Ben Thanh Market

Market in Ho Chi Minh City
Image by Peter Stuckings / Getty Images

Ben Thanh and its surrounding streets comprise one of HCMC's liveliest areas. Everything that’s commonly eaten, worn or used by the Saigonese is piled high, and souvenirs can be found in equal abundance. Vendors are determined and prices are usually higher than elsewhere (though restaurant stalls are reasonable), so bargain vigorously and ignore any 'Fixed Price' signs.

Good restaurant stalls are usually open until mid-afternoon. Ben Thanh is an area where it pays to be extra vigilant about looking after personal items and electronics. Once the indoors market closes, a small night market just outside takes over until midnight.