Nam Hai Resort Vietnam introduces Yoga lessons with Giri Raf Timshina

The Nam Hai Resort Hoi An Vietnam offering Yoga lessons

The Nam Hai in Vietnam has
announced that it will introduce health and wellbeing with the introduction of
seasoned yoga instructor Mr. Giri Raf Timshina.

Timshina, who began his training
in Varanasi – one of the holiest cities in India – and has studied at length in
spiritually rich Kathmandu, Nepal, offers a free, hour-long class starting at 8
a.m., Monday through Saturday.

Paid classes are also available.
All classes take place at the resort’s open lounge, a spacious pavilion above
the main swimming pools and overlooking the tranquil East Sea.

“If there’s one thing that’s become clear in the 18 months I’ve
been here it’s that most of our guests live a healthy lifestyle,”
said Mr. Herbert Laubichler-Pichler, general manager of The Nam
Hai.
“They like to spend time at the spa, eat
right and exercise. Giri’s classes perfectly complement our existing list of
amenities.”

Prior to arriving at The Nam Hai,
Timshina taught at Hotel Himalaya in Kathmandu, Hyatt Regency Kathmandu and the
Himalayan Buddhist Meditation Centre, in Thamel, Nepal.

Situated on 35 hectares of
landscaped tropical gardens, the Nam Hai is an all-villa property managed by
GHM featuring 60 one-bedroom villas and 40 pool villas ranging from one to five
bedrooms, each with its own infinity pool.

Signature features of The Nam Hai
include two gourmet restaurants; a tropical spa beside a lagoon; three
beachfront swimming pools; and an 18-hole, Colin Montgomerie-designed golf
course (The Montgomerie Links Vietnam).

 Sunset at the Nam Hai Resort Hoi An Vietnam

 

The Nam Hai Hoi An Vietnam Launches Celebrations Package

 

GHM
SHOWCASES VIETNAM’S BEACHSIDE BEAUTY AND ANCIENT CULTURE WITH SEASONAL OFFERS
AT THE NAM HAI

THE NAM HAI, HOI AN



Asian-based
luxury hotel and resort operator GHM [General Hotels Management] is
enticing travellers to experience Vietnam’s premier 5-star resort The Nam
Hai
on famous China Beach.  The multi-award winning resort offers a
stunning beachfront location and proximity to the country’s most important
historical attractions, with a variety of holidays offering the best of this
new and exciting holiday destination.

 

With its
luxurious and award winning spa, gourmet cuisine and unsurpassed luxury and
opulence amid the unique culture of Central Vietnam, The Nam Hai is offering a
four-night Celebrations package for two at US$3,780.

 

Ideal for a
long weekend getaway to relax, recharge and renew, or for weddings, honeymoons,
anniversaries and other celebrations, the package includes four nights in an
oceanfront villa, daily breakfast and dinner-for-two with Dom Perignon
champagne, along with a three-hour Oriental Ritual spa treatment.  Valid
through 2010
, guests reserving this package also enjoy roundtrip airport
transfers to Danang International Airport and a complimentary shuttle service
to the historic ‘Silk Road’ sea port of Hoi An just minutes away.

 

For those
interested in the history and culture of Vietnam, an Arts & Culture’
package, including private guided tours to three nearby UNESCO World Heritage
sites, offers four nights in a Hotel Villa starting from US$3,250 or four
nights in a Pool Villa from US$4,810 with private butler service. Valid
through 2010
, guests reserving this package will also enjoy tours to the
picturesque 17th century  ‘Silk Route’ seaport of  Hoi An; My Son,
centre of the ancient Champa Kingdom; and the former Imperial City, Hue
including admission charges and guide. Also included in the package are daily
breakfast, a Vietnamese set dinner and Vietnamese massage, plus round trip
airport transfers.

 

The Nam Hai
is also attracting meetings organisers who are drawn to its stunning location
and choice of rooms and spaces for corporate retreats.  Ideal for small-
to medium-sized groups, the 2010 Corporate Retreat Package’ is
for a minimum booking for ten and starts at US$295 per night for a hotel
Villa, or US$595 a night in a Pool Villa, with butler service. The rate
includes daily breakfast and one set lunch or dinner, plus complimentary use of
meeting room and facilities, including refreshments.

