The Best English-Language Bookstores in Ho Chi Minh City

© Courtesy of BOA Bookstore
© Courtesy of BOA Bookstore
Photo of Dung Phan
28 June 2017

Even though Ho Chi Minh City has become a magnet for expats and long-term travellers, it can be quite difficult to find a good bookshop stocking English books here. Many local stores have shut, and others are just trying to survive in the age of e-books and Amazon. Here we recommend the best English-language bookstores in town for bookworms.

BOA Bookstore

Bookstore
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BOA Bookstore, Hồ Chí Minh
BOA Bookstore, Hồ Chí Minh | © Courtesy of BOA Bookstore
Don’t be put off by its seemingly small size. Tucked away in an old apartment, this shop is flooded with the kind of thoughtful quiet you can almost smell. BOA Bookstore claims to be the best English-language independent bookstore in town, with a decent spread of fiction, non-fiction, dictionaries, children’s and reference books, as well as a few in French. The owner has built a loyal clientele from keeping a trendy and interesting range in stock and offering a personal order service. The shop is also used as a reading room, keeping regulars occupied for hours.

Artbook

Bookstore
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Artbook
Artbook | © Courtesy of intothe150
The pleasure of a good bookstore lies not just in its books but also in its opportunities to nose around. In this respect, Artbook (with branches around the country) is a marvel. The shelves are heavy with books on graphic design, interiors, architecture, cooking, photography… Artbook also goes beyond books to sell classic movie posters, notebooks, funny coasters and fridge magnets. Do not assume you will just be popping in for a quick visit!

Ca Chep Bookstore

Bookstore
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Nhà sách Cá Chép, Võ Văn Tần
Nhà sách Cá Chép, Võ Văn Tần | © Courtesy of Ca Chep Bookstore
This bookstore is modern and chic, and the owner puts the venue to good use. The result is a well-proportioned bookshop with exquisitely curated aisles and shelves on three floors, with a quiet cafe on the fourth.

Fahasa Bookstore

Bookstore
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At Fahasa Bookstore
At Fahasa Bookstore | © Courtesy of thebookhangoverr
This place may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Fahasa — a government-run bookstore chain — is the largest and most popular in Vietnam. This multi-storey building has its own dedicated floor stocking a broad selection of English books, from business and self-help to classic and modern novels. It is a perfect spot to shelter from the heat while browsing, and boasts an outstanding location on Nguyen Hue pedestrian street.

Vesta Bookstore

Bookstore, Shop
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Vesta Bookstore, Vietnam
Vesta Bookstore, Vietnam | © Courtesy of Vesta Bookstore
One of HCMC’s newest independents opened in April 2016. Vesta is a beautifully modern bookshop with a small selection of carefully chosen titles, gifts, souvenirs, magazines and art supplies. This is a must-visit bookstore if your kids love books or if you want to inspire a passion for art. It has a courtyard, known as the event space, especially for art classes for both adults and children.