The 5 best markets in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
The marketplaces of Vietnam are an Aladdin’s cave of delights just waiting to be explored. Whether you’re seeking for sumptuous sweets, silky fabrics or home-grown tobacco, there’s really nothing you won’t be able to find.
Ben Thanh Market
Over at Ben Thanh Market, you can buy virtually anything — from clothing, footwear and textiles to electronics, household items, art, jewellery, souvenirs and food — fresh and packaged! Take your time wandering through the maze of colourful stalls, but try not to touch everything — it’s far too tempting. Touching something would indicate to the vendor that you are interested in buying, so expect prices to be shouted at you in almost perfect English! The prices are of course elevated as this is a rather touristy spot, so get your bargaining skills ready.
The market is best seen during the early hours of the day — it’s quieter and less stressful, and vendors are much less annoyed. Ben Thanh Market closes its doors around 06.00 p.m. and soon after, the night markets at the East, West and North gates simultaneously open.
Ben Thanh Market, Le Loi, Ben Thanh, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Binh Tay Market
The majority of wholesale goods transported from Southwest (Mekong Delta) provinces are brought here, and you will find a plethora of messy, winding stores offering colourful products within its walls. Vietnamese candied fruits, vibrant cloths, nuts, other handmade goods, household and electronic items — these are all sold for affordable prices.
At the back of the market, you will find a bunch of restaurants enticing customers with authentic and tasty Vietnamese cuisine. You can easily make a day out of exploring the market and Chinatown region — there are plenty of foods to try, temples to visit and alleys to photograph.
57a Thap Muoi, Ward 2, District 6, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Soai Kinh Lam Fabric Market
A special feature of the market is that each stall sells only one type of fabric but in different colours and textures, which will certainly make your browsing experience less overwhelming and more organised. You can get any kind of cloth here, from spandex, chiffon, velvet, cotton, khaki to fabrics for curtains, sheets, cushions or tablecloths. Since you’re in Vietnam, why not get a beautiful ao dai, the elegant national costume of Vietnam, made? The bestselling items here after all are the fabrics used for making ao dai, such as satin, silk and brocade.
545, Tran Hung Dao, Ward 14, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Ho Thi Ky Flower Market
The market is incredibly colourful, like a giant garden or even a miniature flower forest. You will find lilies, roses, orchids, daisies, lotuses, hydrangeas, and so on, surrounding all four corners of the market. During Tet (Vietnamese Lunar New Year), this market gets even more lively.
Inside is also a small Cambodian market, which is great if you want to take a break and try some food or a refreshing snack. Try Che Co Co, a stall that sells delicious Cambodian sweet soup. From Ho Thi Ky you can also easily go to Chinatown.
52 Ho Thi Ky, Ward 1, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Dan Sinh Market
As a collector, visiting Dan Sinh Market is a must-do. Stall after stall, you’ll find all kinds of antiques, from authentic items to replicas. Browse wisely if you’re looking for authentic pieces. Normally, you will be quoted prices from VND$100,000 (USD$5.00) to around VND$1,000,000 (USD$40.00) – if you get anything quoted above this, it is likely you are being taken advantage of.
The market also goes by many names such as the American Market and War Surplus Market.
Yersin, Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Written by Christina Nhu
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