The most remarkable part of shopping in Ho Chi Minh City isn't the boutiques, or the malls or even the people that frequent these places; It's the sheer variety. There are so many different types of malls and markets in Ho Chi Minh City that you will be hard pressed to choose one. To make it easier for you, we've made a list of some of the best places to shop at in HCMC.
Markets in Ho Chi Minh CityShopping in Ho Chi Minh City is not always about the glamorous boutiques or the popular malls. A large part of shopping in Ho Chi Minh City includes visiting a local market. Commonly known for their reasonable prices and their positive approach to haggling, shopping at traditional markets can not only be easy on the pocket but these markets also happen to be great places to pick up clothes, souvenirs and handicrafts. Do ensure that you have cash on hand though!
1. Ben Thanh Night Market: Best Night Market in Ho Chi Minh CityAs soon as dusk sets in, Benh Thanh rises. Multi-colour lights flick on, and stalls are set up alongside the main hall. People walk around, creating a hustle. The atmosphere is lively and enjoyable. Apart from that, it is a great place to shop. With an affordable, yet a great variety of clothes, hats, bags watches, lacquerware, bamboo goods, handicrafts, arts and crafts and textiles, you will be presented with too much to choose from. It also has some great food shops and cafes in and around, which make for great places to stop at and grab a late night bite.
Timings - 6:00 PM - 12:00 PM
2. An Dong MarketAn Dong Market is the largest textile market in Vietnam. With every textile of every colour, shape, size, pattern and material available, An Dong market is your one-stop destination for all kinds of textiles. If you require a particularly eccentric type of fabric, you might have to look around a little, but you will most definitely find it. On the ground floor, you will find conventional articles such as fashion in Asain sizes, wholesale items and food. The prices tend to be reasonable, but generally, bargaining is not encouraged unless you buy in bulk.
Timings - 9:00 AM - 9:30 PM
3. Nguyen Tri Phuong MarketNguyen Tri Phuong Market is a less crowded version of Ben Thanh Market. With a vast variety of articles, from clothes to Jewellery and shoes to even fresh fruits and vegetables, Nguyen Tri Phuong market has all the diversity in goods you need to satisfy your shoppers - cravings. It allows you to shop at a market which is largely tourist-free and inevitably offers you the opportunity to observe local life. Right outside the market is a lady that sells traditional Vietnamese cakes. These cakes are an absolute must-have!
Timings - 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Shopping Streets in Ho Chi Minh CityHo Chi Minh City's Shopping Guide cannot be complete without explicitly mentioning the shopping streets of Ho Chi Minh City. Products vary as needs vary and bargaining is an absolute must! Street stalls are generally active during the evening night hours.
4. Nguyen Dinh Chieu StreetNguyen Dinh Chieu Street is special. It is solely dedicated to footwear. The street is divided into different sections ? each section is dedicated to women's, men's and children's footwear respectively. Shoes of every style, size, and shape are available here. The shoes available are of exceptional quality.
Timings - 5:00 PM - 11:30 PM
5. Student MarketStudent Market is an unconventional place for the typical tourist because it's a flea market. If you want to get back the off-beaten track and explore something colourful, cheap and stimulating, this is the best place to visit. This market primarily caters to University students who cannot travel into the city. The market also has some great street food options ? from crisp spring rolls to Ram Bap, crispy rice pancakes with corn, shrimp and herbs. The Student market is a new experience, for those who prefer something different.
Timings - 4:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Shopping Malls in Ho Chi Minh CitySaigon can pretty much be termed as the 'Paris of the east'. With a vast variety of malls springing up on literally every corner of every street that you have a plethora of options to choose from. The malls play host to some international brands, available at affordable prices. Malls are areas filled with entertainment, food and shopping, all encapsulated into one. Some of the best shopping malls in Ho Chi Minh City include:
6. Vincom CenterTimings: 9:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Vincom Center is the largest mall for shopping in Ho Chi Minh City with more than 250 retail outlets. The mall itself contains two complexes. Vincom Center A is built in a refurbished colonial-era building and includes electronics, home décor and upmarket brands such as Ralph Lauren. The mall has a food court, family-friendly games, a bowling alley and a cinema theatre. In comparison, the Vincom Complex B occupies a tall skyscraper on the opposite side of the road which plays home to elite sports apparel brands and clothes brands.
