Want to buy some war-related souvenirs? This is the place to go For a quick overview about Yersin Market, also known as Dan Sinh Market or the American Market, check out this video:
- Name: Yersin Market – Dan Sinh Market – The American Market
- Address: 104 Yersin Street, District 1, HCMC.
- Opening time: from 7 A.M. to 5 P.M.
- Most common commodities: military items, camping gear, mechanical tools, clothes, antiques, electric machinery…
- Visitor: locals from the residential area of District 1 and the surrounding area, collectors, and foreigners
- Origin of the goods at the market: Vietnam, China
A First Look at Yersin – The American Market
Dan Sinh Market, or Yersin Market, was named after the French biologist and adventurer Alexandre Yersin. He is honored as the founder of Vietnam’s Pasteur Institutes, Indochina Medical University, and some other valuable facilities. Specializing in a wide range of the war surplus and camping items, this American market houses a warren of stalls offering industrial-sized electrical appliances as well as imported machinery.
Did you know: Yersin Market used to be a gambling zone for the American soldiers during the War?
Located in an old building with a storied past, the predecessor of Dan Sinh market used to be Kim Chung Area, a betting ground for American soldiers. By the end of 1954, this gambling zone gave way to its current form, the marketplace you can visit today.
How Can I Get to Yersin – The American Market?
Dan Sinh Market is situated at 104 Yersin Street in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City, surrounded by four streets: Nguyen Thai Binh, Yersin, Nguyen Cong Tru, and Ky Son, and next to Phung Son Tu Pagoda.
It only takes a short five-minute walk to get to Yersin Market from the downtown area – about half a mile southwest of Ben Thanh Market. With such a prime location being close to the tourist hub, it is easy to get to the market from the city’s center by walking.
What Can I Find at Yersin – The American Market?
As a collector, visiting The American Market is a must-do on your Saigon itinerary. Stall after stall sell, you’ll find all kinds of antiques, from authentic items to replicas of antiquated war. If procuring authentic pieces is a priority, then please be advised that there are fakes so browse wisely or bring along an expert in the field. Normally, the selling prices begin at 100,000 VND (about $5 USD) and are capped at about 1,000,000 VND (about $40 USD.) If they quote you anything over that, they are most likely taking advantage of you.
Old Style War Surplus
To locate the specific area in the market dedicated to war surplus, turn left right after crossing through the main door of the market and keep going straight. Otherwise, you might end up walking in circles and may have to give up if you can’t find anyone who can speak or at least understand English to help you get to your final destination. Along the way, there will be many stalls where you can find items related to the Vietnam War from both infantries (i.e. the Vietnamese and the Americans.) The most common goods here include old zippo lighters, the helmets of fighter pilots, M-17 gas masks, dog tags, and army uniforms.
Rare Hardware and Electrical Goods
During your perusal, you will also see countless stalls showcasing different types of building materials, plumbing pipes, household hardware, and industrial machinery. Local handymen usually come here to stock up on equipment for a decent price. You can also purchase accessories and spare or replacement parts for your own vehicle, which may be difficult to find anywhere else.
Useful Camping Gear
A small region of the market boasts quality camping gear of the highest caliber. This is especially useful for those about to set off on a full-blown outdoor expedition. You can find heavy-duty, water-resistant clothing, thick bomber type jackets, combat tents, rain boots, mini binoculars, sleeping bags, and mosquito nets.
Advice from the Writer
It has been 41 years since the Vietnam War ended, therefore, it is challenging to find truly authentic items. Luckily, nowadays, more and more sellers are admitting that their goods are copies and/or reproductions. If you’re a serious collector, that may be disheartening. But then again, there are those who just want to take home a keepsake with meaning. The prices of the products are always negotiable so remember to bargain with the vendors to get the best prices.
SHOULD I GO THERE? YES!
At Yersin Market, not only can you buy a unique souvenir, but you can also leave with a better understanding of the painful effects of The Vietnam War, known as The American War in this country. Beyond that, if you want to find good gears for your next camping trip, this market is your best bet. Undoubtedly, Yersin Market has never lost its reverence of historic values for all the years it’s been running.
- The market provides old military items, war memorabilia, as well as special gears for camping trips that are hard to be found at any other markets in Saigon;
- The prices of the products are negotiable;
- The market is in the city’s center.
- Many items, especially old stuff, are fake;
- The alleyways inside the market are quite dark and narrow.
Is it interesting? Pick a free day to go to Yersin Market with your friends this weekend and get yourself some cool souvenirs! Let us know how your experience was in the comments below!
Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Saigon’s Many Markets
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