What $100 Buys in...Hanoi
Skip the silk scarves: Vietnam's artisans have an array of imaginative new creations up their sleeves.
$5 Shot glasses
Cartoon-printed jiggers capture the graphic impact of Vietnamese propaganda art—sans anti-American slogans. The image of two women represents the country's reunification. Propaganda Art Shop P, 8 Nha Chung St., 2nd Fl., 011-84/43-928-6588.
Water buffaloes are considered symbols of industriousness in Vietnam—but a translucent necklace, fashioned from their shed horns, is pure prettiness. Hanoi Moment, 101 Hang Gai St., hanoimoment.vn.
$10 Passport cover
The Hanoi-based Japanese designers behind Nagu pair minimal motifs, like birds in flight, with traditional Vietnamese stitchwork on everything from teddy bears to slim travel wallets like the silk one above. Nagu, 20 Nha Tho St., zantoc.com.
You could spend hundreds on an intricate lacquerware painting, but more useful (and just as glossy) coconut-shell bowls are affordable and lightweight enough to bring home by the dozen. Thuong Gia, 6 Hang Trong St., 011-84/43-928-5445.
This 1.5-inch-by-4.5-inch perpetual calendar—with 31 bone-and-wood tiles for assembling the day, date, and month on a tray—nods at the country's 19th-century French-colonial past. Mây, 7 Nha Tho St., 011-84/43-828-9650.
It takes about three hours to handcraft a 2.5-inch-long turtle, using tiny pieces of rolled-up paper and glue in a process known as quilling—a centuries-old European pursuit that became popular here in the 1980s. Hanoi Moment, 101 Hang Gai St., hanoimoment.vn.
$20 Place mat
Shops hawking silk pillows, robes, and scarves are as common on Hanoi's streets as the city's droves of motorbikes. One standout use of the ubiquitous fabric: this place mat's braided strands, coiled into playful lollipop swirls. La Casa, 12 Nha Tho St., lacasavietnam.com.vn.
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