Pasalubong – Vietnam

Pasalubong is one of the words that makes me happy, especially when I am not on the receiving end of the statement (and its permutations), “dalhan mo ako ng pasalubong”; however, it is very ingrained in Filipino culture to bring pasalubong or  souvenirs when we go out of town and share them with our family and friends. Pasalubong can take many forms—food, the walang-kamatayang keychains and ref magnets, and accessories.

For other entries about Vietnam, please read Good Morning, Vietnam, Visiting the Nine Dragon Delta and An Old Hand in Vietnam.

Here are some of the things I bought in Ho Chi Minh:

Each pair of ref magnet costs VND20, 000 at Benh Thanh market. They are colorful but fragile.
The small frame of lacquerware costs $12 each. They are sold at Phuongnam Lacquerware along Nguyen Trai Street. I had a hard time looking for frames that are made of the same material that complement one another. I ended up buying two made of lacquer and one made of ground eggshells (rightmost).


A box of Vietnamese coffee with 20 sachets costs VND 45,000 (Benh Thanh Market); flat banana wafer (3 packs), VND 160,000 (near the coconut candy factory); box of MacChocolate with 10 sachets costs VND 31,000; Thuan Giang Shrimp Chips, VND 25,500, Mit Say freeze dried fruits (100g), VND 19,000; Trai Cay Say freeze dried fruits (200g), VND31,000 (all from Thanh Toan grocery). I like the freeze dried fruits, especially the jackfruit and bananas, and the shrimp chips once they are fried perfectly.


The compact mirror costs VND 50,000 (Benh Thanh Market). I know I could have bought it at a lower price, but it was the first item I bought and my haggling skills were nonexistent at that time. Do not forget to take it out of its packaging to check for cracks and other imperfections.


Virg and I were lusting over the non las so we snapped them up once we found a pair that fit our heads, and for $1 each, they are a wonderful way to protect one’s self from UV rays while riding a boat. We bought six bags for VND250,000 (store adjacent to the bee farm), and they are sturdy enough to hold 500-mL of water, a DSLR-camera, three lacquerware frames and other breakables.


I bought the three ladies for VND180,000 (Benh Thanh Market).
They are heavy, and not as refined as I would like them to be.
Tailor-made ao dai made by Phuong Giang for $75.


Ready-to-wear ao dai for VND 180,000 (store near the bee farm).

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