If like us, you love to collect curios and little bits and bobs from the countries and cities you’ve travelled to, this guide to antiques in Ho Chi Minh is for you! With its rich and tumultuous history, Ho Chi Minh is a prime spot for unearthing all sorts of unique antique treasures and artifacts, from colonial remnants to fine examples of traditional Vietnamese craft. To help you along, we’ve outlined the essential stops you need to make in your hunt through Ho Chi Minh for antiques, and your next treasures curios. Good luck!
Authentic Vietnam-made trinkets & furniture
Don’t be put off by Nguyen Freres’ dusty storefront façade. It will surprise you with an amazing collection of authentic Vietnamese treasures. A little eerie yet deeply enchanting, Nguyen Freres stores aged bronze figurines, ceramics, lacquered statues, embroidered textiles and blankets, tribal crafts, vintage silver jewellery and interesting artifacts uncovered from the Mekong riverbed. Elsewhere in the shop, Buddhist sculptures, Northern Vietnamese art and traditional garments woven by ethnic minority tribes reflect Vietnam’s rich and diverse cultural history.
Antiques & vintage furniture
Somewhat stranded along the Ha Noi Highway (Xa Lo Ha Noi) sits this large warehouse of antique furniture. Its only marker – a red painted garage door with the words “Antique Furniture’s”. Drop in and you’ll find a jaw-dropping array of beautifully restored antiques and vintage furniture. Wedged amidst larger furniture items such as lacquered chinese cabinets and etched wooden consoles is a motley display of curios and objects d’art. Chinoiserie chests and jewellery boxes, wrought-iron lamps and Buddhist sculptures should give you an inkling of the treasures to be unearthed at this undiscovered gem.
Trinkets, souvenirs, knick-knacks, novelty items
Nestled in the heart of town is Le Cong Kieu Street, fondly known as Antique Street and Ho Chi Minh’s answer to all kinds of curios. Rows of tiny shops are crammed with colonial memorabilia, Buddha statues, vintage coins and knick-knacks of all sorts. Contrary to its name, not all stores on Antique Street offer authentic and genuine antiques. Most sellers are open about their fakes so be sure enquire if you’re looking for anything authentic. Questions of authenticity aside, there are hordes of trinkets like porcelain, woodcarvings, jade items, metal sculptures, figurines made of bone and ivory and ceramic elephants to burrow through. Give Antique Street a go if you’re an avid collector looking for unusual trinkets, novelty pieces and decent souvenirs or would just like to gain a sliver of Ho Chi Minh’s history.