Shopping in Sapa is quite atrractive with many vistors, especially with foriegn people.In this writing , you can get some experiences when shopping here.
Sapa is emerging as the top shopping destination in the mountainous north. Most items are clothing, accessories and jewellery produced by the multitude of minority in the area.
More recently, some Vietnam designers have also been getting in on the producing clothes and household t inspired by tribal motifs and patterns. The different brightly colored and highly decorative fabrics and garment from the different hilltribes are popular purchases. Liquor is the hot item in Bac Ha.
The central market (of both Sapa and Bac Ha) are really the only places you are likely to find anything you might be looking for.Some of the stores on Pho Cau May are the best places where you can buy selection of designer gear.Wild Orchid Shop (Cau May St., Sapa Town Tel: 871-665) is a small shop with very colorful paintings about the daily life of minority people. An owner designs all the styles of minority people’s costumes, specialising in Homing and Dzao people. The cheapest thing in the shop is a small scarf at the price of US$3.
Seems like every female you will meet from the age of 5 and up will try to sell you handcrafted goods. After a while you’ll stop wondering about all the goods because you see them making them, whenever they sit down for even one moment. They are very nice and colourful and make great presents when you go back home. Hats are great too, and they make a nice colourful collection on the wall. The price is about US$1-5 depending on how much you are willing to bargain and how nice the lady you bargain with them.
Lots of the minority women and young girls have gone into the souvenir business, the older women in particular are known for their strong-armed selling tactics. One frequent Sapa sight is a frenzy of elderly H’monq women clamoring around a hapless travel shop to hawk their goods, which range from colorful ethnic garb to little pouches of opium stashed away in matchboxes. When negotiating prices, you do need to hold your ground but go easy when it comes to bargaining, they may be persistent, but are not nearly as rapacious as Vietnamese vendors.
A word of warning on the clothes: as beautiful and cheap as they are, the dyes used are natural and not set. Much of the stuff sold has the potential to turn anything it touches (including your skin) an unusual blue/green color – check out the hands and arms of the H’mong for an idea. Wash the fabric separately in cold salt water as it helps to stop the dye from running. Wrap anything you buy in plastic bags before stuffing it in your luggage.