When in Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon as everyone calls it), here’s what you do: first, do a little shopping in District 1 and second, get a massage at Cat Moc Spa.
Hop in a cab and head to Duy Tan. This was the only shop I was able to find in Saigon that was selling artisanal goods. I’m sure there are others, but the majority of shops and markets that I popped into sold only mass produced, factory made junk. This shop had beautiful ceramics and tableware at very reasonable prices. The staff was happy to bubble wrap all of the breakable items that I bought. My favorite items were oil lamps constructed from glass soda bottles ($2-3 each). From Duy Tan, walk down the street L’Usine. Should you suddenly find yourself in Saigon with a pressing need for Rifle Paper Co. stationary, you are in luck. This store is full of high end hipster brands. Items are well-curated and it’s fun to browse. There’s a cafeteria upstairs if you’re hungry.
Next, head to Cat Moc Spa. I visited this spa two nights in a row because I had such a fantastic experience. After a series of subpar massages near my hotel, I turned to Trip Advisor and found this place. It’s not the cheapest place in town (though still incredibly well-priced, think $15/hour for a massage), but it’s a serene space with a very helpful manager who pointed me towards treatments tailored to my skin type. They use Dermalogica products and my facial was fabulous. Plus, they will call a cab for you and direct the driver back to your hotel.