Street vendor in the old quarter, Hanoi. Jared Kelly / Creative Commons.
Viet Nam’s capital city of Hanoi never fails to charm. Amidst its vibrant atmosphere of a city on the move, it captivates with its grip on the past. From its colonial architecture to ancient temples and pagodas, Hanoi’s heritage is evident in its many neighbourhoods, particularly in the Old Quarter, where it’s easy to bring home something to remind you of the city.
Since the 13th century, the Old Quarter has been home to merchants and artisans selling their products in its maze of narrow, congested streets. Each street bears the name of the goods that was specifically sold there. Centuries later, the goods being sold in the shops have changed in most of the streets, but shopping is still part of the Old Quarter’s lure.
Find fantastic silk fabrics and made-to-order silk suits or shirts along Hang Gai Street, aromatic herbs and spices in Lang Ong Street, old propaganda art reproductions in Hang Bac Street, lacquer ware at Hang Hom, shoes at Hang Dau, traditional musical instruments at Hang Manh, books at the shops in Trang Tien Street, and decorative items and souvenirs at Nha Tho Street and the area surrounding nearby Hoan Kiem Lake.
You can also locate some of Hanoi’s designers who have set up their boutiques in the old shop houses of the Old Quarter. Except for silk, bargaining is acceptable for most items so be ready to negotiate before you part with your Vietnamese dong.
Traffic in the Old Quarter. Michelle Lee / Creative Commons.
Shop in the Old Quarter at Night. Chris Goldberg / Creative Commons.
Ladies in the Old Quarter. Michelle Lee / Creative Commons.
Similar Southeast Asia Experiences
Almost every Southeast Asia city has a shopping scene of its own – you can visit Bangkok, Thailand's markets; Kuala Lumpur's Golden Triangle and Chinatown; Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei; and Inle Lake in Myanmar.
You'll find especially good deals at duty-free shopping center Langkawi In Malaysia, and in the clothes overruns stores at Bandung (part of an overland tour from Jakarta to Bali).
A tour of Bandar Seri Begawan reveals deep Islamic cultural roots that live on in the city's grand mosques, historic muse...
Most of the trip is centered around the Philippines' paradisiacal island of Palawan. You'll start your first day at t...VIEW DETAILS
Bookended by Bangkok in Thailand and Siem Reap in Cambodia, this epic tour of two Kingdoms in Southeast Asia must be experien...VIEW DETAILS
Tour visits lakes, beaches and seashores around Southeast Asia, from Malaysia's Port Dickson to Viet Nam's grand Ha L...VIEW DETAILS
A taste of variety at Kembali Kitchen, Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaVIEW DETAILS
A guided tour with the only accredited UNESCO World Heritage Tour Guide – Ms. Joanne Khaw. Experience the Baba Nyo...VIEW DETAILS
The Oasia Hotel Novena, Singapore is still a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of city lifeVIEW DETAILS
Go on an epic Asean journey with AirAsia Asean Pass, a travel pass that allows you to book our base fares at least 14 days or...VIEW DETAILS
Rent a car for 2 days or more at participating locations in Asia and enjoy up to 15% offVIEW DETAILS
Enjoy a Suite stay in UNESCO Heritage Penang, Malaysia. Reserve a one night stay, and extend the second night at 25% discoun...VIEW DETAILS
Rising above the city’s dramatic skyscraper skyline with its unique hotel-in-a-garden concept, PARKROYAL on Pickering, ...VIEW DETAILS
Located alongside the legendary Mekong River, the Landmark Mekong Riverside Hotel offers 5 stars’ accommodations, dinin...VIEW DETAILS