Historically speaking, Saigon Square was originally located at the Kumho building in Le Duan, but has since moved to two outlets, the largest of which is Saigon Square 1 on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia. Though by no means a monument in Vietnam, Saigon Square has become a shopping landmark of sorts – an icon of Ho Chi Minh City commerce. A brand new Saigon Square has now opened its doors to customers on Hai Ba Trung street. Both venues have almost the same retailers with a slight difference in choice and size. Don’t get upset if you can’t find something at one outlet, because there is always a chance to get it at the other.
Overall Saigon Square is one of the biggest indoor markets in Saigon where you can find a wide range of products for very affordable prices. This market is popular among both locals and tourists as it shelters a variety of shopping corners with not only needed, but also desirable products. Everything you were looking for to buy in Saigon, but felt like it was overpriced at the popular shopping malls, can be easily found at Saigon Square: clothes, toys, kid’s clothes, accessories, shoes; the list can go on and on.
Saigon Square 1: 77 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, District 1
Saigon Square 2: 176-181 Hai Bà Trưng, District 1
9:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
The official opening hour is a bit earlier, but vendors are usually fully ready around 9:30 a.m.? At this time everything is open and it’s not yet crowded.
The closing time is 9 p.m., but you might want to get there earlier, as some shops are already closed by then.
A positive side of Saigon Square market is well-organized “shopping corridors”, it’s not chaos, where you don’t stand a chance to survive, it’s a two floor building with all the directions provided for your convenience. One of the biggest benefits of Saigon Square is the air conditioning. It is a valuable point to consider when choosing a shopping path in a country where ice-cream melts within seconds and your shirt turns wet as if you just ran a marathon.
Secured parking is there at your service, together with nice, paid toilets on the second floor. Handing over VND 2,000 to a friendly lavatory lady allows you to enjoy a basic but clean bathroom.
Drinking water is not available inside the market, but you can always a convenience store or some coffee shops near by.
What to buy:
At Saigon Square you can find almost anything, just make sure not to miss what you actually came for, because there is a high chance you’ll be distracted by the abundance of offers: shirts, t-shirts, pants, skirts, dresses, evening gowns, different kinds of shoes, even some winter style boots, winter wear, ski suits, phone accessories, jewelry, watches, bags and small leather goods, belts, underwear, kid’s clothes, souvenirs, sunglasses, dvd, and much more.
Affordable prices is another reason for Saigon Square’s popularity, but the opportunity to practice your bargaining skills is always there; at the end of the day, you are in Asia, where else could you do it if not here? Some retailers have prices mentioned on the goods, some of them offer promotions, others start selling at a high price, but after a short discussion and a smile on your face, you will probably end up buying your desired product for a very paltry sum. As a general rule of thumb you can expect to pay VND 150,000 to VND 200,000 for a pair of jeans, VND 100,000 to VND 150,000 for a typical dress and around VND 70,000 to VND 100,000 for a polo shirt. For about VND 150,000 to 300,000, you can get one of those lovely knock-off bags. Be nice, but bargain hard! Stallholders tend to be more reasonable in their pricing than at Bên Thanh Market, but it is still wise to negotiate for your purchases. Also, bear in mind the relationship between price and quality. Yes, a bargain exists, but try to get a balance - if that Gucci bag cost you VND 70,000, chances are it will fall apart before you've made it home. If in doubt ask around – many stalls at Saigon Square sell the same products, ask a few of them to get the right price.