Retail Therapy

Done with Saigon’s behemoth shopping spots? We unearth a few malls away from the mainstream Once unknown to foreign visitors, Saigon’s alternative shopping malls are fast becoming tourist attractions in the city. Most of the fame is because of the highly ‘instagrammable’ café-apartment mall on Nguyen Hue Walking Street, whose appearances on social media in recent … Read more

Curious for Curios

A truly unique vintage shopping experience… Ask most residents in Saigon where to buy antiques and they’ll likely direct you to Le Cong Kieu Street, popularly known as “Antique Street,” in District 1. However, that would be leading you in the wrong direction as the majority of objects for sale in this short patch of … Read more

The Design Duo

Ho Thi Phuong Hien and Pham Lam Hai Dang are the dynamic duo behind The 7 Studio, a retail space showcasing their unique furniture and home décor ideas. Both interior designers by profession, the shop is also the launch pad for their interior design business where they cater to clients seeking design advice for their home, hotel, resort, and even … Read more

Inspired Victory

Saigon Kitsch probably found its ideal new owner when Audrey Tran picked up the business five years ago. Half French, half Vietnamese, this highly charismatic entrepreneur seems to exist in a permanent state of inspiration – and she’s spent much of the time since acquiring the store turning her flashes of brilliance into unique souvenirs for sale. “Yes, I’m … Read more

The Joy of Reading

One of the chief complaints of foreigners living throughout this region concerns the limited supply of English-language books. In this city at least, Artbook has been working on solving the problem since 2004, when it opened as a highly specialized book boutique stocking technical volumes on furniture and graphic design. This move, of course, was a dream come true … Read more

Cool and Laid – back

To the hipster city dwellers out there, the name L’Usine needs no introduction. It’s known as a retail and café space for the young and trendy. “The concept behind L’Usine is a place where people go to be inspired. One can be inspired by one’s environment, by what one eats, what one wears, or even simple items one decorates … Read more

The Renaissance Man

Secluded in a tiny alleyway deep in Go Vap District is an eclectic studio and workshop belonging to an eccentric artist by the name of Nguyen Van Binh. Inspired (or perhaps obsessed) by Renaissance art, Binh has hand-painted images of the style on everything from masquerade masks, room signs, cups and pots, candles, albums, guitars, paper holders to traditional paintings, … Read more

In the Boudoir

Opened in 2010, this two-story boutique, with a façade reminiscent of a British pub, aims to making shopping more personal by opening up her ‘closet’ to customers. Owner Rattana Chongcharoenponsuk, a Thai, has been living in Saigon for two years and had problems finding clothes to match her style and frame. “Most dresses designed here are so body-fit and … Read more

The Art of Upcycling

Blue Dragon would probably be just another souvenir store if it weren’t for the perfect marriage right at its core. Any couple would find inspiration in Binh and Lisa’s easy affection for each other, but it’s in their family business that their respective backgrounds and skills find a perfect accord. “When Binh was growing up here,” says Lisa, … Read more