As a seasoned shopper and traveler, I can confidently say that Ho Chi Minh City shopping should be considered a paradise. It is no exaggeration to say that you can find whatever you are looking for here. From insanely good coffee to snowboard gear (seriously, in the south of Viet Nam) to an entire fake cherry blossom tree. That thing you’re looking for? Saigon has it, and it has it at the fraction of the cost.
Clothes, Shoes and Bags
If you look on the label of that Forever 21 or H&M dress or shirt you’re wearing, chances are it’s going to say made in Viet Nam. Everything is made here and a lot of it ends up in the markets. Shopping for clothes in Saigon is an adventure that can take you from trying on a skirt in a packed market behind a towel held up by a nice old lady to a Chanel boutique on the famous Nguyen Hue walking street. Here are a few of our favorite places which we provide to foreigners for Ho Chi Minh City shopping trips.
Saigon Square & Taka Plaza
Saigon Square has multiple locations. The one in district 3 is more comfortable to walk around in but they all carry pretty much the same stuff. These markets sell mostly clothes but you can also find laptop cases, cell phone covers, electronics and sunglasses. It’s a tight fit in both markets and haggling is necessary.
The Russian Market (Chợ Nga)
Nestled underneath a huge pink apartment block, the Russian Market is your one stop shop for all North Face products. The small compartmented stores on the first level are all overflowing with impressively priced winter gear including down jackets and snowboard jackets and pants. You can also find gym gear including yoga leggings and Nike and Adidas sports bras, workout t-shirt and tights and shorts. The Russian Market also tends to carry more clothing in Western sizes than Saigon Square or Taka Plaza.
The second floor is filled with clothes and shoes. While they do usually carry mostly small shoe sizes, always ask for your size. The women working there are very helpful. This is also a good place to find bags. You’ll find a wide array of SuperDry and North Face backpacks and bags as well as handbags and travel cases. The products at The Russian Market are definitely higher quality so expect to pay a bit more and haggling may not be as successful here.
If tight spaces, digging for what you want and haggling is not your scene you can indulge yourself in the finer side of Saigon shopping.
Takashimaya Mall and The Bitexco Tower
The recently built Takashimaya mall is a luxury Japanese department store in District 1. Here you will find a range of high-end products clothes products like Calvin Klein to Japanese cookware.
The most iconic building in the Ho Chi Minh City skyline is the perfect place to browse for fashion (after having been up to the viewing deck of course!) The Bitexco Financial Tower has a Vans store, an Adidas outlet, a Charles & Keith and a Topshop (and more!). Each floor also holds a few pop up boutiques where you will find unique limited pieces of clothing.
Nguyen Hue street is lined with Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel and Versace. If these are a little out of your price range though, don’t worry! 42 Nguyen Hue is a massive building filled with little clothing jewels. Take your time walking through the building and explore the stores. The real Saigon is hidden in alleys and buildings like this one.
Behind Ben Thanh market down an alley nicknamed “nail alley,” you will find Mayhem, a trendy two-floor second-hand store. Come to Mayhem to browse what the cool kids of Saigon used to wear. The top floor is for women and the bottom for men so there is something for everyone here. They also carry jewelry, sunglasses, shoes and trendy bags. If you find something you like but it just doesn’t fit right they will even alter it for you for free!
Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh is the most famous market in Ho Chi Minh City. The actual market sells material, clothes, wooden bowls and wine holders, coffee, tea, bags, beautiful hand woven scarves and also contains a fair amount of food vendors and a fresh food market towards the back. While Ben Thanh is more expensive than other markets because of its fame and location, you can find reasonably priced items and they are open to haggling. Shopping at Ben Thanh is also quite the experience! Be sure to stop by again at night when the side markets open.
Le Loi Street
Le Loi is full of upmarket souvenir stores. The stores on this street sell books, beautiful ceramic bowls, mugs and teapots, coffee and tea, watches and jewelry, paintings and more. Many of the stores carry the same type of things and the prices are usually similar. Take your time walking into all the stores and compare prices in case you get lucky and find that perfect gift or a great price! You will also find vendors along the road selling beautifully crafted Viet Nam and Ho Chi Minh City themed pop-up cards.
Here you will find quirky magnets, posters, bags and pillowcases decorated with old school propaganda poster prints. You can also find a lot of woodwork here including bowls, cups and chopsticks. It’s the perfect place for something a little different to remember Saigon by.
Dong Khoi Street
Dong Khoi is a beautiful street to walk down and is full of pretty but expensive stores, but that’s not why it is on this list! When arriving at 151 Dong Khoi you will find The Art Arcade, an alley covered in paintings done by local artists. Many of them show off Vietnamese landscapes and people. If you are looking for a piece to add to your home I would definitely recommend starting here.
When haggling in your Ho Chi Minh City shopping trip, the best route is to cut the price given to you in half and then start to negotiate. Knowing some basic Vietnamese is definitely useful so here is a small list of phrases to throw out while you’re shopping.
“Xin chào” – “Hello” (pronounced ‘sin chao’)
“Trời ơi!” – “Oh my God!” (pronounced ‘chtroi oi’)
“Mac qua” – “Too expensive” (pronounced ‘mak kwah’)
“Chị ơi” – (pronounced as is, a way to get a woman’s attention)
“Anh ơi” – (pronounced as is, a way to get a man’s attention)
“Cảm ơn” – “Thank you” (pronounced come anh)
In Ho Chi Minh City haggling is a part of shopping culture but at times the product is already so cheap and haggling is not necessary, especially when it comes to the street vendors. We hope that you enjoy your trip to Saigon and leave with many memories, mementos and gifts to share with friends and family!
Personalize your trips with
Hello! My name is Linh, I'm 22 year old. I am a young person living in Ho Chi Minh City. I love to discover new things. I am active and…Learn more