Posts Tagged ‘Market’

Phuthai Souvenir Markets and Handicrafts is the biggest souvenir store in Phuket. I read somewhere that the tour drivers may receive petrol coupons when they bring tourists to the store. This might just be true because there were a lot of tourists there when we dropped by.

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They have lots of novelty items for sale that are good as take home souvenirs or gifts to friends and family back home. Honestly, majority of the items are quite expensive so we mostly just browsed around, looking for cheap deals.

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For some reason, the store contained a lot of bags that are designed to look like owls. Maybe the Thais have a fascination for owls? LOL, I dunno…market3

I also did not get the toy snakes and the can opener. Are these signature Thai items? The photo album in the middle is actually pretty nice but very expensive so I did not buy it.market4These pens were far more affordable and actually made more sense than most of the random items all around. I walked out of the store with packs of pens that I gave away to office mates and friends when I got back from my vacation.

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If I had the extra money (and a beautiful house to hang them up on), I would have taken home one of these wood carvings. Maybe next time…

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As mentioned, most of the items in the store are expensive so it’s actually better to wait til you get to Bangkok for your pasalubong shopping. That is if you’re heading to Bangkok after which is exactly what we did. That being said, Phuthai Souvenir Markets is still worth the visit.

 

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Last April, I went on a multi-city Indochina trip with my good friend, Timmy. Our trip started off at Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam (also known as Saigon). We got to the airport past 1am and we had to pass the time outside Tan Son Nhat Airport because for some reason, it closes down at around 3am. We dozed on and off while waiting for the 1st bus trip that would take us to the main city area. We could have easily taken a cab but we wanted to play the backpacker card and chose to commute via local transport as much as we can.

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The bus passed by before 6am and we immediately got on board. We asked the bus driver to drop us off at a station nearest to Ben Thanh Market. From there, we only had to walk a short distance to reach the market area.

In the middle of a round about in front of the market, we saw a statue of Tran Nguyen Han, apparently a famous general who served under King Le Loi in the 15th century.

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Ben Thanh Market is arguably the most famous market in Vietnam. The market is one of the earliest surviving structures in Saigon and today is considered as one of the symbols of Ho Chi Minh City.

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The main gate of the market has a yellow clock tower. Inside is a tightly organized grid of aisles, arranged according to product. Most of the shops were still closed when we got there so there was not much foot traffic yet. Trust me, it gets pretty crowded when the market is in full swing. We headed to the inner section of the market, where a good number of food stalls were already open.

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An array of freshly cooked skewered meats were in display but I wanted my first meal in Vietnam to be as stereotypical as possible. I just had to have pho and spring rolls. HAD TO.

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There’s nothing like rice noodles, thin beef slices and herbs soaking in hot broth to start off  a day of adventure. The usual side of fresh bean sprouts were crispy and well… fresh haha! I did not bother with the leaves though mainly because I couldn’t identify what they were. I squeezed in a small amount of sriracha and that black sauce for additional flavor, mixed it all together and slurped away.

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These fresh spring rolls were also good mainly because of the peanut sauce. For some reason, the rolls tasted a little too ~healthy~ for me. I finished mine though because I hate to waste food but Timmy didn’t even bother with hers. I had to pry hers open, got rid of most of the leaves and smothered it with the sauce. It was much more palatable after that.

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I suggest everyone to try out the food stalls inside the Ben Thanh Market for a taste of cheap and authentic Vietnamese food.