Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon and the Capital of South Vietnam0 is the largest city in the unified Vietnam and very much its commercial hub. However, Hanoi in the North is the Country’s Capital. Many overseas tourists, and numbers are increasing all the time, arrive and depart via Ho Chi Minh’s International Airport. It is a city of many high-rise buildings, skyscrapers where commercial activity takes place, yet there is plenty of the traditional remaining even though Western influences have permeated into the city’s life to a greater extent than in any other city in Vietnam. If you are starting and finishing a holiday in Vietnam, you will find it a vibrant city and if you want to shop on your last day after enjoying a Vietnam tour package then Ho Chi Minh City has plenty to offer.
Shopping in Ho Chi Minh Cityis not confined to either shopping malls or local markets. Depending on what you are looking for, there are plenty of places to visit in your spare time:
• Binh Tay Market is in Chinatown. It was built by the French towards the end of the 19th Century. It is mostly patronised by the locals but that should not deter tourists looking for a bargain and prepared to haggle. It has an extensive range of fruit and vegetables, fish and meat from throughout the Country. There are also handicrafts, textiles, lacquerware and the cuisine available locally is excellent.
• Ben Thanh Market is the place where more tourists will be found. It is a place full of souvenirs of Vietnam from handicrafts to textiles as well as electronic goods, watches and luggage. By the way, the coffee is excellent and there are plenty of places to eat.
• Saigon Square is a wholesale market where there are plenty of bargains. Clothing, shoes, jewellery and textiles are stacked high and sold cheap.
• An Dong Market is both a wholesale fashion market as well as a place for handicrafts, especially woodwork and lacquerware.
The modern shopping malls have all the famous international brand names as well as local designs:
• Vincom Center is the largest mall with 250 shops. There is a section in an old colonial building and over the road a glass skyscraper where shoppers will find plenty to spend their money on.
• Diamond Plaza near Notre Dame Cathedral has several floors selling fashions, housewares and sportswear. There is plenty of entertainment nearby as well as a range of restaurants. Parkson Plaza is another to think about.
• Dong Khoi Street downtown is known for its fashion boutiques though it is not the only place shoppers will find interesting boutiques; they are city-wide. Khaisilk makes the most of local silk and can be found in this street. The art galleries in the Street are the place to go if you are interested in local art in every price range.
A visa to Vietnam makes a holiday easy to arrange, especially using an experienced Vietnam tour company.
Read more: Shopping in Hanoi