I was traveling in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) about nine years ago and picked up a nice looking A type mandolin for $45 with a case. My trip was ending so it was easy to carry on the plane with me. I knew about 3 open chords and played it enough in the shop to know it was a pretty good sounding instrument and certainly in my price range.
Fast forward to now. I taking a few mandolin lessons and playing enough to notice some improvement. Someone in the bluegrass class asked where I got the mandolin and told him the story. He asked for the address in Vietnam because his friend goes there all the time and may pick one up.
I didn't really remember much about the shop that I bought it in and tried to look it up on the web. On Ebay I found two mandolin craftsmen from Vietnam, Bruceweiart and Antoniotsai. If you're visiting or have a friend visiting, its worth a stop. They also make traditional asian instruments.