Shopping In Ho Chi Minh City
Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City as it is termed today will be the veritable cliche -A shopper’s paradise. The key feature of shopping here in the main city of Vietnam is it is tourist oriented, just about everything being offered is intended for consumption through the hordes of visiting tourists. Having a minimum of a simple knowledge of bargaining would benefit you here as there are lots of eye catching items on display, in the usual touristy fare to elegant antiques and souvenirs.
Price range in Ho Chi Minh City or somewhere else in Vietnam are definately not being drab; they may be a riot of colour from extensive decorative work to the colorful knick knacks displayed, the color can be an enticing prospect for tourists. The streets with the city are lined with small outlets selling indigenously produced toys, souvenirs and clothing a few of which are incredibly cost-effective. Shopping in Vietnam is really a blend of small vendors peddling locally made handicrafts to large western style stores selling a lot more up market fare.
The main outside markets in Ho Chi Minh are Ben Thanh Market, the evening Market and the War surplus market. The largest of the lot is the Ben Thanh Market, that is instantly recognized by the massive clock tower near the traffic circle. It is just a large old-fashioned open air market with hundreds of narrow alleyways who have store fronts. On account of regular patronage by tourists the market industry has recently morphed in a tourist attraction, many stalls now sell Vietnam t-shits and counterfeit branded jeans, caps and souvenirs.
The night time Market is located almost right next to the Ben Thanh Information mill usually open after 5.00 pm. The forex market also comes with a few food stalls where tourists may feel some local cuisine and check a local drink. However, the most interesting market of most is definitely the War Surplus Market; forex trading is sometimes referred to as the American Market or “Cho Cu”. Many military items left over from the bloody American campaign up against the Viet Cong rebels, that ended with large losses of life on both sides can be seen here. American war gear for example old military uniforms, GI helmets, US Marine t-shirts and old army knives are available here. This could be an interesting destination to visit for collectors and Vietnam War veterans, although authenticity with the ware cannot be verified.
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