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Old 06-10-2008, 04:47 AM   #1
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Shopping in Hanoi??? Oppsss, check this first...!!!

SHOPPING EXPERIENCE IN HANOI - VIETNAM


It's a capital of Vietnam and it's coming to its one thousandth birthday anniversary. It's surely colorful and beautiful. Apart from the history and the French legacy that can be seen in the city, there's something else that you have to make sure you don't miss: The joy of shopping in Hanoi.


The 3.2 million-people city is divided into several sections with the central two are the Old Quarter and the French Quarter. While the French Quarter is full of French houses, building and green trees, then the Old Quarter is the trading center and the most dynamic part of the city. The Old Quarter is also the most touristy part of the city.


Back to time, a thousand year ago when the city was founded, artisans from different parts of Vietnam gathered near the King's palaces in order to supply their merchandise. As time went on, those who did the same kind of trade moved closer to each other to find partnership. Interestingly, from that on, the city began to witness the birth of many merchandise names like the Oil street, the Mat street, the Salt street...


But who goes here to buy Oil nor Salt. And more over, only some streets here retain the old merchandises, the others have changed or combined with other kinds of trade. In fact, what Ha Noi is famous for in term of shopping include: Embroidery painting, lacquered paintings and and lacquer wares, galleries and silk.


Embroidery painting: It may take several months for one skillful worker to make a 50*50 cm painting of this kind. His work revolves around the needle and the colorful threads. It's amazing seeing these works and how detailed it could be.


Lacquer wares and lacquered paintings: Together with China, Japan, Vietnam has had its lacquer wares history dating back from thousand years ago. But it is the very first country in the world to make painting from lacquer (which is in fact a sap coming from the Son plant). A true piece of lacquered painting can never be perfectly copied due to the complicated processes of making and rubbing it. A lacquered painting can last for hundred years without changing much. So, get one and enjoy a lifetime. Best way to see is to visit the Fine Art Museum in No. 66 Nguyen Thai Hoc street. Besides, many galleries in town offers you a wide selection of artistic lacquer paintings.


Silk: Thousands years ago, silk worms have been raised in Vietnam to make silk. And thousands years now, people still use pretty much using the same methods in raising silk worms ant getting the silk from it. The only difference is maybe the modern techniques that help them create smoother silk. Strolling around Hang Gai street, you can find lots of good silk shops in Hanoi.


Cheap clothes + watches: Wander around Hang Dao street, this this where you have a horison of clothes to choose. You can have a 4$ Lacoste T-shirt or a 5$ Versace. Well, as expensive are Switch watches. They are good, believe me.


Galleries: Don't know from when, but the word Vietnamese paintings has become a must-have thing. These art pieces could be found in many galleries in Hanoi, especially around Trang Tien Street, Hang Bong Street and Hang Gai Street. They have thousands of stunning oil paintings and lacquered paintings that can be purchased with much lower price than once they are in a foreign galleries. Come for it.


Don't miss asking for Trang Tien Plaza (Trang Tien Street) and VinCom Tower (Ba Trieu Street) in case you would like to see a modern shopping malls.
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:39 PM   #2
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Nice guide. I didn't know silk was popular in Vietnam.
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