Sleeping bag liners – souvenir to buy in Vietnam

I’m not a huge souvenir buyer. Sometimes I do get some posters, or fridge magnets, or Canubic Jars (yes, seriously, purchased in Egypt). All in all given how much I travel, I try very hard to cut down on the things that I buy. When I travel, if I do want to buy something, I try to support the local designers or industry and try to get something unique from that country.

The first time I was in Vietnam, I happened to chance on a store selling 100% silk sleeping bag liners. I bought a single sleeper liner bag for USD 3!!! Which was an incredible purchase.

This thing is completely worth it because who amongst us hasn’t stayed in a hostel and felt really worried and icky about the bed sheets and blankets. These things are incredible because you  don’t have to worry any more, just lay out your sleeping bag liner under the blanket, crawl in and place the blanket on top if you need to keep warm. The top of the sleeping bag also has a small pocket for you to stuff your pillow in to make sure it doesn’t move around. The fact that its 100% silk also pretty much guarantees you a nice cuddly sleep.

photo-11(Single sleeping bag liner – it has travelled with me quite a bit by now)

I’ve been hunting for the sleeping bags ever since I got sent to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) for work. I walked up and down all the main luggage / handicraft/ handbag store asking if they had sleeping bag liners. For some odd reason, these things can be found easily in Hanoi, but extremely difficult in Saigon.

But finally, on my last week in Saigon, I found a store selling the sleeping bags! And amazingly they had a double sleeping bag liner! The double is really quite large, and I can see two people sleeping in it quite comfortably. The downside is, perhaps because it’s been a few years, and because it’s a larger bag, I paid USD 19 for it.

photo-10(The double size sleeping bag liner, honestly, its closer to a Queen size)

The best part of course is the fact that these sleeping bags fold up into really small and thin pouches that makes it easy to pack up with you.  So the next time you’re in Hanoi, go and get one of these sleeping bag liners. Trust me, there’s nothing like having a consistent little piece to help make your bed feel like the one you have at home. Also, isn’t there a lot of comfort in knowing you are the only person using the sleeping bag liner rather than whomever else and whatever else has been going on on those hostel sheets.

photo-14(Look at how small they roll up to be! Right most is the double, middle is the single – smaller than the paperback)

So if you’re considering buying a souvenir, why not buy one that you can actually use, and over and over as well.

So tell me, what kinds of functional souvenirs have you bought before?