Here you can find different t-shirts. Very good quality. They create their own designs, the staffs are nice and obliging and here you can hear good music.
What to buy: If you're looking to something different than Ben Thanh market cheap and awful t-shirts, you'll find there what you're looking for. The brand is named "Ginkgo", from the tree, and they produce excellent quality t-shirts souvenir for men and women, with original designs inspired by Asian and Vietnamese cultures. All their products are entirely made in Saigon, and I liked their ethos (fair trade & eco-friendly).
What to pay: Regarding to the quality and the originality of the products, the price is really reasonable, from 190.000 vnd (10 usd) to 210.000 vnd (11.5 usd), same price both for men and women.
This space contains everything you could want in a life style store. The building was built in 1902 and once you get upstairs the owners have made it something really special. As you walk in there is a quaint little french style coffee shop serving the most delicious sandwiches. Go through and come into a gallery where they bring in new young artists from all over the world and that you can purchase for a reasonable price. Some of the local artists are really good. Then the shop blooms into over 250sqm of retail space. Its been designed as a 1930's french factory with what look like original antique machines and furniture its an awesome space that sells both international contemporary fashion and some cool local designers which are all very reasonably priced. I spent hours in there!
What to buy: All sorts from cool head phones, to classic styled mens and ladies garments. They house all sorts of brands from Cheap monday in the mens to Vena Cava for ladies. They also stock Lomo camera's and some super cool kids clothing.
What to pay: its not too bad in anything its cheaper than overseas, some of the ladies fashion stuff was well under $100 USD with a good sandwich and some french Tea running at about $10 for the lot.
It is in a quiet area so you might have to look for it. One of my Vietnamese friends recommended this shop. The first time I visited it was New Year 2008 so I could not have anything made specially for me. But the red silk top and black silk skirt and a blue sundress taken off the dummies were perfect after quick alteration while I waited. I got a lot compliments wearing those outfits in the U.S. They are simple and elegant. People know right away that the outfits are tailored. I came back today to have a couple sundresses made and a suit. I cannot wait to try them out this time. She has plenty of beautiful and colorful outfits through out the store but I am of those few who prefer solid light color clothes. Of course she has men tailor suits and everything else but I am no expert in that. She speaks adequate English and I speak adequate Vietnamese so we got along just fine. She is courteous and professional yet very kind. It is no wonder because she used to be a teacher. If she cannot make the clothes in time, she will refuse the order. Not a fly by night shop. I recommend her without reservation.
What to buy: I come back to VN at least every other year the last 15 years so except for clothes, not much else. Used to buy lots of blue and white and Bat Trang ceramic. They are hand made and so delicate and beautiful.
What to pay: Nov 2009. 400,000 dong for a dress (about $23). She might reduce by 10,000 dong just a goodwill gesture. Asians love to bargain. I paid close to $120 in labor for 3 fancy dresses, 1 pant suit, 2 short skirts all lined!!!! and she does not usually alter your store bought clothes, she also altered 2 lined pairs of pants, one blue Jeans and one unlined pair of pants. What a steal.
Ao dai is the traditional Vietnamese tunic. Thuan Viet is the famous Vietnamese designer who has designed ao dai for numerous beauty pagent. His shop was recommended by the concierge at Park Hyatt. I went to the shop on Dong Khoi after looking at other shops on the same street. The dresses on display as well as the fabric were better than other shops so although they were more than double the prices of other places, I decided to purchase from them. I had high expectation but was thoroughly disappointed. Thuan Viet's ao dai can be very expensive depending on what fabric you choose as well as whether you have any embroidery. Dresses with embroidery can run upwards of US$500 + depending on the intricacies of the patterns. I picked my fabric and had my measurements taken. The next day I went back for my fitting and found that the dress was tight and the position of the darts was the chests were not right. Basically, the seams needed to altered to make the size bigger. The length was also too long as it covered the pants completely. I had to go back for a second fitting the next day. When I went back I was really disappointed to find that they had altered the length of the dress but not the lining. What made me even more upset was when they tried to cover up their mistakes and tell me that that's how it should be. I insisted that the lining be altered to the same length as the dress. They wanted me back for a third fitting the next day but I just didn't have time and asked that the dress be delivered to the hotel. When I finally wore the ao dai, I found that the stitchings were shabby and some of the seams were not tacted down properly as it should be done with a proper tailor and there were oil stains on the pants! For a famous tailor, they certainly did not do a good job and probably subcontracted the business out as they knew I was a tourist. Be very wary if you plan to go to this shop and don't believe them when they promise that things can be done in one day. You'll probably need to go for at least 2 - 3 fittings.
What to pay: Minimum US$120 plus and no discount what so ever.
