Hanoi Shopping and Services

Shopping in Hanoi is delightful. Clothing, gifts and souvenirs are beautifully made and reasonably priced. Silk material, at $3 per meter, is a bargain in the Dong Xuan market, upstairs, and in the Hom market, south of Hoan Kiem Lake.

Clothing: The shops on Hang Gai (Le Minh, Kemly, Tan My, Thuy Ky) are best for standard items – shirts for men and women, pajamas, scarves, etc. Khai Silk is the big daddy of clothing shops, which is why I prefer the littler guys – Ami at Hang Gai 35 for linen shirts and men’s ties, Hien Silk at Hang Gai 100 for an excellent selection of silk scarves.  For boutique items and made to order – highly recommended if you have at least 3 days in town and/or have something you want exactly copied – check out the area around the Cathedral: Bambou Silk (Mrs Loan) at 10 Nha Chung St tel 39288168, Marie-Linh at 11 Nha Tho St tel 39288773. An Australian shop, Things of Substance, has nice clothing in Western sizes, 5 Nha Tho tel 38286965.

Souvenirs: lacquerware is everywhere. Check out shops on Hang Trong and around the Cathedral. For beautiful decorative stoneware objects – vases, boxes, trays, business card holders – the place to go is Van at 44 Luong Van Can, tel 39285249. Hanoi Moment at 101 Hang Gai and Marena at 28 Nha Chung both offer well made crafts.For feel-good antiques priced at under $300, the address is Minh Thuy, 32 Hang Duong, tel 38258706.

Banks: HSBC at Hang Trong corner of Nha Tho (Cathedral) and ANZ at 14 Le Thai To. Both have 24/7 ATM service, and their location, on Hoan Kiem lake, is perfect. The HSBC main branch is at 83B Ly Thuong Kiet Street, in the Pacific shopping center.

Travel agent: Handspan at 80 Ma May. Their Halong Bay overnight boat trip is wonderful. For flights, the Thai Air office in the Hanoi Lake Building at 28 Thanh Nien Road, near West Lake, offers famous Thai service as well as unbeatable business fares to Bangkok, LA and London. Air Asia is the new budget airline that flies from Bangkok to Hanoi for ridiculously low sums. I haven’t tried it, but lots of my friends have. It’s perfect if you don’t have much baggage and are not on a tight schedule.

Cinema: the still unofficial Cinemateque at 22A Hai Ba Trung tel 39362648 screens golden oldies and film festivals you won’t find elsewhere. Opposite the American Club and down an alleyway, definitely worth searching for. The French cultural center at 24 Trang Tien Street screens French films, as well as showcasing local artists.

Face, hair and body care: QT (just moved, their previous address was 28 Le Thai To Street, tel 39286116) is the place for ultimate pampering, and ask about their seasonal discounts. Orchid Spa at 108 Hang Trong is a recent addition, more casual but equally professional with massages, manicures and pedicures (mani-pedi $10). My favorite massage place is Yakushi Clinic at 6, Alley 28, Xuan Dieu, a 2 minute walk from the Sheraton. The venue is serene and spic and span, and the masseuses super professional. A one hour massage is $10, best to book at 04 3719 1971.

Bookworm has a huge selection of new and secondhand English books in the Old Quarter.

One Response to “Hanoi Shopping and Services”

  1. Thuy Lam says:

    Thanks for sharing.