Say Hello to Cholon's Markets
· Enjoy the great variety in Binh Tay Market
· See where the Binh Dong Floating Market takes place every Tet
· Appreciate the work of local designers in An Dong Market
Cholon, down in the south-west of the city, can be often overlooked by tourists. With a distinct identity, helped by a strong Chinese heritage and past status as an independent city, meeting its people can be a very rewarding experience. Going to its markets, in the company of a friendly private guide who can translate, and haggle, when needed will help you meet the locals in their element; not to mention giving you great opportunities for shopping.
Even without the craftsmen (and craftswomen) who use it to sell their creations, there would still be a great deal to recommend An Dong Market. With a Chinese character, and with a huge range of stalls, the indoor market is especially strong for clothing and jades. You should also pay a visit to the woodwork stalls where it is possible to get some very high-quality lacquerwork. Much of what you see will find its way into the higher-end shops in Saigon’s centre and, after you have had your fill of the stalls, you can head upstairs to the food sellers who dominate the top floor.
Binge in Binh Tay
Tucked away in a side-street, in the west of Cholon is Binh Tay Market. With hundreds of stalls, it has both outdoor and indoor sections, as well as a special food court. A place which is definitely more for locals than tourists, it has a hectic atmosphere; especially during the early morning. With generally cheaper prices than Ben Thanh Market in the city centre, it is a great place to get some bargains.
Your guide will also bring you to the riverfront to take you to the site of the Binh Dong Market. Floating on traditional wooden boats, flowers from across the Mekong Delta abound in the area during the Vietnamese New Year, or Tet.