Prices and shopping in Hanoi, where and what to buy
Hanoi is a huge trading platform, here everything is something to buy and sell, and shops along the endless stretch of road. At first glance it may seem that this is a shopping Paradise, where tourists can buy for next to nothing a lot cheap useful things and Souvenirs. However, in reality it is not so, and in the heart of Hanoi has a lot of features that are worth to know.
World famous travel guide Lonely Planet does not recommend to do shopping in Hanoi and other major cities of the country. This is partly true, and the peculiarity of the capital are very high prices on all the products that can attract the attention of tourists. And it's not that life here is expensive, and in respect of the capital's residents to tourists, all trying to sell the product at inflated prices, sometimes dozens of times, and traded very reluctantly. Even in the markets, we were met by the reluctance of individual sellers to communicate with tourists and bargain: for the cost issue they can just call it overpriced and turn away, letting him know that bargaining will not be, if not dismissive wave away with your hand and not say anything in response.
However, not all bad, and with the ability to communicate can be a good idea to bring down the price and to buy manufactured goods at prices lower than in Russia. Bargain here it is accepted with a smile and not aggressive. Sometimes the desire to agree to your proposed price occurs from sellers only after you supposedly lost the desire to buy, and you leave this store. And even if you are searching for something specific, never ask the question about the price of this product first, but better to ask the price of something else, and then gradually move to the right already.
Low fixed prices you can find in supermarkets and large shopping centers. Keep in mind that even in stores with price tags in hotels, travel agencies can haggle, with the exception, perhaps, only a network of supermarkets and food stores.
Prices on popular goods and services for tourists in Hanoi (in Vietnam Dong):
- Beer at the supermarket, the Bank 0.33 l - 8900 VND (approximately 24.54 RUB)
- Beer in the supermarket plastic bottle 1 liter - 17 000 (approximately 46.88 RUB)
- Beer in a cafe of the Bank of 0.33 HP – 12,000 (approximately 33.09 RUB)
- Water 1.5 l – from 9 000 (approximately 24.82 RUB)
- Carbonated drink 0,6 l (Cola, sprite etc.) – 8000 (approximately 22.06 rubles)
- Ice cream (in the supermarket or on the street) – 6,000 (approximately 16.55 RUB)
- Vietnamese ground coffee 1 kg – 120,000 (approximately 330.92 RUB)
- One main dish in a cheap café for local (rice with vegetables and egg soup, Pho) – from 30 000 (approximately 82.73 RUB)
- Souvenir Magnet – 10,000 (approximately 27.58 RUB)
- Travel in the bus from 7000 (approximately 19.3 RUB)
- The taxi counter within the old town (tourist area) – 25,000 (approximately 68.94 RUB)
- The taxi fare from the airport/to the airport - from 300 000 (about 827.3 RUB)
- A cheap hotel room for two persons from 300 000 (about 827.3 RUB)
- A good hotel room for two – from 600 000 (about 1654.59 RUB)
- Bed in a hostel – from 200 000 (about 551.53 RUB)
Where to go shopping in Hanoi
Supermarkets and shopping centers
In Hanoi there are large shopping centers and supermarket chains with food and manufactured goods, but, unfortunately, they are all far from the tourist area of Hanoi (aka the old town). In the tourist area there are only a couple of supermarkets, which can be reached on foot. In other cases you will have to take a taxi or city buses.
To find the nearest supermarkets and shopping centre is most convenient by using Google maps. Here is a list of some of them:
Aeon Mall. This is the new and modern shopping centre with many shops and boutiques, restaurants, a cinema and a large supermarket.
Big-C. In Hanoi there are at least 6 stores of the network of Thai supermarkets. Prices are among the lowest here, even the sellers in the street are going to be purchased in bulk. There is a large selection of ready meals and convenience foods, coffee, drinks, rice. Sold a lot of products with yellow price tags at a good discount, including coffee. Only bad thing is that all Big-C Hanoi is located very far from tourist area, so they should only go for large volume purchases.
Supermarket Auchan. Already familiar to us supermarkets "Auchan" there are in Hanoi. The most convenient for tourists is located in the area of long bien (Long Bien) across the bridge from the tourist area, but still need to go by bus or taxi.
The Intimex Supermarket. Not a very large supermarket in a tourist area and very close to the lake of the Returned sword. In our opinion the most convenient to buy cheap drinks, beer, vodka, ready meals, Vietnamese coffee, rice. The price of beer and carbonated beverages are significantly lower than in the shops of the tourist area. Only here we've had beer in plastic bottles of 1 liter for 17,000 VND (approximately 46.88 RUB, see Vietnam currency and the exchange rate), the standard bottle of beer from the 8900. Coffee prices are reasonable, but higher than in Big-C and Auchan.
VinMart Supermarket. This is another supermarket in the tourist area and near the lake. The range caters more to locals than tourists.
