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Hanoi Shopping

Apricot Gallery
40B Hang Bong Street
Hoan Kiem District
Hanoi
Vietnam
Tel: 84 4 828 8965
www.apricot-artvietnam.com

The elongated colonial-era house that houses this respected gallery is a work of art in itself, especially the central atrium originally built for light and ventilation that now holds a fish pond and stand of pole vault–high bamboo. Hanoi's University of Fine Arts, founded in 1925, has produced more than its share of talented painters, and works by many of these artists are displayed, including the bright abstracts of Thanh Chuong and the streetscapes of Le Quan. The gallery can also custom-frame any painting, build a special crate, and ship the picture overseas via DHL or Federal Express.

Open daily 8 am to 8 pm.

Craft Link
43 Van Mieu Street
Dong Da District
Hanoi
Vietnam
Tel: 84 4 843 7710
www.craftlink.com.vn

Retail with a cause, this not-for-profit shop overlooking the Temple of Literature helps Vietnamese artisans to market their crafts. The inventory includes handmade paper; lustrous lacquerware; and embroidered, indigo-dyed textiles produced by the Hmong and Dao, two hill tribes from the mountainous north. The store charges fair-trade prices and gives preference to producers who are economically disadvantaged, such as ethnic-minorities, street children, and the disabled.

Open daily 9 am to 6 pm.

Ipa-Nima
17 Nha Tho Street
Hoan Kiem District
Hanoi
Vietnam
Tel: 84 4 928 7616
www.ipa-nima.com

Former Hong Kong attorney Christina Yu traded in her briefcase a decade ago to design an ever-changing collection of whimsical and practical handbags and purses. Her accessories, which have been snapped up by Cate Blanchett, Michelle Yeoh, and Jamie Lee Curtis, combine materials such as silk, leather, or wicker with savvy style, cheery colors, and eccentric touches like mother-of-pearl, buffalo horn, and beads, a local accent. Most of the handmade bags neatly displayed on shelves inside this pocketbook-size Church Street boutique are priced at less than $150. End-of-season sales may net you a $70 twofer—perfect for stuffing with other souvenirs.

Open daily 9 am to 8 pm.

Khaisilk
113 Hang Gai Street
Hoan Kiem District
Hanoi
Vietnam
Tel: 84 4 825 4237
www.khaisilkcorp.com

Hang Gai Street, an Old Quarter artery, retains its historic role as the city's silk center. The best of the bolts can be found in this showroom, the Hanoi outlet of Saigon-based Hoang Khai's fine-clothing empire. Men can choose silk ties in a variety of quirky prints, like penguins or toucans. Women have a wider selection of ready-to-wear silk or linen frocks and blouses; among the scads of arresting scarves are geometric patterns handloomed by the Tai, a northern hill tribe. Or choose a taffeta or silk fabric and order bespoke clothing; turnaround takes one week.

Open daily 10 am to 10 pm.

Mai Gallery
113 Hang Bong Street
Hoan Kiem District
Hanoi
Vietnam
Tel: 84 4 828 5854
www.maigallery-vietnam.com

A five-minute walk west from Apricot Gallery, this narrow, three-story showroom is the exclusive agent for up-and-coming young Vietnamese artists such as Nguyen Bao Ha, whose urban-themed abstract works have been exhibited in Singapore and Japan, and the moody, photolike portraits of Nguyen Quang Huy. The hushed, thoroughly modern space, with wall-to-wall carpeting, recessed and track lighting, and bleached-white walls, also shows works of more established artists, such as painter Tran Quang Minh, whose landscapes hang at the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum.

Open daily 9:30 am to 8 pm.

Mosaique
22 Nha Tho Street
Hoan Kiem District
Hanoi
Vietnam
Tel: 84 4 928 6181

With scores of illuminated lanterns bathing the cozy display room's moss-green walls, the cheery mood inside Alan Duong's tasteful home-decor store is tempting, even if you don't need another hand-embroidered quilt or set of place mats. Of special note are the silk-covered lamps, in an astonishing array of profiles: tulip vase, temple stupa, and banana bud. Best impulse purchase? A string of ten miniature, handcrafted lanterns for $20.

Open daily 9 am to 8:30 pm.

Old Propaganda Poster
122 Hang Bac Street
Hoan Kiem District
Hanoi
Vietnam
Tel: 84 4 926 2493

Several Old Quarter stores have cashed in on the newfound appreciation of Vietnam War–era propaganda posters and their interplay of light graphics and hectoring messages ("Denounce the American Invaders" seems a recurring leitmotif). This long, narrow shop stocks more than 200 handpainted originals ($80–$100 apiece), like the image of gun-toting Vietnamese women ("The Southern Female Guerrillas Are Truly Full of Guts"), and nearly as many smaller copies ($10). Nearby Dogma is slicker—you can also get T-shirts and postcards—but the posters are all reproductions.

Open daily 8 am to 9 pm.

Thai Khue
1A Hang Manh Street
Hoan Kiem District
Hanoi
Vietnam
Tel: 84 4 828 9469
www.thaikhue.com

Don't want to gift your family or friends with tacky Uncle Ho T-shirts? Nothing says "I thought of you" more than a handcrafted nose flute (or sao chim). Esoteric traditional Vietnamese musical instruments are spilling over at this fun Old Quarter shop, from mouth harps and chimes to three-stringed lutes and buffalo-horn bugles. There are also wooden rasps in the shapes of crickets, frogs, and rabbits, and, for those who want to be woodwind heroes, the saxophonelike hu-lu-si, handmade with a gourd chamber and bamboo pipes.

Open daily 7 am to 9 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.