I will be in HCMC in June end for work. However I will have from Monday morning till evening to myself and was hoping to shop a bit for the family. I am basically interested in shopping for clothes, bags, shoes for my wife, little baby and myself. I would not like to buy replicas but would prefer buying the Made in Vietnam articles that are exported for popular American and European brands (A&F, Gap, Banana Republic, North Face etc.). Also I am very interested in buying a nice laptop bag (messenger style) for my work and was wondering whether a brand like Tumi would be at a cheaper price there. Though I was told that Hanoi is the place for such shopping but unfortunately I cannot make it there so will have to see what works best in HCMC.
I am staying at the Mövenpick Hotel Saigon and do not mind taking a taxi for a good shopping destination not to far though. However I would prefer sticking to one shopping center/mall/street since I have limited time. I will appreciate any advise on the best options to meet my above shopping requirements. I hope all major credit cards accepted freely ?
On a separate note I am a little concerned about the various threads on pick pocketing and motorcycle snatching gangs operating in HCMC. Is it safe enough to carry shopping bags in the hand. Though I will be putting my phone and wallet in front pockets. In case there is a safer shopping area, I would prefer that.
Also what taxis do I go for the city travel that are not a rip off ? From the Airport to the Hotel I have read that Vinasun or Mai Linh taxis work best ?