Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and the lively city is located on the right bank of the Red River. Hanoi was captured by the French in 1863 and they built many churches, luxury villas, and public buildings, some of which still remain in the city. Apart from colonial buildings, travelers will find well-preserved ancient pagodas and unique museums in the city center. The city is also known for its vibrant nightlife, silk and handicrafts, multi-cultural community and the delectable cuisine, which has Russian, Chinese and French influences. You can book a day trip to Van Phuc Silk Village, where you can find handicrafts, souvenirs, and clothing at reasonable prices. Take a food walking tour and get an insight into the city’s everyday cuisine and try dishes such as banh cuon rice rolls. A trip to Hanoi is incomplete if you don’t buy some of the most popular items such as lotus tea, Vietnamese coffee and more. Here is a list of some items you can buy during your trip to Hanoi.
1. Van Phuc silk products
Van Phuc silk is one of the most popular silks found in Vietnam. This silk is lightweight, smooth and has an elegant appearance. Van Phuc Silk Village is the place to be if you like silk products. This village is just 10 kms (6.21 miles) away from the center of Hanoi and you can easily reach the village on a motorbike, taxi or public transport. The small village has around 1300 households and most of them are involved in silk business or production. This village is the perfect place if you are looking to buy shirts, ties, crafts, dresses and many other things made of Van Phuc silk.
Van Phuc Silk Village Hanoi
Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 – 22:00
Address: Van Phuc, Ha Dong, Hanoi
2. Hand-embroidered handkerchief
Hanoi is world famous for its hand embroidery products. You’ll find embroidered quilts, bed sheets, bed throws, napkins, pillowcases, placemats, handkerchiefs, cosmetic bags and more at an affordable price. Lotus flowers and dragons are some iconic designs, which are very popular among tourists. A delicate hand embroidered handkerchief is a perfect gift for one’s mother, wife or girlfriend. There are many places where you can buy hand embroidered mementos but do visit Tan My Designs, the oldest embroidery shop in Hanoi, which sells quality items at a reasonable price.
Tan My Design
Address: 61 Hang Gai Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Opening Hour: 8:00 -20:00, Monday - Sunday
Website: TanMy Design
3. Lotus tea
Lotus is Vietnam’s national flower, which is found in many places in the country. It is believed that the best varieties of lotus flowers are found in West Lake. The tea makers in Hanoi have attained the knowledge of infusing lotus stamen fragrance in green tea. This process is time-consuming and it can take up to 1500 flowers to produce just 1 kg (2.20 pounds) of lotus tea. Lotus tea is the best gift for someone special but it comes with a hefty price tag. The price for one of the best West Lake lotus tea may cost about USD 400.
Huong Mai Café
Address: 58 Ma May, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi or at 15 Hang Manh, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Website: Huong Mai Café
4. Magnet dolls
You will definitely have a list of people for whom you would want to buy some souvenirs. If you don’t want to invest a lot then magnet dolls are your best choice. In Hanoi, you’ll find small magnet dolls dressed in colorful Vietnamese traditional dress. You’ll find these dolls in many parts of the city from small street vendors to big souvenir shops. You don’t have to spend a fortune on them as they cost less than a dollar.
5. Vietnamese coffee
If you are the kind who likes starting the day with a satisfying cup of coffee, then tasting various Vietnamese coffees available in Hanoi is a must. Coffee was introduced by the French but it soon became a local favorite. In Hanoi, you can sample coffee with yogurt, egg and ice served at modern-styled bistros as well as sidewalk cafes. Visit Hai Ba Trung District, also known as Coffee Street in the city, where you’ll find many cafes. Some of these cafes also sell small packets of coffee. Grab some packs from Kim Lai Cafe before you head back home.
Kim Lai Cafe
Address: 99 Hàng Buồm, Hoàn Kiếm, Hanoi
Website: Kim Lai Cafe
6. Ao dai
Ao dai is the national costume for both men and women in Vietnam. This traditional long dress is now worn mainly by women. Ao dai is a tight and long tunic, normally made of silk, worn over pants. An ao dai is an essential outfit in every Vietnamese women’s wardrobe but it also makes a great gift for your sister, mother, wife or girlfriend. You can select an ao dai from numerous colors, designs, and quality. You’ll find ready-to-buy as well as customized ao dai in many parts of Hanoi. Visit the Old Quarter, where you’ll find a maze of shops selling ao dai.
ÁO DÀI THANH MAI
Address: 428 Bach Mai - Hai Ba Trung - Hanoi. Tel: 04 2212 2859
Website: ÁO DÀI THANH MAI
7. Non la
A conical hat in Vietnam is called a non la. This hat is part of the national costume in the country and is normally made of straw and used as a protection from the sun. Non la has many variations and some of them are made of palm leaves, bamboo, and bark of the moc tree. You can find non la in many small stores as well as souvenir shops but the best place to buy this conical hat is in the Old Quarter or Dong Xuan Market, the city’s central district.
Dong Xuan Market
Address: Hoàn Kiếm, Hanoi 100000
Website: Dong Xuan Market
8. O mai
O mai is one of the most popular snacks of Vietnam, made from preserved salted or sugared fruits. Traditionally, o mai is normally made of apricot, plum or sau (dracontomelon), but over time more fruits are being used to make this local delicacy. You can choose from dry or humid varieties of o mai. You’ll find o mai in many places of Hanoi but the best places to taste the most delicious o mai in the city is Hang Dau Street.
Hang Dau Street
Address: Hang Dau Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Opening Hours: Daily 09:00 - 20:00
9. Bamboo souvenirs
Bamboo trees are a symbol of vitality in Vietnamese culture. Many everyday items like baskets, fans, chopsticks, toys and more are made from bamboo in Vietnam. Bamboo products have become very popular among tourists visiting the country. You’ll find cute little bamboo dragonflies, which makes a perfect gift for the little ones back home. Visit Quang Trung Street where you can buy bamboo souvenirs at a reasonable price.
Bamboo Village Shop
Address: 108 Xuan Dieu Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi
Website: Bamboo Village
The art of lacquerware making has been handed down from generation to generation in Vietnam. It can take up to 100 days to finish an item, which goes through about 20 painstaking processes. Many other Asian countries also make lacquerware, but Vietnamese lacquerware has earned worldwide fame due to its superior quality. A number of lacquerware products such as jewelry boxes, plates, trays, photograph albums, bowls, and vases are available in many stores across Hanoi. However, the Old Quarter has many well-known shops selling quality lacquerware in the city.
Anh Duy Lacquer
Address: 25 Hang Trong, Hanoi Old Quater
Explore the historic city of Hanoi
You can’t miss the architectural marvels of one of the most ancient capitals of the world. You can explore the city center on foot while admiring the local shops and restaurants. Get hold of some souvenirs for yourselves and your loved ones on your way back from Hanoi.
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