With intriguing architecture and hipster haunts on every corner, Ho Chi Minh City’s Thao Dien neighbourhood is one of the region’s most interesting hangouts. Defined by a sinuous curl of the Saigon River and the Hanoi Highway, it’s full of cute boutiques and cafes serving up styles from local designers along with a fresh coconut. Despite HCMC’s growth, the local community still follows a slow, laid-back pace of life. Gentrified – and therefore utterly Instagramable – but still retaining an aura of the exotic, it’s a charming blend of old meets new. Style on the street is equally leisurely – this is not the place for parading designer wares – with a strong focus on ethical clothing that has comfort and conversation at its core.
A chic furniture shop showcasing locally made homewares which combine a handmade ethos with a sophisticated finish, winning stockists worldwide. But prices at the Snap Cafe shop are far more appealing. 32 Tran Ngoc Dien, D2, Ho Chi Minh City
This super-smart, leafy, indoor-outdoor warehouse store has a chilled cafe and homegrown labels such as Fashion4 Freedom and jewellery brand La Fiancée du Facteur.
24 Thao Dien, D2, Ho Chi Minh City
Tactile ceramics in a sugar pastel palette is the Amaï signature, so keep a lookout for hand-shaped ceramic coffee pots that reference the country’s ubiquitous stainless-steel phin filters, and artfully elegant teacups.
63 Xuan Thuy, D2, Ho Chi Minh City,
This Dutch/Vietnamese, ethical, community-based brand crafts handmade home fragrances and 100-hour candles in fresh and zingy scents of the East.
The Snap Cafe, 32 Tran Ngoc Dien, D2
This interior design company’s store has everything from limited-edition Nike shoes to batik-print bed linen – designed in-house or imported from Europe.
215 A1 Nguyen Van Huong, D2