September 8, 2011

Thuong Xa Tax (Saigon Tax Trade Center), Ho Chi Minh City…looking for eye-popping lacquerware at good bargains? This is the place

There’s one golden rule to shopping in Vietnam: bargain, and bargain hard. If you’re looking for bargains on just about anything, this is the place. The vendors are easygoing, and easy to bargain with. They are hungry to close a deal.  

The Tax center, formerly known as the Russian market, offers it all. The ground floor mostly specializes is locally made gold and silver jewelry and a reasonably sized supermarket selling a good array of local and imported food stuff on the 2nd floor. Of special note is the 4th floor where you will find all the amazingly beautiful lacquerware – the traditional industry in Vietnam. The entire floor showacases an eye-popping selection of diverse designs and colours of lacquer boxes, vases, coasters, plates, trays, curved plates, etc

The most important rule of bargaining is to be cool. Raising your voice, looking angry, and making accusations will only characterize you as a rich, clueless, ungracious foreigner who deserves to be ripped off. In the Vietnamese mind, such people are being obnoxiously haughty and superior. It is well worth the loss of a sale to tell such a person to screw off. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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