Guidebook Saigon’s markets


Saigon’s markets

Ben Thanh Market is “chaotic and crowded” but “always entertaining to explore,” says Travel and Leisure. “Most vendors are inside the dimly lit, aircraft-hangar-size main shed, which stays relatively cool on blazing-hot days; around the perimeter spilling onto the surrounding streets are more food stalls, produce bins, butchers, and fishmongers.” It’s the “biggest and best” of HCMC’s markets, says The Independent, packed with “traditional Vietnamese lanterns aplenty, plus colourful fans, scarves, bowls and chopsticks, and, of course, ‘lucky’ cats” -- but be sure to “negotiate heavily on price -- as a tourist you’ll be asked to pay far above the odds unless you barter.”

Bin Tay market is not for tourists, says Travelfish -- “there’s only stuff locals are interested in and lots of it -- things are meant to be sold in bulk” and many Vietnamese who operate stalls or shops in the city “come here to buy wholesale.” Luckily there’s a “beautiful food court” at the back end of the market, notes Migrationology, which includes a long line of vendors. “Many sell takeaway food, or food to deliver to other markets sellers, but most have a few small tables, or bar countertops, where you can slurp down some delicious food on spot.”

The old An Dong market has been operating since 1954, says Take Me to Saigon. From the exterior it appears to be a typical traditional Saigon market, “but from the moment you set foot in the market, you will be pleasantly surprised by the phenomenal range of clothes, bags, shoes, accessories, and food.” In fact, “a large majority of fashion retailers throughout Saigon swear by this market for their stocks.”

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