One of the reasons why I chose Pham Ngu Lao as my base for my short stay in
Ho Chi Minh City is that it is within walking
distance to many famous landmarks in the city. I can basically walk to almost
all the sights within the city and this is perfect for someone who enjoys
walking when travelling like me. For example, from Saigon Youth Hostel to Ben
Thanh market, it takes only about 5 minutes walk. Hence, on my second day, I
began my exploration of Ho Chi Minh
City, first with the aforementioned central market.
|Ben Thanh market|
Ben Thanh market is a very famous marketplace where you can find absolutely anything and everything in it. From household items such as meat, vegetable and fruits, to touristy products such as key chains, shirts, and so on, you can find it all inside the building. You can also have your meals in there as well. It’s like the market version of those modernized, air-conditioned shopping complexes.
This beautiful structure is hard to miss. Besides its yellow façade, there is the imposing statue of the mighty General Tran Nguyen Han mounting a horse right across it, in the center of a roundabout. With heavy traffics circling around the statue, it is quite a sight to absorb in.
By night time, Ben Thanh market becomes the host of the night market. Streets surrounding the structure will be crowded with makeshift stalls, selling almost the same things as those inside the market in the morning. Shirts, foods, handicrafts, you name it, there it will be.
|Ben Thanh market at night|
|I'm amazed at the way Vietnamese crossing the roads...|
|Night market right beside Ben Thanh market|
|Colourful sticky rice|
Once I'm done with Ben Thanh market, it's time for the next destination.
*TO BE CONTINUED*
Sharing is caring. A word of advice and a piece of information.
I heard tales that the products sold in Ben Thanh market are highly inflated, with 50% to 100% more expensive than its original prices. Locals and tourists are charged differently even though it's the same items being bought. Therefore, if you want to buy anything at the central market, be sure to haggle persistently. Or, even better, go to Binh Tay market at Cho Lon where you can get basically the same items at much lower prices.