Shopping places in Saigon that are hidden in plain sight

Most first-time visitors in Saigon will make a beeline for premium shopping centers & pay exorbitant prices while locals constantly on a quest for affordable merchandise don’t always recommend these places.

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Around Saigon, there are plenty of shopping places hidden in plain sight that offer a surprisingly good host of homegrown fashion bands at affordable prices. Plus, most of them have pretty chất lượng vibes.

1. 26 Lý từ Trọng – a 20th-century building stuck in time

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Unbeknownst lớn many, the building on 26 Lý trường đoản cú Trọng used khổng lồ be the US Consulate in Saigon before 1975. Everything looks almost exactly how it was built almost 100 years ago, including flawless mahogany wall panels, Indochinese-style floor tiles, mid-century light fixtures, và a century-old lift. 

The place looks a bit dark during the day due to lack of windows, which is why you’ll see lots of artificial lights installed by the siêu thị owners here.

With over trăng tròn stores under its belt, including crowd-pleasing local brands such as Libé, Polkaholics, Xéo Xọ, & Sexy Forever, the building represents the culmination of affordable homegrown fashion works.

Aside from clothing, you’ll find a good selection of cafes here, the most famous of which is probably Cộng. Check out our photo album of 26 Lý từ bỏ Trọng here.

Address: 26 Lý từ Trọng, District 1, Bến Nghé Ward, District 1, HCMCOpening hours: 9AM-9.30PM, Daily

2. 14 Tôn Thất Đạm – a 136-year-old colonial apartment building

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Given away only by a 24/7 lineup of motorbikes surrounding a nondescript molded gate, the huge apartment building at 14 Tôn Thất Đạm is one of those run-down 19th-century places that you pass by everyday but never bother khổng lồ know what’s inside. 

Even when you do, you can hardly tell how lớn get inside unless you take time khổng lồ follow the line of vehicles parked around it. 

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If you’re in for a central, quiet, và quirky place for a temporary getaway, this place will absolutely charm your socks off.

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Brimming with all things vintage & unconventional, this building is home to a variety of fashion boutiques selling homegrown designs, cosmetic shops selling branded makeup items at affordable prices, and unique cafeterias with great views of the bitexco Tower nearby. 

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If you’re here for clothing, expect an eclectic mix of streetwear designs tailored to lớn Saigon’s weather, such as breezy frocks, tops of various shapes và cuts, và stylish two-piece skirt sets.

Take time to walk every part of the dimly lit floors and dilapidated corridors, & you’ll be surprised by how many boutiques are hidden in the building’s nooks và crannies. 

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You can take photos here, but make sure that you keep your voice down & don’t cause too much noise. While a large part of this building has been used for commercial activities, there are still a dozen households living here & don’t want khổng lồ be disturbed by outsiders. 

Address: 14 Tôn Thất Đạm, Nguyễn tỉnh thái bình Ward, District 1, HCMCOpening hours: 8AM-9PM, Daily

3. 42 Tôn Thất Thiệp – a budget-friendly shopping paradise at the thành phố center

Image credit: Thái An

Located right across Saigon Center, the city’s most famous shopping center, the shabby-looking & seemingly uninviting apartment building at 42 Tôn Thất Thiệp is a huge visual contrast lớn its neighbor.

However, those who are open-minded enough to enter this run-down 3-floor building will find some of the best clothes và accessories for a steal. 

Walk up the molded stairs và you’ll find about 10 shops on each floor. All are tastefully designed, air-conditioned, và offer a great selection of chic & comfy clothes & accessories. 

A dress from BloomodeImage credit: Bloomode

Aside from a good range of budget-friendly cut-out tops and floral dresses for all occasions from Crystal Flora and Bloomode, you’ll also find some boutiques specializing in hip-hop fashion.

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Address: 42 Tôn Thất Thiệp, District 1, Bến Nghé Ward, HCMCOpening hours: 8.30AM-9PM, Daily

5. The New Playground – the city’s first underground fashion plaza

Image credit: The New Playground

Tucked away in a basement on Lý trường đoản cú Trọng Street, right next khổng lồ 26 Lý từ bỏ Trọng Building, The New Playground is the city’s first underground shopping complex. 

Every cửa hàng is fenced off with a wire mesh partition wall ornamented with an electric-charged glow, giving off an industrial vibe. 

Image credit: The New Playground

Since this place specializes in athleisure & hip-hop fashion, you’ll find a variety of trendy denim cutoffs, artistic t-shirts, và hooded sweatshirts from only VND200,000 (~USD8.79). 

Aside from lots of clothing và accessories, this is also a perennial Insta favourite with lots of color-popping backdrops.

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Address: 26 Lý trường đoản cú Trọng, Bến Nghé Ward, District 1Opening hours: 10AM-10PM, Daily


4. BLOQ – a one-stop leisure destination for multitaskers


Nestled inside the Western expat clave in District 2, BLOQ looks like an urban cluster in a shipping container-themed complex. 

Decked out in an airy & modern setting, the 300-sqm large BLOQ offers a wide range of restaurants và cafes selling Mexican, Thai, and Japanese food across three levels. You will also run into some shops here selling all things trendy, from embroidered jackets and shawls lớn hand-made accessories. 


There’s even a barber shop, flower store, pilates class, và bakery here.

This well-ventilated, well-lit, Beverly Hill-styled nest is one of the most comfortable places to shop, dine, & work if you’re a freelancer. 


6. 42 Nguyễn Huệ – Saigon’s must-see tourist attraction

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This danh mục cannot be complete without 42 Nguyễn Huệ, a destination that went from a repurposed apartment building to lớn being a tourist spot itself. Built in the early 1960s, this building was initially used to lớn house US government officials & military officers.

Home to a plethora of upscale restaurants overlooking the Nguyễn Huệ square và a good mix of homegrown fashion brands, this apartment building comes alive with glittering sign boards & festoons at night. 

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For this reason, passers-by & local photographers are constantly searching for the perfect spots to capture the entirety of this 9-storey icon.

To find a way into this rustic gem, locate Nguyễn Huệ Bookstore, which is right next to the building entrance. You can’t park your motorbikes here, so my advice is khổng lồ park at the Lucky Plaza nearby and walk here.

Walk through the building entrance until you see a staircase on the right. Don’t take the lift if you’re here for the first time and looking to explore all the floors.

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Some of the fashion boutiques you’ll find here include Heverly, siêu thị Nzim, Su Vitality, Pop Birdy, and Nosbyn. While most of the designs here are homegrown & this building is old, don’t expect too much affordability in the retail prices here.

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Hidden shopping complexes in Saigon

The shopping landscape in Saigon is frenzied. Besides high-end places such Saigon Center, SC Vivo City, & Diamond Plaza, Saigon has a plethora of tiny local boutiques hidden around the city centre. 

Not only do these age-old gems offer idiosyncratic apparel và accessories at reasonable prices, but they are also unique in architecture & for some, rich in history. If what you’re looking for are not opulent brands or air-conditioning from the basement to lớn the top but a unique shopping tour, then these places are for you.

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