The night market I visited in Ho Chi Minh popped up around Ben Than market at dusk. After dinner at Pho 2000 we had a short walk around the night market The night market was bust with rows of stalls selling T-shirts, clothes, souvenirs and sweet sticky rice (gạo nep). I had a try of the sticky rice even though the Pho (beef noodle soup) was very filling, the rice ws delicious and came in a variety of flavours including aniseed, honey, ginger and nuts.
open every night as the Ben Than market closes.
What to buy: CLOTHES, FOOD AND SOUVENIRS
What to pay: HAGGLE
A delicious pattiserie in the Vincom centre.
The company opened its first store in korea in 1997, and now has stores in USA, Vietnam and China.
I bought some really nice almond pastry for our journey into Cambodia.
What to buy: ALMOND PASTRY
The Vincom centre is a modern shopping centre sprawled over 6 floors. Some of the shops here include Jimmy Choo, Versace, Karen millen, Swarovski, Crabtree and Evelyn, Debenhams, Accessorize, Mango, Warehouse, Disney and Emporio Armarni to name a few.
There is also a Highlands coffee, a burger bar called Carls Jrs and a wonderful French bakery called Tours les Jours.
open 9am - 10pm
What to buy: High end high street stores.
What to pay: A lot more expensive than the markets.097 503 3288
Built in 1914 Benh Than market is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. It is in the centre of town in district 1.
The market is set out in sections covering clothes, everyday items, jewellery, food and souvenirs.
I bought a Starbucks style Vietnamese coffee t-shirt for £7.50
What to buy: local handicrafts, clothes, food, souvenirs, household goods and toiletries.
What to pay: The locals like to haggle, although there is also a fixed price section.
Most of the Tour Groups whether big or small or private tours will have a stop at the Tay Son Lacquare Shop so you could see the quality vietnamese lacquer ware that they produce.
Many lovers of lacquerware are very impressed with the artwork of Tay son, because the quality of it is produced based on an imagination for creativity and difference, it may have the same design but it's different in terms of artwork, as it goes "Same Same ... But Different".
In Tay Son lacquerware workshop where you observe the process of making these traditional products of Vietnam into masterpieces and priced lower than in the markets.
What to buy: Lacquer Dishes starting at 150,000 VND, Lacquer Tray starting at 100,000 VND, Lacquer Box starting at 60,000 VND, picture frames starting at 50,000 VND, Vases & Urns starting at 300,000 VND and a lot more!
What to pay: Lacquer ware are expensive due to the intensive labor that is used to produce and finish it.
This will be my Saigon Sky deck Souvenir Shopping tips. I will have separate eating and things to do tips for it.
The Spanking New Saigon Sky Deck of the Bitexco Financial Center in the Center of District 1 in Saigon host the tallest building in Saigon and the second tallest buildng in Vietnam. The buidling is 68 floors high and it hosts the Saigon Sky Deck at the 49th floor that gives a sweeping 360 degree panoramic view of the city. The Skydeck was just opened in 2011 and the restaurant that accompanies it at the 50th Floor (Strata Restaurant) just opened in April 2012.
Since it is a new attraction in Saigon, it has it's own souvenir shop located inside the Saigon Skydeck Premises at the 49th floor and also one at the elevator lobby where you buy tickets for the Skydeck.
Opens: 9:00 am to 10:00 pm everyday
What to buy: since this is a new attraction in Saigon, they don't have a large selection of souvenir items to choose from (like my favorite refrigerator magnets and shot glasses) but they have coffee mugs, silk table linens, key chains, books, paper weights with the Saigon Skydeck logos in it. Prices are on the high side since this is a luxe destination.
What to pay: much more than buying the cheap souvenir items at the souvenir shops in Saigon
the last time I visited Saigon was in 2007 and rex hotel then doesn't have a luxe shopping center and what a difference 5 years make! the coffee shop was removed, the lobby renovated and it now has the luxe shopping arcade with world famous brands in the hotel! District 1 of Saigon can now compete with other major cities in south east asia as most of the major luxe global brands have branches here in this fast growing city.
