Phan Bội Châu
At the intersection of Le Loi, Ham Nghi, Tran Hung Dao, and Le Loi sts. District 1
700000 Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
City Center/ District 1
tel: +84 4 3942 3760(Tourist Information)
The daddy of Saigon's many markets; Ben Thanh is by far the most popular tourist shopping experience in the city. You'll find everything here. From buckets of jumping frogs in the wet market to clothes, fabrics and souvenirs in the teeming narrow alleys that characterize the main part of the market, everything under the sun (and perhaps more) can be found. Shopping here can be a fun experience if you've got the stomach for cramped and sweaty spaces and the competing attentions of a multitude of squawking vendors. For those with a lower tolerance level for hassle, however, a trip here is best avoided – especially since prices are somewhat higher than at markets elsewhere and only the hardest of bargainers are rewarded with anything approaching a good deal. Nevertheless, it's a lively experience and the presence of several great food stalls at the back of the market make it a fine place to take a crash course in the tenets of Vietnamese street cuisine.