It’s time, you’re moving abroad. What a bummer to be leaving sweet-oh-sweet Saigon, we feel for ya. To make the departure a little less harsh, focus on filling that container and/or suitcases with some real Vietnamese treasures. It will be a great memory of Saigon ánd it will spice up your new interior. And hey, for you readers out there who are just visiting Saigon, these tips are a must-read for you too. Here’s an overview of the best (interior) buys in Ho Chi Minh!
Suitcase proof souvenirs
We just can’t get enough of these beautiful ceramics. Stack up on some beautiful tableware while you can and your dinner table will be one for the magazines at your new shack. The ceramics from Amaï brighten up any table and your guests will envy your for this original and stylish design. And by the way, they do travelproof wrapping.
Vietnamese tableware from Dông Gia
This little shop called Dông Gia Enterprise on 114 Xuan Thuy Street in D2, is packed with firm, yet trendy tableware in mostly solid, earthy colors. The plates, cups and much more come in different sizes so this could be just what you are looking for. Highly popular among expats and visitors, this place is definitely worth a visit. Go without kids though; the shop is so tiny that chances are you’ll be paying for tableware that needs to be glued together…
Quán Bui Rice Bowls
Quán Bui is a Vietnamese restaurant where you can eat delish food all over the city and while you’re there, take a look at the cute ceramics that are for sale. The little bowls for rice and the bigger bowls for soup are lovely, but there’s one item that’s an abolute must-buy. It’s the big rice bowl with a lid. This baby will look nice on any dinner table and it will always remind you of your happy Ho Chi Minh days.
We’ve tried quite a few tailors and to tell you the truth, the quality differs a lot. A few good quality tailors are Tropic and Saigon Silk in District 2 and Thu Ha on 125 Nguyen van Giai in District 1. Not only can they do a decent job of copying clothing (which is what they do best), but they can also make beanbags and pillow/cushion covers. They’re quick, decently priced and they know how to sew.
Vamping up your sofa with a new look is so so easy! Buy pillow covers with colorful prints of maps of Saigon or Vietnam and you’re all set. You can buy them for example at the left of the Wish shop on Thao Dien street in District 2. And pick up some lovely Murkani jewellery when you’re there.
Prints of ancient maps
Worried about empty walls at your new place? You could buy a Vietnamese painting from one of the fine art galleries in Ho Chi Minh, but if you’re looking for something more affordable, yet decorative, why not buy an old map of Saigon or Vietnam? They come printed on canvas, wood or paper and they will look great on your wall. You can buy them at the Vesta bookstore on Thao Dien street in District 2.
Vietnam is home to many interior factories and the expertise is here. But most of these beauties are meant for export, what a shame. The upside is that you can have almost anything made or copied here. Bingo! The only thing is, where to go for good quality ánd a good price? Try Tracy Decor– an interior decorating company that can make anything, from sofas to curtains to chairs to practically anything. Founder Tracy knows what she’s talking about and her English is perfect, which makes it so much easier.
Footstools from Linh’s Furniture
Not one for in your hand luggage, but if you have a bit of room left in your container, make sure to add a ceramic footstool from Linh’s furniture. You won’t have to worry about knocking it over, because it is heavvy! And oh so pretty. Come to think of it, eye candy is the word for it.
One thing that is great about Vietnam, is that there are so many nice handicraft accessories to find. The Vietnamese baskets made of water hyacinth are certainly charming local additions to your new home. And the best thing is that you can buy them for a fraction of the prize that they go for when bought outside of Vietnam. Tucked away in a little street off Quoc Huong, we found this Grapefind: Hana, a home filled with baskets and bags. Ideal to put on your terrace for storage of swimmers or in the kids’ room to keep all the stuffed animals contained.
Yes, buy planting pots here. Why? Because they are waaay cheaper than back home and because they are such a nice addition to your garden. Mark our words, you are going to be happy. Go where? Pottery Street! Highway 13 to the Binh Duong area.
