English books shopping in Hochiminh, Vietnam

I remember in 2009, when I bought my first English book, it was a tough search. Not many bookstores in Vietnam offer English books. We English book-lovers here really struggle to buy them. I will list down the places and ways I choose to buy books. These places are in Hochiminh city, Vietnam. I have not yet shopped for English books in Hanoi, our capital. Therefore, if you can recommend good places to shop for English books there, please comment below and I will update this post later. I hope my post will help you – English book lovers – struggle less from now on to continue your love for reading.

This book hobby thing can be costly. First I thought it was only expensive in Vietnam. But then I joined the Bookstagram community on Instagram, and also shopped for English books in Thailand; I realise English books are expensive anywhere. So I will consider this aspect when recommend the following ways to shop for English books if you live in Vietnam, specifically Hochiminh city.


Places you can buy English books right away!

Book Street Nguyen Van Binh

Locations: District 1, Hochiminh city.

Book street Nguyen Van Binh
Why you should shop for English books here?

On this street, you can find many famous bookstores like Phuong Nam (PNC), Thaiha Books, DongA Books, Nha Nam, etc. Not all of them offer English books though. And the books here are limited as well. If you want to read classics (e.g Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, etc), you can find these Wordsworth Editions books here at the price of 70,000 – 90,000 dong (around 4 USD). There are also many titles here you can find.

If you search store by store, you may find the books you want but couldn’t found in bookstores. My buying list for August includes Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series and The Shack. I couldn’t find these in all the bookstores but somehow, when I just strolled around this street last Sunday, I found them hiding away on some shelf. So yes, if you seem to lose hope in searching for any book, try this place out as well, you may get lucky.

Fahasa bookstores chain

Locations: Le Loi street and Tran Hung Dao street (named Xuan Thu Bookstore). Both in district 1, are my most go-to stores. You can find other addresses in this link.

Fahasa bookstore
Why you should shop for English books here?

Fahasa is a very famous bookstore chain in Vietnam (its bookstores can be found in major cities like Hochiminh, Hanoi, Danang, Hue, etc) that offers a wide range of English books (but not wide enough for my need though). Most of the books I find in store are thrillers, fantasy, fiction, romance, business genres and language study books as well. It offers mostly mass paperback format; hence, price is affordable (around 100,000 – 170,000 dong ~ 5  to 7 USD). Further, Fahasa bookstores also offer French books, and newly launch Japanese books.

Ca Chep bookstores

Locations: 211 Vo Van Tan street, district 3 or 223 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai street, district 1

Ca Chep bookstore
Why you should shop for English books here?

Ca Chep bookstores, by far, are the best decorated bookstores in Vietnam. You can shop for books and pose good photos here as well. Perhaps a good place to consider for bookstagram’s photos if you are a part of this community (go join now, why not if you are a book lover). Most of the books found here are classics, business genres and some good box sets, also language study books. The price is slightly higher than the Book Street Nguyen Van Binh, and the same as Fahasa bookstores chain.

BOA bookstore

Location: C26, 2nd Floor, 6 Cong Truong Quoc Te, District 3 (inside the same house with Phuc Long tea shop)

BOA Bookstore
Why you should shop for English books here?

Most of the books here, I’m guessing, are bought from AbeBooks or Better World Book or Amazon (places that offer very good used books). I assume this because around 70% of the books I find here are in that condition. However, the price is not cheap, more than 200,000 dong ~ 10 USD for a book. Additionally, books are limited. Despite these downsides, BOA offers a wider range of genres than most bookstores, which also include Psychological, Contemporary, Spiritual, etc. If your book is not popular for most readers, you may want to try out BOA bookstore for last chance. For me, I don’t shop at BOA anymore, unless I desperately need the book right away and they have it in store. Otherwise, I will resort to order books from Amazon.

Online bookstores and the pain of waiting for shipping

If you have search every corner of every store and still cannot find your books, then try shopping online. Personally I love shopping for books online. It is fast, convenient and cost effective. Most of the listed online bookstores below accept Cash On Delivery (COD) payment method, so you don’t have to worry about having a debit/credit card to be able to shop anymore.

Fahasa.com 

This online bookstore belongs to Fahasa bookstores chain I mentioned above. Therefore, if you cannot find the book in store, you can visit their website and check if it is still in stock, then order online. What is great about shopping online at Fahasa is that they deliver quickly within 2 days time and they also offer discount code if you take part in a customer survey over e-mail. They accept COD as well.

Tiki.vn

I mentioned earlier that Tiki.vn was heaven to me when it comes to shopping for English books. Well now, not anymore because it has taken on other merchandises and limited book titles. However, I still check this online store out when I want to buy book box set because they often have big discount rate around 20 to even 50% off. For instance, right now, The Game Of Thrones – 7 Volumes (Paperback) box set is on 51% off (2,048,000 dong off to 999,000 dong. What a catch! I desperate want to buy it now but I am dead broke this month, after buying 28 books in July). In fact, not only box set, but 80% of the English books here are on sale for around 10 – 20%. And they offer beautiful editions also.

Vinabook.com

This site offers English books but I don’t favor shopping here much. Delivery speed is nothing to complain, around 2 days time. They offer COD payment as well. However, book titles are limited and there is no special offers.

Online shopping with international shipping

If you have tried all the places I listed above and still cannot find the book, you can either choose to wait until you travel oversea somewhere and buy it yourself, or order from Amazon, AbeBooks, Better World Books, etc. There are intermediaries who offer shipping service from these retailers or if you are familiar with international shipping, you can order books yourself with Paypal account. I would recommend using shipping service to save time and sweat. But keep in mind that you will be charge with handling fee/shipping fee, which is around 200,000 dong – 10 USD or even more, depend on the total value of your order. This is the last solution I would use to order book, because the shipping fee is as much as a book cost already.

Other bookstores you can try out are:

  • Phuong Nam – PNC (both online and offline)
  • Tri Books (158 Dong Khoi street, District 1)

There you go. Tell me if you have better ways to shop for English books. I love to collect books and it is still a pain to get English books here. Also, if you are in other cities, comment below your places and ways to shop for English books in Vietnam, so I can update this post and share with others too. Happy shopping and reading everyone!

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