Saigon hidden markets

Saigon hidden markets

Saigon is a city of markets where people sell and buy anything in the world. Some oldest markets such as Ben Thanh, Binh Tay, Tan Dinh… have become must-see tourist attractions in the city. Cambodian market, Russian market and Korean market are famous markets which shouldn’t be missed. Some tourists are interesting in local wet market with lots of strange things to see and learn more about Vietnamese culture. In this post, I would like to introduce to you 9 Saigon hidden markets – brilliant gems which has existed for a long time and become important part in local life. Have you ever heard about motorbike accessories market, electronics market, lantern market in Saigon? Let’s discover these Saigon hidden markets – the second Saigon far from District 1 where most travelers are stuck in.

1. Lantern Market or Decorations Market (China Town)

Lantern Market In China Town Saigon

Photo by Scooter Saigon Tour

Hai Thuong Lan Ong Street in China Town is famous for lots of stores selling lanterns and decorations. Local people call the part of this area Lantern Market or Decoration Market where they can find thousands of colorful different decorations. Especially, red cloth lanterns in front of each store make the market become one of the most beautiful parts of Saigon people Around Tet festival, parallel sentences, artificial peach blossoms, artificial apricot blossoms, red envelope, models of red carp, gold coin, square sticky rice cake, cylindrical sticky rice cake are sold popularly along the street. One month before Mid-autumn festival, both adults and children are exciting at a wide range of lanterns in different shapes at the stores. Everyday Lantern Market is always crowded and busy with many people coming to buy decorations at wholesale and retail. The market is the soul of Vietnamese festivals and symbolizes for happiness and beauty. It shows us that Vietnamese people as well as Saigonese are always optimistic about life.

2. Chinese Medicine Market (China Town)

Chinese Herbal Medicine Street In China Town Saigon

Photo by Scooter Saigon Tour

There are about 188 Chinese Medicine Stores and Chinese Medicine Clinics on Hai Thuong Lan Ong street and its neighbor streets such as Luong Nhu Hoc, Phan Huy Chu, Trieu Quang Phuc. Located in Cho Lon, this area is called Saigon Chinese Medicine Market. These wholesale Chinese medicine stores are always crowded with hundreds of retailers. The specific smell of Chinese herbal medicines spread through the air on the streets. Dozens of medicine bags are placed in front of each store, workers who cut dried herbs into pieces and classify them do their works right on the pavements. This could be rarely seen in Western countries. Vietnamese people in South Vietnam believe that natural Chinese medicine is one of the best ways to treat their sick and detox human body. That may be one of reasons why Chinese Medicine Market still exists in the city for a long time.

3. Tan Thanh Motorbike Accessories Market (China Town)

tan thanh motorbike accessories market in saigon - Saigon hidden markets

Located on Nguyen Chi Thanh Street, District 5, Tan Thanh Market is known as the paradise of motorbike accessories in Ho Chi Minh City. There are hundreds of stores selling different kinds of accessories for Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Piaggio… motorbikes at wholesale and retail. There are both new and old, original and fake items which are sold at different prices. Most paths in the market are quite narrow and always full with people and vehicles. Customer could be a poor student coming to buy items at cheap price to fix his old motorbike or shop owners from for neighbor provinces buy motorbike accessories to resell. This is an ideal place to hunt rare accessories for classic and vintage Cub, Honda 67, Vespa motorbikes.

4. Thuan Kieu Bird Market (China Town)

Thuan Kieu bird market

The bustling Thuan Kieu Bird Market couldn’t be missed in the list of Saigon hidden markets. Located in an small area under shadow of an old tamarind tree, Thuan Kieu Bird Market are popular with bird lovers for over 20 years. Driving to the crossroads of Thuan Kieu, Hong Bang and Chau Van Liem streets in District 5, drivers can listen to sound of birds singing and chirping all around. Lots of bird lovers gather around hundreds of bird cages to find good birds, bird cages and foods for birds (crickets, grasshoppers, insects).

5. Trang Tu Fruit & Vegetable Market (China Town)

trang tu fruit market in saigon

Photo by Scooter Saigon Tour

Next to Cho Lon coach station, Trang Tu street (District 5) is known as the best place to buy fruits and vegetables at low prices. Sellers arrange their goods on sheets, in baskets or rolling carts along the street. Most seasonal tropical fruits are fresh, delicious and transferred from Mekong Delta and other regions of the country. Some Vietnamese fruits such as mangosteen, tamarind, acelora, custard-apple, sapote, soursop, rambutan, dragon fruit… may be strange to Western people. It’s a big chance to touch, smell and taste these amazing fruits.  They also sell colorful flowers and fresh vegetables at this market. The special part of Trang Tu market is that it’s easy for buyers to drive around, stop and pick some fruits without hopping off the motorbike.

6. Fruit Floating Market (District 7)

floating market in district 8 - saigon contrast tour by motorbike - photo by tracy do

Photo by Scooter Saigon Tour

Cai Be floating market (Tien Giang province) and Cai Rang floating market (Can Tho city) are famous for the special way of selling and buying goods on rivers. No need to go far, tourists can learn more about an interesting part of culture in South Vietnam – floating market culture. Driving along Te channel (Tran Xuan Soan street, District 7), you can see a long line of over 100 wooden boats with tons of fruits and specialties from Mekong Delta. Boat owners arrange their products on the pavement of the street. People love to buy fruits there because they are fresh, delicious and cheap. All children live with their parents right on the boats, there are enough furniture and commodities for living in these tight “floating houses”.

7. Ho Thi Ky Flower Market (District 10)

visiting-ho-thi-ky-flower-market-on-saigon-sightseeing-tour-and-street-foods-by-motorbike-tracy-do

Photo by Scooter Saigon Tour

Established in 1996, Ho Thi Ky flower market is the unique and the biggest wholesale flower market in Ho Chi Minh city. Today, it’s the popular place for retailers in the city who come to buy flowers at wholesale or people who want to buy flowers at cheap price. It’s a 500 meter long street, named Ho Thi Ky, which is full of counters and kiosks selling flowers and everything need to arrange flowers. The market is always colorful with hundreds of fresh and smelling flowers.

Refer to this blog http://scootersaigontour.com/saigon-photos-flower-market-ho-thi-ky/

8. Pet Market (Le Hong Phong Street, District 10)

pet market on Le hong phong street, HCMC

Le Hong Phong street is famous for many pet stores that are opened next to each other. Sounds of nice dogs and cats are everywhere and attract people passing the street. Prices are different and depend on ages, breeds, etc… Locals call a part of this street Le Hong Phong pet market. This pet market has existed for 30 years and been favorite place of pet lovers in Saigon.

9. Nhat Tao Electronics Market (District 10)

Nhat Tao Electronics Market In Saigon

Photo by Scooter Saigon Tour

Locals call the area where most stores sell electronic items on Ly Nam De, Tan Phuoc, Vinh Vien, Ly Thuong Kiet Street in District 10 Nhat Tao electronics market. This is one of the most special Saigon hidden markets because most of vendors sell their goods right on the streets. A wide range of electronic items could be found at this market. Especially, old items are sold at very cheap price. Thousands of laptops, smartphones, earphones, television remotes, adapters, computer parts… are piled up on plastic sheets on pavements. The atmosphere is very busy and crowded with people choosing and bargaining.

It’s a big miss of Saigon sightseeing tour by bus on which tourists are showed famous attractions on main roads. There are thousands of strange things and real local life which could be seen in far districts. The only way to see Saigon hidden markets is joining a Saigon Sightseeing Tour by Motorbike with local guide.

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