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The Vietnamese know that they can make a lot of money with kitsch and small things. Therefore for a long time they forgot about traditional art handwork. Fortunately this craft is beginning to come back again. The Vietnamese souvenir business is still small compared to neighbor countries. There is limited offer expect for cities as Saigon, Hanoi and Hue.

The most important craft for the Vietnamese is pottery art and lacquer work. These handwork crafts are centuries old. All kinds of products as cupboards, plates and vases are being lacquered with resin. Wooden or bamboo objects get eleven layers of resin. The last layer is polished with chorister powder and limestone. Sometimes people engrave ornaments into the resin layers.

In souvenir shops you will also find many silk painted products. The fine scars and blouses, rags or postcards are less than what you should pay for them at home. Most beautiful are the special aodai, traditional clothing of Vietnamese women. Silk weaving is also very popular. You should go to Hanoi for good tailors.

In the north of Vietnam they make jackets or coats of heavy, shiny velvet, stitched with silk and fitted with sequin or gold stitching. When you would like to buy such a jacket or coat, you should take your time for fitting!

Other crafts in Vietnam are embroidery, lacework, painting and woodcraft. Embroidery and lacework is mostly offered in Hanoi. There are also more and more art galleries in Hanoi. In Hoi An, a place south of Danang, almost all streets are covered with art galleries. In Saigon there are artists who are experts in copying famous paintings. So you could get your Van Gogh, da Vinci or Gauguin from them.

Don’t buy antique and products made of turtles and ivory or protected animals and plants! Also make sure you are well informed about which products you can’t import to your own country.

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