Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ho Chi Minh City: Ben Thanh Market

In Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), one of the big markets is Ben Thanh market, built in 1912 on the site of a previous informal vendor market.  It's become a little bit touristy- lots of t-shirts and souvenirs- but it still has a food section, complete with produce, meats, fish and dry goods.


The tofu lady... how many types of soy product can you count?:

Chicken nut sacks:

Shellfish sorting:

I don't know if you can tell from these photos below, but this lady is engaged in an act you don't see everyday... first she beheads the frog, dropping the head in the yellow basket, then she skins the frog, dropped the skin into the green basket, then she drops the recently denuded frog body onto the ground to her left where it continues to jump and flop around for several minutes afterwards.  I wish I had video.  

Also, I love the woman crouched on the counter behind her... why is she standing on the counter while the other woman preps food on the floor? 


This lady, butchering fish, made me laugh because despite the fact that she is wearing essentially pajamas and rubber boots and is coated in fish guts, she has a full face of makeup on, pink lipstick and all:

I love the blue color of these crabs:

Veggies ahoy:

Piles o' fish:

Hanging meats:

Offal!!  Stomach in the front, various organs to the left, pig ears to the far left, brains to the right, and in the center in front of the vendor, dark cubes of congealed pig's blood (which Tim and I ate in a chicken and rice soup in Hue one night when we were feeling adventurous... at the time, we thought maybe it was liver, but in retrospect it was clearly blood jello):

Dried goods, including more dried shrimp and dried sea cucumber than you can shake a stick at:

Narrow aisles full of goodies:


Betel nut paraphernalia:

The coconut lady, with coconut in its various forms:


  1. Thanks to the phrase 'blood jello' I will no longer read this blog in the morning while enjoying my breakfast.


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