I was greeted by a driver at Ho Chi Minh International airport at 2am who drove me 30 minutes to the other side of the city. I was thrown into a chaotic whirl of life and vitality. Ho Chi Minh city breathes day and night with bars and shops open around the clock. I slept for 4 hours before exploring the city’s morning streets.
The first things I noticed were that the streets were very clean, traffic seems to flow well despite the roads over flowing with scooters. Not everyone speaks english here so I’ve had to learn a few basic words and phrases (“Please take me to my hotel)”.
Ben Than Markets
I hit the Ben Than Markets on the first day, tried the food and did not get robbed. #winning.
I entered a stall to look at the imitation designer bags and tried to haggle the price of one, the lady wouldn’t sell it for any less than $50AUD. When I tried to leave she grabbed my arm and aggressively spat ‘Why did you enter my stall if you no buy!!!” I told her it was too expensive and tried to leave, it took a minute or so of negotiating verbally before I could leave (without shoving her out of my way). She yelled at me as I walked off to another stall. It was pretty exciting.
The Ben Than markets are piled high with linen and ladies keen to tailor make clothing for you with a 2 hour turn around. It seems like a great idea, but I just don’t think they’ll be there when I return in 2 hours. Other tourists have warned me of them doing a runner once you pay.
I have ordered a tailor made kimono shirt from a tailor in District 1, across from the Sheraton and Versace. I cant wait to see how it turns out! Seems legit…. *crosses fingers*