Art & Craft shopping in Central Vietnam
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Vietnam has a great reputation for its ceramics, and while much of what is on sale here comes from around Hanoi, it is worth stocking up if you are only visiting central Vietnam. The black pottery with a glassy glaze is particularly striking. It's best to browse the strip of small Ceramics Shops along the riverfront.
The presence of numerous tourists has turned the fake-antique business into a major growth industry for Hoi An. Theoretically you could find something here that is really old, but it's hard to believe that all the genuine stuff wasn't scooped up long ago. Proceed with scepticism. On the other hand, there is some really elegant artwork around, even if it was turned out only yesterday.
Paintings are generally of the mass-produced kind, but are still hand-painted; for a few US dollars you can't complain. A row of Art Galleries, inside the gorgeous old buildings just across from the Japanese Covered Bridge, are great to browse through.