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Ben Thanh Market
If you are a Harry Potter fan, you will thoroughly understand me when I compare Ben Thanh Market with the Room of Requirement inside the Hogwarts Castle. Right from spices, desserts, alcohol, medicines, fruits and vegetables to clothing, bags, shoes, watches, perfumes, cheap cosmetics and jewellery, you only have to think of something in order to find it in this central market. The shopkeepers are the most excited bunch I have ever seen and love bargaining while playfully pulling your leg for no reason at all. For those who find shopping boring, visit the confusing and crowded lanes and bylanes of Ben Thanh in order to see how it can be a whole lot of fun. Getting there: Taking a metered taxi from a reputed company is a good idea with 'Mai Linh' being the most popular and you could be charged around 15,000 VND for the first kilometre. Flagging taxis is easy because Ben Thanh is extremely popular but you could also ask your hotel staff to call you one.
Sucking in a lungful of fresh mountain air we headed to Coffee Street, which is packed with little coffee stalls (obviously). Combined with the clean, crisp air you’ll definitely be wide awake by now.We joined a local bus for the day-long drive to Dalat which gave us a chance to mix with locals and other travellers on board. We journeyned past rubber and teak plantations before ascending the jungle-clad pass to Bao Loc. We continued past tea and coffee plantations, where the people and their houses look very different to those in Ho Chi Minh.We explored some of the more interesting sights in Dalat, including the old railway station, Bao Dai, and the Hang Nga Guesthouse, known as the 'Crazy House'.We also paid a visit to one of Dalat's most notable residents, Buddhist monk/artist, Vien Thuc, and purchased his black ink on paper paintings and calligraphy for approximately US$5 a piece.We had lunch upstairs on the 'mezzanine' floor of the fruit and vegetable pavilion in Dalat's central market.We then took a trip out to 'Lat Village' – a local ethnic hill tribe community located just outside Dalat.
Cai Rang Floating Market
Hire a boat to witness the early morning Cai Rang floating market, which is the biggest of all the floating markets in the Vietnam Mekong Delta region and enjoy a bowl of noodle for breakfast on the floating market. It is the least explored city in Mekong Delta with hardly few tourists wandering along its streets.