One thing I love about Thien Xuan Hotel, which was recommended by a friend of mine was because it was located so close to this largest marketplace that tucked in District 1 of the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh City. Almost every single day my friends and I never failed to visit Ben Thanh Market which is known as one of the most popular and famous symbol of Ho Chi Minh City. And I believed that no one ever leaves this shopping mecca empty-handed, even for those with no intention to shop initially.
#1: The infamous Ben Thanh Market
One of the reason why this Ben Thanh Market tends to be famous spot among tourist and travellers was because it offers extensive range of souvenirs and mementos - from the typical travel collections such as keychains and fridge magnets to clothes, bags, accessories, jeweleries, textiles and even the famous Vietnamese strong aroma coffee. But this market is not just for the purpose to serve the tourist and travellers' need, it also where the local get their daily necessities such as fresh foods, groceries, household items and more. It's like you can get anything you want - all under one roof in Ben Thanh Market.
#2: The wet market part that sells fresh meat, fishes, seafoods and more
#3: Jeweleries and accessories section
Most people claimed that at here, where you can bargain with the stall owners up to as high as 70% discount from the original price of the items. I can said that it's partly true but not all the stalls in Ben Thanh Market you can bargain with. Some areas had displayed with a huge sign of "Fixed Price" and that's indicate no discount will be given. So be alert with that signboard cause they tends to ignore you if you bargain with them.
#4: Plenty of clothes but these not suit me
#5: Ao dai, a Vietnamese national costume, most commonly worn by Vietnamese women
When comes to bargain, you can bargain either in their own currency, Vietnamese Dong or even US Dollar. It's up to you as long as you know how to do the maths. Some even accept Malaysian Dollar but only you agree with the rate converted by them. Besides the general and widely spoken English language, most of the stall owners here can speak in different kind of language - Mandarin and even in Malay. So beware before you speak in your own language cause you will easily annoy them and some of them rather don't want sell their items to you. In order to attract more customers, hence don't be surprised some can be even spoken in Japanese and Korean language. Macam-macam ada!
#7: Colourful fridge magnets - I can't help myself from looking at this and I bought a lot, to be frank
#8: Unique and impressive Vietnamese lacquer act - Regret for not buying this for my future house
#9: Colourful Vietnamese lacquerware
#10: Dried nuts and fruits. My friend said the lotus seeds were freaking dirt cheap here
#11: Vietnamese women selling fruits outside of Ben Thanh Market
#12: The statue of Tran Nguyen Han, located in the roundabout which just right in front of the Ben Thanh Market
I can't deny that Ben Thanh Market is one of the best place to get what I what - especially in accumulating more of my travel collections such as keychains, fridge magnets, theme T-shirt, postcards and more when I was in Saigon. Even my parents who went earlier than me also said that this is one good place to buy household items, kitchen ware, clothes and more, just that you must know the exact and appropriate way to bargain with the sellers.