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The best things to buy in Hanoi

Other than visiting charming attractions and getting to know the special culture and
history, your stay in Hanoi would be incomplete without bringing home something of the city with you. So let’s browse through this article, surely you will find something to buy in Hanoi that captures the city’s beautiful soul. 

Other than visiting charming attractions and getting to know the special culture and
history, your stay in Hanoi would be incomplete without bringing home something of the city with you. So let’s browse through this article, surely you will find something to buy in Hanoi that captures the city’s beautiful soul.

Hanoi specialities

Hanoi cusine, with its elegance in taste and diversity in style can make you fall in love at your very first try. While the fact that you can’t take away a bowl of Pho or Bun Cha might sadden your foodie soul, there are still many Hanoi specialities you can bring home that remind you of its wonderful cuisine. Here are some suggestions:
  • Banh Com (green rice flake cakes): Banh com is a traditional Hanoi cake made from rice and mung bean by wrapping green-coloured glutinous rice around sugary green-bean paste. It is a unique and special Hanoi delicacy. The most delicious Banh Com are said to be sold in 150-year-old Nguyen Ninh store in Hang Than street.
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  • Hanoi special lotus tea: The best Hanoi lotus tea is made in Tay Ho district. According to an old woman who has made lotus tea there for 70 years, a kilo of tea needs 200 grams of stamen and pistil or about 1,000 lotus flowers. The mixture goes through a special marinating process before being dried and marinated again for seven times in order to let the lotus scent and taste soak into the tea. This long process is probably why West Lake lotus tea is one of the most expensive teas in Vietnam, with the price of about $400 per kg. 
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  • O mai: O Mai is a traditional specialty of Hanoi, which is dried fruits mixed with sugar, salt, lime, chili, and ginger to obtain a harmonious taste of salty, sweet, sour, and spicy. You can find many types of O Mai in Hang Duong street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi.

Silk & Emboidery

Cuturally-rich, classy and versatile. That’s what you could say about silk and embroidery products in Hanoi, which should not be missed out from your must-buy list. From ancient times, silk and embroidery have always played an integral part in Vietnamese spiritual life as well as economic development.Today, it presents the essence of Hanoi culture, telling the story of Vietnamese people from generation to generation.
 
Speaking of where to buy silk and embroidery products in Hanoi, no one here would forget to mention Hang Gai street, which has made a name for itself as the heaven of these kinds. Located on the edge of the Old Quarter, just a few steps from Hoan Kiem Lake, Hang Gai street is often referred as a silk heaven in Hanoi. Once you browse through the street, there’s a good chance that you can’t keep your eyes off a shiny yet warm, elegant and nostalgic store named Tanmy Design. This store was built in 2009 but Tanmy Design has had a history of more than 50 years and four generations of women in Hanoi. It was originally a traditional hand-embroidery store, which was renowned for high-quality made-by-hand products. Tanmy Design has been listed as one of the 11 must-visit places in Hanoi by the New York Times, and this is by no means false advice. The three-floored, 1,000 square meter space shop is a contemporary emporium of gorgeous fabrics and fashion, silk products, lacquerware, art pieces, jewelry, accessories and more. Here you would not only find one but many other souvenirs and mementos to complete your list of things to buy in Hanoi. It’s currently the biggest and most impressive store of silk and embroidery in Vietnam.
 
Its sister shop Tan My, lies across the road at 66 Hang Gai, and offers a wonderful selection of more traditional hand embroidered products, featuring bed linen, tablecloths, artworks and clothing. 

"Non la"

Non la (palm-leaf conical hat) is a symbol of Vietnamese people’s romance and charm. So it would be a waste if you leave Vietnam without carrying with you a good one.
Located 30km from the centre of Hanoi, Chuong village in Thanh Oai district is famous for its centuries old tradition of making palm-leaf conical hat. Here you will find the most beautiful northern “non la” made by the hand of meticulous craftsmen who have learned to do it since their early years.

Ceramics

Ceramics are undoubtedly some  of the best things to buy as souvenirs in Hanoi as they reflect the traditions, culture and life of Vietnamese people. What’s great about ceramics in Hanoi is they are made in many forms from cups, flower vases, bowls, dishes, statues to necklaces, bracelets, key chains… so you can choose  for your own purposes as well as  gifts for others.
Only 14km far from Hanoi, Bat Trang Ceramic Village is certainly  the best place in Hanoi to
buy ceramics. It is a traditional art started in the village over a hundred years ago. Go for a trip to Bat Trang, you will also have a worthwhile experience of first-hand creating your own
ceramic masterpiece!

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