Thursday, September 27, 2007

Shopping in Vietnam

Ben Tanh Market

Saigon Square

All the things I brought back from Vietnam

12 different pairs of chopsticks

Porcelain from Minh Long

The Birth of Jesus


Things are not very expensive in Vietnam but food is expensive. You must know how to bargain until almost 50 - 60% of the initial quoted price. You can bargain in English or Mandarin. Normally, they would quote the price in Vietnamese Dong. Then, you can divide that figure by 16000 Dong to convert it to USD (the current exchange rate). You can multiply that figure by 3.5 to give the RM equivalent. You may pay either in USD or Vietnamese Dong. Be careful if you pay in USD and they want to return the change in Dong. Calculate properly before you agree. Otherise, you may end up paying more. You may use their calculator to check.

I would suggest that you look out for a particular stall that has most of the things you wish to buy. Then, you have more bargaining power. Some would even give you their name card and ask you to introduce your friends to them. Generally, they are very friendly.

Ben Tanh market is a good place to shop for Vietnamese souvenirs. The night market is just outside Ben Tanh and things are normally cheaper. Saigon Square is the ideal place to shop for 'branded' goods. The price is comparable to shopping in Bandung, Indonesia. The quality of the product is pretty high. Saigon Square will be my next target if I ever visit Ho Chi Minh city again.

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