Where to Shop and What to Buy in Ha Long Bay
Though there are limited options for shopping in Halong Bay, what is actually available can be very interesting. Try the night market at Bai Chay Town. It is set up with many small open-air stalls with good collections of Vietnamese products includes the famous traditional Vietnamese silk dress (ao dai), lacquerware, chopsticks, trinkets, ceramic tea sets, Vietnamese conical hats (nón lá) and dolls.
Experienced shoppers recommend bargaining hard to 30-50% of the original offered price. Most shops accept US Dollars as well as the local currency, Dong.
Another fun way of shopping is from small floating shops. Local people row boats filled with goods such as beer, vodka, cigarettes, potato chips, cookies and other snacks. Their small boats are usually laden with goods in a very organised way and even if you're not buying anything these vessels are fascinating to see and photograph.
It is important for shoppers not to encourage vendors selling stalagmites and stalactites as they should stay where they belong – inside Halong’s caves and grottos.