Hanoi, although the country's capital, does not give you the feeling of being in a metropolis, in fact, Saigon, the other major city of Vietnam is bigger and has more economic power. Hanoi capital is a very historical and cultural city, evidenced by the amount of craftsmanship there is. There are craft shops, some more devoted to tourism, such as souvenirs, whereas others are simple workshops where the craftsmen continue with the trade they learned from their ancestors. I can not give specific directions because they are scattered across different parts of the city.
The music shop Hong Tich is near Hoan Kiem Lake. In this store you will find "Western" musical instruments like guitars, harmonicas, etc. .. as well as folklore traditional Vietnamese instruments. There is a lack of qualified sales assistants but there is a positive to it all - negotiating prices becomes a little easier. I bought an acoustic guitar to start learning for just 14 USD.
The custom-made suits, shirts, and dresses in Hội An are tremendous. It’s something you absolutely MUST do and Silk Road is one of the best places to try. The service is magnificent. The girls are quick and attentive and they’ll make any shirt you like for around 20 Euros (to your exact measurement and in 24 hours, no less!). They also make very elegant and affordable dresses for women.
The city of Hoi An in Vietnam is very famous for the skill and speed of their tailors. Before organizing a trip to Vietnam and Cambodia we had already heard about it. We decided to take a pattern from Spain to see how it worked. After making visits to the most famous monuments and places of Hoi An, we left ourselves enough time to explore the other side of town. The centre is full of tailors and shops that can make your suits and dresses in a jiffy. After going into quite a few shops and comparing prices, we chose one called My My, on the central street of Tran Phu. Everyone who worked there was female. I felt a little lazy to try on the clothes, but Vero had some clear ideas. She chose the fabric, gave us a picture with a well known designer dress on it and took my measurements. They told us to come in the following day. Sure enough, in less than 12 hours, we had the dress custom-made by the artisans of My My. We were very happy with the result and the price, too.
Hoi An is one of the most famous places in Asia to buy made-to-measure clothing. The number tailors in Hoi An proves this. There are hundreds of tailors in a fairly small city. You can get a suit for about 50 USD, a shirt for about 20 USD or even slippers or shoes for a similar price. The standard time for making any type of piece is within 24 hours, but you have to have a margin day to ask for adjustments.
One of the added attractions on your visit to Hoi An (in central Vietnam), is the shopping. As well as the tailoring shops, where they make shirts and suits at knock-down prices, you'll also find some artisan shops. This one sells woodcarvings at very interesting prices, do not forget to haggle. Although not as common as in India, it's still expected here.
Hoi An is one of the Asian destinations where you can have custom clothes made, through the village there are many clothing stores, this is not one of the best known, it is a simple establishment, where there are many models and fabrics beautifully mounted, but the price is more expensive. I came to this store by chance and went to ask some questions, the owner is a charming, very nice lady. You choose the model (in my case since I wore it), fabric and negotiate the price, I paid 60 USD for two dresses, cloth included. We met the next day, which is why it's best to do it when you have enough time to make adjustments if necessary. In my case they were PERFECT.
It was a pleasure to share these days with you, and they were no small number. We know that your impression of Vietnam was not as good as you expected, but it is what it is. It is reality and sometimes it pleases and other times not! We look forward to your writing, be benevolent and try to find the good things that the country has given you. We're changing our attitude to see if things improve. We will keep you updated to see how it goes. A big hug and see you next year in .... Australia? Cuba? Egypt? Vietnam? You still have to see the south.