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Ho Chi Minh City - A paradise for shopping

2009-10-27 (GMT + 7)

Several years ago, the Saigonese had a tendency to travel to Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia for shopping purposes. But now this tendency has changed since many people choose to shop in HCMC thanks to the rapid development of modern and well-equipped shopping centers with famous brand names in fashion, cosmetics and more besides traditional markets. These factors have made HCMC an ideal venue for international and domestic shoppers from everywhere.

District 1 has the most shopping centers, markets and fashion streets in town. They include Ben Thanh Market, the Diamond Plaza, the Parkson Saigon, the Saigon Square Shopping Center, the Miss Ao dai Building, the Tax Department Store and the Saigon Centre and offer a multitude of choices for shoppers to buy fashion products, cosmetics and other necessities.

Built in 1914, Ben Thanh Market has been a favorite venue for not only the Saigonese but also international travelers for its history attached to the history of HCMC and for its product diversity.

The market offers general products from cloth, souvenirs, cosmetics and fashion shoes to fresh foodstuffs and food of Vietnam's three regions, the North, the Central and the South. It is not only a trading place but also a tourism site in a city tour. Especially, the market is considered a landmark of the city as well as a special cultural feature of the South.

The Parkson Saigon, which first opened in Vietnam in June 2005, is another interesting shopping venue on Le Thanh Ton street. It is a premier family department store that brings the latest in fashion, beauty and lifestyle to serve middle and upper middle class consumers under one roof. Parkson has its origins in Malaysia and has since expanded to China and will soon appear in Cambodia.

Shoppers can find well-known international fashion brands including Estee Lauder, Lancome, Yves Saint Laurent, Guerlain, Jurligue, CK perfume, DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger, Aramis, Lancel, Timberland, Ecco and Kipling. The Parkson Saigon is creating a complete retail hub right in the heart of HCMC.

The third venue, the Saigon Square Shopping Center on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia street, which was born about ten years ago, offers fashion products at cheap prices and has been popular with international travelers and HCMC's youth. Most of the products here originate from China, Cambodia and Vietnam but their models and quality are quite good. International travelers find many useful products such as suitcases, overcoats, children's clothes, big-size footwear and more. Buyers are advised to bargain at the Saigon Square before sampling or fitting clothes.

The Miss Ao dai Building on Nguyen Trung Ngan street has an unparalleled exterior stylized from the shape of an ao dai, the famous traditional dress of Vietnamese women. Here, tourists find many products from embroidery to lacquer ware, from rattan and bamboo to jewelry, and various ao dai models. Miss Ao dai has attracted the attention of international tourists, especially Japanese tourists, for a long time because all the items sold here represent Vietnam's national spirit and character.

The HCMC Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has launched a program called 'Exciting HCMC', a campaign to allow tourists to voice their opinions and provide feedback on their experiences in Vietnam and, more specifically, HCMC, by voting for the best Vietnamese hotels, restaurants, shopping places, souvenirs, entertainment venues, transportation, city attractions, 'must-taste', city tours and events.

Those interested in shopping places in HCMC should visit and vote for ten shopping places among 15 places listed on the website.

The 15 nominees for best tourist shopping places:
1. An Dong Market
2. Ben Thanh Market
3. Binh Tay Market
4. Diamond Plaza 5.
Dong Khoi shopping street
6.Khai Silk Shop
7. Lacquerware Tay Son
8. Miss Ao Dai
9. Paragon Shopping Centre
10. Parkson Saigon
11. Saigon Centre
12. Saigon Co-opt Mart
13. Saigon Square
14. Tax Department Store
15. XQ Embroidery Shop

Source: VietNamNet/SGT

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