7. Parkson PlazaTimings: 9:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Parkson Plaza is your everyday mall with the standard arrangement -cosmetic and perfumes on the ground floor; women's and men's apparel on the first and second floors; home appliances and furniture on the third floor and an enormous food court on the fourth. It is a great place to shop for some brands such as Calvin Klein, Espirit and Lacoste. The mall also has an exceptional Game Center with an arcade, air hockey and basketball hoops.
8. Aeon MallTimings: 9:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Aeon Mall is a Japanese mall located in Tan Phu District. More than a shopping mall, Aeon Mall caters to everyday needs with a sprawling supermarket on the ground floor. However, you should visit this mall as it has a vast variety of Japanese items that are worth looking at, if not buying. The food section is an absolute dream, with the mall incontestably having the best sushi in town. The mall also offers free shuttle services from several downtown destinations, so won't have to pay a penny to make the commute!
Takashimaya Vietnam is a Japanese Mall but is completely different from Aeon Mall in the sense that it caters to the rich and elite. Occupying five floors of a premium skyscraper, it houses jewellery, cosmetics and fragrance brands from Europe such as Clarins, L'occitane, Christian Dior, Bobbi Brown, Shiseido, and Estee Lauder; ladies apparel from Banana Republic, Bebe, Bonia, and Braun Buffel and footwear from Clarks, Geox, and Cole Haan. The last floor houses upscale men's apparel, children's apparel and imported watches and belts, in addition to a sprawling food court.
10. Saigon SquareSaigon Square is highly unconventional - it's not a traditional shopping mall, but neither is it the traditional market. It looks like a traditional market, but it centrally located, air-conditioned and has its toilets. Saigon Square is known for its reasonable prices and high quality and variety of merchandise. Saigon Square has a diversity to it. Everyone who visits Ho Chi Minh City visits Saigon Square at one point of time or the other and so it is perpetually filled with all kinds of people. From cheap synthetic t-shirts to beautiful boutique designs, shoes, Jewellery, perfumes, cosmetic; you name it you get it. Saigon Square is pretty much a shopaholic's paradise.
Timings - 9:00 AM - 11:00 PM
BoutiquesDo you have a fashion niche? The apparel you wears defines a lot about you, from your style to your way of expression. It is a mode of self-expression. Ho Chi Minh city is dotted with some Fashion Boutiques that sell unique, trendy clothes with everything from vintage to urban. The clothes are generally cut for smaller, Vietnamese sizes, but you will undoubtedly find something you like. Boutiques tend to be more pricey as the clothes are the more high end and cut better.
11. Libe WorkshopTargeted at young fashionistas with an urban chic fashion taste; the Libe Workshop fashion boutique aims at making minimalistic yet effortlessly trendy clothes. This is the perfect place to shop for shopping in Ho Chi Minh city if you are looking for stylish yet versatile basics.
Timings - 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
12. L'UsineWith a clothes store, art gallery and a cute café all combined into one, L'Usine is a unique medley of Vietnamese and modern. Inspired by the elegance of the Indochina era, this boutique adds a hip style to conventional fashion, with retro lace dresses, floaty floral skirts and Bohemian lacquerware. The items present here can be considered as global fashion with a traditional Indochinese-Vietnamese twist to it. The ambience also contributes greatly to the hip vibe.
Timings - 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
13. Devon LondonUnconventional, Modern and Minimalistic are three words that can be best used to describe Devon London. Originated in Hanoi, this brainchild of Devon Nguyen offers a wide array of modern clothing that drapes off your shoulders. These trendy and sophisticated cuts ooze effortlessly appeal and constitute some of the wardrobe basics you must own.
Timings - 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Shopping is undoubtedly one of the major highlights of the trip to Ho Chi Minh City. The city has so many shopping hubs, some even undiscovered, hence, there is so much opportunity to explore Ho Chi Minh City and find your favourite shopping area. Shopaholics, you know the mantra - 'Shop till you drop!'