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The Colours of Asia - Ben Thanh Market - Ho Chi Minh City

Written By Shereen Pizzarello on 18 March 2014 | 11:44

So we arrived to Ho Chi Minh City in the evening and after all the jet lag, only had a couple of hours to wander through the streets to find some dinner. Thankfully our hotel, A&EM The Petit Hotel was located two streets away from the Ben Thanh Market. 



The Ben Thanh Market at Night

Because we strolled around these streets at night, we had no idea that the Market was actually located inside a building and not outside which is what we found as we searched for food around 9pm. We realised the next day, when we toured the city during the day that the market was 10 times as big in this indoor arena than the mere couple of streets at the night market! The food we had that night though was amazing and only for $8 (160.000 VND). 






The Ben Thanh Market during the day

The next morning, we visited some of Ho Chi Minh's attractions and Dylan needed to buy some flip-flops (the heat here is unbelievable!) so we decided to go to the Market to grab more street food, there are aisles and aisles of stands each selling something different! From footwear to labelled brands to suitcases and safes! Be warned that people will want to try and sell you anything and everything and will always initially throw you a really high price, with which you then haggle down. A friend of ours managed to get some shoes down to 230.000 VND ($11.50 approx) from a staggering 680.000 VND ($34.00 approx)!




In any case this market is vivid with locals giving you a real taste of the city! The amount of beautiful material for scarfs and wrap-overs etc was a colourful attraction in itself and the market is definitely not one to be missed!  





The aroma of the place was also an exciting adventure as each time you turn the corner a new whiff of delicious noodles would make your mouth water only to be slapped in the face with another smell of cold raw fish on the next turn. 


Our lunch in the middle of the Ben Thanh Market

We sat right in the middle of the market to have our lunch on a small stool and table, Dylan and I couldn't help but giggle to enjoy watching the commotions of our surroundings whilst we watched our food being made from the freshest batch of meats available. We had two chicken soups for starters, a beef noodle with vegetable stir fry and fried rice with shrimp for main, together with two bottles of water cost us $7.50 (350.000 VND). 





If you head to Ho Chi Minh City, please pass by the market, even if you do not buy anything, it will give you a wonderful sense of the kind of culture and traditions brought alive by the Vietnamese people!

Happy Travelling 
Shereen 


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