In a previous blog post, I’ve addressed one of the most frequent questions I get here on board the Emeraude: What to buy in Vietnam? I talked about shopportunities in Hanoi, in Bat Trang, in Sa Pa, in Van Phuc, and I gave short shrift to Halong Bay. But no more! Here’s what to buy when you come to Halong Bay.
This summer, we opened the doors on a new vendor at the Emeraude Cafe. The vendor is My Way Deco. The group is based out of Ho Chi Minh City, and they’ve taken souvenir gifts to the next level.
Let’s be frank: Souvenirs are tough to buy. You come on a trip to a destination like Vietnam, and you want to buy something, but you know that the most accessible stuff to tourists and travelers is, well, junk. It’s cheaply made, often gaudy and impractical. As well, so much of the stuff that grabs the eye is too heavy and too big for transport.
Enter My Way Deco. We first started selling these souvenirs at a sister property in Hue, La Residence Hotel & Spa. And the stuff started moving. I’m talking about tea boxes, tissue boxes, photo frames, paperweights and small trays — good, small, finely made objects. It moved so well that we cleared out what we were selling at the Emeraude Cafe and made room for My Way Deco.
We’re selling decorative objects, like Thinking Buddhas and Sitting Jaguars; small furniture like bedside tables and small lamps, the kinds of things that can be boxed and checked as baggage.
Our general manager recently went home to Switzerland, carrying tissue boxes, and friends and relations “went totally crazy for them.”
Some of the stuff we’re selling in the Cafe is as expensive as seven million Vietnamese dong. (Other items as inexpensive as 130,000 dong!). But we’ve vetted the quality of goods, and it’s high - high enough that our GM shops here when traveling back home.