Vietnam is famous for its handmade quilts and delicately embroidered tablecloths, and Hanoi's Old Quarter is an excellent place to stock up on gifts and housewares. Equally impressive are the embroidered scenes of local animals and village life, which are so intricate they often appear to be paintings until you see them up close. Larger pieces take more than a month to complete. Find a stunning piece in one of Hanoi's many embroidery shops.
Embroidery is the process of delicately sewing tiny threads to create brightly coloured pictures on material. For many of Hanoi's high school girls, embroidery is a popular after-school recreation. Some works take more than forty days to complete. Even more time consuming is 3D hand embroidery, where the picture's raised surfaces create a more convincing scene. Make sure to visit one of Hanoi's many outlets that sell hand-embroidered works.