Vietnam has fantastic shopping opportunities so it’s well worth setting aside half a day or so. Popular shopping sites include Hanoi, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City, each has a wide selection of everything from art to luxurious silk suits. Here are some of the best buys:
Vietnamese art and antiques
Both traditional and modern paintings are available. Sophisticated works are on display in art galleries while cheaper ones are sold in souvenir shops along streets. Favorable specialties are the instant antique like teapot or ceramic plates. Vietnam has strict regulations on the export of real antiques, thus remember to check carefully the origin as well as the exporting capacity of the item. Most reputable shops can provide the necessary paperwork.
Ao Dai, the national dress for Vietnamese women, are a popular item to take home. Ready-to-wear Ao Dai are available in big tourist attractions like Hanoi, Hoi An or Ho Chi Minh City. A tailor-made one will cost you more. Hoi An town in the central region is known for its local tailors, here you can get almost every kind of clothing that can be customized to meet your need within a day or two. The price is affordable and the quality will surely satisfy you.
Lacquerware, brocades, ceramics, colorful embroidery, silk, oil painting, carpets, jewelry and leather work, all are on offers with reasonable price.
Remember to ask the price before you buy a thing. Walk around and draw a comparison between shops with similar items in case you’re not sure. Bargaining should be good-natured, smile and don’t get angry or argue. In some case, you will be able to get a 50% discount or more, at other times this may be only 10%.