 

Delegates
are also treated to preferential green fees at neighbouring Montgomerie Links
18-hole Golf Course.

 

The Nam Hai
is just 10 minutes from Hoi An, and connected to the world via Danang
international airport, just 30 minutes away, which offers direct flights from
Singapore and Bangkok and has future plans for direct flights from Hong Kong
and other major Asian cities.

 

The resort
has received numerous prestigious awards and accolades since opening in 2006,
including recognition from Conde Nast Traveller UK & USA, Travel + Leisure
USA, Asia Spa, Frommer’s and Gourmet Traveller.

 

Somerset Danang Bay Vietnam to be managed by Ascott Limited

It has been recently announced that the rights to manage
Somerset Danang Bay Residence Vietnam has been awarded to Ascott Limited. The
residence development is located in Vietnam’s fourth Largest city Danang and the
development is part of Danang’s Blooming Tower Development.

 

Somerset is Vietnam’s largest international serviced
residence operator with eight properties in Hanoi, Hai Phong, Ho Chi Minh City
and Danang.

 

The full media release can be read below:

 

Ascott Limited (Ascott), has been awarded a contract to
manage a serviced residence in Danang, the fourth largest city in Vietnam, by
Korea Investment & Development Co., Ltd. The latter is an established real
estate consortium that specialises in commercial and residential developments
across major cities in Vietnam.

The serviced residence will be named Somerset Danang Bay and will be the first
international brand of serviced residence in Danang. With this addition, Ascott
will further strengthen its position as the largest international serviced
residence owner-operator in Vietnam. It will now have more than 1,300 apartment
units in eight properties across four cities including Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi
and Hai Phong.

Currently under development, Somerset Danang Bay is part of Blooming Tower
Danang, a mixed-use development that comprises two 37-storey residential towers
and a three-storey podium for commercial retail and recreational uses. It will
be one of the tallest towers in the city, providing a spectacular view of the
Danang Bay.

Located in Thuan Phuoc Ward, Hai Chau District, Somerset Danang Bay is a
five-minute drive from Danang’s Central Business District and a 15-minute drive
from the Danang International Airport, Vietnam’s third busiest airport. The
serviced residence property is scheduled to be completed in 2012.

Mr Lim Ming Yan, Chief Executive Officer
of The Ascott Limited, said,
“Our
expansion into Danang, our fourth city in Vietnam, will allow Ascott to tap on
the strong demand for serviced residences in the country. Danang has enjoyed an
exponential increase in foreign direct investments. The rapid development of
its industrial parks, export processing zone, petrochemical industry and sea
port activities has also been attracting a large number of expatriates to the
city. With the influx of foreigners, we expect demand for both long- and
short-term accommodation in Danang to soar. The new Somerset Danang Bay will
further consolidate Ascott’s leadership position in the fast growing market and
we are on track to expanding our Vietnam presence to 1,800 units by 2012.”

Mr Shin Yongkyu, President, Korea
Investment & Development Co., Ltd, said,
“We are glad to partner Ascott in launching Somerset Danang Bay.
Being the world’s largest international serviced residence owner-operator,
Ascott has the expertise and extensive experience in providing quality
accommodation and personalised services. Coupled with its award-winning track
record and solid reputation, we are confident that Somerset Danang Bay will do
well in attracting discerning travellers from around the world by providing
them an ideal home away fromhome.”

Danang, with its international airport, commercial sea port and north-south
land routes and railways, is the economic gateway to Central Vietnam and the
East-West Economic Corridor spanning Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar. As an
indication of its trade potential, Danang was ranked first in the Vietnam
Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s provincial competitiveness index
consecutively in 2008 and 2009.

With 121 units ranging from one- to three-bedroom premier apartments which come
with ensuite kitchen and bathroom, Somerset Danang Bay will cater to leisure
and business travellers with a myriad of modern recreational and business
facilities such as a fitness centre, a swimming pool, a resident’s lounge, a
business centre anda meeting room in the property.

About The Ascott Limited

Ascott is the world’s largest international serviced residence owner-operator
with over 19,000 operating serviced residence units in key cities of Asia
Pacific, Europe and the Gulf region, as well as around 6,000 units which are
under development, making a total of 25,000.

