What to buy?

Vietnam is a great place for shoppers. Maybe not the greatest selection of everything under the sun, but certainly some of the best bargain prices you will find anywhere in the world. If you are in need of a new summer wardrobe head to Hoi An in central Vietnam. The town is teeming with tailors shops that can knock up a made-to-measure copy of the latest designs from Paris or London and have it ready collection within 24 hours.

In Vietnam, the graceful national dress for women known as ao dai can be made-to-measure in a variety of fabrics and makes a unique souvenir as does the ubiquitous conical hat.

Jewelry, particularly silver jewelry, can be a good buy throughout the region and beautiful lacquerware products are a bargain in Vietnam. Lots of lacquerwares shops can be found in Hanoi, around the Old Quarter and in Hoi An, the protected streets and in Ho Chi Minh city.

Modern Vietnamese art has been gaining a deserved international reputation in recent years and Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh city have some fine galleries. Or perhaps you would like a copy of your favorite Van Gogh or Renoir? No problem, you can have an authentic faked painted to order in few days in downtown Saigon or Hanoi. Try to book a visit to the Fine Art Museum in Hanoi or to get in touch with a local artist at 0122.5597.5599.

And finally, if you are buying from market or street stall don’t forget to haggle. In street prices are nearly always “flexible” and you can bargain for the price you want. Just decide in advance how much you want to pay for, start out offering a lower price and as long as you desired price is realistic you should achieve it.