Clothes Shopping in HCMC: Saigon Square & Ben Thanh Market

To Buy Or To Bring Before I came to Vietnam, I read on several blogs to pack lightly and just buy clothes here – very cheap and low-quality. On the other hand, all anyone needs is 3-4 comfortable outfits and no need to buy anything.

Something lighter than jeans. I have two pair of jeans with me, but even the more lightweight ones are quite warm here. I can wear my shorts, but the tourists are really the only ones I see wearing them. I’ve been seeing these lightweight, baggy pants that look quite cool and comfortable and cover more than my shorts. So I went off to find a pair.

Grit told me she’d gotten hers up the coast in Da Lat for $4.50 (90,000 VND), so that was my goal. Around the backpacker area the going price is $12 (250,000 VND) and they won’t budge. I guess enough tourists think, “Hey, it’s just $12” without factoring in that they likely won’t last 4 washes and could never withstand a dryer. (I’m speculating.)

Saigon Square A few days ago, I went to Saigon Square and found some for $6 (120,000 VND). I’m sure I’m not the best haggler, but I didn’t want to dedicate too much time just to save $1.50. Saigon Square is one big building jam-packed with various vendors selling clothes, accessories and shoes. Here are some pics (along with my new pants.)

Ben Thanh Market This morning, Sophie and I just met a Danish guy, Anders, who’s staying at our hostel. He needed a few items, so we walked over to Ben Thanh Market. Shopping was more fun with these two.

I got another pair of puffy pants – this time in seal brown and for $5 (100,000 VND) and two t-shirts for $3.50 (70,000 VND). It’s cheap from a western perspective, but not when you consider the questionable quality and my mediocre haggling skills. My only tactic is to claim to have gotten [the item] for a certain amount before. In this case $3.50 (70,000 VND) for a t-shirt and $5 (100,000 VND) for those puffy pants. So there’s your starting point.

Here we are hanging out afterward, the stuff I got for $12 total and me in my new outfit. I liked the shirt’s clean smell when I took it out of the plastic.

4 thoughts on “Clothes Shopping in HCMC: Saigon Square & Ben Thanh Market

  1. Pingback: My moped driver: Mr. Chao (slideshow) « O hi, Asia!

  2. Pingback: What I Did Today « O hi, Asia!

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