Results 1-7of 7 Reviews
Los Angeles, California
September 19, 2008
From journal Vietnam...It's a Country Not a War
June 13, 2005
It was a disappointment for my first day trip to go to Benh Tanh Market to do some shopping. Things are terribly expensive for me going by Malaysian standards. A bag costs around $22. I might as well by it in my own country. I do not deny that this market is the biggest amongst the others and operates till nighttime when most close around 5pm. And they do have a lot of interesting shoes, bags, and other types of merchandise. However, the clothes are quite outdated, and the shoes and bags are more there to just appreciate, as things are just too expensive.
From journal Exhausting Ho Chin Minh
Bayside, New York
May 25, 2005
We also shopped for chopsticks (try to say that fast - it’s a tongue twister!), and what a gamut they had; some were inlaid with mother of pearl and others were intricately carved from various woods. The price ranges varied, but it was still hard to conceive 10 wooden chopsticks for VDN 15,000 (less than US$1). I needed a tank top because, once again, the heat was winning and I’d never make it back to the hotel. I was practically carried into one of the stalls because I dared to look at the display. My greatest fun happened in two places: at the rear of the market are the open stalls, and this is where the pleasure begins. The fresh scent of green floated in the air, and I couldn’t see fast enough what exotic fruits awaited. My eye landed on what they call "custard apple," though I never thought of it as such, and I completely freaked out. The last time I had eaten anything remotely like it was during my childhood in Egypt. I purchased three of them, together with humongous grapes. Then the fish happened, and other things that swim along with them. There was not a single tourist in this area - what a pity. Vegetables and leaves are piled sky-high, and I was so tempted, but it was early on in the trip and I was following the "no salad" recommendations, which went out the window later.
Back inside and in the center aisle, which is the widest in the market, you can have fun with lotions, perfumes, colognes, deodorants, and the like. I sat with one woman who offered me a plastic seat. I had a sniff of Kenzo’s Eau de Toilette and it passed. Some of them are not as good imitations as others, but on the whole, it’s a bargain. This is the aisle of crystal and ngoc mam. Watch people have lunch,pho pho and other stuff, too. It was a veritable orgy of aromas. Don’t miss this.
From journal They call me Saigon
January 28, 2004
From journal Vietnam -- my favourite destination
February 24, 2002
Whatever preconceptions about communism I had gone to Vietnam with were blown out of the water at this bustling center of trade and commerce where the locals dealt in every conceivable type of goods imaginable and indeed some that I couldn’t even identify let alone imagine.
Spilling out of the Market onto the surrounding streets are the standard souvenir stalls, selling conical hats, Uncle Ho t-shirts and water puppets, but as you penetrate the inner sanctum you discover real Vietnam, with stalls selling kitchen hardware, cloth, dry goods and finally the "wet" market.
It is here at the back of the market you will find the live snakes, chicken in a basket, unidentifiable animal parts from unidentifiable animals, road kill and buckets of soapy frogs that make any trip to a foreign market a stomach churning and potentially life changing proposition.
If you're still feeling up to it when you once again emerge into the fresh air, you can grab a bowl of pho or a rice bread baguette from one of the street side vendors to consume while admiring the giant statue Tran Nguyen Hai (whose exact claim to fame seems to be uncertain) before once again braving the streets.
Ben Thanh market may be HCM city’s greatest temple to mammon but it is far from its only one and I strongly recommend wandering around some of the many markets that line the streets of this bustling city even if you don’t plan on buying anything, it will still give you a fantastic insight into Vietnamese life.
From journal Don't Miss Saigon
January 22, 2001
Cholon market is a mind-boggling crush of restaurant booths, not to mention booths of exotic fruits, dried shrimp and fish, and mounds of grains and rice. In tight spaces, some women swung in hammocks above their goods. In the "restaurant" stalls, soupmakers clacked wooden sticks, which was their way of announcing their noodles were ready. I had three separate bowls of noodles because the portions they serve are for the much smaller appetite in Vietnam. This was a good place to pick up crusty "French" baguettes to bring back to the hotel for late snacks.
Cho Ben Than market was more the same, but less of the food booths and more of the knick-knacks; like shoes, toys, clothes, cheap jewelry, household utensils, etc. This was mainly a market for the locals, but we did see tourists there experiencing the great sights and aromas it had to offer.
From journal Ho Chi Minh City - My Wife's Homeland
January 8, 2001
From journal My hometown Saigon