Shopping Areas, Hanoi
Hanoi is the shopping Mecca of Vietnam. It’s the best place for you to buy all those little trinkets and souvenirs for your friends and family back home. The streets of the Old Quarter are lined with shops filled with just about anything you desire. And the stuff we found in Hanoi was far more interesting and different than anything we found in Ho Chi Minh City, which felt mass-produced and over-touristy. The other great thing about shopping in the Old Quarter is the same types of stores typically are found on the same street. Hanoi is also the center of the art movement in Vietnam, so if you’re looking for interesting, original Vietnamese art this is the place to shop.
What to buy: Shoes, clothing, sleeping bags, fabric, art, local crafts, etc.
What to pay: Bargain. The first price is never the final price.
Thuong Mai Trang Tien Shopping Centre is located along Hang Bai Street at the southern area of Hoan Kiem Lake. This is a relatively high class shopping centre as compared to places like the Old Quarter.
Every weekend during Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights after 7pm, the main streets of the Old Quarter area (along Dong Xuan - Hang Duong - Hang Ngang - Hang Dao streets) are transformed into a lively and very crowded night bazaar with plenty of road-side stalls selling various stuff (especially ladies clothings and accesories) and food. This is a must see when you are in Hanoi, however do be careful of your belongings.
Hasfasco is a big shop selling women's clothes, mainly jackets and sweaters at a very cheap price (in fact, among the cheapest in the Old Quarter Area). It is very popular and you can see many local ladies crowding in this shop (the locals will know where the good and cheap stuff are). If you are interested, this shop is located somewhere along the intersection between Hang Dao Street and Cau Go Street just north of Hoan Kiem Lake.
Hanoi night market is only on Fridays, saturday and sundays. Dont miss this as things are at leats 30eaper here than normal days and normal shops. bargain to your hearts content and u can get everything here from shoes to lacquerware to fashion stuff.
The whole area is closed to traffic from hang dong to don xuan market ....so the crazy moto sare not there !!!
Whenever you just can’t bare the hot weather, come to Hanoi’s shopping mall. Pretty much like a a/c flea market, little kiosks and some private-owned shops. Located on the other end of the Hoan Kiem Lake (if you’re standing in front of the water puppet theater.) Try the supermarket on the second floor, where you can by some fresh and dried food (canned dog meat available), and lots of other stuff in FIXED PRICES.
What to buy: Instant Pho noodle, chips, fruits, bottle water, soda,.....
Hanoi is certainly a shopper's paradise if you want silks, lacquerware, lampshades, wooden Water Puppets etc. One of the best areas we found was in the vicinity of St Joseph's Cathedral - particularly P Ly Quoc Su, the parallel P Hang Trong and its connecting P Nai Tho - lots of thngs to encourage you to part with your cash. But good value too.
Hang Be was another street that was worth wandering along.
What to buy: Silk at the Boutique and the Silk (P Nai Tho)
What to pay: Various
The old quarter which has history of over 1000 years is where all the interesting shops are. They are called 36 Pho Puong (36 streets) and originally each street was specialised in one type of products. Even if you are not interested in shopping you should visit this exiting and marvellous area, where you can see most ordinary things been sold. It's like a colourful play of tastes; eye, ear, taste. When you think you've seen everything you come across something else! It is a fantastic place!
Large professional looking gallery with substantial collection by various artists. Just go in and admire the wonderful pieces. It's located on a street that houses a few galleries, so take some time to wander around. I especially like the picture of three Vietnamese girls in traditional Ao Dais. Can somebody buy me one please!
While in Hanoi, if you are a girl, you must be fitted for one of the traditional Vietnamese dresses called an Ao Dai (Ao Zai in the South). It is a beautiful dress made out of silks and makes a very nice exotic evening outfit when you return back to the States or your home wherever it may be. I bought my Ao Dai at this shop and found that their prices and selection were more reasonable than many of the other shops that I visited. Don't pay more than $20 for one of these dresses or you are getting ripped off. This street has many different seamstress shops that will be able to accomodate you. I found that the Ao Dai in the North of Vietnam was much more intricate and you could get more designs in velvets and other cold weather garb that you couldn't get in the South where the Ao Zai there tended to be more lightweight. You need at least 48 hours to have your garment be ready for you.
If you would like to buy Union Bay, Quicsilver and some local brands clothings, this is the factory outlet that you should go to.
Lots of clothes to choose from and you can even try them out and alter your pants on the spot.
I believe the locals buy their clothing here because prices are reasonable and at a fixed price.
You can get a T-Shirt under 50,000 VND and pants and bermudas under 100,000 VND.
17 Phon Hai Ba Trung
250 Duong Minh Khai 04 8634476
39 Pho Ngo Quyen 04 8251262
What to buy: bermudas
What to pay: less than 10,000 VND per piece
Don Xuan is the biggest market in Hanoi. It's a 3 stores building.
Be brave and bargain to half ! you'll get the best price here.
What to buy: You can find hats and local craft vendors at the first floor.
Local crafts are : tea set, shell-fish, chop stick, key chain, etc...
What to pay: key chain : 0,3 USD
shell-fish decoration : 2,5 -10 USD
hat : 1 - 5 USD
This shop sells original old vietnam propaganda posters.
What to buy: If you can afford the originals ones, go ahead. But I recommend purchasing the smaller replica ones. You could actually buy a couple and hang them up in row. Cool.
What to pay: The smallest one cost between USD5-10.
You'll find everything under the sky here at cheap, cheap prices. Really, if you've been to Ben Tanh Market in Saigon, this is Hanoi's equivilent. I got pretty silk bags here for less than US10 here. Quite a steal compared to the touristy prices at Hang Gai Street! The reason? This is a wholesale centre!
What to buy: Silk embroidered bags, ao dais, silk ties, silk hankies, etc.
What to pay: Don't pay more than USD10 for a silk bag or USD20 for an ao dai or ao zai. Those conical hats go for USD2 or less.
As mentioned earlier, the Old Quarters becomes a giant shopping street in the weekends!
If you can, stay in a hotel in the Old quarters in the weekends and do your shopping in the evening. It's comparatively less stressful owing to the lack of traffic.
Where:Hong Dao to Dong Xuan Street. After 7pm
What to buy: Cheapie Hats, Gloves, Jackets
What to pay: I paid about US$1 or so for hats and gloves.