The company operates three brands – Ascott, Somerset and Citadines. Its
portfolio spans 68 cities in 22 countries, 11 of which are new cities in Ascott’s
portfolio where its serviced residences are being developed.

Ascott, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CapitaLand Limited, is headquartered in
Singapore. It pioneered Asia Pacific’s first international-class serviced
residence in 1984. It also establishedthe world’s first pan-Asian serviced
residence real estate investment trust, Ascott Residence Trust, in 2006. Today,
the company boasts a 26-year industry track record and serviced residence
brands that enjoy recognition worldwide.

Recent awardsinclude DestinAsian Readers’ Choice Awards 2010 ‘Best Serviced
Residence in Asia Pacific’, TTG Travel Awards 2009 ‘Best Serviced Residence
Operator’, Business Traveller UK Awards 2009 ‘Best Serviced Apartment Company’,
Business Traveller Asia Pacific Awards 2009 ‘Best Serviced Residence Brand’ and
‘Best Serviced Residence in Asia Pacific’ and TTG China Travel Awards 2009
‘Best Serviced Residence Operator in China’.

Accor Announces Massive Hotel Expansion in Vietnam

Accor has announced a massive Hotel expansion for Vietnam,
with new 9 new hotels to open by 2012 under the following Accor brands Pullman Novotel,
Mercure ibis, MGallery and Le Belhamy all to be operation by 2012

 

Accor is already Vietnam’s biggest Hotel group with the
expansion to further grow their presence. Accor’s future Vietnam hotels and
resorts listed below will nearly double Accor’s number of rooms from 2,147
across 13 hotels to 4,147 rooms across 22 Hotels and Resorts.

  • 2 New ibis Hotels Ho Chi Minh City Saigon
  • Novotel Imperial Hoi An
  • Novotel Resort Phu Quoc
  • Novotel Saigon Center
  • Hotel De L’Opera Hanoi (Second MGallery for Hanoi)
  • Le Belhamy Hoi An – To open 1 April 2010
  • Pullman Vung Tau – To open late 2010
  • Mecure Hado Hanoi – to open late 2010

 

The full media release from Accor can be read below:

 

Accor expands further in Vietnam with 9 new hotels and resorts to be in operation by 2012

 

 

Ho Chi Minh City, March 10, 2010 – Accor, the largest
international hotel operator in Vietnam, announces today its strategic
expansion plans for Vietnam. This plan includes additional hotels within the
Novotel, Mercure hotel brand, launching of the ibis brand and MGallery label
and the ambitious goal of doubling the number of rooms under management in the
Vietnam by 2012.

“Vietnam has always been considered as
one of the strategic markets in Southeast Asia for Accor, which is demonstrated
through Accor’s early entrance and consistent growth in the country since 1991.
With signs of both economic recovery and a re-strengthening of tourism
arrivals, Accor is confident and ready to selectively expand our presence
throughout the country,”
says
Patrick Basset, Vice President of Operations for Vietnam, the Philippines,
South Korea and Japan.

Accor’s multi-brand expansion throughout Vietnam

Accor plans to expand the number of brands on offer in Vietnam to include
upscale products such as Pullman and MGallery, through to more economical ibis
hotel brand.

In late 2010, Accor anticipates the opening of the first Pullman hotel in
Vietnam – Pullman Vung Tao and the second MGallery hotel for Vietnam in the
country’s capital – Hotel De L’Opera Hanoi.

Beyond this additional developments include 3 Novotels’ – Novotel Imperial Hoi
An, Novotel Resort Phu Quoc and Novotel Saigon Centre. Mercure Hanoi Hado with its
central location in the city will be the third Mercure for Vietnam.

The first 2 ibis hotels for the country are also announced for Ho Chi Minh City
– ibis Saigon and ibis Saigon South. These hotels represent the first two
international economy hotels for Vietnam.

“The coming twelve months is sure to be
an exciting period for Accor in Vietnam, with many new developments in the
pipeline. Pullman Vung Tao will be the first for the brand in the country,
while Hotel De L’Opera Hanoi will be the second hotel of the highly distinctive
upscale MGallery label.”
Mr. Basset
further explains.

