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Saigon Square consists of many small stalls selling mainly clothes, shoes and music/movie CD/DVD. You can find the best prices in town and you can still bargain for some more. It is always crowded and a little hot as every stall is not air-conditioned.
What to buy: T-shirts, winter jackets, CD/DVD
What to pay: 35 USD for ski/snow board jackets
Written Nov 7, 2008
Address: Le Van Huu Street
Ben Thanh market has a little of everything. Clothes, manchester, souveniers, coffee, fruit & veg etc.
I found the fresh food section the most interesting. Eels & fish jumping out of their buckets, frogs still moving even though they had been skinned and decapitated. Not for the squeamish for sure. The fresh fruit on display was very colourful.
Written Aug 2, 2008
Benh Thanh Market is a shoppers paradise and the various stalls inside are arranged neatly into various themes like the dry goods section, the fresh meat section, the coffee section, etc. It is unlike chatuchak market which is so disorganized in presentation. It is really a pleasure to shop inside due to the right arrangement of goods here!
What to pay: depends on what you want the your haggling skills. All things here are for haggling!
Updated Jul 29, 2008
Address: Quach Thi Trang Square; Le Thanh Ton Street; Phan
Oleh-oleh means 'things that we give to our family and friends after coming back from holiday or trip'. The short and easy term is 'souvenir'. Oleh-oleh is an Indonesian language, and also became a tradition for Indonesian people to always bring something for their loved ones after a vacation.
My oleh-oleh from HCMC:
1. Fridge magnet.
3. Coffee from Highlands Coffee and Trung Nguyen.
4. Lotus Tea.
5. Vietnamese Jasmine Tea.
6. Vietnamese Green Bean snack.
7. Chocolate liquer.
8. Rice paper for spring roll.
9. Sesame cookies.
10. Tan Tan peanut (coconut flavour).
Those oleh-oleh were also 'must buy things' from HCMC or Vietnam. I bought another things such as dried pho noodle, peanut candy, and some authentic Vietnamese food spices, but these were not as special as those 10 items list above.
Buy one more luggage then.
What to pay: Fridge magnets not more than Dong 15,000. Coffee around Dong 15,000. Teas are vary according to the brand. Lacquerware also vary but less than Dong 100,000. Greenbean snack (very delicious) only about Dong 7,000. Sesame snack Dong 2,500. Rice paper Dong 5,500. Tan Tan peanut (big canister) around Dong 20,000.
Updated Mar 23, 2008
This is one of my main reasons to love Vietnam. I love bags and purses so much that I think I can buy the whole items in the ipa-nima store (well, if I don't have to meet a budget constraint of course...). The idea of ipa-nima came from the Hong Kong born fashion-addict Christina Yu who used to be a litigator before settling in in Vietnam and started to grow her own fashion label. Ipa-nima has stores in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
What to buy: Bags, purses, dresses...
What to pay: US$ 60 to 300.
Updated Mar 23, 2008
Address: New World Hotel, District 1, HCMC
An Duong Plaza is adjacent to Windsor Plaza Hotel the place where I stayed during in HCMC. There are other things such as electronics, cosmetics and hair accessories, souvenirs shops and Coop mart.
**Nicer and friendlier people/seller comparing to Ben Thanh market
What to buy: 1. Fridge magnets, 10 pairs = Dong 85,000.
2. Lacquerware, 3 pieces/1 set = Dong 80,000.
3. Other lacquerware items = Dong 20,000 - Dong 50,000.
4. Keychain, 1 piece less than Dong 10,000.
Updated Mar 23, 2008
There are some souvenir counters in the level 3 of Tax shopping centre. Very friendly sellers, I love shopping there. The items are basicly the same as in Ben Thanh market or An Duong Plaza. I bought a pair of Vietnamese couple wearing traditional costume (big size) for Dong 45,000.
Updated Mar 23, 2008
Address: Tax centre
If you’re looking for original Communist propaganda posters check out the Hanoi Gallery. They have shops in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and the collection varies from store to store. Although, we saw a piece we liked in Hanoi and passed it up but after looking at the collection in Saigon they offered to deliver the piece we liked from Hanoi down to the Saigon store. Replicas are also available at inexpensive prices, but if you’re looking for hand painted originals expect to spend a little dough. Their collection was far better than any other “propaganda seller” we saw.
What to buy: Original Communist Propaganda posters as well as replicas.
What to pay: Originals start at about $300 US on up.
Written Dec 13, 2007
Address: 43 Le Loi, I District
We found a shop that is located at the Ben Thanh Night Market.
What to buy: We were searching around for a shop that would give us a good price for the four-piece laquerware. Many shops that we went to charged us sky high prices. But of course it sound quite reasonable to us. 650,000VND for the four pieces, which works out to about 14,000VND per piece.
Thank goodness we did not buy from the other shops. The shop that we went to charged us 300,000VND, which we bargained down to 230,000VND.
If we paid 230,000VND for the four-piece laquerwood, you should be paying no more 100,000VND for each piece.
Updated Sep 9, 2007
Address: No B35, Phan Boi Chau St
Phone: 0909 169257
Bao silk is on De Tham st. right in the backpackers area. I got measured up for 3 short sleeved shirts at 9.00 p.m. and they were ready at 11.00 next morning.
What to buy: These were hand made button-down collared silk shirts.
What to pay: In May 2007 I paid 10$ per shirt, slightly cheaper than I had paid in Hoi An 2 years before.
Updated Aug 13, 2007
Address: 233 De Tham st.District 1, HCMC
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