You are in Hanoi for the first time and being allured by its diverse range of goods that you don’t know which ones are the essential you should buy? This article is going to make the complicated question become piece a cake!
If you think that Ho Chi Minh City is the only shopping heaven, think again. Hanoi has its unique charm when it comes to buying stuff - and by stuff - we mean strange unique things that cannot be found anywhere else. Below is a list of what we think visitors can take home with them, as a small piece of Hanoi.
Ao Dai – The Traditional Costume
Known as the traditional costume of Vietnam, Ao Dai has become a very popular souvenir to the tourists. This little- tight dress is made of 2 parts: one is the gown-wearing in the outside and the inside is the long pants with contrast color. Today, Ao Dai is designed in many different styles and models. There are 2 versions of Ao Dai: the traditional and the modern one. For a perfect fit dress, you can choose your own garments at the market and let the tailor done their work for you. You can find the best cloth and services for making Ao Dai in Van Phuc silk village.
Conical Hat (Vietnamese: Non La) - A Cultural Symbol
Wearing Ao Dai without Non-La is the big missing because they are the perfect match. Appeared in the 18th century, Non La has become a crucial part of every Vietnamese people. The conical hat can protect you from the rain or in the scorching and boiling hot weather in Vietnam. Conical hat or Non la is made of bamboo, palm leaves, and the Moc trees’ bark. There are numerous types of leaf hat owing to its origin in different regions of Vietnam. Non la is sold like a souvenir and a practical thing to wear for traveling purpose. You can buy this unique hat in many shops and markets. The price is rather cheap.
Silk (Silk Products)
Vietnam was once very famous for silk as one of the main trading product in South East Asia. The lightness and durability are the main features that make Vietnamese silk attractive. A great number of places offers raw silk for sale, namely Van Phuc Silk Village in Hanoi, Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh and so on. Beautiful products made from silk are available, especially the hand embroidery paintings. This is considered an art in modern Vietnam and few even cost a fortune.
Artwork and print
Walking along Hanoi’s Old Quarter ones should notice an abundant number of art shops selling paintings and pastel pieces. If you want to keep the memory or want some evidence about your trip to Hanoi, don’t hesitate to walk in and pick up one of the Vietnamese propaganda posters or original artwork at a surprisingly low price varying between $2 and $30.
If you are an art-holic who never satisfy with cheap artworks, upscale galleries around Hanoi are always open to you for spending several hundred to thousands of your dollars.
It would be a big mistake if tourists fail to taste dried spiced beef sold on Hang Giay Street and dried sweetened fruits or vegetables (“Ô Mai” and “Mứt”) available on Hang Duong Street. Also, Hanoi is the only place you can see such delicious and authentic “Ô Mai” in Vietnam. This type of snack is very rich in term of species which ones may spend up to million and weeks to taste them all.
If tourists have had the chance to watch a show of water puppet, ones should have been mesmerized by special wooden puppet floating and acting vividly like real actors under the skillful hand of water puppet artist. If it is ones’ wish to take one of those puppets to bring home, don’t ever think of stealing one because there are many souvenir shops around the theater area selling reproductions of those puppets. Paying a price starting from $10, ones would possess a piece of sophisticated handmade wooden buffalo, a hero on horseback, cute dancing girls or a mighty dragon.
Hanoi and its foods make you fall in love with this country so much and the only thing you want is shouting loudly “I love Vietnam”? You don’t need to compete with all kind of transportation running on streets to contribute more noise to this peaceful city by that way because souvenir shops on Dinh Liet or Hang Gai Street are always available to you with their lavish collections of T-shirt printed with cute slogan like “I Love Hanoi”; “I Love Vietnam” or “I Love Pho” – with pictures of hot steaming bowl of Pho on; and also in many sizes and colors. Also, on the same streets, ones are advised to buy one of the silk products like the scarf, tie or clothing; or brocade-like bags; hats and accessories.