Though there are limited options for shopping in Halong Bay, what is actually available can be very interesting. Try the night market at Bai Chay Town. It is set up with many small open-air stalls with good collections of Vietnamese products includes the famous traditional Vietnamese silk dress (ao dai), lacquerware, chopsticks, trinkets, ceramic tea sets, Vietnamese conical hats (nón lá) and dolls. Experienced shoppers recommend bargaining hard to 30-50% of the original offered price. Most shops accept US Dollars as well as the local currency, Dong. Another fun way of shopping is from small floating shops. Local people row boats filled with goods such as beer, vodka, cigarettes, potato chips, cookies and other snacks. Their small boats are usually laden with goods in a very organised way and even if you're not buying anything these vessels are fascinating to see and photograph. It is important for shoppers not to encourage vendors selling stalagmites and stalactites as they should stay where they belong – inside Halong’s caves and grottos.
Markets are among the best places in Vietnam for travellers looking to experience the daily lives of its local population. Operating as early as 03:00, you’ll find throngs of marketgoers haggling for the freshest fruit, vegetables, seafood and meat. Vietnam markets are also great for sampling a wide range of local delicacies at affordable prices, as they are often fitted with a dedicated food court surrounded by food stalls. While most markets in Vietnam have been in operation for hundreds of years, there are several (especially those located in the cities) that are now geared towards tourists, featuring stalls selling handicrafts, souvenirs and pre-packaged food items. While goods here are sold at relatively low prices, you can still exercise your bargaining skills to get better deals. Read on for our handy guide on Vietnam’s most popular local markets.
Shopping is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the local culture during your Vietnam holiday, where you can find unique handicrafts, food items, and apparel at relatively affordable prices. Whenever perusing through Vietnam’s local markets, art galleries, and craft centres, it’s wise to take your time searching for good Vietnamese souvenirs and gifts for your family and friends. Bargaining (at least 75% lower than the retail price) is a must for better deals as vendors often charge higher for tourists. Locally produced coffee, conical hats and dipping sauces can be found in most shopping venues in Vietnam, but if you’re looking to purchase authentic Vietnamese silk, jewellery and antiques, make sure you’ve done your research and visit reputable brands to avoid getting scammed. Read on for our guide on the best things to buy in Vietnam.
Shopping in Hanoi is most famed for its traditional markets and narrow shophouses, but there are a growing number of flash boutiques and shopping malls offering a wide range of international brands, as well as dining and entertainment options. The best thing about shopping in Hanoi is that you can do it all on foot, with many streets dedicated to specific trades.
This is particularly true in the Old Quarter, where Silk Street and Silver Street still retain their particular trades after hundreds of years. Whether you are looking for gimmicky souvenirs such as Vietnamese farming hats or a hand-made silk evening gown, we have compiled a list of great places to shop in Hanoi.