Clothing in Ho Chi Minh city

At the budget end of the scale, T-shirts are available from vendors along Le Loi street in the city centre, or De Tham street in the Pham Ngu Lao area. Expect to pay about US$2 for a printed T-shirt and US$3 to US$5 for an embroidered one.

Ao dai, the silk tunic and trousers, are tailored at shops in and around Ben Thanh Market and around the Rex and Continental Hotels. There are also male ao dai available - these are a looser fit and come with a silk-covered head wrap to match.

Ao Dai Si Hoang (Tel: 822 5271; sihoang@ hcm.vnn.vn; 260 Pasteur, District 3) is a good and reliable place to have ao dai made.

The Dong Khoi neighbourhood is awash with tempting shops selling contemporary clothing. Some will also custom-tailor clothing and shoes, and turnaround usually takes a few days. A survey of the neighbourhood around Pasteur street and Le Thanh Ton street yields "at least a half-dozen boutiques; Dong Khoi street and Ngo Due Ke street or Dong Du street reveal yet more.

Chi Chi (Tel: 824 7812; anhxuanvn@hcm .fpt.vn; 138 Pasteur) Features well-chosen, lovely fabrics and fine designs; custom tailoring offered here.

Khai Silk (Tel: 829 1146; khaisilksg@hcm .fpt.vn; 107 Dong Khoi) One branch of this well-established silk empire; a reliable choice for tailored suits or ao dai.