When it comes to shopping in Vietnam, there is no lack of choices for you in Hanoi, the capital city. Here you will find a huge selection of souvenirs, from ethnic minority ones to hand-made crafts, and silks. You’ll just need to walk around the 36 streets of the Old Quarter – Hanoi top shopping are to experience the shopping culture and local way of life. We bring you the suggestion of top souvenirs to buy in Hanoi. Remember to have a search on some buying tips before you hit the streets.
Non La or conical hat is a perfect right circular cone made of bamboo cataphyll. More than indispensable tools which were used by farmers as a protector against the sun and rain, conical hats have become the unofficial symbol of Vietnamese women, bring them the charming beauty. The hat’s styles also differ by regions as Tay people with distinctively red colors while in Hue it is thin and elegant. You can get a normal hat for about one USD. Depending on the quality, the price range is between 2 to 5 USD.
Since the 18th century, Ao Dai was deemed to be the national costume. Together with Non La, it helps to enhance the gracefulness of Vietnamese women. There are many patterned materials and colors for the Ao Dai and solids for the pants. Depending on the material you choose, you could have a stylish set designed in your style from USD 30. Better silks will cost much more. Ready-to-wear Ao Dai can be bought in many places like around the Old Quarter.
In old days, silk was considered extremely luxurious and only used in Vietnamese high-class and royalty. But those days are gone; it now has become widely used through the country. You can find gorgeous silk products for men and women because it’s a popular gift from the country with affordable price. The silk is made by very simple looms with traditional methods.
For best buy, walk down Hang Gai Street (Silk Street) at the Old Quarter with established shops in large quantities and qualities. Or if you want to buy good quality silk at cheaper price, it’s better to go to the silk village of Van Phuc. Normally the price is around $4 per meter for the regular silk, and over $5 per meter for the premium one.
Ceramic products are another popular souvenir which you can bring home from Vietnam. However you must keep it carefully while traveling because ceramics are easy to break. Variety pottery products in shape, colors and sizes like vases, lacquer can be bought at the traditional ceramic village of Bat Trang.
Bamboo and wooden products
Bamboo and wooden products in Vietnam are all hand woven and available in a large variety of colors. You can buy the same as beautifully carved bamboo hats or salad bowls, trays, baskets and more such items made out of bamboo and wood, bamboo baskets are another specialty made by the Vietnamese people. Apart from being cheaper alternatives they are also eco-friendly in nature.
Silk painting in Vietnam became popular from 1925 to 1945 and continues as one of the most iconic art forms for Vietnamese artisans. Unlike traditional painting, this kind uses the silk’s natural color and texture as the backdrop for the scene with vivid colors. The mystical, simple and poetic theme like peaceful countryside and pagoda make these particularly attractive and unique. Silk painting is not only used to hang on wall but also on beautifully decorated scarves and on traditional Ao Dai.
Lacquer painting, known as Son Mai in Vietnam is distinct from those in Asia by its material using resin from son tree. Lacquer is high quality products which have to go through 20 steps of development and can be used to create bowl, dishes, and vases in attractive color and intricate designs.
Walking along Hanoi’s Old Quarter streets such as Hang Khay and Hang Gai, it is common to see groups of foreigners s contemplating and buying lacquer paintings as gifts for their friends and family. Moreover, lacquerware is pretty light to bring home. It will be a beautiful décor for your home.
Sandpainting is the art of pouring colored sands, powdered pigments from minerals or crystals, and pigments from other natural or synthetic sources onto a surface to make lively picture. Vietnamese sand picture comprises of 4 categories such as landscape, portrait, laborer and calligraphy. Y Lan is a very famous artist for this kind of painting. She now is internationally known for selling these masterpieces all over the world.