Saigon Square 1 Shopping Mall (also called Saigon Square Hoang Thanh) has been opened for about 20 years and a popular place for travelers and locals to buy good clothes, accessories, souvenirs at good prices. Coming to Saigon Square 1, customers are lost in the world of items, most of which are cheap. One of the highlights of this shopping mall is that it is air-conditioned so that customers feel comfortable to shop here. Although there are more and more large shopping centers in the city, Saigon Square 1 is always in the list of the best shopping malls in Ho Chi Minh City thanks to the good location, cheap costs, high-quality products and helpful vendors.
Location: 81 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It is located in the city center, next to the iconic Ben Thanh Market, Saigon Centre Shopping Mall and Ben Thanh Bus Station.
Opening hours: 09:00 – 21:00
Owner: Phan Thanh Company Limited
Opening year: 2000
Saigon Square 1 – a bazaar
Saigon Square 1 is a mix of traditional market and shopping mall, which is called bazaar. Bazaar is a permanently enclosed marketplace, merchandising area or street of kiosks where goods and services are exchanged or sold. Bazaar is popular in Asian countries including Hong Kong, India. Opened in 2000, Saigon Square 1 is perhaps the first bazaar in Vietnam. In addition, Saigon Square 1 is not outdoor but an indoor market – shopping center. This is also a highlight of this shopping place.
Saigon Square 1 is owned by Phan Thanh Company Limited which also owns other Saigon Square shopping malls in the city. However, Saigon Square 2 and Saigon Square 3 have been closed for some reasons. Saigon Square 1 still attracts thousands of customers every day thanks to its central location, high-quality goods, reasonable prices, good services and modern amenities.
Building, amenities and services
Although the shopping mall is housed in a 2-story building which is not as large as other shopping malls in Ho Chi Minh City. However, the kiosks are arranged properly and the paths between the kiosks are not too narrow. In front of the building, there is a canopy from steel and glass to protect customers from the rain or strong sun.
ATMs, where customers can withdraw VND cash, are available on both two entrances on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia and Le Loi Streets. A money exchange spot is located right after the entrance on Le Loi Street. The parking is in front of the building, the cost of motorbike parking is 5,000 VND. Security guards stand in front of entrances and inside the shopping mall, they make sure customers are safe. However, customers should be careful to avoid getting pickpocketed.
One of the highlights of Saigon Square is the air conditioning system which makes customers feel cool and comfortable. A modern lighting system is installed to ensure the the mall is always well lighted and the products look great under the lights.
Similar to touristic shopping places such as Ben Thanh Market, the plus of this mall is that all sellers can speak English. In fact, they can not speak English as well as tour guides. But they know the most popular phrases for selling, introducing the products, dealing with customers. Some of them can speak not only English but also Chinese, Korean, Japanese, etc.
What to buy at Saigon Square 1 Shopping Mall?
More than 90% of kiosks in Saigon Square 1 sell clothes and accessories. Womenswear, menswear, underwears, swimsuits are abundant at the mall. T-shirts with different colors, fonts and images, dresses, trousers, blouses, dresses are everywhere. The mall is full of accessories including footwear (shoes, slippers, high heels, sneakers, etc.), hats, caps, handbags, backpacks, clutches, suitcases.
How about the quality? You may see logos of Adidas, Nike on sportswear (shoes, T-shirt, tank tops, sport pants) or logo of Samsonite on suitcase, logos of Levis, Channel on handbags at the mall. The prices of these “items with famous brand names” are very cheap, from 50,000 VND (~ $2 USD). Certainly, they are not original. If customers would like to buy original products, they can go to Saigon Centre – Takashimaya Shopping Mall across Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street from Saigon Square 1. Lots of customers buy the products and come back to Saigon Square for shopping later thanks to the cheap prices and good quality. In fact, the quality of fashion products at the mall is good. Many of them are made in Vietnam and exported to other countries. The others are made in China, Thailand and Korea.
Electronics and accessories
More than 10 kiosks sell electronics and accessories at the shopping malls. You may not find expensive smartphones, cameras and laptops but cheap items including headphones, portable speakers, especially phone back cases with different patterns and colors here.
There are not many dried foods, coffee and tea at Saigon Square 1. Customers can go to Ben Thanh Market which is some hundreds of meters from the mall to buy these products. At the market, there are more choices and prices are better. If you don’t want to bargain, go to Saigon Centre to buy specialty foods from Dalat including dried fruits, tea, coffee, nuts at L’angfarm store – a Dalat’s specialty store chain in Vietnam. If you don’t have enough time, just buy some at Saigon Square. Although there are not many choices, the prices are not too high and the quality is not bad.
Tips for shopping at Saigon Square 1
Should I bargain?
The answer is certainly yes. Although the prices are seem to be fixed, it has not been fixed yet. The price can be lower if you are a good dealer.
How to evaluate prices of products?
Do not buy right away but walk around first. You learn about all choices, prices and how much other customer pay for the items you are expecting to buy.
How much can you negotiate off an item?
Products at Saigon Square 1 are usually marked up from 110 to 200 percents of the original prices. The most important thing is that you evaluate the products by their value and how much it should cost. For example, shorts cost about 80,000 VND, this is a reasonable price. In this case, you can offer 10% below the asking price. The more items you buy, the more easily you deal with the sellers.
How to get the best deal at Saigon Square 1?
- Do not let the sellers know you really want the items.
- Offer 50% below the asking price.
- Increase gradually the price from your offering price.
- Walk away if they do not agree with your offer. They can call you back, agree to sell the item to you because the price is reasonable to them. They will not call you back if your offering price is too low. In this case, you have 2 options:
- If you really want the item, you should come back and increase the price.
- If you do not really want the item or you think the price is too high, you should continue walking away.
- You can continue shopping and come back to buy the item after shopping at other kiosks.
Learn more about 17 best shopping malls in Ho Chi Minh City