Women and shopping, a habit hard to break huh? In many women's lives, shopping is a hobby and a must for some. When we're up, we shop. When we're down, we shop even more. It's like through shopping, somehow we found a new focus and our moods get uplifted. What we can't solve in real life, we solve it through retail therapy (RT).
Ho Chi Minh City was our second RT destination this year. That trip to Jakarta in April was the first. My greatest appreciation to AA for its bargain tickets, and now everyone can fly!!! (and that saving on airfare can be utilized for shopping…ha..ha) As for now, I am restricting myself from going to Air Asia website gawking for other bargain tickets. Udah..udah lah tu kan…kot lah asyik nak berRT all the time??
Pretty embroidered purses from Ben Thanh market. Almost made the sales girl cry coz she didn't quite take to my bargaining skills. In the end, we met half way on the price.
As corny as it sounds, HCMC is a paradise for shoppers. Beautiful handicrafts and deliciously tacky tourist junk are in endless supply. Popular market place like Ben Thanh in District 1, Binh Tay near Cholon in District 5 and Anh Dong in District 3 are favourite haunts for bargain hunters. If market place is not quite your fancy, streets shops that specialized in fine quality fabric, paintings and delicate embroidery are just waiting to be visited. Along Le Thanh Ton street where we stayed, these shops are just a few hundred steps away.
Bling-bling stilettos...kena marah for snapping this pic. They takut I'd sell design to other designers kot..hah..hah :)
We took the streets like ducks to water, venturing nooks and corners of the city, pushing doors of shops that captured our eyes. One could just go crazy!!! From a fellow shopper whom we met at the market place earlier, we discovered a shop that caters to mostly Malaysians, Singaporeans and customers from Brunei. It was at this shop that we saw the ever so familiar busana, the baju kurung on the window display mannequin. My oh my…even the patung had a tudung donned on its head!!! We later learnt that tudung Ikin and tudung Ariani were tailored in this shop. Even telekung bunga timbul pun ada…. So can you imagine how frenzied we became??
Hong Anh, a boutique owned by one industrious Vietnamese lady has apparently been receiving top visitors from our country. Pictures of her with Permaisuri Agong, Tengku Fauziah were proudly displayed at both her boutiques. There was also another one that showed her accompanying Tun Siti Hasmah when Tun was there. Three of the four floors at the boutique displayed racks of baju kurung. These are the kurungs that one would find on sale at Ramadan bazaars hare - fully lined chiffon kurung, heavy with bead works of various colours and designs. And she even had matching tudungs to go with the baju kurungs!! Look no further, her boutique was like a one stop centre for the family’s raya busana. Baju melayu pun ada. Nak colour sedondon for the entire family?? No worries…the sales assistants were more than happy to get them for you. Even as we spoke, her staff were busy packing baju kurung to be sent to KL. She said the earlier shipment, weighing about 1 tonne had landed safely in KL!! A few times, I had to like knock on my head to see if I wasn’t dreaming. I was in HCMC and not in KL, was I not??
We went to Hong Anh twice. Banyak juga lah damage here. Both Muni and I got baju kurung for our girls, real nice ones and for good price too I must say. The two Mamas instantly fell in love with the bajus. Why?? Not only were they pretty, they came with colourful beading as well!!! Yeah..tahun ni nampak nya tak perlu nak juling-juling mata menjahit manik.
It would take me days to talk about our shopping galore in HCMC. There were so many things that stole our interest. From fabric, to cotton and linen shirts, to beaded nyonya like clogs, to smocking dresses to laquerware, to trendy Kipling bags, to embroidered bed and table linens, to hand beaded dinner hand bags….fuuuhhhh the list is endless. In fact it was like our trade mark to come back to the hotel with bags from our purchase. Our acts were so noticeable that one day the bell boy tegur us with this cheeky line, “Are you tired Madam?” I mentioned to Muni that what he actually wanted to say was “Aren't you tired of shopping Madam?” We chuckled as this wasn’t the first time we received such remarks….heh..heh.
Nissa's cotton frocks with really attractive smocking (my last attempt at dressing up my lil one, think by next year she'd say NO to these gurly stuffs)
Our "adik angkat" who sold us beaded bags at a bargain. She's now learning BM. She said Malaysian customers come to her store by the bus load. However, she a little disappointed coz Ramadan is upcoming. No Malaysians coming, business won't be as good.
My all time favourite...the laquerware. Actually I wanted to give one to a "someone". Akan tetapi takut what will the wife say about my pemberian. Furthermore, Abe said these things should come in pairs. So gantung kat rumah sendiri je lah....
HCMC for now, tops our destination list for RT. And when would that list be shuffled, am not too sure. Guess we will see what happens at our next RT trip…whenever, wherever, that destination will be.