Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City as it is termed today is the veritable cliche -A shopper’s paradise. The main feature of shopping in the administrative centre of Vietnam is it is tourist oriented, just about everything being offered is meant for consumption by the hordes of visiting tourists. Having a minimum of a simple familiarity with bargaining would be beneficial because there are many appealing items on display, from your usual touristy fare to elegant antiques and souvenirs.

The shops in Ho Chi Minh City or anywhere else in Vietnam are not even close to being drab; they are a riot of colour from extensive decorative try to the colorful knick knacks on show, the colour can be an enticing prospect for tourists. The streets in the city are lined with small outlets selling indigenously produced toys, souvenirs and clothing several of which are very affordable. Shopping in Vietnam is a mixture of small vendors peddling locally made handicrafts to large western style stores selling a lot more luxury fare.

The principle outside markets in Ho Chi Minh are Ben Thanh Market, a night Market and also the War surplus market. The biggest in the lot may be the Ben Thanh Market, that is instantly recognized by the large clock tower at the traffic circle. It is just a large old fashioned open air market with a huge selection of narrow alleyways which may have store fronts. Because of regular patronage by tourists the marketplace has morphed into a tourist attraction, many stalls now sell Vietnam t-shits and counterfeit branded jeans, caps and souvenirs.

A night Market is located almost right next to the Ben Thanh Market is usually open after 5.00 pm. Forex also includes a few food stalls where tourists can experience some local cuisine and check a local drink. However, essentially the most interesting market of most is definitely the War Surplus Market; this market might be termed as the American Market or “Cho Cu”. Many military items remaining from the bloody American campaign against the Viet Cong rebels, that ended with large losses of life on both sides can be seen here. American war gear including old military uniforms, GI helmets, US Marine t-shirts and old army knives can be obtained here. This could be an interesting location to visit for collectors and Vietnam War veterans, although the authenticity of the ware can’t be verified.

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