Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Chợ Bến Thành – Part II

I’ve resigned myself to have to re-write this post because I will not have access to my laptop for a while yet (it’s raining again anyway so what else am I going to do?). This is at the risk of not including the witty and thought provoking comments I initially came up with…!

For the second part of Chợ Bến Thành, I wanted to cover the interior of the market. There is a variety of wares from clothes to trinkets targeted at tourists and more food! The market is somewhat divided based on what vendors are selling (clothes, food, fabric, etc.) but you can always find something that does not quite fit. I really enjoy taking pictures here of rows or bins of one element; however, some vendors get testy and insist on no pictures.

I have already sufficiently covered the eating and drinking quarter. I should probably get back to the Chợ Bến Thành Challenge...!

Hmmm! I'm planning to bring home Vietnamese peppercorn.

This is pretty much the "Snack Shack": candies, cashews, candied fruit, beef jerky,...

I find these bags of rice and beans beautiful! They would make lovely pictures in a kitchen!

There is still fresh food to be found inside the market.

This lady sells sliced corn to make chè bắp (corn based Vietnamese dessert) or corn spring rolls!

You can also stop over for a manicure in the market!

This picture is not exciting nor appetizing. However, I like being able to buy fresh bun (rice vermicelli). The same vendor also sells different rice papers.

This vendor specializes in fresh bamboo and pickled greens.

Lots of dried shrimp and fish. I'm not sure if the lights are for seeing purposes or to keep the shrimp dry?

Mắm (fremented fish and shrimp) galore! If only this was a smell-o-blog!

Jars of coffee and tea.

I always come to this Chinese vendor. I was so excited to buy fresh baby corns since I've only had the canned stuff!

She also has a great variety of mushrooms and I love mushrooms! Unfortunately some look better than they taste. On top is fresh nấm thông khô (so flavourful! not sure if they're the same as shitake but they're so heartier). Second is nấm đùi gà - literally chicken thigh mushrooms. Third are oyster mushrooms. The last one I don't know the name but they are very common; I actually like the canned ones better than the fresh ones.

They also sell lạp xưởng with chunks of peppercorn that I used to make fried rice. I'll have a post about food I have cooked here!

Enough with the food. As I mentioned, there is more than food at Chợ Bến Thành. I still have not bought much in terms of touristy knickknacks. I will have to start shopping for gifts soon! It's hard though when you see these things everywhere; they just don't feel as special anymore!

The beauty product row: perfume, shampoo, etc.

There are many fabric vendors targeting both tourists and locals. The colourful fabric is to make áo dài (Vietnamese dress). You can even get your clothes made here!

The West side of the market targets tourists but don't believe the sign and still try to negotiate!

Lacoste or Ralph Lauren shirts anyone?

Pretty bejewelled slippers.

Wooden statues and chopsticks.

Those fruit on the left are fake. The fruit picks are so kitschy I might have to get some!

Colourful silk lanterns.

Cute figurines wearing Vietnamese costumes.

Stuffed elephants from Sapa.


Wandering Chopsticks said...

I have three sets of fruit picks and love them. They're great for getting the meat out of snails too.

Last mushroom picture is straw mushrooms. The "chicken thigh" mushrooms are also called king oyster mushrooms.

Bill said...

That was awesome. I like the "Nail" shop the most. Hehehehe they like to do only 1 nail, just 1.

Miss.Adventure said...

WC: I think I will get the durian fruit picks!!

You're so knowledgeable! I was so excited to taste the king oyster mushroom but just like the straw ones, they taste a bit sour?

Bill: Store names and menus can always be depended on as entertainment in VN!

Wandering Chopsticks said...

No no! King oyster mushrooms taste quite sweet and meaty. Just like oyster mushrooms but bigger. They're great on the grill. Maybe the sourness is because they weren't refrigerated?

Anonymous said...

The first call "nam dong co" is shitake the last call "nam rom" .
Can you ask if they have dry "nam rom" so you can buy some to bring home .