At first glance, Minh Long Fine Porcelain on Hang Than street doesn’t stand out from other pottery stores. But once you enter the shop, you will be overwhelmed by the elegant displays of such a huge variety of products.
The shop has only one floor but it has just about all of the products you would want to find in a porcelain store. They range from simple designs and average prices to complex designs and prices up to tens of millions of VND – statues, tea sets, bowls, dishes for decoration, and vases in different sizes, colours and decorations.
The rich texture of Vietnamese flowers (lotus, ‘mickey mouse’ or bird’s-eye bush, daisy and peach blossom) are hand-drawn in small lines with soft brushes and no colour stains, showing the high level of mastery of the art. Travellers are often keen on lotus decorations.
You can test the quality of a vase by lightly knocking it to see whether the sound is solid or hollow, feeling whether the texture lines are smooth or not, and observing if the glaze is well done or not. Address:32 Hang Than, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi Open:9am–8pm
Ipa Nima is an iconic fashion site in Hanoi that female travellers should visit. But it should be a top priority for men too if they are seeking an elegantly unique gift for their significant others.
Ipa Nima has two stores, one at 72 Trang Thi Street and one at 5 Nha Tho Street, both in Hoan Kiem District. The store at 72 Trang Thi has more space and is more beautifully decorated. The main products here are bags, and there’s a plethora of styles and colors to choose from. No design is the same, and new ones come out frequently.
Most details on the bags are meticulously and intricately made by hand. Besides the high-end bags, Ipa Nima also sells other fashion accessories such as bracelets, necklaces or shawls with eye-catching designs, sometimes at very reasonable prices around the 200,000VND mark. Address:72 Trang Thi, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi 5 Nha Tho, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi Open:9am – 7pm
Tan My is a repository of beautiful embroidery designs for which Hanoi is famous. Founded in 1969, Tan My has been going for three generations. With intricately designed bed linens, table cloths, clothes and handkerchiefs, the two Tan My stores on Hang Gai street are a good place to shop for beautiful and meaningful gifts or mementos.
Tan My’s unique and colourful designs include envelope-shaped bags, colourful pillows for kids and one-of-a-kind, embroidered pictures that you would not be able to find elsewhere. Embroidered pictures are a unique Vietnamese art form and they make great gifts.
A small bag or pillow may be priced under 100,000VND, while bigger embroidery pictures could be tens of millions of dong. Address:61 and 66 Hang Gai, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi Open:9am–7pm