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Goodbye gluten! There are so so many great restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City, but which restos and stores stock gluten-free? If you’re feeling like you’re looking for the needle in a haystack, there’s no need. We did some research and found out there are plenty of options to go gluten-free in Saigon. Here you go, your all gluten-free list!
Shops in Saigon with gluten-free products
Gluten-free bakeries in Ho Chi Minh
Gluten free Gourmet (the former Saigon Gluten Free kitchen), has gluten-free breads and pastries. They sell pizza dough and fresh pasta as well. Their GF and dairy free bagels are so good that the gluten eaters in your family will never know. You can order via facebook.
The traditional bakery Haubis from Austria has been baking bread foreva! So they know how to bake a fine sourdough bread, but what about 100% gluten-free bread? Yep, they know how to do that as well. The kaiser rolls and ciabatta sans glutes are yummy! And they deliver too.
The home bakeshop Flour(ish) delivers freshly baked gluten-free and vegan breads to anyone within hcmc. Orders can be made by sending them a message. We’ll tell you a secret: even though they only have breads on the menu, they’re welcoming special orders for birthday cakes. Yay!
St Honoré has amazing bread and beautifully made pastry. As any good bakery would do, St Honoré offers a selection of gluten-free bread. They don’t have it in their daily selection, so be sure to ask for it and order some in advance.
Supermarkets and convenience stores in Saigon with gluten-free products
The oldest convenience stores in Ho Chi Minh with imported products are Phuong Ha & Thai Hoa. Located near the Bitexco tower in district 1, these two shops next to each other are well-stocked with imported goodies. Gluten-free products can be found here, but give yourself some time to look for them as these stores are packed with a capital P.
Annam Gourmet and Nam An Market – stores with imported food, offer a fair amount of gluten-free products. Crackers, potato chips, cookies, cereal, flour, pasta and so on. Both have multiple locations throughout the city.
An Phu Supermarket– Thao Dien’s convenience store, has a small, but decent selection of basic gluten-free products. We go there for products from the well-known Australian brand Orgran. Buckwheat crackers, kids rice & corn pasta, vanilla cake mix and more of these gluten-free goodies can be found here.
Best restos in Saigon with gluten-free options
Most restaurants in HCMC are not gluten free. But hurray! We see more and more restaurants with gluten-free options popping up.
L’Herbanyste is a lovely place to have lunch with a group or just the two of you. The interior is light an bright and so is the menu. Loads of healthy options and enough choice of gluten-free dishes. You can even combine it with a plant based treatment at the spa upstairs. (215E4 Nguyen Van Huong, Q2)
Gluten-free Saigon: kids-friendly restaurants
For a nice lunch with the family, try Dau Vegan Bistro. Although not 100% gluten free, they have some great options. And it sure is 100% guilt free. Located in Estella Mall in district 2.
Restos with a Vietnamese menu such as An Cafe in D2 can be a bless for everyone with a gluten allergy. You can knock yourself out on Pho and Vietnamese springrolls, just make sure that pure rice paper has been used. And while you’re at it, check if the soy sauce is gluten-free as well.
Always loved Italian pasta, but can’t eat it (any more)? You can now, because Italian restaurant Pendolasco has gluten-free pasta dishes and pizzas on their menu. Al Fresco’s does great gluten-free pizza as well. Located on various locations in Saigon.
Gluten-free cake + coffee places
Good coffee, air-conditioning and a gluten-free sandwich please! Where? At The Loop. You can get some work done here or go for a juice and gluten-free sandwich with your kids.
Having a gluten-free celebration? No need to go cakeless! For gluten-free cupcakes and birthday cakes, having there or to order; stop by Sweet + Sour.
Or message Rawberry, our new favorite cake place! All cakes taste and look) so good that you can almost convince yourself that they’re good for you! Well they are of course!