Prices in the markets is usually referred to as higher than in shopping malls, but bargaining can be bought cheaper. To buy in the markets can be anything, but it really will be interesting is that Souvenirs.
Covered market, Dong Xuan Market. It is the largest covered market in Hanoi and a historical landmark, and also located in the tourist area on its North side. Inside sale consumer goods (clothing, textiles, shoes) that you are unlikely to be interesting, but on the ground floor with the entrance from the street Dong Xuan has a huge selection of Souvenirs in the stores on the street are much more expensive. But even if the first time you call low prices, you can bargain to even lower prices.
Night markets. The streets of Dong Xuan, Hang Duong and others in the tourist area after dark (after 18:00) starts the night market. Sold by consumer goods and in the indoor market, but you can find Souvenirs.
Local market LongBien Market. Located on the outskirts of the tourist district. Dirty and bad-smelling seafood place, but you can find very cheap fruits. For example, a kilogram of mango here is 22000 VND, while in the tourist area it is not cheaper to buy a 35 000. More nothing to do here.
Small stores and shops
Everywhere along the road stretch endless stalls and small shops. Especially in a tourist area, but in General they are everywhere. Despite the instruction some of them fixed prices, bargaining is possible and necessary. Buy them all, but the main range for tourists – Souvenirs, clothes, wallets, bags, coffee. Do not expect to buy something sensible, at least, normal clothes and even counterfeits of branded clothing very difficult to find, the same range as on the market. In our opinion, may be of interest only to small shops under the guise Made in Vietnam, which sells athletic and Hiking shoes. But more about that below.
Shops of sportswear Made in Vietnam
In small shops under the guise of Made in Vietnam sold a good counterfeit sportswear under the brand of North Face. Do not believe sellers that are originals as the brand, though made here, banned for sale in Vietnam. Also, vendors have that special party with Vietnamese factories for the local market, but it's more likely that it is illegally exported from the factory defective product, or sewn in the sweatshops of the product.
Generally their range of Hiking boots, multi-layer jacket made from Gore-Tex and jackets, Hiking pants, thermal underwear, synthetic t-shirts. Rare that you see other sports gear, such as waterproof bags, Hiking sticks, etc.
Prices in these stores vary for the same product depending, therefore, it is better to bypass and to compare prices and then bargain. Especially a lot of stores on the streets of Hang Thung, Hang Manh.
Where and what to buy in Hanoi
If you need a specific category of goods in Hanoi, the following guidelines will help you to find them at bargain prices:
Where to buy Souvenirs
Souvenirs in Hanoi you can buy everywhere, but the lowest price for "cheap" Souvenirs we found in the covered market, Dong Xuan Market after a little bargaining. In principle, it is possible to purchase all the same as in the shops on the streets of the tourist district, but at a price 2-3 times lower than after bargaining. Remember, however, that in small shops you can bargain and get a good price. So if you need to buy a few magnets and key chains, not necessarily to follow them to the market, you can just buy at the nearest store, but always forgive discount (discount). The more items you buy in one place, the more discount, and of course when you name the price with discount, call your price and bargain.
Where to buy the fruit
The fruit can be bought on the street, but prices the area is very high, sometimes exotic fruits are even more than in Russia. A little less fruit prices in supermarkets, for example, in Intimexe in the tourist district. Well, the lowest we discovered the prices were on the street, local market, Long Bien Market.
Where to buy food
If you prefer to save money and not eat in the cafe, it is best to buy food in supermarkets. Two good supermarket near the tourist district we indicated above: Intimex and VinMart.
In everything from Beers to coffee, is 10-30% cheaper than on the street and in small shops. There you can find ready meals in plastic trays, which are sold still hot or you can ask to heat them up. For example, rice with chicken pieces, broth and sauce costs 18,000 Dong.
Where to buy coffee
Vietnamese coffee is sold in the markets and in specialized stores, and supermarkets. We compared prices, and found that the cheapest you can buy in the supermarket Big-C and Auchan, a bit more expensive in Intimex and VinMart, already quite expensive in specialized shops and markets. The difference in price for the same brand of coffee can reach sometimes up to two times. The only thing bad in supermarkets – presents a small selection of coffee beans and in bulk.
See more about coffee from Vietnam here...
Where to buy motorcycle
Hanoi is a very comfortable place to buy a motorcycle and travel on it for the rest of Vietnam (see, How to travel in Vietnam, bought the bike). So the business of selling used motorcycles to tourists is developed very well.
Many motorcycles sold in a tourist area, especially on the street Pho Ma May. Good shop used motorcycles with a choice of several models near the old town at Ham Tu Quan, 95. Outside of the tourist district you can buy a cheaper motorbike, but there are markets and shops focused more on local, and you would have problems with the language barrier. For example, you can try to visit a large salon used motorcycles at Chua Ha, Dich Vong,76.