One of the highlights of traveling to a new place is bringing back souvenirs to remind you of your vacation. And Ho Chi Minh City doesn’t disappoint you on that. Shopping in Ho Chi Minh is a unique experience in itself – you can spend hours just browsing through the bewitching souvenirs available in the markets of the city. This makes shopping one of the best things to do in Ho Chi Minh. For shopping buffs, Saigon is a true delight! From leaf hat to silk, traditional Ao Dai to the checkered scarf, and Sand Paintings to handicraft, the shopping areas of Ho Chi Ming are known to sell some fascinating items that are worthy of your money. Through this article, we aim to guide you and tell you what to buy on your Ho Chi Minh City shopping tour.
Table of Contents
Things to Buy in Ho Chi Minh
Silk and Fabric
Before visiting the country, you must be aware of the fact that in Vietnam, silk was discovered in the first millennia AD. It has been made in the country for decades. And while on a shopping tour in Saigon, it’s a must to buy some high-quality silk. You can also purchase the beautiful silk made Vietnamese products including scarves, handbags, and clothes. However, you have to make sure that you get the authentic silk at a reasonable price. Toan Thinh Silk and Thai Tuan Silk are two major silk manufacturing enterprises in Vietnam.
Where to Buy Vietnamese Silk in Ho Chi Minh City: Ben Thanh Market, Tan Dinh Market, An Dong Market, and Ta Binh Market.
Non La (Conical Hat/Straw Hat)
Non La is a clothing accessory but, more a cultural symbol for the people of Vietnam. The history of this traditional hat dates back to the 13th century and almost every other person in Vietnam can be seen wearing Non La. Such is the design of this hat that it protects one from sunshine and rain. Giving the best compliment to Non La are the Ao Dai and Ao Ba Ba (another kind of Vietnamese traditional costume) that embraces the beauty of Vietnamese women. The hat is also sold in various decorated variants. For those who don’t have much space in their backpacks, they could go for a wind chime in a conical hat shape.
Where to Buy Non La in Ho Chi Minh: Ben Thanh Market and Binh Tay Market
Average cost: 30,000 – 60,000 VND ( 1.30 – 2.59 USD )
Vietnamese Sand Paintings
If you are still wondering what to do in Ho Chi Minh City then, I suggest you shop for sand paintings. Trust me, it is the most exquisite souvenirs you could buy for dear ones as a gift from your trip to Vietnam. Sand painting is a beautiful art and pride for Vietnamese people. You would be amazed to know the procedure of this artwork – first sand is poured into a transparent cup by the artist and then spoon is used to paint the picture. Most of the sand paintings depict the daily life of the locals and the beautiful landscape from the countryside. More than a gift, sand painting is a token of love for anyone.
Where to Buy Sand Paintings in Ho Chi Minh: There are many stores that give the option of both custom made and hand made sand paintings. Places to visit in Ho Chi Minh to buy sand paintings are Y Land Sand Painting, Phuong Vy Sand Painting, Van Thien Sa Sand Painting, Parkson Le Thanh Ton Shopping Center, Fahasa Bookstore and Fahasa Xuan Thu Bookstore.
Average Cost: 180,000 VND ( 7.78 USD )
Handicraft is one of the main reasons for people going on a tour of shopping in Ho Chi Minh city. The city offers a huge variety of handicrafts products to tourists. These products are made by skillful artists. From embroidery, trays and wood-block prints to carpets, ceramics, and vases, there are innumerable handicraft objects that are sold in different stores and markets. The patterns used in crafting handicrafts in Vietnam depict the lifestyle of the locals, especially the ones living in rural areas.
Where to Buy Handicraft in Ho Chi Minh: Ben Thanh Market
Average Cost: Varies
Vietnamese Hand Fans
Made of a paper and bamboo frame, Hand Fan is not just another thing to buy in Ho Chi Minh. It is a cultural symbol in itself. These fans are part of the Vietnamese people lifestyle. People can be seen carrying these fans in their hand while dressing up traditionally. But hey, it’s not just an ordinary fan; they are adorned with the calligraphy that depicts the Confucianism in Vietnam. At present, the Hand Fan is one of the best souvenirs in the country.
Where to Buy Hand Fan in Ho Chi Minh: Ben Thanh Market and Binh Tay Market
Average Cost: 30,000 VND ( 1.30 USD )
Pioneering the scene of Ho Chi Minh tourism, shopping is undoubtedly the best experience in the city. But it is incomplete if you are not planning to buy the Shell Craft. These are basically decorated objects that can be seen in different patterns. As the name itself suggests, Shell Craft is usually sold on the beach sites in Vietnam. Shell Craft is the craftsmanship of skilled artists who put their time and effort in making this exquisite product.
Where to Buy Shell Craft in Ho Chi Minh: Ben Thanh Market
A beautiful souvenir which can only be found in Vietnam is Bamboo Dragonfly. This could be a small and fun gift for kids. The artificial dragonflies are built of bamboo and are magnificently decorated with different colors. An amazing fact to know about the Bamboo Dragonfly is that it can stand on any surface, even on fingers.
Where to Buy Bamboo Dragonfly: Ben Thanh Market
Average Cost: 30,000 VND ( 1.30 USD )
Where to shop in Ho Chi Minh
Ben Thanh Market address: Chợ, Lê Lợi, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh 700000
Binh Tay Market address: 57a Tháp Mười, Phường 2, Quận 6, Hồ Chí Minh
Tan Dinh Market address: 48 Mã Lộ, Tân Định, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh 700000
Ta Binh Market address: Số 172 Lý Thường Kiệt, Phường 8, Tân Bình, Hồ Chí Minh 700000
Y Land Sand Painting address: 393/21 Binh Quoi St, Binh Thanh Dist., Ho Chi Minh City.
Phuong Vy Sand Painting address: 172B, Tran Ke Xuong Street, Ward 7, Phu Nhuan District, Phường 17, Bình Thạnh, Hồ Chí Minh
Van Thien Sa Sand Painting address: 3 Đường 3C, Phường An Lạc A, Quận Bình Tân, TP Hồ Chí Minh, An Lạc A, Bình Tân, Hồ Chí Minh
Parkson Le Thanh Ton Shopping Center address: 35-45 Lê Thánh Tôn, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Fahasa Bookstore and Fahasa Xuan Thu Bookstore address: 391-391A Đường Trần Hưng Đạo, Cầu Kho, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh 70000
** After all this shopping don’t forget to check out all the amazing food in District 1 and District 2.**
So, what souvenirs and travel gifts are you are planning to bring home from your vacation in Vietnam? Whatever you choose, make sure you must get the above souvenirs at reasonable prices. Also, you can check out our travel checklist for more such travel-specific tips for other countries of Asia.
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