chinatown market, ho chi minh

just to follow up with ben thanh, here’s the other market that people bandy about in ho chi minh: binh tay. they sound phonetically very similar, so be careful what you tell the taxi driver – my dad tripped up on his instructions a few times.

despite our years of coming to ho chi minh, this was our first visit at this market and probably our last.

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ben thanh market, ho chi minh

I think it’s time I told you about my trip to ho chi minh and the mekong delta – the start of the year is always a great time to daydream about holidays and places, and ho chi minh is a great place to be. I visited in late december – yes, I know, a little out-dated but still relevant, nonetheless – and took quite a few photos to share!

I’ll start with something familiar and known to people who have ever been to, or considered traveling to ho chi minh: the central ben thanh market. right in the middle of town, this market operates in a day largely within a huge covered compound, with a smattering of countless shops (most of them are just store fronts with goods piled high and the storeholders sitting on a tiny chair beside) selling anything from clothes, to houseware, to dried goods and fresh fruit. this is, of course, highly tourist-centric, but it doesn’t detract from the charm of the place.

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dean & deluca, town

just a few photos for you about the brand new imported foodstore in orchard central. this is an outpost of a famous store in the united states of america and boy was I excited at the prospects of possibly buying cheap-ish cereal as well as other western treats. but alas, it was not meant to be. I’m not sure why I had such high hopes anyway since dean & deluca are a gourmet food store.

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fruit+veg markets, poland

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just a couple snapshots from my visit to markets in krakow and gdansk.

i am a complete photo-junkie when I get to markets – there’s something about all that colour, and the lighting that you get in the morning/afternoons (which is the time that they’re open) makes photography a pleasure.

I love markets like these – in london my favourite is borough market, but that’s quite a bit of a trek for me so I don’t usually go there. there is north end road market, but I find that a little more real-life (to me) and less outing-like, which is what I think of my trips to borough.

in europe there are amazing markets like these in squares, and oftentimes we just happen on them. most of them are going out of fashion since supermarkets are taking over the world becoming more prevalent and the younger generation (I’m an old soul myself) tend to prefer pretty standard-looking fruit and pink slabs of meat in plastic wrapping. I do most of my shopping in supermarkets so I’m not being judgmental; I just think that when we can, we ought to help our small-scale growers and small-business owners as possible.

polish markets were interesting to me because I realise that they carry quite a bit more dried fruit (as part of the fruit stores, instead of separate stalls as is normal) and I saw these dried black pears (3rd photo down on the left).

if you know what those dried pears are used for please let me know! I’ve done a google but I’ve been turning up recipes for the typical semi-dried pear slices that we usually get.