Shopping in Ho Chi Minh City is an unforgettable experience as the streets are full of vibrant markets featuring stalls piled high with and incredible array of products. The food sections of these markets are simply fascinating and have been largely unchanged for generations, while souvenir hunters can browse for bargains in the colourful clothing and handicrafts areas, which sell just about everything imaginable from intricate basketry and antiques to silk traditional costumes. Modern shopping centres can also be found in abundance in the city, and these are great places to keep cool on sunny days.
Ben Thanh Market
Ho Chi Minh City’s main shopping zone, Ben Thanh Market dates back to the days of French occupation of the city. Originally located in a different zone, Ben Thanh Market was relocated here in 1899 and is one of the most popular places in the whole of Ho Chi Minh City to browse for bargains. Wandering through the market’s well-organized network of lanes is a real treat, while experienced barterers will be able to score some excellent discounts here.
Dong Khoi Street
Those who are looking for custom-made silk garments will find an excellent selection of tailor’s shops on Dong Koi Street. This vibrant shopping zone has a reputation for selling nothing but the best, while prices are still low enough to tempt even those on a tight budget. Clothes can be made to measure in just a day or two, and these unique items serve as interesting and practical souvenirs.
Also known as Dan Sinh Market, the American Market is a great place to pick up fake war souvenirs and ex-military items. Located at the rear of the city center, close to a range of excellent Ho Chi Minh hotels , the American Market is the perfect place to pick up gifts for friends and family members who like items such as dog tags and shell casings, while the military cast off clothing is extremely durable and excellent for trekking in.
Known for its excellent deals and discounts, Bin Tay is a vibrant indoor wholesale market. This vibrant market is famed for its great bargains and Binh Tay is can be found in the Cholon area of Hua Giang Boulevard. Those who want to spend time haggling over souvenirs and gifts will be in their element here, while many people visit Binh Tay simply to soak up the vibrant atmosphere of this bustling market and indulge in a spot of people watching along the way.
One of Ho Chi Minh City’s most popular shopping centres, Diamond Plaza consists of four spacious floors. While the first three floors are packed with items from designers such as Adidas, Chanel, Lancome and An Phuoc, entertainment options such as bowling and billiards can be found on the fourth floor, meaning that even those who are only mildly interested in shopping will be able to find plenty to amuse and entertain here.
Saigon Square Shopping Center
Those who prefer wandering through modern shopping centres to fighting their way through the crowds in bustling market paces will want to check out Saigon Square Shopping Center. One of the best things about visiting Saigon Square Shopping Center is that it is within easy walking distance of Ben Than Market, which means that when the heat and noise of Ho Chi Minh City gets a little overwhelming shoppers can retreat here to shop in style and dine on treats such as pizza and sandwiches in the large food court.
Lek Boonlert is an editor and content reviewer at DirectRooms and is responsible for all Ho Chi Minh Hotels content.