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  • Writer's pictureKristin

Vietnam | Shopping in HCMC

Updated: Apr 2, 2021

Happy St. Patty's Day! Most of this morning we spent researching accommodation and travel information for Japan. It ended up taking a little longer than we expected, until about 1:00 p.m.- we had started at 8:30. We decided to change our plans and just stay in Ho Chi Minh for another night and then head to the Mekong tomorrow since most of the day with sunlight was already gone for today. Our original plan was to go to the Ben Thanh Market on Saturday when we returned from our Mekong trip, but instead decided to go this afternoon since we would not be going to the Mekong; then we could stay longer in the Mekong on Saturday. After a lunch of Indian Dahl and Naan bread, we headed to the market fully nourished and ready to bargain.

The Ben Thanh market is about 1 block x 1 block of hundreds of vendors selling knock-off clothing items, souvenirs, food, hats, and even tailored suits. Alex wanted to get a few polo shirts because the ones he had gotten in China had lasted him for a few years and were a good bargain. Overall, we were pretty pleased with our merchandise -- we went in with only a camera bag and came out with a backpack full of bags and about 2-3 other bags that we were not able to fit in the backpack!

Here are a few of the items we got... 3 Men's Adidas Polo Shirts - 380,000 VD (about $6-7 per shirt) 5 Men's Lacoste Polo Shirts - 500,000 VD (about $5 per shirt) 1 Pair of Mean's Diesel Jeans - 200,000 VD (about $10) 1 Women's Adidas Sleeveless Shirt & 1 T-shirt - 140,000 VD (about $3.50 per shirt) 4 Pairs of Socks - 40,000 VD ($.50 per pair) 2 Embroidered Wall Hangings - 280,000 VD (about $7.50 each) 2 Egg Shell Lacquer Items - 220,000 VD (about $11 total) We won't have to do much shopping when we get home now -- especially since Alex basically got a new wardrobe.

Alex also took some time to get a haircut got from the local barber shop for about $2.50 USD.

After the market we took it easy and then went to dinner at a restaurant that served Hue specialties (since we did not visit here). I had a fried egg pancake with pork, shrimp and vegetables on top and Alex had some Dry Noodles with Beef that we thought tasted similar to the Hoi An specialty of Cau Lau. As we were walking to dinner, we found an Irish pub that had its green lights glowing and St. Patty's Days specials of 60,000 VD (about $3) for a Guinness beer, which is a rare find in Asia in the first place. However, because the Guinness was a bit more expensive than the normal Vietnamese beer, we decided to head out. We've become cheap beer consumers!

Tomorrow morning we search for a motorbike to head to the Mekong for our final 3 days in Vietnam.


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