A Quick Visit to Ben Thanh

A few days ago I made a quick stop at Ben Thanh to meet friends.

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I rarely visit this place unless we have friends visiting.

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People usually associate Ben Thanh market with good deals for souvenirs. But really, apart from souvenirs and the usual wet market, Ben Thanh has real great finds like this shop selling baking products.

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A friend was looking for some hair clamps. She got her wish. 😛

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For some reason, these items are really expensive here. These are quite cheap back in my home country. I miss Divisoria when I see the prices here.

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Lots and lots of pretty trinkets!

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We hung out at Shop Hoa while waiting for our friends to arrive. The shop owner, Phuc is now running her mom’s shop of 30 years. She sells imported items that her mom, Hoa sends from the US. Since she’s a shop owner, she only pays for the maintenance fee including utilities which is around 1MVND a month. Not bad!

Definitely coming to Ben Thanh to visit Phuc for my stash and anh Hien at the back selling Jansport backpack. 😀

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4 Responses to A Quick Visit to Ben Thanh

  1. Nortehanon says:

    Hi Lyra,
    You have a very interesting site. Too bad I just found your site today instead of before I left for Vietnam for a few days holiday last Oct.28 (I’m back in Pinas now). But I’m bookmarking it for future reference. I plan to go back sometime soon (crossing my fingers hehe). My feet were itching to visit Ben Thanh but I was still to go to Hanoi and was worried I’d be lugging a lot of things already. Next time, Ben Thanh. Next time 🙂

    Keep your posts coming, Lyra. They inspire wanderlusts like me 😉

  2. Jay Hughes says:

    Benh Thanh Market, you said, you “associate Ben Thanh market with good deals”. For Foreigners the phrase should read “associate Ben Thanh market with good STEALS” as the prices are hyper-inflated for non-Vietnamese.

    The food counter prices are fair but the rest … look out. I generally have a Vietnamese friend do my shopping there (fitted sheets w/2 pillows VND207,000 – still good after two years) priced against equal quality sheets at Lotte for VND540,000.

    Of course, Ben Thanh goods often come without packaging/labelling and I know they are ‘back door’ deals from factories.

    Beware of labelling, there are many fake labels stuck on inferior products in BT.

    Talking about labelling, I pass some wholesale food markets in Quan Binh Thanh most mornings and I see boxes of various fruits laid out and industrious vendors busy removing labels showing Produce of China and replacing them with labels claiming they are from VietNam!

    Rolls of labels are sold on Lý Chính Thắng in P. 9, Q. 3!

    Personally, I shop in Q5, Q6, Q10 and Q11 (roughly Cho Lon) where they regard Foreigners as customers not potential victims!

    • Lyra says:

      I know what you mean. But for tourists, Ben Thanh is easily the nearest place to shop for “souvenirs”. If you’re doing serious shopping if you live here, there are of course other options. Going to Cholon is a good option but if you’re just buying a few souvenirs for home, it’s not worth the trip especially with the transpo fare. And if you’re a tough haggler, the vendors of Ben Thanh can’t scare you. Haha!

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