Every backpacker knows that Saigon (or Ho Chi Minh City now) is the place to go to get The North Face products. When I headed out to this wonderful city a couple of weeks ago, I made it my mission to go home with at least one backpack (I have learned to travel light and not lug around more than one suitcase whenever possible). I knew in my heart, though, that I would be bringing home more than one item.
One thing that bothered me is the fact that a lot of The North Face bags being hawked in the streets and markets of Saigon are FAKE. While I do not necessarily shy away from copies, I did want to get the overruns – real items that somehow make it to the streets. With that in mind, I decided to do a little research to find out where I can buy real TNF products for an affordable price.
The consensus was this: go to Saigon Square, of which there are two. I did have a hard time finding this shopping center despite its popularity. I guess I was lucky that an expat decided to have pity on two women standing on a corner trying to figure out Google Maps. Oh yeah, he was hot, too!
So we got to Saigon Square and guess what? They had all sorts of things for sale! The bag stores were all over the place, and you can buy both copies and originals. The originals sold for 100,000 VND more than the copies (that’s about 5USD).
Ironically, I ended up not buying a single North Face product. I did go home with several Jack Wolfskin bags, though; and I am loving them to death!!!