The Saigon Square is the best representation of modern shopping in Vietnam. The famed “Russian Market” recently moved to a new home at the junction of Nam Ky Khoi Ngjia and Le Loi. Its recent move increased its popularity even more with its endless options to choose from.
Its clean and swanky interiors are fully loaded with retail outlets of trendy and cheap items. A total of 350 shops of about 2 to 4 square meters each make up each tiny stall of the shopping square. Each shop sells its own line of items, making shopping quite a daunting task for some. Nevertheless, shopping at the Saigon Square with its thousand item collection is extremely massive in size and experience.
You can find market brands for each item you can ever think of here. Lacoste, Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie and Burberry polo shirts; Columbia, Abercrombie and North Face jackets; Levis, Diesel and Guess jeans; Nike, Puma and Adidas shoes; Gap and Oshkosh kid’s clothing; Gucci, Crumpler, Chanel, Burberry and Louis Vuitton Bags; North Face and Samsonite Travel Bags; Ray Ban and D&G Sunglasses; Rolex, and Tag Heuer watches and Nokia and Motorola cell phones. There are also hip hop caps, belts, belt buckets, accessories, jewelry and perfume as well.
For those who are quite all right with buying fake brand name items, cheap China-made ladies’ clothes are in many mini boutiques as well. There are also extremely cheap DVDs and CDs available; however, their origins may be dubious so it is best to avoid bringing back home such items. Handicrafts are the favorite items to bring back home as adorable Buddha figures fill up different stalls of the complex.
Eating while shopping is a favorite activity because for some, there isn’t enough time to have lunch with the hundreds of selections to choose from. But to those who desperately need a lunch breather, nearby restaurants offer plenty to choose from as well. Find everything from sushi to Chinese food to sandwiches and even pizza.
Visitors headed to the Saigon Square will find the place less crowded than the markets found in the district of Cholon. It is far roomier, making it easier to move around in. Thus, shoppers can carefully inspect their items to purchase, avoiding the rush and panic of crowd buying. For foreigners, make sure to try everything before buying as sizes are usually on the smaller side. Remember that most of these items were made for Asian shoppers so Western shoppers may find their sizes way too small. Avoid buying from the stalls found near the entrances as their prices tend to be higher. Finally and most importantly, bargain hard. Standard know-how would be asking less than half of the offered price. Many may see this as an outrageous move, but you’ll be surprised how cheap your items can be.
Although many travelers may not visit the Saigon Square to buy souvenirs or cheap clothes, visitors usually come to the shopping complex to experience a genuine suburban Saigon market. See local housewives do their daily shopping and gossip about their neighbors, making it a true Vietnamese experience.