42 Nguyen Hue Street: An Abandoned Building Turned Shopping Centre in HCMC

42 Nguyen Hue Street: An Abandoned Building Turned Shopping Centre in HCMC

It’s hard to beat a one-stop-shop with affordable quality clothing and picturesque cafes – especially when it’s this Instagram-worthy! Enter 42 Nguyen Hue Street, a rising cultural spot in Ho Chi Minh City.

Earlier this year when Zalora and Topshop entered Ho Chi Minh City, also commonly known as Saigon, they stumbled in direct competition with… an old-apartment-building-turned-shopping-centre.

As an average, middle-class shopper in Saigon, I don’t need to spend tons of cash in world-famous retailers to feel trendy. The alternative is cheaper – and a lot more fun. In 42 Nguyen Hue Street, shoppers can combine a shopping spree with café-hopping, all amidst Instagram-worthy backdrops ‘round every corner.

42 Nguyen Hue Street,

42 Nguyen Hue Street | Image credit: Beautiful Vietnam

Here’s why 42 Nguyen Hue Street, a rising cultural spot, is a must-visit for all locals and travellers alike:

First and foremost, it’s affordable.

I’m repeating myself, but the shops here offer the trendiest clothes at one-third of the price tag in fashion retailers. There’s no compromise in quality either; owners of these shops source for clothes from famous retailers in the US where there are no markups in price. They also curate the latest modes of fashions from manufacturers in Thailand to spice up the variety of affordable clothing. My go-to pair of jeans, which I have been using for a good two years, was bought here for only VND 330,000 (S$20)

Shoppers in Saigon testify to the quality of these products, and positive word-of-mouth on social media keeps these boutiques in business. Whether you’re a fan of authentic goods or looking for hippier items, this is where you can get everything at a reasonable price.

It’s also about the atmosphere.

42 Nguyen Hue Street,

A look inside a clothing shop. You can’t find something like this in malls or departments stores. | Image credit: Kenh14.vn

Shoppers flock to the building not only for the cheap clothes but also for the highly aesthetic shopping environment. Shop owners here use Instagram as their main marketing platform, so they make sure their shop is picture-perfect. Each store in 42 Nguyen Hue Street has a strong concept, tasteful designs and knowledgeable salespeople who know what’s best for you.

It’s a paradise for cafés-hoppers.

The apartment building is a one-stop-shop for café-hopping addicts. Opened by popular artists and designers in Saigon, the cafes are great destinations for art lovers too. From minimalism to impressionism, you can easily find your aesthetics here, and experience it with others. Many cafes in the building also offer a scenic view of the city, which is impossible in stand-alone cafes that are located on ground level.

Thinker&Dreamer is a minimalistic space founded by Thien Minh, a renowned actor and photographer. | Image credit: Bep Gia Dinh

Boo Café offers a cheerful atmosphere and low-calorie drink items for health-conscious visitors. | Image credit: YAN News

If you’re hungry, you can find poke bowls, sushi and Vietnamese foods at these cafes or in restaurants within the same building.

42 Nguyen Hue Street,

The building has restaurants and eateries too, such as this sushi bar. | Image credit: Vietnammoi

Last but not least, there are other kinds of services too.

Kawaii’s nail bar at 42 Nguyen Hue | Image credit: Kawaii Saigon

I’m talking about manicure shops and DIY workspaces. Besides clothes, coffee and accessories, beauty bars are on the rise at 42 Nguyen Hue. Tired of shopping and beauty care? You’re also welcome to try making your own phone cases or decorative garments at DIY shops in the building.

So, are you ready for a tour around the most famous apartment building in Saigon? Be sure to set aside a whole day, because the wide array of shops waiting for you will keep you occupied. Just bring a full wallet and your trusty camera!

About Author

Amy Nguyen
Amy Nguyen

When she comes to a new place, Amy loves to do what locals do. From experiencing ordinary foodstuffs to roaming crowded wet markets, Amy explores and immerses with the local mundane daily life. Looking for an escape from touristy sites? You're coming to the right place. When not travelling, Amy watches and reviews movies as a hobby.


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