Ho Chi Minh City is filled with a handful of markets such as its busy shopping streets and cleaner shopping complexes. Shopping in Ho Chi Minh City definitely provides a wide array of selections. But even if you do not do any shopping, visiting the market is a great way to sense and feel the Vietnamese way of life. With the war-ravaged past of Vietnam, visiting the War Surplus Market is indeed a great way to experience the country and its war history.
Vietnamese markets are all about the noise of people bargaining and gossiping coupled with the smell of freshly grown produce. The city of Ho Chi Minh truly comes alive with the sights, sounds and smells of what an authentic Vietnamese market brings. And where else could you find a market almost entirely dedicated to selling military relics and army surplus? Nowhere else but in Vietnam, probably.
The Dan Sinh Market, also known as the American Market of Ho Chi Minh City, sells surplus military items, military clothing and fake souvenirs. Upon entering the market, you will see many fully dressed mannequins in 1960s Soviet flight uniforms and helmets. All of it just looks straight out of a war movie. Going to this market will definitely leave you bearing everything you’ll ever need for a weekend of family camping or items you will need when entering the private army. Whether you’ll need a gas mask, a stretch, army knives, foot powder, a compass or a duffel bag, the Dan Sinh Market will most likely have it. Unfortunately, many authentic items are gradually disappearing and being replaced by copies and reproductions. Nevertheless, the market still provides plenty of war-related items to choose from.
For this reason, visitors enjoy looking around the War Surplus Market to check out old remnants and military style equipment. Sift through rows and rows of military boots or grab the masses of army colored shirts and trousers to bring home. Being surrounded by such items and equipment on sale can provide an eerie feeling, especially considering the once intense war past of the country.
Going around this offbeat market feels a bit like being an archaeologist. You’ll never know what to find as you’ll have to search through hundreds of items to see what the market really offers. Get your share of many little oddities such as rusty old lighters, dog tags, helmets and other equipment that make great keepsakes to bring home. In addition to military-inspired apparel and items, the Dan Sinh Market also has a flea market of goods and household items such as salt dispensers, woks and electronic tools.
The Vietnam locals do not see the Vietnam-American War the same way as foreigners do. Many have since realized that the war plays a huge part on how foreigners see Vietnam and decided to respond to this by making money out of it. Stop by the War Surplus Market along Yersin Street of District 1 in Ho Chi Minh City and see the military past of Vietnam come to life once again.