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Tips for Shopping in Vietnam

Vietnam is a shopping paradise for quality goods at a tempting price. Many low budget travelers consider Vietnam, as an excellent shopping destination hopping that bargaining will again reduce the already competitive prices. Shopping and travel go together like ‘carrots and peas.’  Do you want to squeeze in a few hours of quality retail therapy on your Vietnam tour? This guide to the best shopping will tell you which places are worth your time.

What to Buy When Shopping in Vietnam
As one of the largest manufacturer of clothes and accessories, you will get great quality clothes, wallets, shoes, handbags in all local markets and shopping malls in and around the cities. So, here is a list of what to buy.

Ao Dai- the National costume of Vietnam for Women
While there are many souvenirs you can take home as a commemoration of your Vietnam trip, get yourself an Ao Dai - the national costume of Vietnam. It is a gorgeous outfit for women, which is similar to a long gown and is ideal for flaunting on special occasions. Ao Dai has great significance in Vietnamese wardrobe as it embodies beauty, grace,and elegance. You can get it from any local store in Vietnam or stitch a customized one in any tailor shop. Exquisite and hand embroidered Ao Dai will cost you around $150, but you can also purchase less expensive Vietnamese costumes in places like Ben Thank market.

Shopping in Vietnam

Vietnamese Silk
Silk is an inevitable staple in Vietnamese culture, and this luxurious fabric played a role similar to currency during trade held in ancient periods. For the uninitiated, Vietnam is the 6th leading country producing silk, and hence you can't find a better place to shop for silk than during your Vietnam tour. Hang Gai Street in Hanoi, Soai Kinh Lam Fabric Market &Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City are some of the places where you can shop for authentic Vietnamese silk.

Pottery or porcelain items
Porcelain or pottery products with unique decorations and handwork can find in traditional villages around Hanoi and other cities. In Vietnam, there are exclusive art villages, which specializes in pottery work and you can grab some unique teacups and plates when shopping in Vietnam.

Pearls and jewelry
Vietnam is a popular shopping destination for local gem stones and pearls. You can easily find Ruby, Jade, Aquamarine, Sapphire and other precious stones all around Vietnam. There are several specialty and souvenir shops for visitors who buy jewelry and precious stones.Along Halong bay, you will find a range of several fabulous and authentic peal jewelers, and you can shop for pearl necklaces, pendants, earrings, rings,and bracelets.

General Vietnam shopping tips

Bargain till the end
Yes, unfortunately, like in any foreign country you will have to bargain hard in Vietnam to get the price right. Expect in shopping malls and large shops where you can find fixed-price items; you can try bargaining for the price.

Do not look for sale
Vietnam is entirely different from other countries that follow the sales culture. You may find a sale going on in small shops in Vietnam but what is on the sale would be products that havea defect or which are no longer attractive or off-season products. During Vietnam tour, you might find sale and offers, in shopping malls, but most would be less than 30%.

Price matters
Never buy things just because it is less expensive. In Vietnam, cheap items mean they are cheap in quality and price.  It applies to clothes and electronics, as they are not just for the amount you shed, no matter how less is the cost.

Compare prices
One secret tip to get the best deals is to compare prices with other stores. Before buying a product from a particular store, try checking out the same item in another store and compare the prices. In Vietnam, most likely, you will find similar products in nearby shops with different price tags. That is why you should inquire in a few shops before buying the item.

Turn away when needed
During shopping in Vietnam, there might be times when you have asked about the price of any item but finally decided not to buy. In such cases, if the shop owner compels you to purchase that item, you can keep a friendly attitude and turn away when required.

Where to shop in Vietnam
Here are some recommended places in Vietnam where you can buy some gifts for friends, family and yourself.

Street night market in Hanoi
In Hanoi, every three days a week night market will be held on streets like Hang Duong, Hang Ngang, and Hang Dao, etc. On Saturday evening, top streets will have the cultural performance of traditional folk arts of Vietnam. Night market in the old quarter in Hanoi is an excellent place of trading with over 4,000 stores participating. You can find clothes, footwear, household stuff, art, crafts, souvenirs and more, all at affordable prices.

Hang Gai Street
Hang Gai Street is a wonderful location situated at the heart of Hanoi popular for its unique soft silk. It is also known as the Silk Road, as it is a famous centerfor silk businesses. If you are looking forward to buying silk items, pay a visit to Hang Gai Street to get some exciting deals. Mostof the shops in Hang Gai Street open from dawn to night, and it is a good place to buy paintings, art and craft items, books, lamps, etc.

Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh
Ben Thanh market is a busy and bustling market for shopping. If you are in Saigon, visiting Ben Thanh market will have to include in the itinerary of your Vietnam tour. You can find many food stores selling seafood delicacies. Along with the food street, there are excellent shopping areas where you can shop for souvenirs and handicrafts.

An Dong market
The An Dong market is a popular shopping destination, and it has three main areas like business centers, hotels,andrestaurant. You can find clothes, watches, jewelry, souvenirs, leather products, handbags, cosmetics, eyewear, electronics, and almost all you want. It is such a place quickly updates fashion and trends without compromising the quality.

Conclusion
Vietnam is a popular shopping destination among travelers. The most significant change in the country’s shopping culture is the creation of new designer brands and the trend towards luxury shopping in malls. When you head for Vietnam shopping, the vital thing to keep in mind is, you get what you pay for. Happy shopping in Vietnam!
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