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Saigon antique market connects past and present  

Sunday, September 24, 2017, 14:23 GMT+7
Saigon antique market connects past and present  
The antique market is a household name among local enthusiasts. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The antique market, held every Sunday since 2013 inside Cao Minh Café, tucked away in a small alley on No Trang Long Street, Binh Thanh District, teems with commotion from vendors and shop goers.

The venue appeals to clients from different age brackets and walks of life thanks to its wide array of age-old items.

While elderly people come to the market, which is a household name among local antique buffs, to look for mementoes that hold memories of their childhood or the wartime years, youths mostly come to indulge in their collecting hobbies, sip coffee or learn more about items used by previous generations.

Shoppers, window shoppers and stall owners pay an entrance fee of VND30,000 (US$1.3), which covers part of the drinks.

The market sessions typically run from 6:00 am to 2:00 pm.

“The market is actually a reputable exchange venue for antique enthusiasts who come to trade or just show off their prized collectibles. The artifacts’ values lie in their age and rarity,” Khanh, a stall owner, said.

“Aficionados go to great lengths to scour for rare items or heirlooms throughout the Mekong Delta and display them for sale at the sessions,” he noted.

The market is held every Sunday since 2013 inside Cao Minh Café, tucked away in Alley 311 on No Trang Long Street, Binh Thanh District. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The market is held every Sunday since 2013 inside Cao Minh Café, tucked away in Alley 311 on No Trang Long Street, Binh Thanh District. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Buffs tend to examine their rare finds carefully. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Buffs tend to examine their rare finds carefully. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Adam (right), a British man, and his girlfriend spend their weekend scouring for porcelain decorative items for their study. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Adam (right), a British man, and his girlfriend spend their weekend scouring for porcelain decorative items for their study. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Many foreign tourists and expats also frequent the market. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Many foreign tourists and expats also frequent the market. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Zippo lighters are among the most sought-after items at the market thanks to usability. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Zippo lighters are among the most sought-after items at the market thanks to usability. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Vietnamese coins of diverse denominations released in different periods. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Vietnamese coins of diverse denominations released in different periods. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The market also proves a magnet to middle-aged and elderly people, who are in the majority of the clientele. Upon receiving phone calls from shop owners, these patrons will show up immediately at the market to see the items for themselves.  Photo: Tuoi Tre
The market also proves a magnet to middle-aged and elderly people, who are in the majority of the clientele. Upon receiving phone calls from shop owners, these patrons will show up immediately at the market to see the items for themselves. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A handful of 30-dong banknotes first issued in 1985 are traded at the market. Shop owners only wish to sell one banknote for each kind and save the remainder for other clients to behold and buy. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A handful of 30-dong banknotes first issued in 1985 are traded at the market. Shop owners only wish to sell one banknote for each kind and save the remainder for other clients to behold and buy. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Frenchman Jon Allsop, who has lived in Vietnam for more than two years, and his Vietnamese wife run a stall at the market every Sunday to sell unique collectibles he bought from France. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Frenchman Jon Allsop, who has lived in Vietnam for more than two years, and his Vietnamese wife run a stall at the market every Sunday to sell unique collectibles he bought from France. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A myriad of unique, sophisticated items are displayed for sale at the market. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A myriad of unique, sophisticated items are displayed for sale at the market. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Most of the items are fetched from households in rural areas.  Photo: Tuoi Tre
Most of the items are fetched from households in rural areas. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A client beholds an age-old clock with keen interest for its sheer beauty. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A client beholds an age-old clock with keen interest for its sheer beauty. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Youths frequent the market for decorative items for their cafés.  Photo: Tuoi Tre
Youths frequent the market for decorative items for their cafés. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Ancient coins adopted by countries in Asia and Europe typically attract shoppers’ attention. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Ancient coins adopted by countries in Asia and Europe typically attract shoppers’ attention. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Enthusiasts often buy antique kerosene lamps, old cameras and porcelain wares as decorative items for their homes. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Enthusiasts often buy antique kerosene lamps, old cameras and porcelain wares as decorative items for their homes. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Oanh, who specializes in collectibles imported from Russia, runs a stall at the market. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Oanh, who specializes in collectibles imported from Russia, runs a stall at the market. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Glittery precious gems are also displayed for sale at the market.  Photo: Tuoi Tre
Glittery precious gems are also displayed for sale at the market. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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