After only having our daughter for a short time, one of the other moms in our group came back from shopping with a little doll for Ella. Her first doll! She was a handmade Vietnamese doll from Craft Link. She came with a little non la, but we weren’t sure about the safety of the lacquer on it going in the baby’s mouth, so it came off. Ella’s first dolly now sits on her dresser at home.
We had heard about Craft Link and wanted to shop there, so we went with some other members of our group later in our stay. It’s very close to the Temple of Literature, so you can hit both in one afternoon. As most shops are in Viet Nam, it is very close quarters, so if you have a cranky baby or a toddler who does not want to be shopping anymore, I’d suggest going back at a different time since there’s not much room for error inside the shops
Craft Link has two adorable shops next to each other that sell traditional Vietnamese lacquer ware, handicrafts, jewelry, clothing, toys, bags, household decorations and more. The main difference between Craft Link and any other shop, (and the reason that I love Craft Link) is that it is a non profit organization that practices fair trade with its suppliers (most of whom are members of Vietnamese ethnic minority groups.) The items in their shop are all top quality and it felt good to know that my dong spent would be actively helping people earn a living.
We purchased bracelets for both grandmas, Ella (for when she’s older) and myself and they hold such significance. Not only are they souvenirs from our most amazing trip, but we know that they hold value to their creators as well. We will all wear them proudly.
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