Fancy dessert? Check out La crêperie. They have delicious buckwheat crepes that are gluten-free. For ice cream, hop over to Baskin and Robbins. B&R are crystal clear on the ingredients in their ice cream, so you can check out which flavors contain wheat.
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Whether it’s a farewell, a birthday, a teacher appreciations day or another celebration that needs an awesome gift – some inspiration can always come in handy! We know all the hotspots in Saigon, including some great places to get you that memorable present. Here you go.
Giving something personal is always nice. A personalized water bottle is even better – let’s face it, can’t have enough water bottles in this town! And one with your name or life motto on it is even better. We love these personalized water bottles by Hamper Vietnam. Looking sleek, re-usable, made of natural materials and uber practical, this is the perfect gift!
A Cook Book with a cause
We just love this beautiful cook book by Family Favourites. Our tribe starts cheering when we cook from this little book. It’s packed with uncomplicated, every day dishes to cook for family and friends. And all for a good cause, because proceeds go directly to the writers, 4 fantastic Filipino domestic helpers in Singapore. Double gifting we say! Don’t forget to order a bit in advance as it will be sent to your doorstep.
Bouquet of Compliments
This one comes from our teacher gift list (and is one of the teachers favorite presents to receive we heard), but it is great to give to anybody. Because who doesn’t like a compliment? For the birthday of your BFF, the farewell of your sports coach or for your mom on Mother’s day. Hand out some plain cards and ask everyone to write, draw or craft a heartfelt compliment on it. Buy a nice bunch of flowers, like the ones at Ted&Anna and tie every compliment to a separate flower. He or she will be over the moon with this beautiful bouquet of compliments!
Gift boxing to the max
This personalized gift box is too cute for words! Assemble your favorite images and head to lovinbox to make your own gift box, personalized with all your pics. You can even add a little present or note inside.
A mighty cool map
Here’s another fun idea for a gift. A map of Saigon and no, not just your everyday map, one of My Mapz. The design is super savvy and stylish and the quality is tip-top. This map gives something extra to any interior. And it’s a great memory for when you move somewhere else.
Trend-setting concept store and cafe l’Usine offers besides a yummy lunch & coffee and hip clothing brands, also cool lifestyle accessories. If you can’t choose, no worries, they also do gift vouchers. Bingo!
If you’re pampering a person who could do with some relaxation, head to Saigon’s best spa’s! You can never fail with a gift voucher from the stunning spa Apothiquaire or one of the other great massage salons in Saigon.
House of Barbaard
But pampering isn’t something only women enjoy… House of Barbaard has refined the art of creating a man’s haven in the form of a barbershop where men can relax and unwind. Get a gift voucher or just go and make an appointment in advance. All your pal needs to do is show up.
A movie voucher or tickets for The World of Heineken will also make a great gift. The WOH has one of the most spectacular views of the city and is a museum, an experience, a bar, and some more. There are only two WOH’s in the world, so it’s a truly unique experience. Did we mention the bar?
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We all know that Christmas is about giving. But sometimes that‘s easier said than done. So whether you stay here and celebrate Christmas in Ho Chi Minh City or celebrate it with friends and family overseas, it’s always nice to get some inspiration in the present department. Luckily, we know our way around.
Beautiful Christmas gifts from Saigon
What about giving something exceptionally nice, something you can only buy here in Vietnam? In this digital world where every purchase seems a click away, these kind of presents are getting rare. But we spotted a few nice ones. From Saigon with love.
Saigon based brand Pretty Simple believes in living life the pretty simple way. Which in their case, means beautiful bags in pretty designs while keeping the earth clean as well. Basically it’s guilt-free shopping, people! We have our eye on our this pretty (and not so simple) laptop cover. And guess what, they have a shop in D2 now as well!
Vietnamese jewelry brand Bloom will make sure that your Christmas shopping will be a total hit this year. Their store in Saigon Centre offers plenty of choice in the lovely shiny department. Earrings, necklaces and bracelets, all equally nice. Tick, tick, and tick, those presents are done!
