November 10, 2017

Shopping in Ho Chi Minh City

A lot of things have changed since my last visit to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) in early 2014. The first thing I noticed was the big roundabout in front of the market. There used to be a little garden at the roundabout where I took photo of Ben Thanh Market. Now it has become a big construction site for the metro system. Many shops around the market that I visited before also aren't there anymore. The hotels also changed their name or become a new one.

happy pose but later we got cheated by the rickshaw uncles T_T

the roundabout has become a big construction site

Most visitors to HCMC will flock to Ben Thanh Market. It is centrally located and sells everything from fabrics, clothing, counterfeit branded bags and shoes, sporting gears, watches, local handicrafts to food, tea and coffee. It's hot, packed and crowded but you're sure to find some great offers.

Read my previous post on shopping in Ben Thanh Market here.

North Entrance

I went with my sister this time around so we spent quite some time at the market looking at things on displays, mainly the fabrics section.

Vietnamese silk

Rambang mata OK! I will surely go again next year to buy my kain raya :D 

Many shops offer service to make suit, jacket, dress etc within a day. Order in the morning, and they will send your items to your hotel in the evening. I never tried it though so I can't comment on the quality. Price depends on the fabric and design of the clothes.

Vietnamese weasel coffee

Vietnamese coffee

Remember to compare prices and bargain, because otherwise you will get ripped off. Some of the traders can speak Malay. The trick to shop here is to bargain till 50% - 70% and walk away if they don't agree with the offer price. Most of the time, they will call you back and accept the price or negotiate just a little bit higher (sometimes just accept it la because they also need to make a living). But sometimes it doesn't work because they tak heran already, there's a lot more customers in the market. If you're not keen on bargaining, just head to shops with the fixed price signage.

For your information, Ringgit Malaysia (RM) is widely accepted at the shops inside Ben Thanh Market and its surround. Just change to Vietnamese Dong for your meals and taxi. If you need to change the currency, you can go to Ha Tam Jewelry. This shop is located across the West entrance of Ben Thanh Market, at the corner of Nguyen An Ninh and Phan Chu Trinh.

Overall, it's good to walk around the city and shop. Just bring a lot of $$$.

Here are some of the best places to shop in Ho Chi Minh City.

* Ben Thanh Market
Direction: At the roundabout at Le Loi Street and Le Lai Street, opposite the main bus station.
Opens daily 6am ~ 6pm.

* Ben Thanh Night Market
Once the street is closed to traffic, vendors set up food and beverage, clothing and souvenir stalls. 
Opens daily 6pm ~ 12am.

Malaysia Street (Nguyen An Ninh) for scarves, telekungs and jubahs. Most shops sell Malaysian scarves and telekungs like dUCk, Naelofar, Ariani, Siti Khadijah and Arafah. They're everywhere!
Direction: Across the West entrance of Ben Thanh Market. 
Most shops open 9am ~ 10pm.

* Rohani Collection for telekungs and scarves.
Direction: It's at the row of shops facing Ben Thanh Market North Entrance on Le Thanh Ton street.
Opens 9am ~ 9pm.

* Saigon Square for clothes, toys, accessories, shoes etc. It is air-conditioned!
Address: 77-89 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 1
Opens daily 9.30am ~ 9pm.

* Taka Plaza for clothing.
Address: 102 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 1
Opens daily 8am ~ 8pm.

* Rose Backpack for quality backpack.
Direction: It's on the first floor at the row of shops next to Taka Plaza. Taka Plaza is within walking distance from Ben Thanh Market. From North Entrance of the market, walk straight until you see Chatime. Walk one more junction and turn right. Taka Plaza is about 100 metres away.

* Russian Market for discounted winter gear, sporting goods, casual wear, suitcases.
Address: 328 Vo Van Kiet Street, Co Giang Ward, District 1
Opens daily 8am ~ 8pm.

* Tan Dinh Market for fabrics and food.
Address: Nguyen Huu Cau Street, Tan Dinh Ward, District 1
Opens daily from 6am ~ evening, some food stalls are open until midnight.

* An Dong Market for clothing, footwear and fabrics.
Address: An Duong Vuong Street, Ward 9, District 5
Opens daily 8am ~ 10pm.

* Binh Tay Market for local products. Many items are sold in bulk.
Address: 57 Thap Muoi Street, Ward 2, District 6
Access: Bus no. 1 from Ben Thanh bus station.
Opens daily 6am ~ 7pm.

* Linda Wholesale for clothing.
Address: 409/60/3A Le Duc Tho Street, Ward 16, Go Vap District
You can whatsapp Linda at +84938823457 to arrange for taxi to and from the shop.
Opens daily 8am ~ 7pm. 

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