|Bargains: For people who love secondhand or old products, a flea market owned by singer Cao Minh on No Trang Long Street in Binh Thanh District is a good choice. — Photo ivivu.com
by Thu Anh
HCM CITY (VNS) — While flea markets are relatively new in HCM City, many of them have become busier than ever, offering a wide array of old and vintage items.
The Saigon Flea Market in District 7's Phu My Hung area, for example, has operated since 2000 from 1pm until late at night on the second Sunday every month.
Attracting about 2,000 foreigners and Vietnamese each month, the flea market has 40 stalls which display home decor products, goods for children, vintage fashion, jewellery, wine, and fine food.
Last month, a South Korean owner of a downtown hair salon, bought a set of six handmade table napkins at VND200,000 (US$9.5).
"I love walking around here to shop for handmade products. I can chat with the dealers, who share my hobby," she said.
Another customer, Nguyen Thi Ngoc Thuy, said that she was satisfied after shopping at a very low price.
"A vintage dress would cost me at least VND1 million ($45). I bought this for only VND300,000 at this market."
"I spent VND25,000 ($1.2) to buy a handmade bracelet made of fabric at a shop owned by two young women, who make beautiful accessories," she added.
Thuy, a housewife who has two daughters, also enjoys the market's special events that encourage customers to use eco-friendly products and take part in charity activities.
Flea markets are often open from late afternoon until evening on the weekends.
Each market has around 20 stalls which offer a wide variety of quality goods, including handmade and secondhand items.
For people who love secondhand and old products, a flea market owned by singer Cao Minh on No Trang Long Street in Binh Thanh District is a good choice.
The market opens every Sunday morning and has 12 stalls offering old coins and bank notes, battered lighters, gramophones produced in the 60s, ashtrays made from bullet cartridges, and mobile phones.
It is also possible to buy items produced recently as well as those made several decades ago. Electric rice cookers, TV's and antennas, radio and hi-fi equipment, and fans are all available at low prices.
Some goods look very old and many people think them worthless but eventually all these items find new owners. Parts for old machines and other items can also be purchased.
Cameraman Tran Vinh Phu bought a 12 digit electronic calculator without a back cover for only VND21,000 ($1).
"I repair watches and electronic calculators. I can use parts from this calculator to repair other calculators," he said.
One interesting market is the 1Spot market located in Victoria Hotel on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, District 3, where 70 percent of the goods are handmade. The market opens at 6pm every Saturday night.
With more than 50 stands specialising in accessories, clothes, jewellery and shoes, visitors, particularly women, can buy all-in-one here.
A market selling secondhand products is among the newest outlets in the city. Located on Nguyen Van Huong Street in District 2, The Saigon Urban Flea Market operates from 3pm to 9pm on the second Sunday every month.
It has 40 stalls featuring vintage and retro clothing, art collections and antiques. The market attracts many foreigners who love jewellery and art and crafts made by local artisans and designers.
The Youth Cultural House's flea market in District 3 sells clothing, shoes and accessories such as bags, belts and purses. It is open every Sunday night and attracts students and workers.
Low prices have helped these markets survive. Many people who love to window-shop and bargain love shopping here because of the atmosphere.
The vendors do not harass customers, which makes the excursions to the markets an enjoyable and relaxing way of spending the day. — VNS