Thao Dien’s favorite book & lifestyle store Vesta has something in store for everyone. Their range of products go form pretty prints and notebooks to great Christmas decor and Saigon products you didn’t know you wanted, but you do! And guess what, they wrap it for you with bow and all.
And if your loved one needs a nice box to put this jewelry into, or an awesome mirror to check them out? Take a look at the products of Lipstick Box that will make every girl of every age very very happy!
Sharing is Caring
Yep, we found it! The perfect present for grandparents around the globe; a digital photo frame where you can send all your favorite pics to. Did your little one just celebrate Christmas at school or bike around for the first time? Send the image via the app to this fantastic photo frame and your family will feel like they’re there with you! You can even add some text if you want. Visit Kiki&Co for more details on purchase and global delivery.
Saigon’s very own Workshop Candles has taken some special Christmas scents such as pine, amber and cinnamon and put them in some beautiful candles. Perfect Christmas presents, to get everyone in the festive mood!
Christmas shopping at MUJI Saigon
And of course Ho Chi Minh City now has the store that is the answer to all those complex Christmas wish lists; the MUJI is here! Finally, our favorite Japanese store landed in District 1 and has everything you need for that comfy, no nonsense household of ours (at least that’s what we aim for). Bedlinnen & cushions, closet solutions, stationary, clocks and clothes; if we ever have to go in lockdown again, we just make sure we stock up at Muji first.
Find the perfect gift at Estella Place
If everything fails, hop over to Estella Place in D2. This mall is in holiday spirits this month, with decorations everywhere. Besides a yummy lunch & coffee and hip clothing brands, they also have some cool lifestyle accessories. That handy thing for in house or in the garden for dad? Visit Ace Home center at the top floor. That sports outfit or new tennis shoes for the sporty member of your family? Get to the first floor and visit Super Sports, which has everything you need. That electric toothbrush or perfect kitchen item? Visit level 3- bingo! We even found the perfect Xmas sweater at OVS. Christmas list shopping for 2020: check!
Personalized Christmas gifts from Saigon
Giving something personal is always nice. A personalized water bottle is even better – especially now that the plastic water bottle is a no-go. And one with your name or life motto on it is the best. We love these personalized water bottles by Hamper Vietnam. Looking sleek, re-usable, made of natural materials and uber practical, this is the perfect gift! Their Christmas hampers are awesome too!
Snap Café and the Mekong Merchant really took the giving back part by heart. Take a wish from the Christmas tree and make some little girl or boy very happy this Christmas by granting their wish for a princess dress or toy car. All wishes are from disadvantaged children, coordinated by the Christina Noble Foundation.
Gift boxing to the max
This personalized gift box is too cute for words! Assemble your favorite images and head to lovinbox to make your own gift box, personalized with all your pics. You can even add a little present or note inside
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So you’re looking for some furniture or interior accessories for your home? Walking around in Saigon, you would think this is easy. With so many cool hangouts, where a lot of Ho Chi Minh City restaurants and bars have hip and edgy interiors, it should not be too difficult to purchase some nice home decor items yourself. Alas, not as easy as it sounds. Yes, we see cool furniture everywhere we look in Saigon, but finding them is a whole different ballgame. Like with everything in this fantastic chaotic city, it is out there, but you have to find out where.
Luckily for you, the Grapevyne team already did some of your home sweet homework. We found you a bunch of fantastic Saigon furniture shops to fit any style or budget: great online furniture shops, Vietnamese home decor brands, the best interior shops for the basics and some inside tips where to get the best furniture made.
The best online home decor shopping in Vietnam
Let’s start with sharing our latest Grapefind with you here! Hé Studio has great beds, chairs and sofas. They can also replace your lamp shade if needed. The Facebook page and website are in English and Vietnamese and you can message them in English.
PT&T Wood has the coolest chairs and tables. Their leather sofas will be such a funky addition to your living room and they even have nice office furniture. Unfortunately, their website is only available in Vietnamese, but that will give you the chance to finally practice those Vietnamese language lessons!
