I am not much of a shopaholic, but most of my family members are, so this is a list of things you can get in Vietnam. To me the best souvenirs are my photos and memories. I would be devastated if my memory card was corrupted or something, so luckily for me that didn’t happen. Also check out what Jeff and Flora shopped for on their recent trip to Ho Chi Minh as well.
1. Traditional Coffee. We were told that Legendee by this brand, Trung Nguyen, is the best. This is the famous weasel or civet cat coffee. Basically the civet cat eats the coffee beans which goes through it stomach enzymes and the coffee made from the product that comes out of it is said to taste better. Legendee mimics this process with articifial enzymes so it is less expensive than the famous Kopi Luwak which my sister told me is available in Indonesia.
2. Heinz Chilli sauce unique to Vietnam, that was garlic based. Saw this at the supermarket as well, but I don’t like carrying bottles home.
3. Sliced green mangoes which would be great for a salad.
4. Roadside shop that sold purses for less than S$2. You need to haggle to get the price down a little.
5.The elegant Ao Dai. Although the sizes at the stores were all made to fit the petite, super skinny Vietnamese women.
6. Lacquerware – vases, little boxes, candles holders and chopsticks were also seen at the shops at the Saigon Post Office (but the prices were higher as this is basically a tourist shop).
7. Gowns and Suits – tailoring is said to be really cheap and quick here
8. Pretty dresses for little girls with smocking. There were lovely quilts for babies too.
9. Roadside stalls sold a flimsier version of the Vietnamese drip coffee strainer for less than S$2. It would be a better bet to get them at a supermarket.
10. Oil paintings and prints.
11. This would be a great place to shop before Chinese New Year for unique decorations like olive shaped lanterns and ang pow packets.