Accor expansion ambitions

Accor currently has 13 hotels and 2,147 rooms in operation throughout Vietnam
and more than 2,000 additional rooms committed through the above mentioned
developments.

“Accor has confidence in Vietnam’s
continued economic stability and growth, and therefore determined to remain
‘the largest international hotel operator in Vietnam’, with a hotel brand
portfolio covering the spectrum of luxury to economy,”
Mr. Basset adds.

Mercure’s successful debut and the opening of Le Belhamy Hoi An Resort and Spa

The launch of Mercure hotel brand in Vietnam exhibits a blueprint for success
with Mercure Hanoi La Gare achieving remarkable performance since its opening
in mid 2009, the introduction of Mercure Dalat Hotel Du Parc to the network,
and the recent opening of Mercure Hue Gerbera. These achievements of the
Mercure brand in Vietnam have been made in the first twelve months of the
brand’s presence in the country, a likely indication of the success that this
mid-scale brand of Accor is likely to enjoy in the country into the future.

Today, Accor announces the scheduled opening of Le Belhamy Hoi An Resort and
Spa, a 131-room resort hotel located on Ha My Beach and near the Unesco World
Heritage site – the Ancient Town of Hoi An, a city on the coast of the South
China Sea in central Vietnam. The resort will welcome guests from April 1,
2010.

This new resort comprises a mix of garden rooms, together with bedroom villas
and pool villas. The resort’s facilities include the all-day dining Champa
Restaurant with a terrace overlooking the beach-view swimming pool, the Nam
Dinh Restaurant in a 100 year-old traditional timber home setting, a poolside
bar, two swimming pools and a spa.

“Le Belhamy Hoi An Resort and Spa, although not branded as a Mercure, delivers
the same key brand initiatives and promises – unique personality, in harmony
with the surroundings, and is to provide top quality services focusing on
making guests’ experience a memorable one,” comments Mr. Basset on this new
resort hotel on the beachfront of Hoi An.

 

Travel Indochinas Cycle Vietnam Trip Features on Channel 9 Getaway Travel Program

Travel Indochina has just been
featured on Australia’s Channel 9 Getaway travel show, with their Cycling
Vietnam Tour, the segment featured Getaways Natalie Gruzlewski taking a cycling
tour and exploring Hanoi’s Old Quarter.

The full media release from
Travel Indochina can be read below:

Travel Indochina, Australia’s
leading Asian travel specialist, will feature on ‘Getaway’, Australia’s most
watched TV travel program, on Channel 9 tonight, Thursday 11th March.

‘Getaway’ will showcase part of
Travel Indochina’s popular Cycling Vietnam Small Group Journey – exploring the
fascinating backroads and boulevards of Vietnam’s charming capital, Hanoi.

The Travel Indochina cycle trips
include a comprehensive pan-Vietnam itinerary. The 19 day package includes
accommodation and equipment, tour leader and local guide, support vehicle, most
meals and an overnight cruise on Halong Bay.

Managing Director of Travel Indochina, Paul Hole, says cycling may not be the
quickest way to see Vietnam but it is certainly amongst the best.

“Travelling by two wheels is truly a magnificent way to see the
country, and in Vietnam it’s a ‘when in Rome’ kind of experience and definitely
not a lonely activity!,”
says Paul.

“As you will see on ‘Getaway’, Travel Indochina’s cycling tours
allow our clients to experience the true ins and the outs of day-to-day life in
Vietnam.

“The journey is designed for part time peddlers, travellers do not
need to be tri-athletes – far from it.

“Cycling through both the cities and the beautiful countryside
provides a unique and intimate experience of the scenery, people and culture of
this amazing country.

“And that intimacy is carried through in our Small Group Journey. With a
maximum of 16 participants, Small Group Journey is like a tailored trip among
close friends but with the full support of a local guide and tour expert,”
says Paul.

Travel Indochina’s Asia experts can be contacted
on 1 300 365 355 for details, or
visit our website travelindochina.com.au.

 

 

Vietnamese Food Guide – The Food to try on a Trip to Vietnam

For
the majority of International travellers, trying food from a different country
or culture is one of the most exciting aspects of visiting a different country and
Vietnam is no exception, Just remember to be adventures and write down the names
of the food you like, so you can order it on your return home!!

