Hanoi famous souvenirs - things must buy in Hanoi Vietnam

Here are 11 things must buy when you visiting Hanoi

If you visit Hanoi Vietnam and want to buy anything as souvenir, you should buy one of 11 things that is mentioned in this article.

Hanoi famous souvenirs
Hanoi famous souvenirs. Photo: Duong Thanh

On the major newspapers of Vietnamese, I’ve read hundreds of articles saying that souvenirs and crafts of Hanoi (as well as Vietnam) for foreign tourists is still few and not interesting.

However, you can still buy some unique souvenirs only in Vietnam such as Ao dai (long dress), conical hat (called Non La), brocade, sand painting, etc…

There are very experience items of which prices up to $100 – $150 but some items are only 1 - 2 USD.

There is no lack of choice for shopping in Hanoi because of variety of souvenirs but I want to suggest 11 special things as below:

1. Ao dai (means long dress)

Perhaps you’ve researched about Ao dai or traditional costumes of Vietnamese. I want to mention about “traditional product” because Ao dai has only in Vietnam and shows Vietnamese style (Although I know that your country also may have traditional long dress). And if you don’t know more about Vietnamese traditional long dress, you can read the article about “Ao dai”.

2. Paper fan

Paper fan is a popular and familiar in the culture and the daily life of Vietnamese people. You can see handheld fan in beautiful Vietnamese traditional dances or one with calligraphy inscription of master which remind of Confucianism Vietnam as well as paper fan is tool used to induce cool breeze. So it captivates many visitors when looking for a peaceful space, simplicity, rustic villages and learning about the unique culture of Vietnam.

Things must buy in Hanoi Vietnam
Things must buy in Hanoi Vietnam: Paper fan

Currently, there is a village in Thach That district, that is situated in the west of Hanoi, about 20 kilometers from Hanoi center (Hanoi Turtle Tower), specialized in making this type of paper fans to sell to tourists.

3. Conical hat of Leaf hat

Ao dai usually comes with a conical hat so if you buy Ao dai, you also should buy a conical hat to synchronize. Because Ao dai and conical hat are symbols of Vietnamese women as well as Vietnam’s beauty.

Souvenir hanoi vietnam
Souvenir Hanoi Vietnam: conical hat market

The conical hat of Vietnam has first appeared since the mid 13th century. Conical hats and Vietnamese people especially farmers have sticked together from past to present.

The conical hat is used primarily to protect you from the sunshine and the rain. In addition it also shows the charm of Vietnamese women when combined with traditional dresses such as Ao dai, ao ba ba... And some places to buy them are Hang Trong, Hang Gai Street… in Hanoi.

What to buy in Hanoi
What to buy in Hanoi

What to buy in Hanoi

What to buy in Hanoi
Traditional instruments

4. Handicrafts

Handicraft is a popular souvenir in any coutry as well as in Vietnam. There is a huge variety of special  handicrafts in Hanoi.  So you can go to souvenirs shops at Ly Quoc Su, Hang Gai, Hang Bong, Nha Tho  Street.. to buy lacquer, bamboo and rattan products. The price is only 3-10 USD per item.

5. Brocade

Most of tourists choose to buy brocades  with  variety of shapes, colors and purposes when visiting Hanoi. However, brocade items are not made in Hanoi, they are made by ethnic minorities who live in the mountains of northern Vietnam including Lao Cai, Ha Giang, Hoa Binh, Son La province…
If you can go to the tourist areas such as Sapa - Lao Cai, Dong Van- Ha Giang, you should buy brocades at this places instead of buying in Hanoi. Because the brocade bag’s price at Hang Trong, Hang Bac, Ma May, Ta Hien  street in Hanoi is double one at which they are made.

Hanoi famous souvenirs - things must buy in Hanoi Vietnam
Brocade pattern

Hanoi famous souvenirs - things must buy in Hanoi Vietnam
Brocades in Hanoi

Brocades include clothes, scarves, towels and bags which is woven from a cotton thread in the high mounntains.

6. Seashell souvenirs

Seashell souvenirs made by skillful Vietnamese artists is also a good choice for tousists when travelling to Hanoi.

7. Bamboo dragonfy

Bamboo is the plant that characteristic of the Northern villages of Vietnam. And dragonfly is a type of flying insects, it’s nimble, cute and appears only in the summer.

Vietnamese souvenirs hanoi
Vietnamese souvenirs hanoi

Vietnamese souvenirs hanoi
Bamboo dragonfy. Photo: Hung Dang

From the main material is bamboo, artisans in Phu Xuyen, Thuong Tin district (that are situated in the south of Hanoi) have created beautiful and likely dragonfly by their skillful hands. Bamboo dragonfly is not only a gift in the traditional festivities but also souvenirs for exporting to other countries such as France, USA, Japan...

8. Bamboo souvenir

Beside bamboo dragonflies, there are many other souvenirs made from bamboo for you to buy such as a bookmark, decorative lights, cosmetic box, tea-tray, fruit...

Must buy things in hanoi
Must buy things in Hanoi: Vietnamese silk

9. Vietnamese silk

Along with traditional Ao dai, tourist can’t miss other unique Vietnamese silks such as scarfs, clothes, handbags... when visiting Hanoi. Van Phuc village is known as making the best silk in Vietnam. The types of Vietnamese silk are different from other silks in Shang Hai, Hong Kong or Guangzhou in China.

Sand painting
Sand painting

Sand painting
Sand painting just in Vietnam. Photo: Tuan Vuong

10. Sand painting

If you love art paintings, you immediately buy one piece because you probably don’t find anywhere having paintings made from sands as in Vietnam (see pictures in this article).

11. Art paintings

If you can’t buy a sand painting, you should buy an oil painting of the famous painters in Hanoi which are exhibited in private galleries at Ly Quoc Su, Hang Gai, Hang Trong, Le Thai To street or at the large-scale exhibition on Ngo Quyen, Trang Tien and Hang Bai Street.

However, you should buy Vietnam lacquer picture of which price is very expensive but it is only in Vietnam. I believe that you’ve researched about this type of painting made from special paints and eggshells, can exits for hundreds of years as lasting as oil painting.

In this website:

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If you want to have cheaper paintings, you can buy Hang Trong and Dong Ho folk woodcut paintings which are traditional paintings, are printed on a special kind of Dzo paper. And it is specific to the ancient Vietnamese art.

In addition, there are some typical souvenirs of Vietnamese such as XQ hand embroidery and silk paintings, smoked bamboo painting…

Where can you buy especially souvenirs in Hanoi? Please read more about: Best shopping streets in Hanoi Old Quarter