The name of this trendy clothes shop, situated on the northern bank of Hoan Kiem Lake, has nothing to do with trousers. Tightly packed racks offer Best brand shirts, bordering on flamboyant, while shelves are stocked with more conservative Lega brand jeans and slacks. Because of a lack of space and a strange quirk of design, mirrors are neatly concealed behind displays. The only place to view your possible purchase is in one of the tiny fitting rooms, at ridiculously close quarters. The smartly dressed salesgirls are only too pleased to assist.
Hanoi Moment stands out among all the knick knack shops in the vibrant Old Quarter as a quality retailer of high end, innovative Vietnamese handicrafts. Their modern designs are executed in a clean-line, minimalist aesthetic, but remain distinctly Vietnamese. Their wares include ceramics (adorable tea cups with built in strainers), metal work, and intricately laser cut pop-up cards (check upstairs). You can easily spend an hour or two perusing their selection. If you're so inclined, you even get things custom-made. Hanoi Moment's comfortable air-conditioned store offers a welcome respite among the haggling and hustle of Old Quarter.
If you're looking to purchase an outfit that is not too common and will make you look sharp Chula Fashion House is where you should begin your search. Featuring a range of fabulous clothes for women, it is quite unlikely for you not to like what you see at this store. On the racks here are different types dresses and skirts inspired by Vietnamese culture and fused with trends of the Western world. Hand-woven from the finest quality of fabric, each piece of clothing is considered a unique work of art that is intricately designed and constructed by patient craftsmen.
A local market, the Cho Chau Long is famous among locals and tourists alike. Stuffed with fresh local produce, you will find everything here; right from fruits and vegetables to sea food and meats. This place is choc-a-bloc with buyers haggling with shopkeepers. Drop by at the market and get to see what Vietnamese 'wet markets' look like. They are called wet markets because of the huge quantities of water they use to clean the floor and freshen the stock.
Some skeptics doubt the authenticity or existence of truly organic produce in Vietnam, but for the desperate needing hope, Veggies is the only solution. Though priced to reflect this, there is something magical about stepping into either one of Veggie's two walk-in meat lockers. The left houses fruits and vegetables, including stacks of fresh herbs for western cooking that are difficult to find else where; The right contains imported meats and sausages, and one of Hanoi's best selection of cheeses. Outside, bulk chickpeas and grains and other difficult to find western goods stack the shelves. Worth a stop, but be prepared to pay for it.
Dating back to 1889, Dồng Xuân Market also known as Cho Dong Xuan is among the oldest markets in Hanoi and also its largest. Selling almost everything, from fresh food to household appliances, this multi-storied market occupies half of the street. The market also has a place in history where the battle between Vietnam and French units took place. Attracting a lot of locals and tourists, the market is mostly known for selling items in bulk. There is a separate food zone with well lit stalls serving food during the day and night. This wholesale market is a must visit to experience the shopping culture in Vietnam.