Shopaholic's guide to finding the best gifts in Saigon

By Kim Nga, Thanh Nien News

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 Fashionable boots with “dragon" soles of Fashion4Freedom. Photo: House of Saigon

The House of Saigon 

16-18-20 Thu Khoa Huan Street, District 1

It’s not hard to find this souvenir heaven, which is only a couple of minutes from Ben Thanh Market. The retro feel is strong here because the shop is decorated to look like a Saigon house in the 1940s.

There are many things to choose from: handmade clothes, accessories and souvenirs that are made from natural and recyclable materials. Check out the embroideries with unique and surprisingly chic patterns created by Co Tu and Hmong ethnic communities, or delicacies such as spices, homemade jams and cookies transported from many provinces. 

One of its most sought-after products is the "dragon" footwear line from Fashion4Freedom, a group of young designers who want to bring central Vietnamese woodcraft techniques into the world of fashion. 
The three-story shop also serves as a gallery and a coffee shop so you can always take a break to enjoy the exhibitions or a cup of coffee.
 Unique products at Sadec District. Photo: Sadec District

Sadec District

3A Ton Duc Thang Street, District 1

91 Mac Thi Buoi Street, District 1

Quietly located at the HCMC’s new art zone and on one of the most beautiful street in the city, Sadec District stores are filled with quality clothing, furniture and household items made in Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries.

The stores, opened in 2014, have quickly made its name as a place for distinctive ceramics and handicrafts that combine traditional and contemporary spirits.

Prices are a bit higher than at other places. But the owners, a group of HCMC-based journalists and art directors, claim that behind every item is an interesting story. 

After shopping here, don't forget to explore the cool streets that these stores are on.

Notebooks that are created with traditional binding method. Photo: Viet Artisans  

Gingko Concept Store

254 De Tham Street, District 1

This concept store belongs to the now famous Ginkgo T-shirt company. The two-story boutique, located in the center of Saigon backpackers’ enclave, is a must-visit for those who want to buy Vietnam’s authentic souvenirs, and of course cool shirts.

Ginkgo Concept’s outstanding products include handcrafted items from Viet Artisans. Gifts such as phone covers and bags are made from eco-friendly materials like linen or recycled rice bags. 

You will definitely be impressed by the notebooks. Bound by fabric covers, the notebooks are carefully created with a traditional binding method, in which each page is sewn together with completely no glue involved.

Some accessories and clothes with colorful prints inspired by children's paintings are also worth checking out. 

 Refined products reflecting Vietnam's culture. Photo: Authentique Home

Authentique Home

113 Le Thanh Ton Street, District 1

71/1 Mac Thi Buoi Street, District 1

Founded in 1995, Authentique Home has earned its fame in bringing authentic Vietnamese fine craft traditions into refined products.

Reviving Cam Kim carpentry, Cam Ha potteries and Cam Giang textiles, Authentique Home offers customers a wide range of dinnerware, ceramics, fabric home décor and wooden furniture which can lighten up any corner of your home.

Owned by a noted film director together with her younger brother, Authentique Home delicately blends the simplicity, beauty and convenience into daily products. 

The owner said the business not only creates a way out for her family’s carpentry tradition, but also aims to help Vietnamese learn more about the value of locally-made fine craft products. 

It is great you can easily feel that heartfelt pride and joy at the stores. 

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