As you leave District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll pass by countless roads that are seemingly nameless mom-and-pop shops operating out of people’s homes. Most of the shops are usually selling identical products.
If you’re a local, you’ll know that these roads are where the best deals and gems can be found. The prices between shops change from one to the next, so always visit at least three of them before making a purchase.
Let’s take a look at where you can find the best bargains in Ho Chi Minh City.
Nguyen Huu Tho (just down the Kenh Te bridge from District 4 to District 7), District 7
Although there are many roads selling flowers in Ho Chi Minh City, this one is the nearest to the city center. Located at the border of District 4 and District 7, you can spot more than 10 shops next to each other on this road. Thees shops are selling many types of plants and flowers, from outdoor and indoor to small and big plants for your home or garden.
Bonus: the shopkeepers can help ship everything you buy directly to your home.
Art Supplies and Drawing Equipment
Nguyen Dinh Chieu (between Pham Ngoc Thach & Pasteur), District 3
Opposite of two famous universities, the Economics and Architecture Universities, this road is famous for its art supply shops. There are a series of shophouses with papers, brushes, statues, colors, printing equipment, and whatever else you need for your artwork. It’s the perfect spot for you to buy the ingredients you need to make handmade products and to have your designs printed out in small quantities.
Find out where two famous local artists buy their art supplies in Ho Chi Minh City: Sandrine Llouquet and Ayano Otani
Need to add more lights? Don’t know where to find industrial fans or some heavy-duty electric equipment (drills, pumps, etc) and basic mechanical pieces? Check out Yersin (Dan Sinh). Located 200 meters from Ben Thanh market, you can heaven-on-earth for heavy equipment geeks.
Custom Signage: Tags, Medals, Trophies
Nam Quoc Cang (between Bui Thi Xuan & Nguyen Trai), District 1.
These guys can make any type of signage you want. Sizes, materials, colors. They have it down. Plastics, aluminum, stainless steel. Moreover, you can order small pieces like name tags, basic medals, or trophies.
Phan Dang Luu, Binh Thanh District
If you plan to stay in Ho Chi Minh City and you’re not afraid of the traffic in Vietnam, you’ll need a motorbike.
For many, a second-hand but usable one will suit you. Found along a big road connecting Binh Thanh District and District 1 to the airport, you’ll find bikes of all kinds. Everything from a 50cc Honda Cub to a 150cc Honda SH. A sporty Yamaha Exciter to a stylish Piaggio Vespa.
Bui Huu Nghia, Binh Thanh District
Not far from the start of Phan Dang Luu road, there’s an intersection where you can buy cheap bicycles and electric bikes. This small road is hidden behind Ba Chieu market and is also known as an alternative route for locals who want to go to District 1 from Binh Thanh District and reverse during rush hour. Passing by this road you can find many used bikes hanging out or parked on old iron doors.
Bach Dang, Binh Thanh District
Bach Dang and Phan Dang Luu are the same road separated by a crossroad next to Ba Chieu market. At Bach Dang, you’ll find warehouses full of basic wooden furniture pieces like book shelves, sofa sets, chairs and tables. Most are made from pine wood or plywood. If you drive further along the road, you can spot stores selling panels that are made out of plywood, MDF, and HDF.
Laboratory and Medical Equipment
To Hien Thanh (between Ly Thuong Kiet & Thanh Thai), District 10
On this road, you’ll find lab students from all over the city collecting their equipment for their experiments. These stores sell everything and the quality varies from Chinese-made to German-made. You can also buy chemicals here. Some are extremely dangerous like sulfuric acid. If you want to open a small scale lab, you should head out to this road.