Ho Chi Minh City Shopping advice for visitors
One of the pleasures of travelling is the chance to pick up souvenirs or gifts that you can’t get at home, and often things that you can get at home but for a really cheap price. A Ho chi minh tour affords you all these choices – interesting gifts, and great value, let’s have a look at what the best bargains are and where to do your Ho Chi Minh City shopping
Ho Chi Minh City shopping right at the heart of the city
- Ben Thanh Market
Probably the most famous place for Ho Chi Minh City shopping. Ben Thanh Market has been open for business in one form or another for over 100 years. It’s primarily a tourist attraction now, towards the back of the market (if you enter from the roundabout side) there are still some stalls selling meat and fish and goods for locals – but there are very few. The best Ho Chi Minh City shopping here is for clothes (yes, most of the brands will be fake), textiles and souvenirs such as lacquerware and wooden paintings. In terms of pricing – bargaining is expected, however some stalls now have a sign that says fixed price.
- Saigon Square
Just down the road from Ben Thanh market is Saigon Square – it’s a nicer Ho Chi Minh City shopping experience as it’s not as big as Ben Thanh and the stall holders seem to be less pushy. They will still shout you over but seem not to be as persistent. Saigon square is mainly for clothing, usually fake branded goods. They also seem to have a lot in the way of accessories i.e. leather bags, purses and everybody’s favourite – the ‘manbag’. I’ve got one – I admit it. Saigon square is on two levels with mainly clothes on the upper level and clothes along with everything else on the lower level. Saigon square is also a good Ho Chi Minh City shopping place for electronic accessories, chargers, earphones and cases etc. Many of the electrical stalls are right by the front door – some will sell mp3 players etc. but if they are real i.e. apple or Sony (questionable) they will be no cheaper than you can buy online at home.
On the subject of Ho Chi Minh City shopping for electronic goods – I don’t think there is that much value to be had. A genuine iPhone or laptop purchased here will cost you the same as it will at home (wherever that may be). I find this strange as nearly every kid has an iPhone – and they are not cheap.
District 5 – another experience for Ho Chi Minh City Shopping
- An Dong Market
On An Duong Vuong Street in District 5 – this market is a bit of a concrete monstrosity for Ho Chi Minh City shopping. From the outside at least. Its set on 4 floors with a temperamental escalator connecting them. The ground floor (or lower ground as it’s kind of below street level) is mainly for consumables such as candy, rice, noodles, dried shrimp and squid. There is no fresh market (indoors) so no string odours. Also on the ground floor are some jewellery stalls selling jade and gold, bargaining is expected. Floors 2 and 3 are taken up with clothes and textiles. Unlike Ben Thanh for Ho Chi Minh City shopping, An Dong market is not aimed at tourists so you will see less branded goods and more wholesale textiles. Also lots of ladies’ shoes, more than you can shake a stick at. Should you so desire. The top floor is mainly souvenirs but is usually eerily quiet – most of the stalls here also act as wholesalers for the gift shops in the tourist district – so cut out the middle man and you might bag yourself a Ho Chi Minh City shopping bargain.
- Binh Tay Market – Thap Muoi, District 5
An amazing Ho Chi Minh Tour can be had by taking a xe om or taxi to Binh Tay market in Cho Lon (literally ‘big market’). It’s the largest market in the city and is worth a visit for people watching as well as Ho Chi Minh City shopping. It’s a huge indoor market (the whole area is a centre of commerce) catering for wholesale and retail. Expect to see stalls with thousands of plastic boxes or the same pair of shoes. Bargaining is expected but not a huge amount of English is spoken.
So there we have a few tips for your Ho Chi Minh Tour and Shopping. Any comments please leave them below!
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