There are so many things tourists can buy in Hanoi such as silk, handicrafts, ethnic minority products, artwork and pictures, rice paper products, souvenirs,…
Ethnic Minority Products
Vietnam has more ethnic minority groups (see Hanoi Museum of Ethnology) than any other Asian country (about 54). Most of them hail from mountain villages in the north. Each has their own style and colours of clothing, with distinctive embroidery and weaving patterns. With the surge of tourism, many of their handicrafts and clothes are now sold in craft shops, especially in Hanoi.
Silk is the most famous product that tourists want to buy in Hanoi. Hang Gai, or Silk Street, is the best place to shop for silk in Hanoi. Located on the edge of the Old Quarter near Hoan Kiem Lake, Hang Gai consists of two or three blocks of small shops that all specialize in silk and embroidery. The merchandise at the various stores is similar but the prices, selection and service vary.
There are so many natural woods that this results in a broad range of handicraft products in Hanoi. These are transformed into carvings, statues, chopsticks and boxes. Look out too for water puppet figurines, hand-carved for centuries in traditional artisan villages. All these are available in countless souvenir shops in the Old Quarter.
Souvenirs in Hanoi
T-shirts, bandanas, wall hangings, tribal handicrafts and weavings– they’re all to be had downtown Hanoi old quarter. You’ll have to be willing to use your bargaining skills in most of these shops and stalls to get prices down. Air-conditioned Hanoi Moment (101 Hang Gai Street) comes highly recommended above the sometimes grimy street markets.
Shopping in Hanoi is so exciting. Have fun and remember to bargain prices down outside of established shopping malls.