The Line of Photocopy Stores on Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street
If you head to Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street in District 3, you will come across many “photocopy” shops that do more than just photocopying. In fact, these shops sell many things related to illustration and painting, and you can find a wide array of markers, pens, and pencils. Unfortunately, you won’t find any large canvases here though, but if you head to Ty Phuoc store, you will be able to find 60x80cm or larger canvases, priced from 50,000 VND (3.00 USD) and upwards. If you wish to buy something larger, just put in the order, and they will be kind enough to make it for you and deliver it, if your order is large enough. If faced with a language barrier, just ask one of the students loitering around the area to help you communicate your needs.
The Stationery Stores on Le Loi Street
If you love making illustrations or writing calligraphy, you will breathe a sigh of relief once you head over to Leo Loi Street in District 1 and come across the numerous stationery stores here. Also conveniently and centrally located, like the photocopy store above, here you will find paper, pens, and calligraphy brushes among many other things. The two main shops to look out for, with a wider array of items than the others, are shop Vu at 47 Le Loi and an unnamed shop at 54 Le Loi.
Ngan Thong Paper Shop on Pasteur Street
For those that love scrapbooking or making cute little crafts for yourself and friends, head over to the paper craft store, Ngan Thong, on Pasteur Street in District 1. You will find two branches of this store—a smaller one located on Le Loi Street and a larger one at Pasteur Street. The one at Pasteur Street is bigger, and you will find more items, such as colorful felt, ornate paper, ribbons, greeting cards, and various knick-knacks. The smaller store has a limited selection of craft material, and most of the space is used to sell art and souvenirs. Either way, there are some great materials that you could use for all kinds of projects—get creative and go crazy!
Ngan Thong, 64 Le Loi Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, +84 28 3825 8964
Hoa Pham 62 on Nguyen Duy Street
If you’re staying in the Binh Thanh District, then luckily for you, you have many art shops in your neighborhood! You will find a couple of art supply stores down Phan Dang Luu, located right before the Polygon Art School, where you can buy canvases and paints, such as oils, acrylics, and various supplies for architecture and sculpting. Hoa Pham 62 can be found if you turn onto Nguyen Duy Street off Phan Dang Luu; the store has all of these items and more. There are many imported items here, sold at a premium price, and you can get custom frames created and delivered. What is also awesome is that they offer private classes in still-life painting and figure drawing.
Art Friend is an international chain that has been serving fine art and graphic artists since the early ‘80s. The store, in Ho Chi Minh City, may be a little cramped, as some customers suggest, but it is packed full of art supplies—papers, canvases, paints, inks and sprays, brushes, dry media, markers, pens, etc. You can even find supplies for sculpting. The prices are similar to what you would pay in the United States, as everything here seems to be imported, so you know you are getting quality supplies.