all kinds including some famous-brand vintage clothes (Polo, Kangol, Nautica). You can also find original vintage shoes, bags, hats there.
Tourist Taking Photos with Friendly T-Shirt Seller in Hanoi Old Quarter
6. HANOI SILK
If you're hunting for what to buy in Hanoi that reflects Vietnamese tradition and culture, then look no further than Silk. Northern Vietnam is home to 2 most famous traditional silk village of the country - Van Phuc (Ha Dong, Hanoi) and Nha Xa (Ha Nam Province). Hence, silk making traditions have been playing an important role in the life and style of the Vietnamese people.
Silk clothes are easy to both pack and bring with when traveling so it’s understandable that more and more tourists buy it as gifts for their friends and family. Additionally, Hanoi is home to some finest hundred-year-old silk villages of Southeast Asia.
Where to buy: You can buy silk of all kinds such as scarfs, dresses, hats at Hang Gai Street - the so-called "The Street of Silk" in Hanoi Old Quarter. The best silk clothes to buy from Hanoi must be ‘ao dai’ – the traditional dress of Vietnamese women. At around $25-50, you will have a ready-to-use ‘ao dai’ with pretty Vietnamese patterns for you or your lovely daughter.
Silk Scarfs of All Colors and Sizes in Hang Gai Street, Hanoi
7. NON LA
Considered as the symbol of Vietnam, the Conical Hat or Non La must be one of the coolest things to buy in Hanoi. Non La is made of local leaves by skillful Vietnamese artisans and totally harmless to health. To Vietnamese people, Non La has many usages: covering, fanning, carrying, which plays an important role to the life of Vietnamese people. Hence, buying a Non La is not only the way to save beautiful memories of Vietnam but also a one-of-a-kind souvenir to bring bak to your country. A Vietnamese Non La often costs around $2-6 depending on the materials and the patterns on it.
Where to buy: You will easily encounter many street vendors and souvenir shops selling Non La in Hanoi Old Quarter
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Tourist Buying Non La from a Smiley Street Vendor in Hanoi (Photo by Claire Pismont)
8. HANDICRAFTED SOUVENIRS
If you are searching for unique things to buy from Hanoi, then Handicraft should suit the best. Indeed, most of Hanoi handicrafts are skillfully hand-made by local artisans, produced and used in a small quantity. Hence, these unassuming gifts look special and exceptional for foreign people. There are a lot of types of handicrafts for you to choose from hand-knitted wristlets, colorful pouches, pretty wood carvings to funny traditional masks.
Hand-made Pouches are Rated as the Best Souvenirs in Hanoi
Tò He - A One-Of-A-kind Gift in Hanoi
Moreover, you can consider a lot of more portable souvenirs in Hanoi such as propaganda pictures which were designed during the Vietnam War. For children, you can buy some cute keychains with funny icons of Hanoi on them. The Vietnamese traditional toy - Tò He or some collectible dolls will be also great portable gifts.
Where to Buy: Hanoi Night Market on Hang Dao Street boasts the best souvenir shops in Hanoi or many handicraft shops on Dinh Tien Hoang Street (around Hoan Kiem Lake)
Tourist Shopping in a Souvenir Shop in Hanoi - "Now, Where Should I Start?"
I hope after reading this post you will have some cool ideas for the best things to buy in Hanoi. Please continue reading our articles for the best things to do in Hanoi. For more Vietnam travel tips and tours in Vietnam, please check out our Vietnam Holiday Packages