Ho Chi Minh City has become a popular shopping destinations for Malaysians these days. Or to be exact, Ben Thanh Market and its surrounding area. I saw Malaysians everywhere I turned. And it's not easy to get cheap tickets to the city like before. Just like Bandung...
The market is quite huge with several entrances. I had rather good exercises walking from one entrance to another; East to West, South to North, looking for my friend cos whenever we lost each other, we'd whatsapped each other saying 'I'm at the x entrance'. Finding the entrance was one thing, walking to the entrance was another story.. haha...
map of the market
So as you can see, the market is divided into sections. Textiles, shoes and leather goods dominate the front, while souvenirs, kitchenware, fresh flowers, fruits, vegetables, meat and fish fill the other part of the bustling market.
Walking around the area, especially at the textiles section, I was surprised. You know why? Cos most of the sellers could speak Malay. All calling us (some of them even grabbed us!) to have a look at their goods while saying 'murah murah' and 'boleh kurang'. haha..
Rambang mata ok seeing most of the things were so cheap there. Anyway, always remember to bargain! Except at the stalls that has 'FIXED PRICE' signage, some of the sellers can be very stern.
Other than Vietnamese Dong (VND) and US Dollar (USD), you can use Ringgit Malaysia (RM) for shopping in and around Ben Thanh Market area. I think we get better rates paying in RM for certain things like all the kain, telekung and baju kurung. So you don't need to change all your money to VND. I changed just 1 million VND mainly for meals and transportation. For tours, I paid using USD.
The market closes at 6 pm but this is when the outside street comes to life. It become a Night Market with stalls carrying a lot of the same goods as in the main market during the day. I actually prefer to shop at this night market as it can be quite hot and chaotic inside Ben Thanh. What with the narrow aisles and the crowd. -_-
Mazidul pon shopping kat sini ye. Perhaps the stall owner thought he is very famous in Malaysia so she put a photo of them together to attract Malaysians to come shop at her stall. hahaha...
Behind the shop lots facing Ben Thanh Market is another famous shopping place. Nguyen Ah Ninh has turned into 'Malaysian Street'. You can see all the makcik-makcik shop like crazy here. Cheaper deals and the most important thing, there are several halal restaurants along the street.
Among the things I took a look at the Malaysian street.
Viatnamese silk going from RM40 and above depending on the types.
These lycra telekungs are selling for around RM30 when I see similar ones being sold in Malaysia for over RM100.
Baju kurung with manik from RM50 and above.
No wonder everybody come here and borong like mad.
The hotel rates are rather cheap too.
Makes me thinking of starting up a business. hmmm..