During my first day in Saigon, i immediately went to Ben thanh Market to go shopping. I really liked those shirts which had "Good Morning Vietnam" or "Saigon" or "Ho Chi Minh" or the vietnamese flag printed on them, i wanted to give them to my guy friends back home. Anyway, one of the stores in Ben Thanh offered me 1 shirt for 160,000 Dong and i immediately declined. So she gave it to me for 50,000 Dong, then I finally bought alot...i thought i got a bargain but not really...
If you want to buy those similar shirts that i bought, you can find them in the side entrance of Ben Thanh market (where all the night market and food places will be located during the evening). It's not a stall similar to those inside of Ben Thanh, instead they have these concrete, white painted walls and white floors as walkways...it's the only place with a flourescent light and with sales ladies that are in uniform...You can buy the shirts at a fixed price of 27,000 Dong... i think that's the lowest price you can get for a quality souveneir shirt that doesnt fade or easily rips :)
Other stuff such as plates, lacquerqare, fans, etc. can also be found here with their fixed price. Lower than those sold on the stalls.
Looking for a tailor to make me a bespoke suit, the first place I went to, just of Dong Khoi, was not very encouraging. The owner struggled to tear himself away from the TV to tell me that a suit would cost minimum of $500. I passed on the offer.
By chance I entered a tailors near Zen Plaza that looked quiet. The lady was very helpful, spoke good English, and had a good selection of catalogues for me to choose the style I wanted, and a good selection of material also.
When the suits were ready for fitting several days later, she was very attentive and more than happy to make the adjustments I requested. The quality of the final product was first class. I continue to wear the suits regularly to the office and am almost totally happy with them. Only 1 thing – there is no lining on the inside front thigh of the trousers so maybe you would need to ask for that.
What to buy: The lady also makes and sells silk shirts, ladies’ wear, everything in fact.
What to pay: I bought 4 suits in total, and paid $100 each for them. I never tried to negotiate the price down as I think I got a good deal as was.
Saigon Square is another step forward in the modernization of shopping in Vietnam. It is new, clean and modern. There is a large supermarket in the middle of the Square (Citimart) surrounded by almost 20 small shops including upmarket brands such as Longines, Boss Perfume, Motorola and Nokia. In other shops you can buy eyeglasses, watches, furniture, air conditioners, film and inexpensive clothes, luggage and shoes (Beware, most are knock offs or counterfeit).
You can eat while you shop or take a nice relaxing break for lunch in between shopping at one of the nearby restaurants. Everything from sushi and Chinese food to sandwiches and pizzas is available. The clothes available are trendy and cheap. Cute trendy T shirts can be had for as low as 2 USD. The place is less crowded than the markets in Cholon and since it is roomier easier to move around in.
What to buy: Come here for cheap local and Chinese-imported copies of designer sportswear, anything from the latest temples for your toes to winter coats. The quality is, well, fake, but the price is right and the stuff is good and rugged. It's not a bad place to stock up on travel items or on things you'll need heading home in wintertime. The massive Saigon Square complex also houses all manner of small budget fashion boutiques, jewelry sellers, and accessories vendors (a good place to pick up copies of the latest Prada or Burberry bag).
What to pay: knock off shirts at 30,000 VND, Counterfeit Ralph lauren Jeans at 80,000 VND, Knock-off Rolex watches at 700,000 VND, Local shirts at 25,000 VND.
Cao Vinh is a small Clothes Shop on Pasteur Street. Once they have your measures, they also take orders by e-mail and send it to you.
What to buy: Tailored suits and shirts.
What to pay: USD 200 to 300 for a Suit with one pair of pants.
You can find many shops selling T-shirts but in Ben Thanh market, you can find many, many stalls where you can choose & bargain from
You can buy T-shirts from the upscale souvenir shops e.g in hotels but expect to pay 10x - 20x more!!
What to buy: I'm not going to encourage anyone out there to purchase any fake designer shirts even though they do come in very tempting prices. However, T-shirts made in Vietnam are pretty nice to bring home as souvenirs or gifts to pass around because not only they are inexpensive, they come in nice designs too especially the ones with the embroidery
Personally, I find the cheaper T-shirts are quite thin (but good to wear in a hot & humid place like Saigon) but with the low prices, it's value for money. Plus, they're pretty handy if you forgot to pack extra clothes
What to pay: Some stalls are notorious because even after I bargained for half the price of the item, I found other places that sell them for less than that. I guess they know the trick so they push the price higher
So, the cheapest T-shirts I bought were US$1 for printed tees and US$2 for T-shirts with embroidery
Some of the shops in Saigon (and Hanoi for that matter) are very interestingly decorated and have a particular style which caters to the more individualist type. If you like mainstream type shops like Next and M&S you will feel that here is not the place to go shopping.
What to buy: Original pieces like dresses and hats...
What to pay: cheaper that average
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