old bookshops in vietnam
Old bookshops in Vietnam that have been visited by Hanoi Ink. Updated regularly.
No. 5 Bat Dan street, Hoan Kiem district: probably the most famous old bookshop in Hanoi. Read about Hanoi Ink’s first visit and see some photos of the book shop and its lovely owner Mr. Phan Trác Cảnh. The shop keeps slightly irregular hours but don’t let a locked gate put you off, if they are around they will probably be happy to let you in.
180 Bà Triệu street, Hoan Kiem district: if you are lucky, the book-loving and somewhat difficult Mr. Lương Ngọc Dư will let you inside. If not, don’t worry: just tell him what you need and he will quickly tell you if he has it.
Giang Bookshop, 27D Ngô Thì Nhậm street, Hoan Kiem district: a lovely narrow shop with 4-5 stories and a very friendly proprietor, Mr. Giang. Lots of interesting English language stuff, a good place to browse for unexpected discoveries.
352 Thụy Khuê street, Ba Dinh district: a quirky (and very cheap) shop with an interesting range. Bắc Dân, the owner, is very friendly.
Ho Chi Minh City
Quang Huy bookshop, 235 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai street, Nguyễn Cư Trinh. D.1: the first of hopefully many bookshops in the south that Hanoi Ink will visit. A lot of stock here, and friendly people. Read about Hanoi Ink’s first visit, and about an interesting old book on hunting during the French colonial period found at the shop.
184b Lê Văn Sỹ, Phú Nhuận: my second old book shop in HCM City. I was lucky to catch this when I did, in July 2011. Apparently at some point in August the shop needs to relocate, and they have not yet found a new location.
Hồng Đức Bookshop, K59/10 Lê Hồng Phong street, Hải Châu district: down the end of a lane in a private house. Read about Hanoi Ink’s first visit, as well as about some of the books there and at Thy Book Cafe on Lý Tự Trọng street.
Xuân Vinh Book Shop, No. 25 Mậu Thân street, Ninh Kiều district: a friendly little bookshop with a big focus on student textbooks and English learning resources, as well as some poetry and local publications.
Minh Dũng Book Shop, Trần Ngọc Quê street, Ninh Kiều district: this shop has come a long way from its origins on the pavement. Another shop with a student focus, not far from the university. A mix of new and used books, though nothing very old. Also a surprising number of second-hand books in English on blackjack, billiards and gambling scams.
Trúc Vân Bookshop, 131/68/38A Duong 2 Thang 4, Van Thanh ward: the remaining stock of this bookshop is now housed at the private house of the bookseller, Mr. Van. Particularly interesting for the range of materials printed in the former RVN in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.