An everything market
In Bà Chiểu market, located in Bình Thạnh District, you can find everything, from fish and flip flops to bedding and bottled water. It’s a big, cool, shaded place, and overflows into the surrounding streets. It’s not in the centre of the city, so that means you’ll find no tourists here – just friendly, genuine people going about their daily business. When the sun goes down, the market turns into a night market, with an equally varied number of goods for sale.
The market traders and customers are more than willing to help you find anything, but, if you don’t speak Vietnamese, it might be handy to bring a Vietnamese friend (or, failing that, at least a phrasebook).
There are some good food stalls outside the market too, so you can combine a visit with a cheap, tasty lunch. Down the right hand side of the market is a thin, covered walkway full of people selling a huge variety of fruit, so make sure you pick up some of that. On the market’s 1st floor are stalls selling loads of clothes, so if you’re in the mood for a new wardrobe, this is the place to go. Just don’t forget to haggle! The phrases đắt quá (expensive) and bớt đi (give me a discount) will come in handy.