Another good online address, but with a studio in HCMC, is the lovely Singapore brand 25hands Rug Studio. Everyone knows that the best way to make your house feel like a home is to start with a good rug or carpet. But it’s not easy finding a nice rug in this city! Luckily, 25hands has a studio here and welcomes all Saigon customers. They make custom-made rugs for a great price, so you can choose your own bespoke design, color and size. Or do what we did and shop from their collection.
Other great online Saigon furniture brands
You found a dining table which you love, but then… the chairs! Not an easy assignment to find nice ones, we know. Here’s a place you can try and we have a feeling you will like it as much as we do. The Butterfly chair, Shell chair, they have it all. Browse http://ifurni.vn or visit their store.
Bamboo, bamboo and more bamboo! If you’re into this natural, popular product like we are, check out Bambu Decor. This shop has a lot of gorgeous stuff made from bamboo and rattan. Cabinets, beds, chairs, tables, lamps, baskets and the list goes on and on.
Great places to have furniture made
As you might realize now, there are enough furniture shops in Saigon to find some treasures, but have you considered having something made here? The quality is really good, the pricing definitely decent if you compare it to what you would pay back home and you’ll have your master piece before you know it. We’ve had really good experiences with Tracy Decor and Decor Sat Moc.
Interior shops in District 2
Xuan Thuy Street in District 2 is a great place for furniture shopping in Saigon. It is home to some established interior brands that have been here forever, like Decosy and Linh’s Furniture. But it also houses some other cool initiatives. A shopping corner called Inventory at number 63 houses various shops and is the home base for some lovely little shops as well as the popular Amaï brand store. Here you can find the colorful Amaï home ceramics collection, with cups, bowls and plates in various sizes.
Home decoration: visit Sadec District
A little bit further down, at 83 Xuan Thuy, you’ll find the Saigon Oi shopping block. It hosts Sadec District, which sells home accessories as well as larger furniture pieces. Perfect for redecorating your home or for buying presents. The interior shops directly surrounding Sadec are also worth visiting, so hop over and browse around. Sadec can also be found in District 1, where it is spread out over 3 floors, so it definitely offers enough choice for any style or budget!
Redecorate with Casa Nha
On Hanoi Street, next to Jump Arena in District 2, you’ll find a Saigon furniture shop that will make you happy! Casa Nha offers 3 large floors of home accessories, from mirrors and baskets to wooden chopping boards and pottery. Also check out the awesome Saigon maps, printed on wood, which are the perfect gifts for people with a passion for this city. If you are looking for larger furniture pieces, be sure to visit this lifestyle store as well. We saw some comfy sofas, dining tables and chairs on display. You can also order via the Casa Nha website.
Bo Concept Furniture store
While you’re there, check out the store next door: Denmark’s biggest name in furniture BoConcept. You can also find BoConcept at Crescent Mall and Hai Ba Trung. If you are a fan of modern Nordic interior, this store, full of home furnishing essentials, is exactly what you are looking for: high-quality chairs, tables and couches, all in that signature Danish style.
More great furniture shops in Saigon
Affordability is a bit of a sliding scale here, but frankly, we love their high-end western style furniture. Interior store Casa Mia has several stylish sofas, tables and chairs on display and also offers some nice outdoor basic furniture.
In district 7, we like to go to COTO, a furniture shop filled with lamps. Unfortunately, their bigger store in district 3 closed down. Coto has a website in Vietnamese and English, but unfortunately, you can’t order directly from the site.
Feeling Tropic is a interior store in Le Van Mien in District 2. It specializes in locally sourced outdoor furniture. Lovely to browse around for your sun loungers, lounge chairs, but also baskets and small tables.