The Rex Shopping Arcade boasts of World Renowned Brands where you can buy luxe items that costs an arm and a leg, brands like VERTU, BALLY, BURBERRY, BULGARI, CARTIER, CHANEL, POLO RALPH LAUREN, ROLEX, SALVATORE FERRAGAMO, and TUMI!
most of the luxe shops open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm everyday
What to buy: how about rolex watches, tumi traveller bags, vertu luxe mobile phones, bally shoes, Bulgari Jewellery and more!
What to pay: maxx out your platinum credit card
This will be my Nguyen Hue Street Shopping Tips
Nguyen Hue Street (also known as Charner Boulevard during the French Period) is the main Street Going from the front of the Municipal Hall up to the Boat Piers to the Saigon River. This is also one of the main shopping areas of Saigon (but the parallel street of Dong Khoi hosts the more upscale shops and brands) but has the largest concentration of Hotels in Saigon. The street host many shops and souvenir stalls and the budget lucky plaza (for export overruns of branded items like burberry or la coste or ralph lauren or nautica or more. and even counterfeit items of these brands too). Some of Saigon's best hotels are located here like the Duxton, Kimdo, the Iconic Rex Hotel, Palace Hotel, Oscar Hotel and more. The Tax Department Store and the Rex hotel is located at the corner of the street and le loi street and the Iconic Ho Chi Minh Statue is also located along this broad street.
What to buy: you can buy assorted souvenirs at the various souvenir shops lining nguyen hue street and they are quite cheaper than buying at Benh Thanh Market. Assorted painting shops sell paintings too Lucky Mall has many export overruns and counterfeit branded items. You can shop at the Rex Shopping Boutique for luxe items like prada bags or burberry bags and rolex watch. Shop at the Tax Department Store.
What to pay: depends on your haggling skills at the souvenir shops.
This Will Be my Le Loi street shopping tips for it.
Dong Khoi Street maybe the Luxe Center of Shopping but Le Loi Street is a close second to the famous Dong Khoi street in Luxe Shopping but it ranks first in the number of shopping and dining options along the street. Among the Shopping Stalls and areas at the Le Loi Street is the Tax Department Store, the Rex Hotel Shopping Center (a recent addition!, it was not present when I was here in 2007), the new Saigon Center Building and Mall and the Benh Thanh Market is located partly in Le Loi Street too. The street is short by Saigon Standards but has the largest concentration of shops, luxe boutiques and restaurants around the area. The Street was named after an emperor and the founder of the later Le dynasty. Surrounding the street is many spas, high-end restaurants, 5-star hotels, art galleries and small fashion
Le Loi Street starts at the Corner of Nguyen Hue Boulevard and Ends at the Tran Nguyen Hai Statue in front of the Benh Thanh Market.
What to buy: Le Loi Street has shopping for evey budget hehehee. You can buy budget items at the Pho Mua San Night Market beside Benh Than Market, also at the Benh Thanh Market, Mid Price Items at the Tax Department Store and Saigon Center (Nine West, Geox, Bebe) and Luxe Items at the Rex Hotel Shopping Arcade (Rolex, Tumi, Ralph Lauren, Burberry) and assorted shops and stores lining the busy street.
What to pay: depends on your budget
This will be my Dong Khoi Shopping Tips.
Dong Khoi Street in District 1 is the main upscale Shopping area of Saigon. It was the upscale shopping area since the french colonial times and in on my revisit now in 2012 (my last visit before was 2007), there is now a louis vuitton at Saigon! Though there are many other shopping regions in the city namely Ben Thanh Market, the shopping zones by the sides of Nguyen Hue and Le Loi Streets (will do separate tips for it) plus a new shopping mall at le duan boulevard and at the Shops at the Rex Hotel but the Dong Khoi Street is well known for hosting the crème de la crème. The shops on Dong Khoi Street also offer exclusive Custom-made silk garments. The quality of these silk garments is like that of Singapore or Hong Kong. The fantastic concordance of colors and intricate workmanship of the dress materials are worth mentioning. The huge Parkson Department store is also at Dong Khoi Street too plus other malls and shops.
