3 Unseen special markets in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)

1. Soai Kinh Lam Fabric Market


If you are looking to get something tailored while in Ho Chi Minh city but are not looking to pay premium prices for fabrics displayed at tailor stores or if their range of fabrics is not wide enough for you to fall in love with a pattern, then head over to Soai Kinh Lam Fabric Market. It is jam packed with over 500 large and small cloth stalls, where you can acquire the latest fashions sold at extremely affordable prices.

A special feature of the market is that each stall sells only one type of fabric but in different colours and textures, which will certainly make your browsing experience less overwhelming and more organised. You can get any kind of cloth here, from spandex, chiffon, velvet, cotton, khaki to fabrics for curtains, sheets, cushions or tablecloths. Since you’re in Vietnam, why not get a beautiful Ao dai, the elegant national costume of Vietnam, made? The bestselling items here after all are the fabrics used for making ao dai, such as satin, silk and brocade.

2. Ho Thi Ky Flower Market


Ho Thi Ky is the largest wholesale flower market supplying flowers for the whole region. The flowers found here come mainly from Da Lat (a beautiful mountainous city in the Central Highlands of Vietnam), and the Mekong Delta (a vast maze of rivers and rice paddies in the southwest of Vietnam). Some flowers are even imported from other countries such as Cambodia.

The market is incredibly colourful, like a giant garden or even a miniature flower forest. You will find lilies, roses, orchids, daisies, lotuses, hydrangeas, and so on, surrounding all four corners of the market. During Tet (Vietnamese Lunar New Year), this market gets even more lively.

Inside is also a small Cambodian market, which is great if you want to take a break and try some food or a refreshing snack. Try Che Co Co, a stall that sells delicious Cambodian sweet soup. From Ho Thi Ky you can also easily go to Chinatown.

3. Dan Sinh Market (Man Cave)


Dan Sinh market, or Yersin market, named after the French biologist and adventurer Alexandre Yersin, once used to be a gambling zone for American soldiers during the Vietnam War. But is now part of a more peaceful trade, and specialises in selling  old military items, war memorabilia as well as special camping gear such as outdoor clothing, combat tents, mosquito nets, etc. The warren of stalls also offers industrial-sized electrical appliances.

As a collector, visiting Dan Sinh Market is a must-do. Stall after stall, you’ll find all kinds of antiques, from authentic items to replicas. Browse wisely if you’re looking for authentic pieces. Normally, you will be quoted prices from VND$100,000 (USD$5.00) to around VND$1,000,000 (USD$40.00) – if you get anything quoted above this, it is likely you are being taken advantage of.

The market also goes by many names such as the American Market and War Surplus Market.

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