Shopping In Vietnam In Brief

Shopping in Vietnam is a fun and interesting experience, and guarantees good bargains to
those who know what to look for. It is true to say that you can find nearly anything in
Vietnam. Markets vary from high class shopping malls, supermarkets to bustling open
market, galleries, boutiques and street stalls.
It is not recommended that you buy imported, famous branded products such as clothing,
perfume or electronics in Vietnam as tax makes these items more costly than neighboring
In terms of shopping for tourists, Vietnam is most famous for its handicrafts, war
souvenirs, authentic clothing, art, antiques and gems.
Hotspots include Hanoi, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City, each of which has a temping
selection of everything from avant-garde art to sumptuous silk suits.

Shopping in VN in brief

Art and Antiques
Vietnam has very strict regulations about exporting real antiques. There are several shops
to hunt for art and antiques. Both traditional and modern paintings are a popular item.
More sophisticated works are displayed in art galleries, while cheaper mass-produced
stuff is touted in souvenir shops and by street vendors. Be careful and check your sources
for certificates if they claim to sell you an original or antique piece.

Vietnam is emerging as a regional design center and there are some extravagant creations
in the boutiques of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Clothing varies greatly from tourist T-shirts to beaded handbags and traditional ao dai
(the traditional costume) made to fit your size. Items made from silk are a popular buy,
with prices varying depending on the material and tailor. Pre-made traditional dresses are
sold in many places. However, it is more recommended to have the dress made to fit your
body, which takes more time and slightly more money.
Shoes, slippers and handbags made from traditional materials (silk and bamboo) can also
become unique gifts and accessories.
The Vietnamese traditional conical hat, can be found everywhere throughout the country,
but hats made in Hue are most famous as they have a poem embroiled on the inside.
Non (conical hats) are favorite items for women in both rainy and sunny times. The best
quality ones can be found in the Hue’s area.

Gems and jewelry
Vietnam is rich in gemstones. The jewelry business is also increasing during current
years, and sophisticated works are produced by both big businesses and traditional
craftsmen. The quality of the gemstones sold is sometimes doubtable, so it is
recommended that you buy gems at prestigious locations and be ware with cheap prices.
Impress Travel Company Limited
Phone: 844 – 3734 6777, Fax: 844 – 3232 1106, Hotline: 8912 225 694

War souvenirs
Most war souvenirs sold today in Vietnam (for example, Zippo lighters engraved with
platoon philosophy) are fake reproductions. Be careful while transporting these items as
many airlines do not allow weapons, even fakes to be carried on their planes.
Other popular handicrafts in Vietnam include lacquer ware, wood-block prints, and oil
and watercolor paintings, blinds made from bamboo, reed mats, carpets, and leatherwork.

Tip: Bargaining
Bargaining should be good-natured, smile and don’t get angry or argue. Once the money
is accepted, the deal is done. Remember that in Asia, “saving face” is very important. In
some cases you will be able to get a 50% discount or more, at other times this may only
be 10%.

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