Nha Tho / Nha Chung / Ly Quoc Su
If shopping is your sport, welcome to the Olympics. Pop hubby in one of the many bars, purses out and run like a soul obsessed into 5 Nha Tho for Things of Substance / 3828 6965 / prieure.com.vn / offering smart men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, bags, and some quality silver jewellery. May at #7 / 3828 9650 / has bed linens, jim-jams, plus cotton and velvet shirts, adjacent is the sweetie Church Hotel (see Accommodation), and on the other side of the the hotel is Marie Linh / 3928 8773 / (see Shop./Hang Trong). Three Trees at #15 retails sparkly gems from the folks at Discovery Diamonds (see Advanced Shopping), and nifty tailor Co. / 3828 9925 / is across the road at #18, great for cottons and linens. Drop into Nagu at #20 / 392 8020 / zantoc.com / for funky Japanesey clothing, ceramics, homeware and décor, then pop back over the road for the flagship SÔNG at #27 / 928 8733 / asiasongdesign.com / with styley men’s, women’s and kids’ resort wear for sultry sojourns, plus luscious lifestyle goods. All puffed out, petal? Why not grab a caffeine fix and cool your lalls at #16 Moca / (see Shop./Hang Trong). At the end of Nha Tho is St. Joseph’s Cathedral, which frankly needs a brisk rub-down with an abrasive cloth. If you want to nip in, go through the gates on the left and enter at the back door. The interior is pistachio with a snazzy teal and tomato vaulted roof. If the door is closed, ring the bell – if no one comes it might be because they’re on the loo, so try again later. Hang around at 5.30pm if you want to hear the bells toll. At the end of Nha Tho turn left into Nha Chung to get back on the shopping trail, but first if you’re pecky, pitstop at #14 Chile House (see Rest./Relaxed) for a quick plate of empanadas. Refreshed? Then zip across to #15 La Casa / 3828 9616 / lacasavietnam.com.vn / where you’ll find oriental-inspired décor, furny and homeware, plus a bespoke service, then a few doors down is the Aussiedesigned Contraband at #23 / 3928 9891 / the sassy younger sister to Things of Substance (see above). Skip across the road to teeny weeny Marena at #28 / 3828 5542 / who stock delightful, colourful home bits n’ bobs, before turning on your kitten heels to head back towards the cathedral. You’ll hit CoCoon at #20 / 3928 6922 / with its dreamboat selection of silk wraps and accessories, prêt-à-porter and made to order. If you’re after communist posters, continue walking back up the road, and take a gander at the propaganda art stores along the way. Once past the cathedral, Nha Chung becomes Ly Quoc Su, and you can do a small reccy left up Au Trieu. Rent is cheaper here, and there are always young designers setting up shop, selling clothes, jewellery, souvenirs and other bibble bobble. Back on Ly Quoc Su, wander up until you find Mosaique (see Adv. Shop./Woodwork) at #6 with lighting, homeware, plus made-to-order silk throws, cushions and quilts. Next door, paw past the leopard print horrors for some real standout frocks at local designer Kelly Bui’s shop at #2d / 3928 9663 / kellybui.vn. Now, retrace your steps down Ly Quoc Su and take a breather at Joma #22 (see Coffee), or head straight down to #25 La Restaurant (see Rest./Casual) for a rewarding ice-cold libation. Gold medal shopper!