Hanoi, Vietnam


Money Changers
Money changers in Hanoi are usually in most guest houses and banks, and they give bad rates. Don't exchange money from the black market people on the streets since its illegal. The best place to exchange money is at Ha Trung Road and Hang Bac where they give very good rates. Just walk into the gold or jewellery shops and ask them if they change money and ask to show their rates. Ask up to nearly five or more shops to see which shop gives the best rates.
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ATMs are everywhere in Hanoi and cash is king here. However, there is a transaction limit (2,000,000 dong) from the ATMs. For a higher transaction limit (4,000,000 dong), try ANZ and Techcombank. The Citibank machine inside the shopping plaza at Xuan Dieu will dispense 6 million dong. Check exchange rates daily since the jewellery shops will consistently offer a better rate than banks or hotels.

Though Hanoi may not be a shopping destination for many foreign visitors to the city, it does offer several interesting markets even for just a visit.
  • Cho Hom Market - They offer almost everything here but it is famous for is the fabric market on the second floor. There are many kiosks selling different types of fabrics ranging from cheap, affordable to very good quality with a high price.  Take your time here and never rush into buying anything if you plan to plan shop - there are plenty of choices. Sellers often give a very high price that you can bargain downwards to half or one-third of the original price. 
  • Dong Xuan Market - Famous for being the market for wholesalers and the largest covered market in Hanoi. There are plenty of merchandise in this floor market including clothes, household goods, handicraft, souvenirs and every kind of foodstuff as well as school supplies, stuffed animals and clothing. It is quite an experience to spend some time in the market observing the sellers and buyers. The market is a popular tourist destination and therefore make a visit when in Hanoi.
  • Night Market - A unique market located on a walking street (street is closed to traffic) running north to south in the heart of the Old Quarter. The market opens every Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting around 7:00 p.m. Has anything from pirated DVD to traditional ornaments but clothes are the most popular items. Prices are negotiable but watch out for counterfeits and "foreigner pricing" which is fairly common.

Dong Xuan Market by Juliana Ng

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