SAIGON, 8 DECEMBER 2014
A tour of Saigon would not be complete without visiting Ben Thanh Market. The most central of all the markets, teeming Ben Thanh and its surrounding streets comprise one of the city’s liveliest areas. Everything that’s commonly eaten, worn or used is piled high: vegetables, fresh and dried fruit, fresh and dried meats, spices, , sweets, all kind of nuts, tobacco, clothing, jeans, teeshirts, suits, wristwatches, replica branded watches, leather items, jewellery, hardware and more spill forth from a profusion of stalls. All sorts of souvenir items can be found in equal abundance.
This is a typical tourist trap market. Vendors are determined and prices usually higher than elsewhere. Do your research and know what you wanted heading in as it is well set up. Lady vendors will sometime grab you to get your attention to their wares…stay away if your wife is the enviable kind. These vendors are professionals…they are good at their game, so barter hard…at least 50% of quoted price.
After spending some time in Ben Thanh market, I went on an hour cyclo-trishaw ride across the main attractions of Saigon. This is a must-experience affair in Saigon. You will seat at the front end of the cyclo-trishaw…thus the view is unobstructed and at ground level. Make sure you agreed first the price for the ride as many tourists have been fleeced by some unscrupulous cyclo-trishaw pedlers.
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