Today on our tour of the top markets of Vietnam, we finally venture a little further outside of the District 1 bubble of Saigon to An Dong market. Located in District 5 (basically the Chinatown of Saigon), An Dong is a shopper’s paradise.
The first thing you need to learn before venturing out to An Dong, however, is that there are two of them: An Dong 1 and An Dong 2 (or An Dong plaza) that are quite different from each other. An Dong 1 is the older market and basically the wholesale, Costco version of Ben Thanh Market. The large, multi-story concrete building isn’t the most elegant piece of architecture in Vietnam, but is impressive for its sheer size and super-efficient design. Walk inside and prepare to feel like you’re being swallowed by some massive mythical creature.
Outside and on the ground floor of the market, you can find tons food vendors various food products for sale. You’ll also probably run into a number of chickens and monkeys running around. This is a great place to grab a bite to eat before venturing into the maw of An Dong 1. Like most markets in Vietnam, An Dong is divided into sections. In this case, each floor mostly specializes in certain products, and there are large signs by the escalators telling you whats on each floor. The market as a whole is geared towards clothing and fabric, though and you can find some great deals here. Since it’s further from the touristy center of Saigon, the prices are also lower and the vendors less pushy. So even though you can find yourself squeezing through some tight, jam-packed corridors like at Ben Thanh, you’ll probably feel more at ease. Combined with the surprisingly good ventilation An Dong 1 makes for a great shopping destination.
Once you’ve shopped your feel of An Dong, you can make it over to sleek and modern An Dong 2 for a completely different type of market. The great thing is… they’re almost literally right next door to each other! That’s a story for another week though, so stay tuned folks!