Go shopping in Hue City, Vietnam

Shopping in Hue City, Vietnam, is one of the exciting activities that you have to do when visiting this city. There are a lot of souvenirs that you can only find in Hue, and you may bring home. Talking about shopping, you may want to check local products and places to buy them, so this article will tell you details.

Non La Hue
A Hue girl with Non La. Photo: @heoosn

1. Local food which you can carry

Hue City is very famous for local food, which you can taste directly here, such as Bun Bo Hue, Com Hen, Banh Beo, Banh Nam, Banh Khoai (Hue pancake), … Besides, many food products can contain and bring them home as souvenirs to your friends and relatives.

  • Lotus seeds can be considered as the pearls of lakes. They become good food when you cook them with sugar as sweet soups. These seeds are dry and collect in strings that are easy to carry. You can buy this at Dong Ba Market.
  • Sesame candy is one of the top typical local food in Hue City, Vietnam. The sweets are made of the main ingredients of sesame, peanuts, sugar, and sticky rice, so you may taste this candy as snacks on your buses, flights or trains. You can find this at most of the souvenir shops, supermarkets (Big C, Vincom, or Coopermark), and markets (Dong Ba, Ben Ngu, and Tay Loc) in Hue City.
  • Shrimp sauce (Mam Tom) is also in the list of exceptional food that can be carried. However, this sauce is really smelly and fishy, so it seems to be suitable for Vietnamese guests, although we introduce here with the hope of letting foreign tourists know about this food. Dong Ba Market still is the top of the shopping place to buy shrimp sauce, and the Co Ri shop near the meat area is one of a popular destination to check.

2. Handicraft souvenirs of Hue

Many handicraft products are made in Hue City, Vietnam. From small products to heavy ones, such as bronze bells, are diverse for your choice.

  • Phan Nu (Beautiful powder) is made from natural herbs according to the formula of royal doctors during the Nguyen Dynasty. With 100% natural products, no chemicals, many ladies and girls in Hue as well as in Vietnam like to use it for their beautiful and smooth faces and skins. You can find at Phan Nu Ba Tung at 34 Tô Hiến Thành, Phú Cát Ward, Hue City.
  • Non La (Hue conical hat) is a product used by the girls when they wear Ao Dai – a traditional Vietnamese dress. During hot days in Hue, a Non La is useful to help you get the shape to avoid sunburn. Nowadays, Non La is used as a typical handicraft for decoration. You can choose this hat at many local markets: Dong Ba, Ben Ngu,… especially, Da Le Market (at Nguyen Tat Thanh street, Thuy Phuong, Huong Thuy, Hue – see its map ) that is a top place to sell the conical hat in Hue.
  • Bronze products are famous in Phuong Duc, Hue City. This village locates on the south bank of the Perfume River, 3 km from Hue city center. The craftsmen here have cast a lot of bronze products, including royal urns, Thien Mu bells, worshipping things, heroes’ statues, … Nowadays, artistic works can be found at this site. Its address to visit and buy this kind of product is at many shops along Bui Thi Xuan Street, Phuong Duc, Hue, or come directly to the center showing bonze products of Phuong Duc, at 247 Bui Thi Xuan, Phuong Duc, Hue City. See its map

3. Embroidery and painting

Hue has owned the first art university in Vietnam, so many talented people in art grow in this land. And, thanks to the influence of royal style, the female people in Hue inherit skills to become famous craftswomen in embroidery.

  • Many embroidery photos are telling about life, describing beautiful naturing sightseeings, and showing the beauty of the people. You can buy them at embroidery shops in Phan Dinh Phung street, or near the main gate of Thien Mu Pagoda.
  • Paintings in Hue have a different style, from the standard works to skillful masterpieces. Many painters, who are the child of Hue, have become famous around the world, such as Ton That Dao (painting: The maiden and lotus, painted in 1946), Do Ky Hoang (“Quiet plateau,” lacquer composed in 1975), Le Ba Dang, … But, actually, to find the top masterpieces of Hue authors is too hard at present, these works have traveled around the world. Luckily, paintings of Le Ba Dang are still protected at this private gallery at Thien An Hill. And, you can see standard paintings at some galleries in Ta Vu inside the royal palaces, the souvenir shop at Tu Duc Royal Tombs, or at some shops on Chu Van An Streets.

4. Tips to go shopping in Hue City

+ Bargain a lot in Dong Ba Market, but usually for industrial products, less or not bargaining for food, but

+ Not bargain at supermarkets, and some shops I often ask them if they can discount, I do not tell my price,

+ Not bargain for artworks, such as paintings,

+ Check a price online in advance to know the level of negotiation, do not do this when you are at the shops,

+ Check the date expiry carefully before you buy any products, especially with food and drinks, 

+ Just purchase any products with an explicit name.

With suggestions of local products above, we hope you can find some favorite souvenirs to buy and bring them back home. These artifacts may contribute to your pleasant journeys in Hue City, give you more valuable experiences, and good memories about the land of the ancient imperial palaces.

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