What to buy: if you fancy Vietnamese artisanal silks, then dong khoi street is the place to be since it has many assorted artisanal silk shops. it also houses the huge Malaysian Department Store, Parkson which provides luxe shopping inside, Lamson Square and recently, there are new luxe shops sprouting in the area like a gucci store, a louis vuitton store, the new sheraton hotel. Besides the silk garments and embroidered tablecloths and napkins, shawls, purses and silk scarves will surely make you crazy. The shop, which offers a wide variety of handbags made of different materials, deserves special attention. It is almost impossible to slow down the frenetic pace of Ho Chi Minh City on Dong Khoi Street Saigon.
What to pay: more expensive than buying at Benh Thanh Market
Id used to purchase them at Saigon Center, ground floor for bags, 1st floor for clothing. Saigon Square also sells plenty of those brands that you'd mentioned..Just shop wise and careful with the money..good hunting!!
What to buy: North Face, Bognar, Zara, Deuter, Adidas etc...
What to pay: just smile and haggle llike there's no tomorrow...dun show any anger...just smile all the way
Am a chocoholic! That's it. I am unashamed in admitting my addiction to the dark brown piece of heaven. :)
So, I make sure to research the local chocolatier even before I land in a place. HCMC was a bit different since I only chanced upon this small shop while walking along my tour route along Le Loi street. As usual, I prefer buying from local chocolatiers before going to 5star hotels as my last resort.
It was filled with chocolates wrapped in bright colored foils and rows of fresh molded theobromas inside their glass counter. They even have Easter themed ones in keeping with the season.
I was already imagining the pleasure of popping a tropical fruit infused chocolate bit as soon as I saw the flavors. Strawberry, Bailey's, Cointreau, and Dark shared the spotlight with Durian and Coconut. Liquer infused ones go for VND120,000/100gms (U$1 = VND17,700) while the others are little cheaper at VND90,000/100gms. So, that is approximately PHP352 or $6.80 for the liquer ones. Not exactly bad if you are craving for freshly made chocolates in District 1 of HCMC.
I've tried the ones from Sheraton Hotel but I can tell that they have been chilled ergo not sure how long they have been in the chiller. :)
What to buy: If you appreciate durian or coconut then do not pass by without sampling one. :)
What to pay: VND90,000/100 grams
Vietnam is the 3rd largest consumer of New Zealand Natural ice cream. With that said, I needed to try this cold confection.
I chose two scoops of Boysenberry and Chocolate. The flavor of boysenberry was very good and the level of sweetness was acceptable for me. I find the chocolate a bit lacking in punch. There were a few ice flakes within the ice cream which did not pass my "creaminess" meter.
I took mine in a kiosk within Parson's food court along Dong Khoi, D1 and again 2 scoops in Cafe Xcream along Huynh Thuc Khang (a separate post for this). Same experience, ice flakes in a supposedly creamy blanket. If your experience is different, pls let me know. :)
What to buy: Boysenberry flavor rocks.
What to pay: VND49,000 for 2 scoops. (U$1 = VND17700)
After visiting several internet cafes in central Saigon, I found this convenient bar with several screens and an ultrafast connection.
They also have scanner, printer and burn CDs. You can order a drink in the meanwhile too :-)
This is the airport mall just few steps from the airport and as in Vietnam you never know how long it takes you to get to the airport you need to have few hours extra just in case and to be sure you will get on time for your flight and if you are a bit early you can kill few hours in this mall.
What to buy: Souvenirs, fashion cloths, sports wear & shoes, cosmetics etc.
What to pay: This place was surely upper class and not for common people in this country. Most items I think I could have buy in Europe for about the same price or cheaper.
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