Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam




Ben Thanh Market
Downtown area in District 1.
The Ben Thanh Market is recognisable from its clock tower on the large traffic circle. It is the largest old-style market in Ho Chi Minh City's central district, with several hundred small stalls stuffed with goods on almost impassably narrow aisles. Due to its popularity with tourists, the market is now divided between tourist goods (jeans, T-shirts, and smaller souvenirs in abundance) and regular items (
kitchen wares, flowers, fruits and vegetables, rice, meat, fast food and other local foodstuff).
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Most items here are not price-marked and vendors always quote 50-100% higher to tourists. So bargain hard to get a good price and save you money. Be ready for onslaughts by sweetly smiling young ladies, or be prepared to part with more cash than you need to. Right at the north side (back) of Ben Thanh Market are some shops that are operated by the Ben Thanh Group and sell goods at fixed price (no bargaining needed) and much cheaper than the stalls in the market. If the selection of knock-offs here just won't do, there's plenty to be had in the surrounding side street shops or night market later. If retail warfare isn't your cup of tea, you could skip the touristy Ben Thanh altogether and go the Binh Tay Market. 

Ben Thanh Market by Shoestring

Night Market

Just outside the Ben Thanh Market.
Here you can enjoy many kinds of different foods and drinks, and go round to do your shopping as well. The night market opens from 6:00 p.m. when the Ben Thanh Market closes.

Saigon Square
Stones throw from Ben Thanh Market.
It is a twin of the Ben Thanh Market but with air-conditioning. Popular with middle-class Vietnamese and haggling your way through this place is the rule of thumb. Consider planning your shopping here during the day and go to Ben Thanh for the night market.

Binh Tay Market
Cholon (Chinatown), District 5.
The Binh Tay Market is the underrated twin of Ben Thanh, selling everything from spices, Chinese medicines, silk to obscure varieties of fermented fish, dried seafood and jerky. If you are searching for a variety of Vietnamese silk and velvet, skip the tourist trap at Ben Thanh and head to B├Čnh Tay instead. In fact, many of the goods at Ben Thanh are from here. 
Most of the goods at Binh Tay are sold wholesale but you can still find items sold on retail here.

Binh Tay Market by Bgabel

War Surplus Market
Corner of Yersin and Nguyen Cong Tru, District 1.
Sometimes called the American Market or "Cho Cu" or "Khu Dan Sinh" in Vietnamese. The market is hidden behind rows of hardware and electric supplies shops, just brace yourself and enter. The market features dense warrens of stalls selling old American military gear of undetermined authenticity such as GI's Zippo lighter from the war era, cheap t-shirts and military paraphernalia. Most are fakes but what the heck!
Guide to
Ho Chi Minh City
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