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August 16, 2022, 1:28 pm

Interesting shopping addresses in Saigon

(10:42:21 AM 11/08/2014)
( - In addition to historic architecture, unique street food, busy shopping areas have also attracted a large number of tourists in Saigon.

Ben Thanh Market

Located in the heart of District 1, Ben Thanh Market is one of the earliest surviving structures in Saigon and one of the symbols of HCM City, popular with tourists seeking local handicrafts, textiles, áo dài and souvenirs, as well as local cuisine.
Built in 1870 by the French, the market was initially called Les Halles Centrales before being renamed Ben Thanh in 1912.
From a wet market created by street vendors in the early 17th century, Ben Thanh has experienced many ups and downs throughout it’s history, and is now the oldest surviving market and one of the symbols of Ho Chi Minh city. That makes it a must for any visitors travelling to this 300-year-old city.
Today, because the market possesses one of the most crucial locations in District 1 (the intersection of Le Loi, Ham Nghi, Tran Hung Dao Avenues and Le Lai streets), transportation is extremely convenient and trade is bustling.
In the morning, you can find almost everything from dry food to clothes for a reasonable price. The market atmosphere can sometime be a real hustle and bustle, but it is an exciting experience after all. However, always remember that bargaining is a must in any Vietnamese market.
Ben Thanh is firstly well-known as the place for real Vietnamese food. There a number of vendors and food stalls that offer dishes freshly made to order. Here, one can taste various kinds of local dishes like banh xeo, banh cuon, banh beo, cha gio, and hu tiu.
In the evening, while all stalls inside the market are closed, sidewalk restaurants around the market are open, making it an extraordinary lively area.
One of the most recommended foods by tourists is deep fried whole fish, so remember to try it at least once when you dine here. Besides, one can also taste seafood and enjoy cool beer for only US$1-2.
Curious about what the locals eat, wear or use daily? Just come here and find out the answer. From clothing, shoes, bags, jewelry to kitchenware, grocery, sweets, and great Vietnamese coffee, everything that Saigonese need for their daily life can be found here.
Taking a look at things for sale here, seeing how people make transactions and the kind of goods locals purchase, one can learn much about the local life and get useful experience for shopping in Vietnam. For people keen on shopping, here is exactly the place you are looking for.
Besides goods for daily use, tourists can find a variety of eye-catching local handicrafts and souvenirs. Cute fridge magnets or delicate small pieces of lacquer are good gifts for friends and family at home or reminders of your trip in Ho Chi Minh City.
Though quality of goods is quite good, prices here are often inflated up to two or three times. Hence, one should go at least three or four stalls to compare prices, and see how cheap you can bargain the items down to.
Another tip is go shopping in the market before 8am for the “morning price” that is a little lower than the usual for the same good.
The “cool” price at the beginning of the day is for easier first transactions which are believed to bring good luck to the sellers for the rest of the day.
Binh Tay Market

 Binh Tay Market is the central market of Cho Lon, the Chinese district in Saigon. A mix of French and Chinese architecture, this market, built in 1928, is the largest in Ho Chi Minh City, spanning four blocks.
The new market was built by a Chinese businessman after the old location burned to the ground. A memorial to the founder is still present today. Shop for everything from fermented duck eggs to flip-flops to seafood noodle soup at Binh Tay Market.
Located in HCMC's Chinatown area, Binh Tay Market is less visited and far less tourist-infested than iconic Ben Thanh Market in central Saigon.
Divided into sections, the market has something for everyone. Pick up kitchenware, cloth, candied goods, plastic gimcracks, whatnots, plus a whole lot more. Don't expect the hard sales pitch at Binh Tay. For every vendor doing math on a portable calculator, chances are good there's another snoozing away in a hastily erected hammock.
Many businesses and restaurants buy their produce wholesale here.
Where to buy goods:

Antiques sold on Le Cong Kieu Street.

* Suitcases, bags: If you need suitcases for travel or a few fashion bags, you should go to Le Lai Street, District 1. There are many kinds, which are nice, unique and of good quality. It is just 20 meters from Ben Thanh Market.
* Clothing: You are a fashion enthusiast and you want to buy stylish clothes? Saigon Square is a suitable destination. This shopping mall offers clothes and bags, from ordinary to luxury goods. As the prices are unlisted, you should bargain before deciding to buy. Nguyen Trai Street is also an interesting destination for clothes shopping.
* Paintings: If you are looking for some paintings to decorate your house, you are advised to visit Tran Phu Street, District 5. There are many painting stores here, where you can easily find pictures and paintings of all genres or the copies of famous paintings.
* Shoes, sandals: There are two addresses. If you like fashionable and high-quality footwear, you should go to Ly Chinh Thang Street, District 3, home to the most famous footwear brands of Saigon. Located to the left of Ben Thanh Market, Luu Van Lang Street, District 1 is also the center of shoes and sandals for tourists. Coming here you can find the best flip-flops or footwear for children.
* Cloth: If you want to find beautiful cloth as gifts or to sew traditional ao dai, you should go to Soai Kinh Lam Market.
* Antiques: Le Cong Kieu Street, District 1 is considered Saigon’s street of antiques, where you can buy bronze items like incense burners, altars or Buddha statues, old porcelain products and also old stamps and coins.
Pha Le

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