Out of necessity, I really have to be aware where to shop at cheap prices because I must say shopping in the malls can get quite expensive here in Saigon. But if you want to check out the malls here, you should visit the Saigon Tax Trade Center, Parksons, and Vincom Center. In that order. 😛 Vincom is the newest addition to the malls here in District 1 so you save the best for last. 😉
For electronics and household appliance, I highly recommend Phong Vu and Nguyen Kim. Nguyen Kim is at the city center so it’s easier to visit. Their products are like always on sale. But for mobile phones, do try Gia Kien. I got my latest phone from there and it’s a few 100kVND cheaper compared to the other shops. If you’re looking for Wii, PS3, and the like, then it’s Halo for you at Pasteur St.
125 Cach Mang Thang 8
Phuong Ben Thanh
Quan 1, TP HCM
63 Tran Hung Dao,
Quan 1, TP HCM
352 Duong 3/2,
P12, Q10, TP HCM
Now for the real shopping — errr clothes, shoes, accessories, souvenirs, and food, the best places to go are Cho Ben Thanh, Saigon Square 1, Saigon Square 2, Taka Plaza, Cho Binh Tay, Canh Trang, and Ly Chinh Thang. Cho Binh Tay is in Cho Lon or China Town in District 5. Usually, when you’re buying in bulk, this is where the action is. All the rest I’ve mentioned are in District 1.
Cho Ben Thanh is where the tourists usually go to for buying souvenirs and food. Popular items here are the pashmina (shawl), lacquer ware (paintings and decors), Vietnam shirts, and dried food — yummy stuff like lotus seeds, dried beef, and langka chips! But there also is a wet market out back where locals buy their seafood. Flowers, baking needs, bags, plastics, towels, pillows, and linens are sold here as well. Customers can practice the art of haggling here except for the outer circle of Ben Thanh where the prices are fixed. According to reviews I’ve read, sellers use plastic bag color coding to identify which customers are good hagglers or not. So better to bring a bag to put in all your stuff lest you become identified as the gullible shopper. 😛
Address: Intersection of Le Loi, Ham Nghi, Tran Hung Dao Avenues and Le Lai Street Ho Chi Minh City
Saigon Square 1 is found in Nguyen Thi Minh Kai St. while
Saigon Square 2 can be found along Ton Duc Thang St. Saigon Square 3 can be found along Hai Ba Trung St. Um yes, SS2 closed sometime early this year. Both are popular areas so all the taxi cabs are familiar with the place. SS1 is smaller and I do not recommend bringing a stroller if you have a baby when going to this place. Also, there’s no elevator or escalator here. But between SS1 and SS2, SS1 feels more like an authentic haggling place than SS2. Haha. But shopping in SS2 doesn’t feel too stressful and the mall has escalators and much more spacious. Now which sells items cheaper? It really depends on you as the shopper. 😉
Taka Plaza can be found at 102 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia St., D1. It is one of the “malls” where sellers from the popular Lucky Plaza moved to when it closed down in 2011. Stuff sold here is similar to what are sold in Saigon Square 1 and 2. However, Lucky Plaza is back!
Canh Trang is not really a mall but a small shop found along 197 Hoang Van Thu, P8, Phu Nuan District. It has two outlets along the road so you can take your pick. Essentially, CT as we’d like to call it or Dollar Store has real cheap items because they supply SS1 and SS2. And yes, Vietnam-made shirts are indeed priced at 1 dollar. 😀 The catch is you can’t be lazy to go through all their stuff. Since the shop is small, items tend to be on top of each other. You guessed it, mountains and mountains of clothes! No air condition here too so best to be in light clothes.
Cho Binh Tay is in Cho Lon and you take Bus No. 1 from the Ben Thanh Bus Station. Else, ride a cab which might cost you around 60,000 VND. If you’re from the Philippines, Cho Binh Tay is the counterpart of Binondo/Divisoria area. I guess it’s the same all over the world for China Town. Sometimes though the sellers here don’t sell if you’re only getting 1 or 2 pieces. This place is really for people to buy bulk items like helmets, hats/caps, kitchenware, bags, shoes, clothes, and toys. We actually bought our Christmas Tree here because it’s really hard to find Christmas items in Vietnam. If I remember correctly, we bought our tree for 160,000 VND which is around 480 pesos at 6 feet. 😉 Again, haggling is a must for this place. 😀 Just a word of warning for this place, most sellers don’t speak English and they can be quite rude (maybe because of the communication barrier). Sometimes, they don’t care if they make a sale or not. They prefer to sleep even if there are customers around.
Ly Chinh Thang St. in District 4 is a shoe street! Shoes, shoes, glorious shoes! 🙂 They have big sizes and if you’re fond of boots, this is the place to go! Check out my post on this.
So there, happy shopping! 🙂