Ben Thanh Market
It was raining in HCMC when I was there, which reduced the sight seeing opportunities but we jumped in a taxi and headed doentown to Ben Thanh Market. I’m not a great fan of markets but they can be a good way to intereat with some locals, even if it is haggling over the price of their goods. This market sells a whole array of items and foodstuffs for locals and tourists alike, although I suspect that the locals might get better deals than tourists. We had lunch there at one of the many tiny cafes in the place. We bought some excellent coffee and some clothes too. There’s not that many places the days where you can buy a red t-shirt with a hammer and sickle, the communist emblem which was concieved during the Russian Revolution. I haggled hard for it but I didn’t get it down to the price that I wanted, so I walked away. Fortunately however aroud the perimeter of the market is a series of fixed price stalls, which were selling it for half the price, 55,000 dong (£1.88), that the market staller refused to sell at. So go there first for an idea of what the actual price is.
Ben Thanh Market is busy, hot and a little mad, it’s a microcosom of life in bustling HCMC with it’s wide array of colours and smells. If you find yourself in the city make sure you visit it at least once, especially if it’s raining. A short walk from the famous market is the much newer Ben Thanh Market which attracts a lot of the backpacker crowd offering a range of different meals and cool beers, which is a great place to sit and watch the world go by.
Here are some of my photos of the market: