If you’re particularly enthusiastic about quality textiles, clothes and handicrafts, jewelry, embroidery shopping in Hanoi will not disappoint you. There are good range of day and night markets, luxury stores around the old quarter or Hoan Kiem area. Also, the best thing about shopping in Hanoi is that you can do it all on foot, just take a tour around the old quarter then you may end ups with buying a lot of things there.
Here’s below our recommendation for some featured gifts or souvenir you you can buy while you are in Hanoi. Ask us if you have other interests in particular products, we will guide you through the best places for shopping and bargaining.
1. Silk and Embroidery
Travelers should not miss authentic traditional silk when visiting Hanoi. There are some differences in the way locals make silk in each region of Vietnam but Van Phuc village in Hanoi has been renowned for making the best silk in the country. You can buy draw silk, print silk or patterned silk with national decorations as a unique gift for friends and families in Hang Gai, a small street near the Old Quarter. There’s also available unique embroidery craft works on sale here. You can also go shopping in Van Phuc silk village (15km from downtown) for variety and best price as well as see the procedure of silk making.
Lacquer wares are well made in Hanoi with wonderful designs and various forms like: plates and dishes, coasters, wine holders, jewelries boxes, etc. They look quite bulky but pretty lightweight and easy to carry back home. Lacquer ware would become great gift or as decorative pieces for a modern home.
If you love products that require meticulous ingenuity, you can visit the shops selling lacquerware, traditional products with designed art and sophisticated at the shops for lacquer ware in Hanoi along Ly Quoc Su Street, Hang Gai, Hang Bong, Nha Tho, Van Mieu…
Handicrafts in Hanoi varies from lacquer ware, mother-of-pearl inlaid furniture, ceramics, sandalwood statuettes, watercolours, oil paintings, prints and assorted antiques (real and imitation). Hang Gai, To Tich, Hang Khai and Cau Go Street are significant shopping destinations.
4. Designer Boutiques
Fashion lovers can purchase exquisitely crafted custom-tailored clothes with a bargain price when visiting Hanoi. You just need to bring magazine catalogue or the item of clothing you want to copy and provide the tailors your instructions. Ordering shirts, blouses, gowns, cocktail and especially Ao dai (the traditional long dress in Vietnam) made of Vietnam authentic silk is absolutely worth a try. Khai Silk shop at Hang Gai Street is one of many tailor-made boutiques. The cost is about 25-50 USD per outfit.
5. Ceramic products
You can visit Bat Trang ceramic village and choose the fine ceramic products. Here, you not only buy souvenirs made from ceramics at very cheap prices, you also have the opportunity to learn and create unique ceramic products by yourself. If you have time, you can ask the shop owner to dry and burn to become a real pottery and deliver it to the hotel the next day. These ceramic products also available in Hanoi downtown along the Hang Trong street if you don’t have much time for visiting the village.
6. Silver jewelry
Many travelers to Hanoi love products made of silver, handmade products are beautiful and sophisticated. You can choose silver or gold jewelry at Hang Bac Street in Old Quarter or you can have it tailor to your design by skillful craftsmen.
Try to master key Vietnamese words such as “Bao nhiêu tian”? (How much is this? – pronounced: bow nyu thien) and “Dat quá”. (Too expensive! – daht quah).
When you are given an initial price try a few “Oi Gioi Oi’s” (Oh my God! – pronounced: oi zoy oi) and you’ll find things will go a lot better. Remember – keep things lighthearted.