The Best Independent Bookstores in Ho Chi Minh City

Cleveland Public Library
Cleveland Public Library | © edrost88 / Flickr
Photo of Piumi Rajapaksha
28 November 2018

Looking for a fantastic piece of Vietnamese literature? Browse the shelves of these awesome independent bookstores scattered around Ho Chi Minh City. You’ll certainly find more variety in titles and genres than you would at the airport bookstore, and at a much cheaper price.

From popular titles to rare collectibles, these independent bookstores in Ho Chi Minh City will have you flicking through their shelves for hours.

BOA Bookstore

BOA is an intimate space for book lovers to get some reading done in peace and quiet. They prefer to stock shelves with less popular books, so expect to stumble upon some rare finds here. Despite the rising prevalence of online shopping, make time to go to the store: this hidden gem is tucked away in an old apartment, where you can find the kind of quiet that will let your mind wander as you immerse yourself into the pages of a good book.

BOA Bookstore houses classics | © BOA.Bookstore/Facebook

Book Nest

Another hidden gem in the city, Book Nest was opened by a reporter looking to sell a carefully curated set of books, aimed at attracting a niche clientele. The small space is decorated with antique wooden shelves, potted plants, pieces of art and motivational messages, creating a comfortable space for a community of story lovers to gather. Book Nest often hosts unique exhibitions such as poetry lessons and bookbinding workshops. It’s also home to a couple of opportunistic kittens, who may snuggle into your lap as you read.

Bookworm’s Coffee

Bookworm’s Coffee is a place for book and coffee lovers, all in one. Grab a book from the shelf, call dibs on a table and get lost in a story. If you’re hungry, their vegan-friendly menu includes homemade quiche and delicious apple crumble. The cosy space comes with plenty of comfortable corners, allowing you to easily spend half a day or more here by yourself. If you need a reading break, call over a bunch of friends to play their impressive selection of board games. Make sure to try the egg coffee while you’re at it!

There are even board games! | © Bookworm’s coffee/Facebook

Vesta Bookstore

Vesta bookstore in District 2 is located a little out of the city center – but it’s well worth the journey to this new little independent. This modern and clean looking bookstore offers a good selection of titles, plus handmade local crafts including dolls, ornaments and little trinkets. There is even a line of cacao powder and coconut oil products for sale, as well as a courtyard where events are held. A great place to take your kids for a creative day out.

A great place to let your creativity flourish | © Vesta Bookstore/Facebook

Ca Chep Bookstore

Ca Chep, a five-storey bookstore on Vo Van Tan Street, can be easily missed thanks to its unassuming front that looks like an ordinary Vietnamese house. But don’t be fooled – the inside is anything but humble. Extremely spacious, with floor to ceiling wooden shelves, glass separators and over 20,000 books inside, stumbling in here will feel like walking into a whole new world. You’ll find all kinds of books, from fiction to science, written by both foreign and local authors. The cafeteria on level five is great for a snack.

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