In Vietnam’s economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City, capitalist reforms combined with a flourishing middle class, have given rise to a generation obsessed with shopping. Malls have sprung up. Big ones, small ones, quirky ones and western ones.
In the late 1980s, after the policies of Doi Moi were set into place, the Vietnamese economy catapulted back from the brink of collapse. Not only did private Vietnamese business ownership become legal, but transnational companies were also given the go ahead to move in. From rural villages to booming metropolises, capitalism ran wild. These reforms have led directly to the shopping culture that has overtaken Saigon today.
More fun than Vincom Center and more similar to Saigon’s traditional markets, Saigon Square is a two-story sprawl of competing stalls selling both authentic and knock-off apparel and jewelry. To best experience this often chaotic scene, just wander aimlessly. With a central location, prices may seem a bit high, yet bargaining is expected and, with so many vendors fighting for your cash, it’s not difficult to make those price tags plummet.
81 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, Hồ Chí Minh +84 90 909 86 18
Diamond Plaza is a nice alternative to Vincom Center. Spread across both a renovated colonial and a looming glass structure in District 1, this is more than just your run-of-the-mill shopping experience. Beyond luxury, apparel and cosmetic brands, Diamond Plaza is an entertainment center complete with bowling alley, arcade, cinema, and rock wall. If you’re more in the mood to relax, head to one of the spas and kick your feet up.
34 Le Duan, Ho Chi Minh 028 3822 5500