In need of a positive cheer up after the visit of the War Remnant Museum, I decided my next visit: I had read that Ben Thanh Market was one of the most well-known landmarks in Ho Chi Minh, as well as good place to buy local souvenirs. Since I needed to buy some sandals (as I threw away my old ones in Thailand!), I decided to give it a go.
Ben Thanh Market is located in District 1 and the museum is in District 3. With the help of Google Maps, and realised that it was only a short walk of less than a mile, so slowly and shortly after 25 minutes, I arrived.
When I got there, I actually did not find it really special, the first impression was overcrowding. Numerous vendors bargaining their products as any market in Asia. Product included items of clothing, shoes, belts, handbags, dried food, amongst many others. I did not particularly saw anything unique, so I only purchased two pairs of sandals, at a cost of 600000 Vietnamese dong, so each pair cost me around £9, still cheap for UK standards, but much more expensive than other markets I had been in Thailand and Laos. Vendors are savvy at bargaining so I should have brought my mum again!
I did not try any food from the local stalls as the market was too busy and quite overwhelming, which put me off me of any further shopping as well, so I left. The walk back to my hostel was only 15 minutes, so I started getting ready a night of reunion with some Colombian friends.
SH Garden Restaurant: In the evening I went to meet my friends at this famous restaurant, located in district 1. This time I took an Uber Moto, which cost me only 14000 Dong, which is less than 50p! (2000 Colombian Pesos!), for a 12 minutes journey.
I have to say, this was really a must visit! After ascending an old-fashioned lift, I arrived at the best view of Ho Chi Minh. My friends prefer not to be posted in pictures, so I look like I am alone..
I found also this a wonderful place to taste authentic local cuisine. My friends have lived in Saigon for few years, so they ordered the best dishes on the menu! I loved the lotus wrapped rice mmm beautiful and tasty! Service is amazing! A bit expensive, (my friends invited me, lucky me!) but I think it is well worth it for the incredible view of the city and the service. I fully recommend it. We had such a great dinner and time here and we then decide to continue the reunion.
Beirut Garden: Cool place to enjoy a drink or two, accompanied by a good shisha fruity smoke pipe. I found it hilarious, especially when the belly dancing ladies come near our table dancing and flirting away with the three of us, that was fun. Good Arabic music entertainment. and lastly.
Our last stop of the night, it is like we did not want to stop partying so we moved next t this place! It is so much fun to meet friends you had not seen for a while, that we enjoy so much every single moment. Apocalypse: This bar is better known by expats living in Saigon, so lots of foreigners and western music. Apparently, this is the place where men go to meet and get friendly with local women. As from me, I had such a great night of music with friends, I did not feel I was in Asia here.
“My heart burns for the city lights 😍😍”
Sending love to the reading eyes.xx