The colourful and buzzing city centre of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is also known as District 1. This is where you will find great food, bargain-heavy (and trendy) shopping and fun nightlife. Being the main commercial hub of Saigon (as most locals still prefer to call HCMC), life here is upbeat, both day and night.
Ho Chi Minh City Centre Shopping
Shopping downtown in HCMC is an experience not to be missed, not least of all because prices are extremely cheap compared to most western countries. It has lovely boulevards featuring sidewalk cafes located side by side with lifestyle stores making shopping even more attractive.
Though luxury brands (Louis Vuitton anyone?) can be found at Opera View Tower Shopping Mall, Vincom Centre and Milano Shopping Centre nothing can beat the bargain hunting at the City Centre’s hottest attraction, Ben Thanh Market. Before going anywhere near there, make sure your luggage has enough room for new clothes, silk, shoes, sunglasses, handbags and accessories as well as Vietnamese art and lacquer ware.
Ho Chi Minh City Centre Activities
Bowling is a fun game fit for people of all ages. Diamond Superbowl, 4th Floor Diamond Plaza on Le Duan Street is a nice bowling alley to go to. While at Diamond Plaza peek in to see the movie schedules at Lotte Cinema located on its 13th floor. You might come across the latest Hollywood blockbusters screened there.
Other locations in the city centre to catch some interesting films are at the Galaxy Cinema at 116 Nguyen Du or at 230 Nguyen Trai and Bobby Brewers Movie Lounge at 86 Pham Ngoc Thach and 45 Bui Vien. If time allows, enroll yourself in a Vietnamese cooking class in and around District 1 and discover Vietnamese culinary secrets.