Shopping for souvenirs is always part for travelers. From key chains, ref magnets and pouches, that are common items to bring at home for good friends and family. Night market is always a good place to find good items for souvenirs plus a good time to encounter the cool weather at night rather than fighting the heat of the sun while shopping. While I and my good friends had the time to visit Vietnam for the first time recently, we never neglected the chance to explore the night markets around Saigon. Well as part of our planned tri-country adventure, we included night market in our lists so stay tuned for more blogs coming up for our recent adventures outside the country.
We had our first attempt in Ben Thanh Market which is located in Le Loi District 1 Saigon. From our hostel in Pham Ngu Lao still in District 1 part, just a walking distance to the said market, we just had a short glimpse inside because the market was about to close. This market is ideally situated in the heart of Saigon. We could buy good items in cheaper prices in the market. Usually the market offers whole sale items. When we passed by at some stalls inside the market, some sellers directly thought us as a True Filipino and they will just said “Mura lang Mura lang dito”. They seem Filipinos as well uttering those words and when you buy, they will respond “Salamat” especially when they smell and thought that you are really a Pinoy.
We moved to the street around Saigon square for good after Ben Thanh Market. We had our first Vietnamese dinner in the street and for the first time, we got the chance to taste Vietnamese food. Here are the foods we’ve ordered in the street market.
Foods above really looks pretty and a true Vietnamese taste. The taste of each are quite new to our taste buds but in general all were tasted good!
It was also new to us to hear thousands of money just for one value meal. I mean for example, for a one bowl of Vietnamese noodle it would cost a hundred fifty thousand dong. As in wow! You might think you’re a “One day Millionaire” in the city for a time. If you don’t mind the exact conversion of their money to your country’s currency, you would think that bowl of noddle is really too pricey. When I and Rizette (one of my friends in the trip) converted our 60 dollars into dong, we got confused at first about the “dong” money. So funny that we really had hard time understanding the exact value of money we’ve exchanged because of the many zeros it has lol.
After the quality dinner, we spent the night roaming around the street to find some souvenirs. At first the sellers usually offered high prices of their items that is why you should go bargain at least fifty percent (50%) then meet where you and the sellers comfortable. I also personally experienced it when I just asked for a price of a dress and the seller offered me a 500,000 dong for the dress and when I said too high, she said okay “How about 250,000 dong?” she asked me again, I don’t responded, so she asked me the price I wanted for the dress. See? I guess this only means that some of their items in the street are overpriced. So don’t get attempt to buy directly, remember bargaining is a must! We could find almost anything in the night market and I think the best time to go to achieve a best deal is during the closing time.
Vietnam is a country rich in cultures, and night markets around their cities are always a hole-in-the-wall for shoppers like travelers to explore the Vietnamese culture. I would endorse challenging yourself to be with the crowd to experience unique night markets of Vietnam and always don’t forget to haggle, it would be fun!
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