You may be invited to visit a host or a hostess and looking for a list of gift ideas for hosts and hostesses. The price of the gift is not important but a suitable gift shows you care about the preferences of the host/hostess and makes him/her happy. Top 10+ Host and Hostess Gifts in Vietnam include fruits, gift combos, wines, coffee, tea, cakes, chocolates, specialty foods, healthy foods and drinks, ornamental plants and flowers, gifts for children.
Read more about Vietnamese Gifts Etiquettes – the ultimate guide to gifting in Vietnam.
Fruits are healthy foods, all members of the host’s family can eat them so that fruits are the top 1 host and hostess gift Vietnam. You can buy fresh or dried fruits, both imported and local fruits are good choices. Do not choose too ripe ones and avoid buying rotten ones. A fruit combo packed in a box or basket is the best choice. Or you can grab packages of fresh fruits or dried fruits. Strawberries, apples, oranges, grapes, kiwis, mangoes, pomelos, dried grapes, dried persimmons, dried dates, etc. are the most favorite. If the family has old people and children, fruits having tender flesh are better. Pears (lê) and plumps (mận) are not recommended because some Vietnamese believe that they are pronounced the same way as separated (chia ly).
Pros: a wide range of health benefits, nice looking gift, reasonable price.
Cons: rotten or too ripe fruits need for careful transfer, expensive imported fruits.
Where to buy fruits? You can come to supermarkets, local markets, fruit stores to buy fruits. At local markets and fruit stores, fruits are fresher and you can ask them to pack the fruits in nice baskets or elegant wooden boxes. You can also buy fruit combos online.
Gift combo is a great choice because it is any combination of wines, cakes, chocolates, nuts, snacks, coffee, tea, dried fruits, candies, etc. The combo is usually arranged in a basket, wrapped in a transparent plastic wrap, and decorated with plastic or fabric ribbon bows and flowers.
- Nice-looking gift;
- Do not need to choose which gift is better (for example, chocolates or cakes, wine or tea) because the combo consists of many choices.
Cons: a little bulky, more expensive than only one gift.
Where to buy? Supermarkets, local markets, gift stores sell ready combos and products for you to choose and have them wrapped.
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Wine is one of the most favorite gifts not only in Vietnam but also in many countries in the world. In Vietnam, many women do not like alcoholic beverages. So that you should not gift a bottle of wine to a hostess but a host, or a hostess and her family. In short, you gift wines if there is at least one person in the family who can drink it. You have lots of choices such as grape wines, vodkas, whiskeys, Vietnamese sweet rice wine, etc. The type of wine depends on the host’s preference.
Pros: one of the most perfect gifts.
- Some family members including children and some women can not drink wines.
- Bottles of wines without boxes are easily broken so that you should buy boxes of wines.
Where to buy? Supermarkets, local markets, gift stores, wine stores.
Similar to wine, coffee is also a favorite drink and gift in Vietnam and the world. However, you should know that the majority of Vietnamese people love to drink strong coffee. Old people and men are familiar with dark coffee, brewed with Phin filters. Women and teenagers drink light coffee, instant coffee 3 in 1, 2 in 1. Others like medium coffee. You can choose coffee beans or roasted coffee, instant coffee packs. Me Trang, Trung Nguyen, Mr. Viet Coffee, Phuc Long, Vina Cafe are the top coffee brands in Vietnam.
Pros: light and portable gift, reasonable price.
Cons: givers do not know which types of coffee are favorite of hosts.
Where to buy? Supermarkets, local markets, gift stores, coffee stores, coffee shops.
You can choose dried tea leaves for old people and tea bags for women and young people. Oolong is a high-glass type of tea, the best Vietnamese tea plants are grown in Thai Nguyen, Bao Loc, Northwest Highlands. Smelling tea with daisy, rose, strawberry are also good choices.
Pros: light, small, portable gift; various choices.
Cons: some Vietnamese people do not drink tea; you should choose the right tea for the host or hostess.
Where to buy? Supermarkets, local markets, gift stores, tea stores.
There is no need to write so much about cakes. In my opinion, biscuits are the most popular choice among enormous types of cakes and other sweets. You can choose tin or paper boxes of biscuits.
Pros: portable gift, reasonable price, most of the family members including kids will love your gift.
Cons: some hosts do not eat sweet items including cakes due to diet plans or health issues such as diabetes; some people do not like eating cakes simply because they think cakes are not healthy.
Where to buy? Supermarkets, local markets, gift stores, convenience stores.
Chocolate is a multipurpose gift in Vietnam. You can gift chocolate to your girlfriend, female college on Valentine’s day, International women’s day, children, people of all ages on their happy birthdays. It is also a great gift at Tet festival and when you visit a host or hostess.
Pros, cons and where to buy: similar to cakes.
