“ Having come to Hue several times
I nurture a sweet love for
Hue’s contemplation and charm
That is no where to be found"
When you hold it up against the sunlight, you may find its inner side glimmering with those poetic lines. It is Hue conical hat, also called “poem hat” ( non bai tho), symbolizing Hue’s beauty - deeply and charming. Thus, when considering what to give your nearest and dearest as a gift from Hue, a conical hat is your very first choice. You can buy one from almost any shopping site here as many families in the countryside around Hue make conical hats for sale. They create subtle hats with special dexterity but charge only about 15 – 20,000 VND (1 USD) for each. After all, that is how they make for a living and proudly tell the world about their culture.
Hue is also particularly well – known for being Viet Nam’s old citadel for nearly 400 years (1558 – 1945). When shopping, you can feel this royal trait in souvenirs having the shape of little things used by royalties like the Queen’s cosmetics box and germ jewelries. The royal life attracted a lot of artisans to Citadel Hue, and by now Hue has been home to myriad kinds of traditional artistic crafts for hundreds of years.
For an overview, you should come to Pilgrimage Village where crafts are categorized and displayed in four main groups: silk/ fabric, woodwork, ceramics and rattan. Here you will not only watch local artisans demonstrate their craftmanship first - hand but also can buy finished products for your keep sake. Other pocket names for you are XQ silk embroidery paintings, Duc guild’s bronze articles, Bao La artistic rattan and bamboo items, Phuoc Tich pottery and so on.
Lastly, it would be a big mistake if you leave Hue without once shopping in Dong Ba market. Located on the north bank of the Perfume River a few hundred metres north of Trang Tien bridge, this is Hue's largest market. Its attraction is constituted by all the typical features of a Vietnamese traditional market, for example, the sampan landing, the bus station and the bazaars. Once going inside, you are not likely to be able to get out soon because of such a wide range of goods sold here. Especially, Dong Ba market gives room for you to taste delicious specialties of Hue including clam rice, beef noodles, shrimp cakes, pancakes, bean puddings, sour shrimps, and My Lai shredded lean meat.