Where to buy your gas masks in Saigon

We’ve all been there. You move to a new city and have to go through the process of familiarising yourself with the new environment and where to go to get your daily necessities. Where’s the best cappuccino? Which dry cleaner does a good job at a great price? And of course, where can you pick up some land mines and a gas mask or two?

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When it comes to Ho Chi Minh City, I’m still searching for that elusive perfect coffee, but I can tell you where to pick up supplies if you’re planning on taking over a small country by force…

Dan Sinh market, right near the centre of downtown Saigon has all your military needs!

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OK, so they don’t really stock active weapons, but you’d be surprised at the products tucked away in small nooks in this large market. I saw deactivated land mines, bomb casings, night vision glasses and of course gas masks.

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While there’s a lot of tacky tourist items on display, if you’re a keen treasure hunter that frequents flea markets in search of that unique and obscure item to bring home and show off when guests drop by, this is the place for you!

As a photographer, I was pretty tempted to pick up myself some vintage cameras.

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Some were on show in display cases, while others were buried under piles of random “junk”.

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A visit to Dan Sinh market would have collectors of various persuasions feeling that they’d died and gone to heaven.

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Venture beyond the tiny corner of the market that caters to tourists and collectors, and you’ll quickly discover that this is a bustling market that sells all manner of goods to locals. Around every corner and down every narrow aisle lie products of every kind – from pizza ovens to forklifts. The wide assortment of machines and technical parts makes this market a photographer’s paradise, as there is so much to visually stimulate you that it’s hard to know where to look!

Bolts

Pipes, Vietnam style.

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If you know me, you’ll know I couldn’t go to a place with so many people and not try to capture some characters to share with y’all. Dan Sinh market is a great place for street photography and environmental portraits!

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I had a ball when I wandered through Dan Sinh market, and I’m sure it’s gonna be high on my list of places to return to again and again. It really is a photographer’s paradise!

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