 

Vietnamese
food is a one of the most delicious styles of food in Asia if not the world, its
style and taste shares slight similarities with its near neighbours (China,
Thailand, and Cambodia) yet the food of Vietnam is distinct and original.
Unsurprisingly French cooking has much influence on the food and cuisine of Vietnam,
which is most apparent in the countries outstanding breads.

 

So
what are the foods Asia Travel Magazine recommends trying on a trip to Vietnam?

 

Pho
Vietnamese Noodle Soup
– This is perhaps the most popular & famous
Vietnamese Dish of all time. You can try two main types of Pho, the first and
most popular is Pho Bo (Beef) with the other being the chicken variety Pho Ga.
Pho is made with rice noodles and the dish is always served with a plate of
fresh mints, bean sprouts and lime, along with Hoi sin Sauce & Nuoc mum
(Fish sauce).

 

Pho
originates from Northern Vietnam and is usually eaten for breakfast; however
you can pick up a bowl at any time of the day or night.

 

If
you are a little adventurous ask for a Pho Bo Dac Biet, Dac Biet is the
Vietnamese word for Special, and you will usually get beef tendon, Beef Flank
& Beef tripe.

 

 

Banh
Xeo

– Crispy Vietnamese Pancake with pork & prawn (shrimp)

 

Banh
Xeo is a crispy rice flour pan cake filled with pieces of pork, school prawns
& bean sprouts, which when cooked and crispy is folded in half and is about
the size of a large plate (I have seen them bigger). To eat tear off a piece of
Banh Xeo and wrap in Vietnamese Lettuce leaf along with fresh mints, then dip
in Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese dipping sauce) 

 

Banh
Xeo is not very well known in the west, yet everyone I have ever suggested it
to or made it for has absolutely loved it. As with most Vietnamese dishes Banh
Xeo is quite simple yet bursting with freshness and flavour. Banh Xeo is highly
recommended, if you visit Vietnam without trying you are simply missing out.

 

In
Saigon’s district 1,
Dinh Cong
Trang
Street
specialises in Banh Xeo, Asia Travel Magazine recommends heading straight the
restaurant named
Bánh Xèo 46a,
at 46A Dinh
Cong Trang.

 

 

 

Bun
Bo Hue

– Spicy Vietnamese Noodle Soup 

 

As
the name suggests this dish originally heralds from the imperial city of Hue in
central Vietnam. Bun Bo Hue is made from Pork broth & served with
Vietnamese sate sauce (Dried chilly & oil mixture) along with beef meat,
and noodles. Even though this is referred to as Spicy Vietnamese soup I
generally find it is far from spicy, so it is normally up to you to add additional
chilli and/or sate sauce at the table if you like it hot.

 

As
with Pho and most other soup dishes Bun
Bo Hue
is served with a side plate of fresh herbs/mints & bean sprouts
which are added to your bowl prior to eating.

 

 

 

 

Nem
Nuong

– Grilled/BBQ Pork Balls Wrapped in rice paper with mints

 

Nem
Nuong is made from a mixture of pork mince and various spices then grilled/BBQed
 on bamboo skewers. To eat put one or two
Nem Nuong balls on a sheet of moist rice paper, along with fresh mints, lettuce,
Cucumber & vermicelli, wrap the rice paper and dip in Vietnamese dipping
sauce. 

 

I
was introduced to Nem Noung at An Ngon Restaurant in Saigon on my first trip to
Vietnam,
and it became an instant favourite of mine. It was so good that I returned to
An Ngon several times before the end of that trip, and have always make the
point of returning on each trip since. 

 

Lau – Vietnamese Hot
Pot

If
you ever go out for lunch or dinner with Vietnamese this is always on the menu,
and will usually be a Fish or seafood hot pot (but you can get beef &
chicken). As the hot pot slowly cooks away at your table add more seafood and
fresh mints & vegetables.

 

 

 

Cha
Gio

– Vietnamese fried Spring Rolls are very similar to Chinese spring rolls;
however some of the ingredients are different. Cha Gio is normally made out of
pork & prawn mince with the addition of Black Fungus (a type of mushroom)
& shredded taro.

