What to bring back from Vietnam? After an exciting trip to Vietnam, you don’t have to return home empty-handed. This culturally and historically rich country offers plenty of items to bring back – some edible, some wearable, and some with great souvenir value.

Keep reading as Vietnam Adventure shares some suggestions.

What to bring back from Vietnam – 10 Suggestions

Here are my 10 suggestions for Vietnamese items that you might consider taking with you when going home after visiting this beautiful S-shaped country.

Coffee Beans

Did you know that Vietnam is the second largest producer of coffee in the world? So it is advisable to buy coffee beans from here so that they can be used as souvenirs or consumed at your place of origin for your relatives’ sake.

Vietnamese coffee beans and "Phin" filter
Vietnamese coffee beans and “Phin” filter

In case you decide on buying Vietnamese coffee beans, I strongly recommend purchasing a “Phin” filter to taste Vietnamese-style coffee (or Phin coffee as I call it).

A Phin filter is the cheapest coffee maker and a tool used in traditional Vietnamese way of brewing coffee. One could say that it’s similar to the union between French press and pour-over brewing styles – that is what Phin filter actually seems like.

Non La (Vietnamese Traditional Hat)

The Non La is an iconic symbol of Vietnamese culture, and you can easily buy one at any market or souvenir across Vietnam. There are over 50 types of these conical hats, but all of them are typically crafted from palm leaves and bamboo.

Although most Vietnamese people don’t wear Non La in their daily lives today, it is still a good headgear for farmers and outdoor workers. It is also integral to traditional costumes used in performances, cultural festivals, and events throughout the country.

Vietnamese Silk

Vietnamese Silk is a luxurious product crafted from silkworm cocoons using traditional handlooms and comes in many different styles and colors.  You can find numerous fashion boutiques and souvenir shops that offer a wide array of silk products like ties, shirts, accessories, and dresses – all are often available at relatively affordable prices.

Unfortunately, counterfeit silk products are very popular in Vietnam and foreign tourists can be easily misled. For genuine silk items, the best places to shop are Hoi An Silk Village and Van Phuc Silk Village in Hanoi.

Dried Fruits (Ô Mai in Vietnamese)

O Mai is a tasty preparation of various kinds of fruits, such as plums, lemons, tamarinds, apricots and peaches seasoned with many spices and then dried out in order to gain a unique flavor.

Some of Ô Mai products 
Some of Ô Mai products

Traditional usage of O Mai was medicinal because it contained properties that were beneficial to the body. It has gradually developed into its present day popular snack similar to jam or candy.

Vietnamese Musical Instruments

Another thing that sets Vietnamese culture apart from others is their traditional musical instruments such as flute , xylophone and violin. You don’t have to be an accomplished musician to bring one of those home as a souvenir but they could pose something of a problem because of their size.

The best option for this one would be the bamboo flute which is also small enough to be carried anywhere and has cultural significance. This instrument contains 10 holes and it is usually played by farmers who have completed their daily duties on farms at evening time.

Another compact-sized instrument is the bamboo t’rung. Traditionally used in folk music, it is played at events ranging from family gatherings to village festivals.

The erhu, the Vietnamese violin, is another great choice to bring home. This instrument plays a vital role in the country’s artistic and cultural landscape and is commonly featured in traditional orchestral performances.

Ao Dai Costume

Ao dai is the traditional costume of Vietnamese people. Typically made from silk or other luxurious fabrics, the Ao Dai features a long tunic with a fitted bodice and high slits on both sides. This outfit is typically worn by women and pairs well with wide-legged pants and Non la.

Ao Dai - Vietnamese costume
Ao Dai – Vietnamese costume


Vietnamese lanterns are made from silk and bamboo, decorated with intricate designs and bright colors. They are also highly beautiful in terms of sight and serve as symbols for fortune, love, and joy.

By the way, Hoi An ancient town is also a center for buying lanterns which is famous for its lively stands at night filled with beautiful lights. The best place to find your dream lampshade though is Hoi An Night Market. Another thing that happens here is the release of traditional lanterns into the river.

Nuoc Cham

Nước chấm, a quintessential Vietnamese dipping sauce, elevates the flavors of spring rolls, rice dishes, and noodle bowls. This multipurpose dip has many types ranging from sweet to salty and even hot. A popular one called “mixed fish sauce” (nước mắm pha) consists of fresh lemon juice, sugar, minced garlic, chili, fermented fish sauce.


While traveling in Vietnam, you’ll have many opportunities to purchase lacquerware items to take home or admire those on display. Galleries such as the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum in Hanoi exhibit this exquisite art form, including some ancient pieces.

Also in Hanoi, An Dong Handicraft Market and Hang Bac Street are popular shopping destinations where you can find beautiful lacquerware and other meticulously crafted items.

Vietnamese Herbs and Spices

Vietnamese herbs and spices are an ideal gift for foodies back home. Renowned globally for its balanced fresh flavors, enticing aromas, and appealing textures, Vietnamese cuisine owes much of its reputation to these distinctive herbs and spices.

What Can’t You Bring Back from Vietnam?

The particular restrictions may vary, depending on the rules of the host country. However, here are items that are usually not permitted:

  • Counterfeits: Vietnam is full of fake and counterfeit products including branded clothes, accessories, electronics among others which should not be taken back home.
  • Drugs and medicine: There could be some limitations on certain drugs or medications particularly those that have not been approved by authorities in the destination country.
  • Cigarettes and Alcohol: Duty-free imports might have quantity limits for cigarettes and alcohol.

The Bottom Line

Voila! You have it – My 10 suggestions on what to bring back from Vietnam. Happy travels and enjoy bringing a piece of Vietnam back with you!