Today, on our tour of Saigon markets we move from the traditional to the modern and take a look at the city’s first Western-style shopping center: Diamond Plaza. Built by Korean contractors and opened in 1999, Diamond Plaza is a massive, department-store style shopping center. Located in the heart of District 1 right by Notre Dame cathedral, this sleek, modern and air-conditioned store is where you go if you want set-prices, authentic (usually) Western goods, and a respite from the hectic crowds of more traditional markets.
The ground floor, just like your typical Western department store, sells cosmetics, perfumes and sunglasses. It’s also ringed by numerous designer stores mostly selling bags. It’s pricey, of course, but at least you know what you’re getting!
Take the escalators up and you’ll find floors selling home goods, furniture, toys–everything you’d expect to find at a Macy’s. You’ll also find a food court with some popular local chain restaurants serving cheap but delicious meals. Its central location and proximity to the business center of the city makes it a popular destination for lunch and the food court is usually bustling with working professionals at lunch time. So if you’re looking to make that business connection or nab yourself a successful professional for a wife/husband, you might consider heading to Diamond Plaza for lunch!
If that’s not your cup of tea though, head up to the top floor for Pizza Hut and then have some fun playing games at the Arcade and bowling alley. If you hang around until about 9-1o PM, Saigon’s fledgling emo scene will show up. Grab a smoothie from the juice bar and just sit back and people watch the fascinating sights of Vietnamese youth decked out in goth gear.
Whether you want to go shopping or just looking for a place to sit back and relax, Diamond Plaza is a great spot to check out so put it on your to-see list next time you’re in Saigon!