Traditionally, Vietnamese people usually gift specialty foods of their hometowns or from the regions they have just visited. Dried fruits and vegetables from Dalat, Pia cake from Soc Trang, Mung bean cake from Hai Duong, Dried seafood from coastal provinces, etc.
Pros: a variety of choices, introduction of the region’s specialties, reasonable price.
Cons: some specialty foods are strange and do not meet the tastes or preferences of receivers.
Healthy foods and drinks
Products from salangane nests, ginsengs, lingzhi mushrooms, abalones, vegetable caterpillars are good gifts for Vietnamese hosts and hostesses, especially old people. Raw salangane nests, ginsengs and others are more expensive than drinks and foods from them. For example, a package of six bottles of salangane nest drinks costs about VND 250,000 but a 100-gram salangane nest costs from VND 2,700,000.
Pros: health benefits, prices of drinks from salangane nests (or ginseng, lingzhi and others) are reasonable.
Cons: raw salangane nests (or ginseng, lingzhi and others) are expensive; these healthy foods and drinks are better for old people and patients.
Where to buy? Supermarkets, local markets, gift stores, drugstores.
Ornamental plants and flowers
A flowerpot that can be used to decorate the house is a great gift to a hostess or the family of your host. In my opinion, you should not buy roses or cactuses with flowers.
Pros: These beautiful flowers bring luckiness to the hosts and make their houses more colorful.
- Ornamental plants and flowers usually last about one month.
- If you are not careful enough, the flowers will be bruised or flower stalks are broken.
Where to buy? Supermarkets, shop flowers in local markets or on the streets.
Gifts for children
Small gifts such as chocolates, cakes, candies, balloons, dolls, cars, stuffed toys, books will make the children in the family happy. The gift for children is not a must when you visit a host or hostess.
Pros: making children surprised and your host happy; small gifts for children do not cost too much.
Cons: besides the gift for the host and the whole family, you pay more for the gifts for children.
Where to buy? Supermarkets, toy stores in local markets or on the streets, bookstores.
How much should I spend on the gift?
Although prices of gifts to hosts and hostesses are not very important in Vietnamese culture, you should know how much to spend on the gift for your host or hostess. Your gift costs from VND 50,000 to some millions of Vietnamese Dong. A tin package of biscuit costs from VND 100,000; a 150-gram-package of strawberries cost from VND 150,000. A bottle of wines cost from VND 150,000; a 1-kg coffee pack costs from VND 250,000. A gift combo or fruit combo costs from VND 300,000.
If you are invited for a meal, you should not spend less than VND 100,000. A gift costing from VND 200,000 to 500,000 is better. If the host is your boss, you should spend more on the gift. If there are many members of the family, you can not buy a small pack of cakes or a few apples but more cakes or fruits. If the host or hostess gifted you on your happy birthday or when they visited you, you know how much they spent on the gifts for you. If he gifted you an expensive imported bottle of wine, you can not gift him only one kilogram of apples which cost less than VND 200,000.
* In fact, Vietnamese people can bring more than one gift at the same time. For example, they can gift cakes, tea and ornamental plants. So that you are free to buy many gifts for your host or hostess.
Where to buy Top 10+ Host and Hostess Gifts in Vietnam?
Supermarkets are favorite places of Vietnamese people and foreigners because they provide air conditioning systems, customers feel comfortable to walk around and choose products with fixed prices. At Tet festival and on important occasions, they usually sell gift combos. On normal days, you can choose some products, then have the staff to wrap them. Certainly, you will pay a small fee for the gift wrapping service. Some Vietnamese people tell me that prices at supermarkets are always higher than in local markets. However, supermarkets usually offer promotions for festivals and holidays, the prices of gifts are sometimes lower.
I see that local markets are not popular places for foreigners to buy gifts, foods and commodities. If there is a local market near your living place, you can find a store and buy your gift there. Big stores sell gift combos or provide wrapping services.
Gift stores specialize in gifts so that there are more choices than at supermarkets, local markets and convenience stores on the streets. If you can find a trusted gift store in the city, it will be great.
What to do when gifting in Vietnam?
- Hand the gift over your host (hostess).
- Do not put the gift on the floor but tables or chairs.
- Smile when giving the gift.
- Say beautiful words when giving the gift.
- Provide necessary information (expiration date, how to eat or drink) about the gift if it is a specialty food.
Top 10+ Host and Hostess Gifts in Vietnam in summary
Now you know what to gift a Vietnamese host and hostess and learn more about Vietnamese gifts etiquettes. Gift combos are the favorite choices of many Vietnamese people and expats because they look elegant. I hope that you will strengthen your relationships with Vietnamese hosts and hostesses with nice gifts and the proper ways of giving them.
Read more about Do and Don’t when gift-giving in Vietnam
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