You can go crazy shopping in Vietnam!! The markets are full of cheap & chic wonders... esp. good value are sports shoes, market 'designer' shirts and backpacks for the guys, and sequinned bags/slippers as well as silks and ao dai for the girls!! Ohhh.. then of course all those lacquer goods, and paintings (see my hanoi shopping tips for those)... and doilies, tablecloths,
N.B. BE CAREFUL OF PICKPOCKETS!!! I spotted one hurrying away after trying to get at my wallet from my handbag. Strangely.. she didn't even look Vietnamese. Looked like a regular tourist in a big hat and capri pants.
What to buy: Check out these sequined bags, though they're a mere fraction of what you can find there!! I bought like 20 on my first trip alone.
What to pay: Realllyyyy cheap. U pay like USD$1-$2 for a little sequinned pouch but even the really nice big holdall type ones aren't more than USD$10, esp. not in the markets or u know u're being charged foreigner prices.
Just wanted to include another photo of slippers.. everytime I go to Vietnam, I really overbuy!!! Every trip would see me buy at least a couple pairs of these fantastic clogs, and a few handbags. Great gifts, if they don't end up in my own cupboard! :)
Have one renoir specially painted for you at about USD 30 or less by one of these copy artists in HCMC. I spotted one such gallery in Dong Khoi area, not too far from the Opera house. I didn't buy a copy but I was so very tempted to get Van Gough's Starry Night. There's also a 'proper' gallery in the same vincinity but they carry original works by local artists. Don't ask those folks to do a copy for you, trust me, they know how to say "omigawwd" in English. The website is attached below.
A typical LARGE asian market (under a roof).
I found this market as good as if not better than the covered marked in the centre of HCMC. It is 2 floors and built round a open space in the centre.
Sells everything (and I mean everything) and the food is wonderful as well.
Oposite on the other side of the street is another market as well.
What to buy: Clothes, Bags, Shoes, kitchen ware, whatever you are looking for.
What to pay: Bargin, and its cheap.
A small shop specializing in candle holders, candles, lighting, home decorating and unique fashions
What to buy: Whatever you are entranced with. You will be and you decide. I loved the lighting, it was so unique and elegant, but very understated. Perfect.
What to pay: Not expensive. It just depends on what you are buying.
Cho Lon means "big market" and the Binh Tay Market is the largest market in Saigon's Chinatown. Much like Ben Thanh Market, the aisles are full of just about anything that you would need for the modern Vietnamese life. However, the prices are generally cheaper than Ben Thanh.
At the center of the market is a courtyard garden for you to escape the craziness of the shopping.
What to pay: Depends on your barganing skills. Generally, for items without a price tag you should pay at least 50% of the first price that they say.
You will find Ben Thanh Market right in the heart of the city. Here you can buy just about anything from fresh produce and meat [some still living], tableclothes, clothes, art -- it really is the shopping heart of the city. You will find many restaurants nearby, including Pho 2000. [See my restaurant tips]
What to buy: I purchased a Christmas tablecloth and napkins.
What to pay: Bargain, but don't be unreasonable. I was fortunate in that I had my young Vietnamese friend with me who did the negotiating.
In the market, I bargained for a set of chopsticks in a nice box.
Agreeing on the price, the woman took my money, and proceeded behind the counter to wrap the Chopsticks.
At this time, another girl came up and started talking to me. I realized I had let my guard down for a second, so when I was given my parcel, I walked a short distance and opened the end to see if I had the correct chopsticks. I could see it was, so went back to my Hotel.
At the Hotel, I opened the parcel completely......
Yes, I had the right design, only they had changed it for one with a large chip out of it!
This was to be a gift for my family. If I had opened the other end, I would have found the chip, luck wasn't with me.
You cannot let your guard down. I realize the other lady was a decoy now, didn't then, just thought being friendly, not so, all part of a plan.
This market sells everyhting from up to the minute phones to clothes and sounvenirs. We did a lot of shopping here buying draw string pants long and short for $US5 a pair also Filo & Nike women's sports tops for th e
All kinds of souvenirs are available here t-shirts $US2 and that is before you haggle at those prices I felt too embarressed to haggle.
What to buy: There are beautiful chop stick boxes a steal at approx $US5 each some are plainn others have been hand carved.
If you are after fabric this is the place to go we watched women buying fabrics for special occasions maybe wedding gowns??? in the most beautiful fabrics and colours.
The first time we went we took a taxi but walked back to the hotel ourselves. Seems to be much easier to find your way from than to!!!!
Apart from the souvenir stuff there are some good bargains to be had in men's shirts clothes in general and shoes there were many westerners buying up big on shoes. I am sure if we had not had to carry a backpack into Cambodia we would of bought a lot more. The stall holders will deal in either US$ or VN Dong.
Away from the markets there are plenty of music stores that sell pirate dvd's(20,000VND) or cd's(10,000VND) they are all good quality. There are also loads of kids selling photo copies of books lots of Lonely Planet, history books from the war we paid between $US2-3 per book. There are also loads of sunglasses to be had either from stalls or from street vendors who walk around selling them my treat were Ray Ban $US3. There is so much to buy you will be spoilt for choice. So far none of my t-shirts have fallen apart and all my dvd's & cd's are in perfect working order.
This is one of the main markets in Saigon and one of the landmarks of the city, with its belfry and clock. Recently refurbished, inside you can find many everyday life items, as household items, food, tobacco, clothing, hats, hardware, parfums? And outside, in the streets around, you will find many local restaurants, chinese shops, and a lively atmosphere which is very pleasant to observe?
It was built in 1914 by the french who knew it as ?Les Halles Centrales?
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