Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City as it is termed today is the veritable cliche -A shopper’s paradise. The main feature of shopping within the capital of Vietnam is that it is tourist oriented, almost anything available is intended for consumption with the hordes of visiting tourists. Having at least a fundamental understanding of bargaining would be beneficial because there are lots of attention grabbing items on display, in the usual touristy fare to elegant antiques and souvenirs.
The businesses in Ho Chi Minh City or anywhere else in Vietnam are far from being drab; they are a riot of colour from extensive decorative work to the colorful knick knacks on show, the colour is surely an enticing prospect for tourists. The streets from the city are lined with small outlets selling indigenously produced toys, souvenirs and clothing several of which are incredibly cost-effective. Shopping in Vietnam is often a mix of small vendors peddling locally made handicrafts to large western style stores selling a lot more luxury fare.
The main open air markets in Ho Chi Minh are Ben Thanh Market, a night Market along with the War surplus market. The greatest of the lot may be the Ben Thanh Market, which is instantly identified by the big clock tower nearby the traffic circle. This is a large old school outdoor market with hundreds of narrow alleyways which may have store fronts. Due to regular patronage by tourists industry has recently morphed right into a tourist attraction, many stalls now sell Vietnam t-shits and counterfeit branded jeans, caps and souvenirs.
The Night Market is located almost right next to the Ben Thanh Market is usually open after 5.00 pm. Forex also features a few food stalls where tourists may suffer some local cuisine and try an area drink. However, the most interesting market of all is the War Surplus Market; forex trading might be referred to as the American Market or “Cho Cu”. Many military items left in the bloody American campaign contrary to the Viet Cong rebels, that ended with large losses of life for sides is seen here. American war gear such as old military uniforms, GI helmets, US Marine t-shirts and old army knives can be obtained here. This is a unique place to visit for collectors and Vietnam War veterans, though the authenticity in the ware is not verified.
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