New Year’s presents favored by the rich: ginseng, saffron and cordyceps
VietNamNet Bridge - Iranian saffron, Vietnamese Ngoc Linh ginseng and Tibetan cordyceps are among the most popular items favored by wealthy Vietnamese for lunar new year presents. 


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Iranian Saffron




In Hanoi and HCM City, saffron has been popular. Hang, an office worker in HCM City, said she bought 0.2 kilogram at VND100 million.  

“I have been told to mix the saffron with olive oil for 10 minutes to get an orange mixture which can help make skin be smooth as silk,” she said.

Thanh, an accountant in Hanoi, bought 0.5 kilograms of saffron at VND225 million. “My boss likes beauty products and I believe it will be a favorite gift,” she said, adding that imported food and fruits are no longer favored.

Ha, the manager of a gift shop on Tran Xuan Son street in Hanoi, said imports triggered a saffron fever soon after it arrived in Vietnam.

“People rush to buy, though the price is sky high, about VND500 million for one kilogram,” she said.

Meanwhile, customers can buy saffron at a lower price, about VND360 million per kilo, if they order online.

Iranian saffron, Vietnamese Ngoc Linh ginseng and Tibetan cordyceps are among the most popular items favored by wealthy Vietnamese for lunar new year presents. 

Saleh Adibi, Iranian Ambassador to Vietnam, has warned Vietnamese against counterfeit products. Sellers may produce counterfeit saffron from turmeric powder and dyeing chemicals. 

Tibetan cordyceps are believed to be a bit of a miracle drug. In Vietnam, cordyceps are priced at between VND700 million and several billion dong.

The owner of a cordyceps shop in district 10, HCM City, said premium products are priced at VND42 million per 200 gram bag, while the cheapest is at VND5.5 million per 5 grams.

He said despite the exorbitant prices, there are many orders. “People do not regret spending money on food and medicinal herbs for Tet,” he said.

Ngoc Linh ginseng, one of the five types of ginseng most wanted in the world, has been very popular.

The ginseng is found in Ngoc Linh mountainous area between Kon Tum and Quang Nam provinces. 

Loan, a seller of Ngoc Linh ginseng in Kon Tum province, said pre-Tet days are the highest sales season. One kilogram of ginseng is valued at VND60-150 million, while a very old bulb of ginseng can be priced at several billion dong. However, there are very few such products.

Kon Tum provincial authorities have approved a project to grow Ngoc Linh ginseng in Tu Mo Rong district in a bid to preserve and develop the medicinal plant.


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Vu Ha

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