A Saigon leaf market that can only be seen once a year

Thanh Nien News

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The market sells green leaves for making sticky rice cakes, a specialty of the Tet Lunar New Year


 This is a unique market in Tan Binh District. Every year, from the 20th to 28th of the final lunar month, sellers of dong leaves and bamboo strings would gather along Cach Mang Thang Street. The leaves are used to wrap a traditional cake called banh chung. Photos credit: Thanh Hoa/Saigon Times Online
 The market starts early in the morning and ends around midnight every day. This year it takes place from January 29 to February 6.
 Le Minh Quang, who has sold dong leaves at the market for more than 15 years, said the leaves here are mainly brought from the southern province of Dong Nai and the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong.
 A bunch of 50 big leaves are sold for VND100,000-120,000 this year, small leaves for VND40,000-50,000 this year. Bamboo strings are sold for VND5,000-8,000 a bunch.
 Tran Thi Ngoc Anh said she sells home-grown leaves and that she has sold 10,000 leaves in the past three days.
 Wooden frames used to give banh chung a good shape are sold for VND20,000-45,000 each, depending on their sizes.
 Besides dong, banana leaves which are used to wrap log-like rice cake banh tet can also be found at the market.
Original Vietnamese story can be found here in Saigon Times Online

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