While there’s much junk being peddled to the tourist masses on the city’s teeming streets, there are also plenty of great discoveries just waiting to be unearthed. The hunting grounds include sprawling markets, antique stores, silk boutiques and speciality stores selling ceramics, ethnic fabrics, lacquered bamboo and custom-made clothing. And although the art scene is better up north, HCMC has a growing number of galleries selling everything from lavish oil paintings to photographs and vintage propaganda posters. There are also the quirkier gems like miniature cyclos, and helicopters made from beer and soda cans – one place to browse for these is at the War Remnants Museum gift shop. There are plenty of places where you can shop for chic apparel or opt for a custom-made ao dai, the couture symbol of Vietnam. This quite ﬂattering outﬁt of silk tunic and trousers is tailored at shops in and around Ben Thanh Market and at the top end of Ð Pasteur. There are also male ao dai available, which are a looser ﬁt and come with a silk-covered head wrap to match. One thing worth remembering is that Vietnam manufactures a lot of rucksacks, suitcases and other expensive forms of luggage, all of which are available in HCMC very cheaply. There are shops all over District 1 stocking North Face, Samsonite and more, mostly original and way cheaper than back home. So don’t worry about too much shopping – just buy another bag.