 

Cha
Gio can be eaten alone (with Vietnamese dipping sauce) but more often than not
is eaten in a bowl with Vermicelli noodles mints & Vietnamese fish sauce
(similar to the dish below)    

 

Bun
Thit Nuong/Bun Dac Biet –
Bun Tit Nuong/Bun Dac Bit is
a rice noodle dish, which is served with various meats along with the
obligatory fresh mints and famous Nuoc Mam Cham (Vietnamese fish sauce)

 

 

 

 

Chao
Tom –
Prawn
(Shrimp) paste grilled on a sugar Cane stick

 

Chao
Tom is similar to Nem Nuong in that the cooked Chao Tom is usually wrapped in rice
paper and eaten with mints however the main difference is that Chao Tom is made
from Prawn (Shrimp) and cooked on a sugar cane stick. For eating take the meat
off the sugar cane stick & place on a piece of moist rice paper with fresh
mints, lettuce, cucumber, finally roll & dip in that wonderful Vietnamese
dipping sauce.  

 

Bun
Rieu

  A pork soup base soup with prawn’s
& shrimp paste, Bun rieu is severed with rice noodles and usually also
contains pieces of tofu & tomato. Like I have mentioned for other dishes
you also get a plate of herbs/mints & bean sprouts, which are added to the
bowl prior to eating.

 

 

 

 

Banh
Cuon

– Large rolled rice noodle sheets filled with pork mince, black fungus (a type
of mushroom)  Severed with fresh mints
and Nouc Mam (a Vietnamese Fish sauce with chilli garlic, lime, sugar) Sliced
Vietnamese ham (Cha Lua) is also mixed amongst the Rolled Rice paper sheets.

 

Canh
Chua –
Hot & Sour (a little sweet also) Fish Soup,
cooked with tomato pieces, pineapple & Okra. The sour flavour usually comes
from tamarind, this soup is severed with fine vermicelli rice noodles along
with the standard plate of fresh mints & bean sprouts.

 

 

 

Banh
Mi Thit

– Vietnamese Bread roll with sliced Vietnamese ham (Cha Lua), Roast Pork, pate
and vegetables

 

Banh
Mi is the Vietnamese take on a French Baggett, add Thit (meat) to Banh Mi and
you get Banh Mi Thit, a Vietnamese bread roll (Baguette) with Vietnamese ham, roast
pork, pate & vegetables.

 

The
plan Vietnamese Roll (Banh Mi) is also served with the Vietnamese stew/curry
dish Bo Kho.

 

 

 

 

This
is by no means a complete list of Vietnamese dishes, I could go on for pages,
and I am sure I have left out a few of my other favourites.

 

Below
are some great sites & blogs about Vietnamese Food & Cooking

 

Top Saigon Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam Shopping Experiences

In the planning stages you would not expect Saigon Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam to be a top shopping destination, but on arrival visitors surprisingly find the opposite, a shopper’s paradise.

With hindsight it’s actually not that difficult to see why Saigon is a haven for shopaholics, just look at the the ground level of most houses on any major street, all setup to sell everything from shoes and clothing to food and alcohol, and then there are the numerous markets scattered throughout this huge metropolis, with this variety and competition, you will be sure to find what you want at a great price, with a little bargaining.

If up market & brand name labels are more you’re your style, then Dong Khoi Street in district one won’t disappoint with the like of Yves Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci, Saigon Ho Chi Minh City truly a shopping experience for just about every taste and budget, so let’s look at the must do shopping experiences on a holiday to Vietnam.

Top Saigon Shopping experiences

Ben Thanh Market – Number one on any trip to Saigon Vietnam should be the historic Ben Thanh Market; located in District one, this market once the main market for locals is now focused squarely at the countries ever expanding international visitors, shoppers still get a feel for how the market was pre 1990 when Vietnam opened its doors to the west and international tourists. The variety of items for sale at Ben Thanh market is quite staggering with the sale of everything from Clothing, fabrics, cosmetics, fake Rolex and coffee thru to fruit vegetables and live animals.

