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Shopping on a Monday.

India
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Shopping on a Monday.

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 ?

Thanks.

India
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1. Re: Shopping on a Monday.

Guys...will really appreciate any directions here...Thanks.

Nha Trang, Vietnam
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2. Re: Shopping on a Monday.

Bottom line: genuine brand products are not cheaper, or possibly just a fraction cheaper in Vietnam than abroad. If you value your consumer protection (assuming that your home country has any) don't go buy expensive looking stuff in Vietnam. You may end up with fakes. Even if you do, returning stuff after you leave the country will be difficult or impossible.

I have personally found that brand name products (genuine) are often cheaper in India than in Europe.

Re safety: most shopping centres are downtown. Ergo, that's where the tourists are. Ergo, that's where pickpocketing happens, especially in the Pham Ngu Lao street area. But don't sweat it, just don't go swinging that expensive (looking) bag next to the street.

Use Vinasun or Mai Linh Group taxis only.

Edited: 19 June 2014, 08:17
India
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3. Re: Shopping on a Monday.

Thanks for the valuable feedback. But in case I want to check out a few shopping destinations anways, can you suggest the good areas ?

Bangkok, Thailand
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4. Re: Shopping on a Monday.

Saigon Square market is probably the best place - 2 outlets, one on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia/Le Loi, the other on Ton Duc Thang. Otherwise as Jim says it really is a waste of time shopping in Saigon - it's either cheap knockoffs or ridiculous uber-luxe brands - no middle ground.

From the airport, get your hotel to do a pickup or buy a taxi voucher inside. Hard to get a Vinasun/Mai Linh at the airport because the local taxi mafia don't like tourists taking taxis that won't rip them off.

Nha Trang, Vietnam
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5. Re: Shopping on a Monday.

For brand names try something like this on Google:

vuitton ho chi minh city

Where the brand has no own store try some of the department stores downtown:

Vincom, Diamond Department Store, Saigon Square. They are all about 6 km from your hotel.

Some of the brand names have stores inside the 5 star hotels, but that's probably the last place you want to spend money as the prices are usually outrageous.

I'd be really surprised if the concierge at the Mövenpick could not point you to the exact spot where you can purchase whatever you have in mind.

India
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6. Re: Shopping on a Monday.

Thanks for the helpful inputs. From the replies and my further research on the forum - I gather that Saigon Square is basically for knock offs. Diamond Plaza appears to be a mix of kick offs and some quality products. I hope my understanding is correct?

However what I am looking for outlets which have the 'Made in Vietnam' products that manufactured for western brands such as Zara, Gap, Polo etc. A friend who recently visited Hanoi visited several such shopping area which sell the surplus stock or seconds (but still genuine) stocks made for the western brands. Do we have something of the same in HCMC ? Such a shopping area will meet all my requirements.

I am not looking for high end stuff like LV, Gucci etc. and am ok with the mid range western names. Requesting pointed suggestions.

Nha Trang, Vietnam
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7. Re: Shopping on a Monday.

I don't know of any such outlets.

Llanbrynmair...
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8. Re: Shopping on a Monday.

To add to what Jim has said, it is highly unlikely - indeed improbable - that your friend bought genuine brand-name products in Hanoi. That's just the way it is.

Forget brand names. Go shopping. Ignore labels. Examine the quality. Evaluate the style. Choose what pleases you. Decide whether you want to be a free-thinking individual with a modicum of taste, or a sheep trying to keep up with the rest of the flock.

Well Indiaboy, you did ask for pointed suggestions!

India
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9. Re: Shopping on a Monday.

LOL !!! I agree. I will proceed as suggested.

However for quality products - is Saigon Square 2 a better option than Diamond Plaza and Vincom. Also are credit cards readily accepted (and safe enough to use) in these shopping areas > I want to avoid carrying paper currency.

Nha Trang, Vietnam
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10. Re: Shopping on a Monday.

Diamond Plaza seems to me to be more upscale. But it is for you to compare prices for similar goods. They both take credit cards. This being Vietnam, of course, make sure they don't wander off into the back room with your card. They did at the Sheraton in HCMC last month, and I made it clear to them that I was not pleased. Same rules for everyone. Credit card stays in sight.