Where to shop for basics in Ho Chi Minh
Although we feel there are only so many Billy bookcases a home can handle, we still recommend you make a trip to IKEA before moving to Saigon. To this day the Swedish store has not opened its doors here in Vietnam (yet). But there is a Vietnamese alternative and it’s called Baya. Not as many interior products and also not quite as hip, but there are various useful items for your home. Strangely enough, they sell the exact same plastic kids cups and plates as their Swedish cousin.
Another Scandinavian find; JYSK not only offers budget-friendly chairs, tables and shelves but also household appliances and outdoor furniture. This is also the place to be for your parasols, solar lamps and outdoor dining area. Shop JYSK online (their website is available in English as well). Or visit one of their several stores in Ho Chi Minh City.
The best home accessories in Saigon
With stores in more than 8 districts, Peony Home is a great shop for accessories. Think cushions, candles and other knick-knacks for your house. It has a few larger furniture items as well. This Vietnamese store also sells online (in Vietnamese as well as English), so you can browse their product range directly from your soon to be re-vamped home!
One thing that is great about Vietnam, is that there are so many nice handicraft accessories to find. Aside from local pottery and Sapa fabrics, the Vietnamese baskets made of water hyacinth are certainly charming local additions to your home. And the best thing is that you can buy them for a fraction of the prize that they go for when bought outside of Vietnam. Tucked away in a little street off Quoc Huong, we found this Grapefind: Hana, a home filled with baskets and bags. Ideal to put on your terrace for storage of swimmers or in the kids’ room to keep all the stuffed animals contained.
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Sadec District is a beautiful home decoration shop spanning 3 floors, so definitely enough choice! You will find everything from vases to baskets to textiles to lamps to tableware. This place is a winner for buying presents to bring back home. Sadec District is also located in D2 on Xuan Thuy Street in a small shopping village with shops selling leather accessories & bags, bed linnen, original souvenirs and flowers.
Looking for high quality products to stock your kitchen? We just found the best way to do this: The Food Shop delivers it right at your doorstep. They pride themselves in knowing the suppliers and how they produce. Most products also have international recognized certifications to prove it, so you can feel safe when binging on their imported beef and lamb, locally sourced fish and seafood and ready-to-eat organic soups. And did you know they even have vegan burgers and sausages? Finally!
Check the website to see their whole range of products. All of it is only available online – which means easy shopping at better prices.
Want to try them out? Use discount code GrapevyneFS and you will get 100.000 VND discount on your purchase!
We all know that buying organic fruit and vegetables here in Saigon can be quite a challenge. The people of ByNature felt the same way and took matters in their own hands. ByNature believes in “farm to fork” and delivers meat, seafood, vegetables, fruit and berries. All farmed in the right way and guaranteed safe to consume, how great is that? We can only hope their product range will grow steadily. Check the ‘shop’ category on their website for the beautiful veggie boxes.
Almond milk, vegan carrot- or zucchini cake, nuts, vegan cosmetics or just a healthy breakfast; this lil’store has it all. Legumes takes care of all your healthy cravings in a green and raw way. They sell it in bigger packages as well, so your walnuts and chia will last a while.
6/2 Nguyen U Di, D2
Saigon without motorbikes is like Paris without the Eiffel Tower! With the traffic getting worse each year, the quickest way to go around the city is without doubt by motorbike. You can buy one, but we like renting one since it includes repairs, monthly service and a few other advantages. Khannh Hoang motorbike rental has all types of motorbikes for rent, from a solid Honda to a hip Vespa. Mr Khanh is very reliable and the service is A-okay! Don’t forget to get a motorbike driving licence- the one from back home won’t do and it’s strongly recommended.
Looking for a carpet to cozy up your room? You’re in luck! 25Hands Rug Studio makes beautiful, high quality carpets and rugs. Even better, they specialize in custom made rugs to suit your interior, so you can order exactly the size, pattern and color you want. Or just choose a rug from their website. And what do you know, they have a branche here in Saigon! Just contact them via email or website and let them know what you are looking for; they can make anything and their advice is free. You’re welcome!