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A shopping venue for expats in town 

Shoppers browse clothes at a shop in Saigon Square Centre
in downtown Ho Chi Minh City

On the corner of Hai Ba Trung and Nguyen Du streets in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon Square centre is just 50 metres from the crossroads on the way leading to the Saigon River.

Crowded, lit with colourful lights, full of diversified goods, foods and drinks, “Saigon Square by night” is easy to recognize by its red banner “Welcome to Russian market” in front.

The centre, with some 50 shops surrounding a supermarket in the middle called Citimart, is popular for hip, young people with its inexpensive clothes, luggage, shoes, eyeglasses, watches, pens and furniture.

Salesgirls at some of the front shops may joyfully invite you to drop in to have a look, but take it easy to have a leisurely walk, because there are a lot of other shops inside.

To buy clothing, you have a myriad of choices, including jeans, shirts, jackets, sweaters, and pullovers, all at great prices. One overcoat for men or women costs some VND200,000 to VND300,000, a pair of jeans costs from VND150,000 to VND200,000, and women’s shirts cost from VND50,000 to VND100,000.

John Biddle, from Great Britain, told to the Daily while holding a pair of shorts that Saigon Square was a very good place for him to come for shopping during the weekend and to enjoy food. He finds it even more interesting than Ben Thanh Market, since people can find things with acceptable prices.  These shorts cost VND 125,000, he added with a jolly smile.

Lying inside the square, Resto restaurant is open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and shoppers who feel hungry after walking around can step inside to call for a coffee to relax. Pizza, sandwiches, spaghetti, hamburgers, fried rice and more are always available.

At Moonlight shop, many Vietnamese original bags, candles and essences are displayed with low prices attached – VND 30,000 for a big candle, and VND 60,000 for a bottle of essence.

To look for Vietnamese traditional gifts for friends, just walk deeper inside the square, Chaufia Handicraft shop is not difficult to spot. There, you can choose many grass products, sea grass bags or bis and small trays made of water hyacinth tree. Close to Chaufia are other antique grace shops to provide more choices.

If shoppers want to buy high-quality products displayed on shelves from popular to up-market brands in cool air, Citimart supermarket in the centre of the square is the best choice. 

Nam Kyung Tae, from Korea, told the Daily that he has been living in Vietnam for six months, and thinks this square is a very interesting place for him to take his girlfriend to do shopping. Tae said that 90% of the items here good and are at low prices. Although some of the clothing and slippers have small sizes that don’t fit westerners, salespeople there are anxious to serve customers, and are willing to search to find the perfect fit.

Nguyen Thi Kieu Diem, a salesgirl in front of Citimart’s door told the Daily that on a normal day, she can sell from 15 to 20 items to foreigners, but she can sell more during the weekend. Some foreign shoppers still remember her when they come back to her shop, she added. 

The centre is located at 80 Hai Ba Trung Street in District 1, and is open daily from the morning until 9 p.m. (SGT)

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