There are tons of souvenir shops in Vietnam in every corner of touristy places. Most of them sell cute banana or pineapple shirts and shorts that some tourists like to buy and wear for fun while in Vietnam along with lots of fake bags and clothes of famous brands at much cheaper prices than original. It’s a fun experience to explore these shops and maybe get something as a souvenir here.
But if you’re looking for something more authentic and unique to buy in Hanoi for yourself or souvenir for your family and friends back home, I have a beautiful shop for you to visit!
The shop is called “With Love from the Mountains” and there are two branches of the same shop both in the Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem district. I fell in love with the shop in Ma May when I first went to the shop in Ma May street a couple of years ago because everything they sell here are just gorgeous and the philosophy behind the shop is hard not to fall in love with.
They sell 100% handmade natural goods made by three ethnic groups from North of Vietnam where the owner couple is from. Their shops are the realisation of their passion for cultural exchange and spreading awareness and gratitude for the skills inherited over generations.
Recently, I brought my friend who was visiting me in Hanoi to this shop for souvenir shopping and I met the two young owners. They were absolutely sweet and genuine with that special innocence of Vietnamese people from the North. With the personal connection I could feel in a very short time with them, I can reassure everyone that this shop is truly filled “with love from the mountains”.
The main materials used for making these beautiful products are hemp fibre and cotton. Hemp is a strain of Cannabis sativa plant that is grown specifically for industrial use and can be transformed into paper, textiles, clothing, food and many other uses.
A famous fashion designer in Vietnam, Ms. Minh Hanh said that “hemp fibre is tough and can only be cut with scissors. Additionally, hemp fibre is weather and mould resistant. It is also not damaged by weather and does not go mouldy.” in an interview explaining why she used hemp fibre as a main material for her fashion week.
She also mentioned that “Việt Nam exports hemp textiles to South Korea, the United States, the Netherlands, Thailand and Germany. Hemp is among the top natural materials, along with silk, linen and cotton.”
There are a good range of different products sold in these shops, from bags to clothes. I’d say that this shop could be one of the best places to shop for presents for your beloved ones including yourself!
The two stores are very close to each other, around 5 minutes by foot. They both sell the same products, but some things might be in one shop but not in the other. So if you can, I recommend visiting both shops.
104 Phố Mã Mây, Hàng Buồm, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
24 Hàng Buồm, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội