make crossing the street incredibly difficult. Visitors have to have the confidence to find a gap in the traffic, make eye contact with any oncoming drivers, and cross slowly, always walking forwards, do not hesitate and do not step backwards.
To travel outside of the city, there are trains going out every day and there are rental cars available. Taking a mini-bus is another option. These are small, air-conditioned and clean.
Expats might want to bring along their favorite designer-label clothing, cosmetics and sporting goods–as the genuine articles are hard to come by in Vietnam. There is more choice when shopping in Ho Chi Minh City than there is in other cities. For large-sized clothing or shoes, it is recommended that expats bring enough clothes to last through their stay. Finding apparel that fits can be very challenging, though custom tailoring is an option.
The stores of serviced apartments sell foreign items. Local markets are used for fresh dairy and produce where bargaining is the norm. It’s a good idea to learn the numbers in Vietnamese and it’s best to not seem too interested in an item. When bargaining, one should make an offer and leave if it’s not accepted. If the seller changes his mind, he will call the person back. A good rule of thumb when bargaining is to give a counter-offer of half the price originally offered, and then bargain to a middle point. Also, a smile goes a long way!
Counterfeit merchandise–from handbags to mineral water–is everywhere in Ho Chi Minh City. It’s best to buy such items from department stores or other official retailers rather than street vendors. For other household items such as cleaning materials and home furnishings, Ben Thanh Market and