Hanoi - Shopping
Shopaholics should start off in the Old Quarter where the winding cobbled streets are teemed with shops and stores catering to every conceivable desire, from fine silk shirts to exotic sugared fruits. Clothes lovers should stroll along to upscale Hang Gai and Nha Tho for their fix. Try Song, on the latter, for designer gear and Khai Silk on Nguyen Thai Hoc for high quality threads.
Those looking for traditional crafts such as lacquerware, ceramics and mother-of-pearl inlay should head to Van Mieu, for ethical traders Craftlink, or Yen The for Lan Vietnamese Handicrafts. Antiques can be found at shops around Hang Bach, Hang Be and Dinh Liet and Pinnochio on Hang Bong does very individual wooden shoes.
For a taste of everyday shopping in Hanoi, check out the December 19 Market on Ly Thuong Kiet Street in Hoan Kiem, which sells everything from dog meat to t-shirts. Hoan Kiem is also good for jewellery, art and art galleries and furniture with some very swanky shops springing up. Hom Market in the less touristy Ha Ba Trung is also a mecca for bargain hunters looking for typical Vietnamese products.
If you’re in need of a good book, set off for Trang Tien Street at the lower end of Ho Hoan Kiem, where a profusion of book stores sell everything from guidebooks to Shakespeare’s sonnets.