As Tet (Lunar New Year) is approaching, many people in Ho Chi Minh City choose to do their shopping at night ahead of the holiday for different reasons, further enriching the city's bustling night life.
In the past few days, many streets in the city, particularly those in Districts 1 and 3, have been packed with shoppers, not only during the day but also in the wee hours.
Night shopping is common in Vietnamese cities, particularly Ho Chi Minh City, and the activity particularly gathers momentum as Tet is only one week away.
Tet begins on February 19 this year, with festive activity lingering on around one week after that.
Pham Van Hai night market in Tan Binh District is seen bustling with shoppers and diners on February 10, 2015, which is over one week away from Tet (Lunar New Year). Photo: Tuoi Tre
Night shopping has several advantages, according to shoppers.
"The city is at its best at night, when the air is cooler, and there's less scrambling, traffic and overcharging,” said Thanh Tam, a worker at a company in District 7.
Vo Thanh, an office worker, said he makes the most of the evenings to buy gifts for his family and relatives in his hometown.
Past 12:00 am on February 11, 2015, the footwear and clothing stalls on District 1’s Nguyen Trai Street were still packed with young clients. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Le Thi Rieng night market, which is adjacent to an eponymous park and spans four wards in District 3, District 10, and Tan Binh District, is an excellent choice for night shoppers.
The market is always bursting with life and commotion and brims with cheap consumer goods as well as all kinds of Tet products, including confectionery, dried food, flowers, and ornamental trees.
It is invariably packed with hundreds of shoppers and “window-shoppers” each night, especially around one or two weeks ahead of Tet.
A young couple is pictured picking Tet clothes for their would-be little son at an isolated stall on Binh Thanh District’s Phan Dang Luu Street at 11:16 pm on February 11, 2015. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Another night market popular with tourists, particularly foreigners, is the signature Ben Thanh market in the downtown area.
Located on Phan Boi Chau and Phan Chu Trinh Streets surrounding Ben Thanh Market in District 1, the night market boasts around 200 stalls which offer a wide array of products including footwear, clothing, cellphone accessories, and cuisine delights.
For the past 10 years the night market sessions, which typically open from 7:00 pm to 12:00 am each day, have thrived as one of the city’s hotspots among international tourists who want a slice of its vivacious nocturnal life and alluring culture.
A group of Ukrainian tourists are seen selecting "non la" (Vietnamese conical leaf hats) at Ben Thanh Market. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Night stalls at Ba Chieu Market in Binh Thanh District pictured at 1:00 am on February 12, 2015. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Many streets in the city lined with fashion shops -- including Cach Mang Thang 8, Le Van Sy, and Hai Ba Trung in District 3 and Nguyen Trai in District 1 -- are also crammed with night shoppers, who are drawn by tempting year-end discounts.
Shoppers were even seen past midnight on some days, as observed by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
Such markets as Pham Van Hai in Tan Binh District and Xom Chieu in District 4 also boast night stalls which offer a wide variety of affordable items during the final days of the lunar year.
Such cheap items can also be found at peddlers’ stalls which are gathered in small groups or scattered in isolation along the streets.
A young woman is shown taking a close look at the tubs of sunflowers at a flower market at Gia Dinh Park at 11:30 pm on February 11, 2015. Photo: Tuoi Tre