Some facts about: Ben Thanh market dates back to the 17th century when it was an uncovered muddy market located near the Saigon wharf (Ben) and the Turtle Citadel (Quy Thanh) Ben Thanh Market has moved and been rebuilt twice with its current location/building being opened in March 1914, the buildings landmark clock tower is the symbol of Saigon

 

As mentioned Dong Khoi Street is the place to go for top quality brand labels, and is well worth a visit for a look even if this type of shopping is not your style, Dong Khoi street also houses some quality Vietnamese art and craft shops, Dong Khoi and the area around is also home to some of Saigon’s most trendy Café and nightclubs.

District 1 in Saigon houses three major department stores

Diamond Plaza – The most popular shopping mall is Diamond plaza which has a good rang of quality designer clothing, fragrances and electronics, with a Cinema, Pizza Hut and Bowling alley on the upper floors.

Diamond Plaza Saigon Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam Shopping

Saigon Tax Trade Center – Sitting on the corner of Nguyen Hue and Le Loi Street is the Saigon Tax trade center, the ground floor mostly specializes is locally made gold and silver jewelry, throughout the store sells great quality locally and overseas made clothing, shoes, cosmetics and tourist souvenirs. Of special note is the 3rd floor where you will find a seller of pirated DVDs along with a reasonable sized supermarket selling a great selection of local and imported foods from around the world.  

Parkson Department Store – Parkson  Department Store which opened its doors in 2005 is different from the two before mentioned,  as the entire store is owned operated entirely by Parkson, and they sell more of the big ticket items such as plasma TVs, and white goods, along with the usual clothing, cosmetics,  great for a look if you have the time.

Shopping outside district 1

An Dong Wholesale Market – (Near China Town) Shoppers are presented with an overwhelming choice, of clothes fabrics, jewelry and food, but with an emphasis on clothing and fabrics. Even though this is a wholesale market store holders are happy to sell to the public and international travelers,  fewer tourists frequent An Dong because it’s a little further away and not as well known as Ben Thanh, for this fact it’s a great opportunity to see a local Vietnamese market in action. The ground level of An Dong specializes in mainly gold jewelry, and food, with the upper levels of the market selling clothing and home items.  

Binh Tay in Cho Lon (China Town) – Nearly every major city in the world has a china town and Saigon is no different, and Cho Lon District is Saigon’s China Town, with the huge Binh Tay wholesale market at its focal point which is bigger than Ben Thanh, and just like An Dong above sellers are happy to sell to everyone. Binh Tay has a huge array of items imported from China (as you can imagine) around the world along with locally made items.

Warning this market this market is not air-conditioned and not well ventilated so its recommend you get there early in the morning to beat the heat.  

Great things to buy in Saigon:

  • Ladies have a traditional Vietnamese Dress Ao Dai and other clothing tailor made
  • Vietnam is renowned for stunning quality lacqureware pictures, bowls, plates & drink coaster plus many other items that have both decorative and practical uses.
  • Vietnamese Art, Saigon Ho Chi Minh City is has many great traditional and modern art shops, from carvings, and rattan thru to stunning paintings.
  • Vietnam’s coffee is some of the best in the world, renowned for its unique flavor and richness, it’s no wonder the global coffee giant Nestlé reportedly buys a third of the country’s entire coffee export. When purchasing your coffee also get yourself a coffee grinder and a Stainless Steel coffee filter.
  • Shoes and Handbags, All women love their shoes and hand bags and Vietnamese women are no different, so you will find an enormous range and variety of shoes and handbags, from reasonable quality brand name rip offs thru to original Vietnamese designed masterpieces.
  • Men have a casual or business suite made; Vietnams tailors are some of the most skilled in the world and importantly cheap.

  • You can get some very cheap yet practice tourist items, nearly every trip I do to Vietnam I always buy a dozen or so fold up wooden business card holders, they are cheap and compact, friends and business acquaintances love them.

Shopping in Vietnam Saigon Vietnamese Lacquerware

 

 

 Shopping in Saigon Ho Chi Minh City Vietnamese Coffee

Tips for shopping and bargaining in Vietnam

  • If the item does not have a price tag, the price is nearly always negotiable.
  • When negotiating a price, knock at least three quarters off the top.
  • If negotiations are getting you nowhere start to walk, you will be amazed by the number of sellers that will agree on your price while you are walking away.
  • Vietnam has recently changed from paper to polymer (plastic) bank notes, and some of the notes look very similar because of their color, for example the 20,000 Dong note looks very similar to the 200,000 dong note and the same goes for the  50,000 and 500,000 dong notes. So It always pays to double check before handing over any money and also when receiving change.

