Tourists staying at hotels such as the Somerset Grand Hanoi will have the opportunity to visit the architecturally unique Long Bien Bridge, marvel at the natural beauty of the river near the Perfume Pagoda, gasp at the way the Turtle Tower reflects the still waters of the lake and visit the Temple of Literature and the Hanoi Opera House. Visiting the second largest city of Hanoi certainly has its benefits for it lies next to beautiful Red River. Given the history of the city, Hanoi remains a cultural centre in Vietnam and, in 2012, was considered to be one of the cheapest cities in the world to reside in. Therefore, opting for Hanoi serviced apartments during one’s stay in Vietnam should not be too detrimental in terms of finances.

Hanoi is also quite well known for its silk industry and those who venture towards the Old Quarter in the vicinity of Hoan Kiem Lake will find merchants and artisans specialising in the trade of silk. Throughout Vietnamese history, silk remained a symbol of luxurious living and enjoyed a status similar to that of precious materials such as ivory. It also operated as a status symbol and was mainly adorned by the powerful elite.

Therefore, for tourists visiting Hanoi in the 21st century, the basics of the silk trade can be witnessed at the Van Phuc Silk Village. This particular village can be accessed conveniently from Hanoi and is well known for weaving silk products. In addition to observing the simple looms and traditional modes adopted by the locals to create gorgeous silk garments, the Van Phuc Silk Village is also the ideal place to purchase gifts for folks back home as well as souvenirs. Since the majority of the natives living in the village engage in the trading of silk, an item that suits one’s taste can be obtained with ease. Luxuriate in the multitude of colours and experiment with the traditional Vietnamese garments in finding the perfect souvenir at the Van Phuc Silk Village.

Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.