Top 5 of souvenirs & gifts shopping ideas in Vietnam

In these Christmas times, we thought it would be useful for numbers of travelers to get some original and responsible ideas of gifts and souvenirs to bring back from Vietnam. This is for you and your close ones, to avoid the shopping brainteaser at the end of your holiday in Vietnam. We have come up with a top 5 of shopping ideas. Various options to choose from that should match all personalities and budgets. Be aware that most of classic souvenir shops around the towns are selling things produced in China. Be a responsible shopper, buy local.

  1. The gourmet basket

This is absolutely a must-have in your luggage when returning home. Vietnam has numbers of goods easy to transport and that you can keep for a while before expiration. This is also the best way to give a taste of Vietnam to your friends and relatives at home. For examples, Vietnam pepper is famous around the world, coffee, green tea, cashew nuts, exotic fruits jams, cinnamon, star anise… For spices and dry goods, you should find everything at any local market. For coffee, tea, jam and more we highly recommend you to visit the Betterday Shop, a fair-trade organization selling goods produced in Vietnam.  114 Xuan Dieu street. http://www.mdivietnam.com/wordpress/about/

  1. Some handmade natural cosmetics

Learning how to produce natural soap and creams has been used in Vietnam by foundations and NGOs to support some disadvantaged communities. The products are generally fantastic and the money goes straight to people in real need. Check out the cosmetics line of Lifestart Foundation and pass by their shop if you are in Hoi An: http://www.lifestartfoundation.org.au/lifestart-foundation-workshop/longlife/.

  1. A bottle of rice liquor

That is a pillar of Vietnamese culture. The rice liquor [ruou pronounced zyaw] goes along any meal of the day in the countryside. This is a nice present to pack back home. Maybe together with the small shooter glasses the liquor is always drunken in. For high quality alcohol, flavors diversity and very nice looking bottles, only one address: any of the Highway 4 restaurants in Hanoi for some Son Tinh liquor: http://www.sontinh.com/en/

  1. Local made clothing and accessories

Vietnam is known worldwide for being a clothing manufacturing country. Many big brands are having their production made in Vietnam. But what is less known is that small-scale productions also exist. Small young companies manufacture and sell clothes, often with a strong focus on design, environment and social responsibility. An example of them is Ginkgo: http://ginkgo-vietnam.com/world-of-ginkgo#concept

  1. High-end crafts and arts from Vietnam

Vietnam is rich in arts and crafts. Some people will search throughout local markets for weaved rattan baskets or handmade knifes. But if you wish to bring back some fine arts, it is also possible. Lacquer or copper wares, paintings, embroideries, jewelries, fragrances,… many kinds and forms of art are available. To see some samples of what the best designers in Vietnam produce, you should visit this website: http://tanmydesign.com/.