Asia Travel Magazine would like to hear your questions and Saigon Ho Chi Minh City & Vietnam Shopping experiences, why not leave a comment or question below!

Vietnam Travel Guide

Vietnamese FoodVietnam Travel Guide:  Vietnam’s stunning scenery together with its turbulent history make it one of most unique, charming and cheapest destinations to visit in all of Asia. This Vietnam Travel Guide along with the linked Destination and Hotel Guides will give a brief yet informal look at Vietnam.

Southern Vietnam is the home to Ho Chi Minh City (Formally Saigon) and is the nation’s economic and manufacturing capital, further south from Saigon is the Mekong area which is considered the rice bowl of Vietnam.

After a hectic few days or weeks in Ho Chi Minh City a scenic and relaxing trip to the Mekong area is a great experience, travel to Vinh Long and take visit a Mekong river island orchard relaxing under the shade of the many varieties of tropical fruit trees  

Travelling back the other way past Ho Chi Minh City the next major tourist destination is Dalat, set in the mountains Dalat is a in total contrast to Ho Chi Minh with its cool temperate climate. Because of Dalat’s weather and similarities with France the during the 100 year French rule of Vietnam, Dalat was setup as a retreat from the chaos and heat of Ho Chi Minh City. The cool climate also made it ideal for study and research so a University was started here. 

To the north east of Dalat is Nha Trang, Nha Trang beach is the best beach in Vietnam and is a great place to catch a few waves or simply relax. Nha Tran is also large fishing town, so the Seafood is especially good in Nha Trang
Continuing on north you will come to the central region of Vietnam which include Hue, Danang and the imperial capital of Vietnam Hue.

Danang is another just like Nha Trang is another of Vietnam’s great beach spots, during the Vietnam Danang was a major fleet base for the US navy with many troops, equipment and supplies off loaded here.

Hoi An is a quaint town, that is very French in architecture and charm, Hoi an is most notability known for it tailors and quality clothing.
A little further north is Hue the Imperial capital of Vietnam, a trip to Vietnam is not complete without a trip to the imperial capital, History oozes from this city. A visit to the emperor’s palace shows a reminder of this, gun shot marks can still be seen today after centuries of conflict with first the Chinese, French and then America.

Going into northern Vietnam we reach the capital of Vietnam Hanoi, compared to the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Min City Hanoi seems worlds away, Hanoi is somewhat peaceful in comparison.

East from Hanoi is the world heritage listed Ha long bay and its limestone rock formations rising from the ocean.
Finally to the north is the village of Sapa which lies on the Hoang Lien Son Mountain that crosses the Chinese border.

Vietnamese Food

For those that have not eaten traditional Vietnamese food before you are in for a real treat, firstly for the fresh and exotic flavours and then for its unique traditional Asian tastes with a mix of French.

Vietnamese Food  

Some famous Vietnamese Dishes include:

Pho Bo – Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup
Bun Bo – Spicy Beef Noodle soup
Cha Gio – Fried Spring rolls
Nem Nuong – Beef balls drilled on a skewer then wrapped in rice paper and filled with Vietnamese mints
Banh Xeo – Vietnamese Pancake with Pork Prawn, wrapped in lettuce leaf also filled with Vietnamese mints then dipped in Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese fish sauce mixed with lime garlic chilli and sugar) as you are eating

The above list is just a few of the wonderful Vietnamese dishes, watch out for new websites from Asia Travel Magazine covering Vietnamese Food and Restaurants.


Visit our destination, hotel and resort guides the places mentioned the Vietnam Travel Guide

Mekong Travel and Hotel Guide
Ho Chi Minh Saigon Travel and Hotel Guide
Hanoi Travel and Hotel Guide
Dalat Travel and Hotel Guide
Nha Trang Travel and Hotel Guide
Danang Travel and Hotel Guide
Hoi An Travel and Hotel Guide
Hue Travel and Hotel Guide
Halong Travel and Hotel Guide
Sapa Travel and Hotel Guide