The Best Shopping in Vietnam
Vietnam’s street markets are the beating heart of its small villages and big cities, where locals work, shop for vegetables (and outboard motors and live animals), and eat. Beyond the often noisy and chaotic street stalls and night markets, be sure and also visit the craft cooperatives, tailor shops, and elegant design stores. Whether you shop high or low, you can find excellent souvenirs of your visit here.
Chợ, Lê Lợi, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh 700000, Vietnam
Jackfruit and dragonfruit on display at a fruit stand in Banh Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh.
43 Tôn Thất Thiệp, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
If you need a few cute souvenirs for friends and family, but don’t want to bargain or deal with the hustle and bustle of the markets in Ho Chi Minh City then check out Saigon Kitsch. It’s a cute little centrally located boutique that sells well designed souvenirs that your friends would actually enjoy. I missed out on purchasing some propaganda posters in Hanoi, and I was able to find them at Saigon Kitsch for a great price..
22 đường Trần Bình
The two-story Binh Tay Market is an impossible-to-miss Chinatown landmark on the edge of Ho Chi Minh City’s District Six; it boasts a distinctive Chinese-inspired clock tower, yet it was a French patron who financed the construction of the market in the 1880s. It isn’t geared toward foreigners like the more popular (among travelers, that is) Ben Thanh Market, so there are fewer souvenirs for sale—on the upside, that means prices are already low. The focus here is more on fresh food, though items like bags, clothing, and handicrafts are also sold; even if you don’t plan on purchasing anything, it’s a fascinating place to visit.
Hội An, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
When Hoi An’s tailoring scene gets too much respite is offered at shops such Avana, a stylish boutique that stocks off the peg dresses, blouses, shoes and accessories. Although the designs are European in style, the work is carried out by skilled local artisans.
60 Lê Lợi, Phường Minh An, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
One of the oldest and largest tailoring shops in town, Thu Thuy is well respected and is a good option for having a suit or a fitted dress run up. Good service and an adjoining coffee shop makes shopping here even more desirable.
358 Nguyễn Duy Hiệu
Behind these buttery walls, the most fashionable tailors are ready to help you design a gorgeous new wardrobe. Yaly may take an extra day or two for your items to be perfect, but it’s worth the extra appointments... and the price. Sure, you can go to any number of tailors in Hoi An to get a blazer made in less than 24 hours, but as with most things, you get what you pay for. Eighteen months later and the items I designed here are still most coveted pieces in my closet. Don’t know where to start? Take a stroll through thousands of fabric bolts in everything from wool to the finest locally made silks, or sift through pages of designer books as you sip on cucumber juice. And, be sure to bring photos of your desired item...Yes, even that DVF dress you swooned over in Vouge Italia last month!
Xuyen Trung, Cam Nam, Cẩm Nam, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
Hoi An is one of my favorite travel destinations in all of Asia. Sure, it’s undeniably touristy, but it’s also quite laid back and relaxed - nothing like other South East Asia tourist hotspots like Chiang Mai, for instance. Hoi An has a wonderful beach, gorgeous old town (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and some of the best food on the planet - surely well known to AFAR readers by now. Hoi An is also a great place for shopping. Of particular interest here are tailored suits and dresses, but the city also has a neat little cottage industry of lantern makers. There are quite a few scattered throughout the city, with some of the best being found on the southern side of the river. That’s where I came across this atmospheric little shop. If I ever have a hipster wedding, I’ll be buying my lanterns in Hoi An. Prices are, as all things in Vietnam, wildly negotiable.
113 Lê Thánh Tôn, Bến Nghé, Hồ Chí Minh, Bến Nghé, Vietnam
With reasonably priced handmade ceramics, Japanese-designed textiles, and gorgeous furniture, this shop is a great place for unique souvenirs.
44 Châu Long, Trúc Bạch, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Owned by Hoang Van Truong, an avid reader, this is regarded by most as Hanoi‘s best bookshop. Truong and his team are enthusiastic and all speak excellent English and there are over 10,000 titles in stock.
43 &, 51 Văn Miếu, Đống Đa, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Local artisans benefit from this nonprofit organisation, which sells their crafts such as bags, textiles, scarves and trinkets at fair market prices. Items are of high quality and prices are reasonable.
66 Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Chie Design is a lovely boutique specializes in handicrafts made by ethnic groups in northwest Vietnam. It offers a quality selection of textiles, ceramics, jewelry, and fair-trade snacks with tags that explain where each item originated. Chie ensures that artisans are paid a fair wage while selling products at a fair price. The Hoan Kiem shop is slightly below street level, look for a small set of stairs to access it
61 Tràng Tiền, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
If you don’t get the chance to visit Bat Trang -- a village just outside Hanoi famous for the quality of its ceramics -- a visit to this long-established shop should do the trick. Colorful crockery, ceramic lamps, and other products are among the items on sale here.
64 Trần Phú, Lộc Thọ, Tp. Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa 650000, Vietnam
In this workshop designed to resemble a rural village, you can get an up-close look at the detailed work that goes into hand-embroidered Vietnamese silk. The needlework is exquisite, and whether or not you purchase an item, you’ll come away with a better understanding of the meticulous craftsmanship behind the beautiful pieces.
TT. Cái Bè, Cái Bè, Tiền Giang, Vietnam
We arranged a private tour of the Mekong River Delta through the Park Hyatt Saigon. We were driven from the hotel to Cai Be in a Cadillac with snacks and drinks, then escorted to our private river boat (also loaded with fresh fruit, coffee and tea, and other snacks). Our english-speaking tour guide brought us onto a small rowed boat through the smaller channels of the delta, explaining local life and the various trades of the people who live there. We saw a floating market and had lunch at Mr. Kiet’s historic house. Highly recommend spending the morning and afternoon on this tour.