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Cho Ben Thanh is one of the most interesting places in Ho Chi Minh City, Shopping is good here but bargaining is a must. One of the major interesting thing you can find at Cho Ben Thanh is the food. Go here for "real Vietnamese food". Inside the market food section there are many vendors and food stalls, most of them preparing food freshly made to order.
In the evening, you must visit Cho Ben Thanh for dinner. Sidewalk restaurants serve real Vietnamese food with white table cloths and meals are good value and delicious. You can order all kinds of original Vietnamese food here, deep fried whole fish being one of the best selections on their menus! Make sure that you do not sit too deep in to the tent, try to sit outside where it is cooler and more enjoyable.
When you are in Ho Chi Minh City, try to stay near by Cho Ben Thanh, this is a central area for tourist attractions. You can walk to the presidentail palace, cathedral, etc.