Shopping in Vietnam

Shopping in Vietnam is a wonderful experience. You can find a variety of products in different places that offer great shopping opportunities.

You can buy anything from modern art paintings, silks, wood and bronze crafts to war memorabilia and other goods of all kinds. It's easy to find them in the cities and places you visit.

Some of the most popular shopping places in the country are Hanoi, Saigon, Hoian and Hue.

When shopping here, please remember that local made products are usually cheaper or much cheaper than what you get at home, but imported products from big international brands may be the same or even higher price because of import tax.

In general, the price here is not fixed except in big shops and department stores where you see the price tag on the item. Enjoy bargaining! This is not only a way to get a good deal but also a way to chat. Bargaining is for both locals and tourists without exception. So, the better you bargain, the better price you get. Don't be sad if you find someone else can get a better price. It's just that they bargain better than you did. Here, with a lot of competition, sellers usually don't have a fixed profit margin and just take any chance they can get even if it's very small. You can start from 50% of the asking price and then slowly go up until you think it's fair. If the seller still wants more, then just walk away. They may call you back or you can find the same product somewhere else.

Keep smiling and don't get angry or argue. Once the money is taken, the deal is done. Remember that in Asia, "saving face" is very important. Sometimes you will be able to get up to 50% discount, other times this may only be 10%.

If you plan to make some deal during your travel here then depending on your starting point, you should sort the list out for place and it will help you to save space in your bag and energy to carry stuff along.

  • Saigon – Large commercial centre with lots of markets and shops around. You can find here ready made clothes, T-shirt and shorts, wooden box or lacquer, painting, silk embroideries and other petty souvenir stuffs.

Most popular shopping area is Benthanh Market and shops in surrounding streets. For up market stuffs, then Diamond Plaza or along Dong Khoi Street is good idea.

  • Nha Trang – Though not a hotspot but a visit to Dam market in centre of the city would be a nice experience.
  • Hoi An - Hoian is really a paradise for shoppers especially those who like fashion. Here you can have suits, dress and clothes of all types tailor made with quick service and good quality. You can pick styles available from catalogues or ask them to copy any mode you have.

Along with fashion, there are also many shops in town offer pretty souvenirs ranges from silk embroideries, woods carving, paintings and other local handicrafts.

  • Danang – Just close to Hoian. Shopping items here is stone carving in Ngu Hanh Son village at the bottom of Marble Mountains. This is one of the most famous stone carving villages in the country. Here you can find a wide range of stone art carving from huge statues or home decoration sets to tiny carving objects and precious stone.   
  • Hue – Home of Hue style conical hats. If you like one of those, why not? Painting and other petty souvenirs also available here. A visit to Dong Ba Market on the bank of Perfume River would be a nice experience.
  • Hanoi – the whole Old quarter of Hanoi offers you a fantastic opportunity for shopping. 

dong xuan market hanoi
Dong Xuan Market in Hanoi

There are many shops here with different type of product from wood, bronze, silk, ceramic to clothes, bags, watches, books, movie discs, jewelry and more…

It is quite convenient since each street here seems to have the same specific product or type of shop. Set aside a half or one day to wander around to satisfy your hobby and dispense your Vietnam dong. Stay calm! Have fun bargaining and get good deals.

There will be lots of things you want to shop when you are in Vietnam. Just plan it well and remember 3W: What; Where; When. What you want to buy, Where you can get it and; When it is the best time. This will certainly help you to save your bag’s space and you won’t have to carry them along on the whole trip.

If you want to send something home then post office in any city is a place to send your parcel but the most convenient place to do this is Hoian where offers quick, cheap and good service.

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