Ben Thanh Market

Ho Chi Minh City is the most dynamic city in Vietnam. The city being the center of arts, culture, business and entertainment offers a microcosmic view of the entire nation. The city offers excellent variety of clothing, ceramics, ethnic fabrics and lacquered bamboo Ben Thanh Market is situated at the intersection of Le Loi Avenue, Ham Nghi Avenue, Tran Hung Dao Avenue and Le Lai Street, 700m south-west of the Rex Hotel.

District 1, the heart of the city, is the main shopping area. Besides there are many streets in Ho Chi Minh City like Dong Khai and Le Thanh Ton, which are popular shopping zones. Once you are in Ho Chi Minh City, you will surely get spoilt for choice of shops.

Except the major tourist shops, which are fixed price shops, in all other shopping zones in Ho Chi Minh City, your bargaining skill will be of great help to you. Any item without a price label can be bargained down to at least two thirds of its initially quoted price. A good eye is also essential to find out the genuine item from the endless supply of goods.

At first, the market was situated near the Ben Nghe River Dike. After being moved many times, it is now standing in the centre of the city where consumers can conveniently find all sorts of products.
Ben Thanh Market is a huge covered market in central HCMC. It is one of the best places to buy coffee, but do try the stalls inside before buying, as the outside stalls are more expensive. Also if you are buying a reasonable quantity you can usually get a couple of free coffee filters. Vietnamese coffee is really delicious, I'm surprised it is not more widely available in the West.

Apart from coffee, you can get almost anything in the market or the shops surrounding it. You will have to bargain, unless the prices are written on the goods, but that is all part of the experience. And afterwards you can have a bowl of delicious noodles.
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