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Ben Thanh Market: Explore the long-standing symbol of Ho Chi Minh City

16/01/2024 70.985

As one of the most popular markets in Viet Nam, Ben Thanh Market embraces rich culture and a vibrant atmosphere. Read on to find all the information you need to make the most out of your visit to this iconic attraction in Ho Chi Minh City.

Ben Thanh Market

As the bustling heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Ben Thanh Market is a must-visit destination for any traveler. This market boasts a rich blend of history, culture, and commerce that can be discovered through its diverse array of stalls and shops. This article will cover everything you need to know about this vibrant market.

1. Where is Vietnam Ben Thanh Market? Why is it so famous?

  • Ben Thanh Market address: Le Loi Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Ben Thanh Market opening hours: 4 am - 7 pm

Located in the central area of Ho Chi Minh City, Ben Thanh Market is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the vibrant culture of Vietnam. More than just a place to shop, the market also offers opportunities for cultural and culinary exploration. From early morning until late at night, the market brims with vendors selling fresh vegetables, meat, seafood, and a variety of Vietnamese street food. Visitors can try many authentic dishes such as pho, banh mi, spring rolls, or shop for traditional items such as ao dai, lacquerware, and silk.

After over 100 years since its establishment, Ben Thanh Market has become not only a trading hub but also a witness to the many ups and downs of Saigon. Whether you are looking for a glimpse into the country's rich heritage, a taste of the local cuisine, or an insight into the daily life of Vietnamese people, the market can meet all your needs.

Ben Thanh Market

2. The history of Ben Thanh Market Ho Chi Minh City

Ben Thanh Market was originally built in the 17th century near Ben Nghe River to welcome visitors and soldiers into Gia Dinh Citadel. That is also why it was called Ben Thanh, as “ben” means "river wharf" and “thanh” means "citadel." The market was made from bricks, wood, and thatched roofs. After being used for decades, around 1911, the market became unstable and was in danger of collapse. To avoid this, French imperialists built a new market in Bo Ret area (or Marais Boresse area), which is now the current location of Ben Thanh Market. Construction began in 1912 and was completed in 1914. Since then, the market has undergone many renovations. Still, its exterior structure and clock tower have been preserved. 

Ben Thanh Market

3. How many entrances does Ben Thanh Market have?

The market has 4 main entrances and 12 sub-entrances. Each main entrance is located on a different street and displays many popular items for visitors to shop:

  • Ben Thanh Market - South Entrance: Located on Le Loi Street and facing Quach Thi Trang Park, this entrance is the main gate of the market. It features a famous 3-faced clock tower as the highlight of the market. This entrance attracts many tourists with an array of stalls selling a variety of goods, from colorful fabrics to aromatic dried foods.
  • Ben Thanh Market - East Entrance: Located on Phan Boi Chau Street, the east entrance is a paradise for cosmetic enthusiasts, with many cosmetic stalls offering a vast range of body, skin, and hair care products.
  • Ben Thanh Market - West Entrance: Located on Phan Chu Trinh Street, this entrance has many stalls selling shoes, handmade crafts, and souvenirs. 
  • Ben Thanh Market - North Entrance: Located on Le Thanh Tong Street, this entrance offers a variety of fresh flowers and tropical fruits. 
Ben Thanh Market

4. The top 3 things to do at Ben Thanh Market Saigon

Ben Thanh Market Ho Chi Minh Vietnam is known for its rich history, bustling atmosphere, and diverse goods. Below is a list of the top 3 things to do when visiting this market:

4.1. Explore the symbolic architecture of the market

Ben Thanh Market boasts a unique architectural style, which is a blend of Indochinese and French influences. It is a rectangular building with a notable clock tower in the front, a wooden vaulted ceiling, and open sides. Despite the many renovations, the exterior and clock tower of the market are still preserved, inviting visitors to discover a bygone era with every step they take. 

Ben Thanh Market

4.2. Enjoy delectable Ben Thanh Market food

For those who enjoy Vietnamese cuisine, the spacious dining area in Ben Thanh is a must-visit. This culinary destination features a diverse array of dishes from every region of Vietnam, drawing in both domestic and foreign visitors. Some prominent dishes at Ben Thanh Market Saigon include Vietnamese pancakes, avocado ice cream, Vietnamese noodles with grilled pork, grilled spring rolls, vermicelli with snails, and grilled meat skewers, all of which offer a rich explosion of flavors to satisfy your appetite.

Ben Thanh Market

4.3. Buy Ben Thanh Market souvenirs for your beloved

Apart from Ben Thanh Market food, this market is also a haven for souvenir hunters. With numerous shops selling various souvenirs, visitors can easily find unique items to bring back home as gifts for their loved ones. From traditional Vietnamese hats, silk scarves, clothing to wooden handicrafts, lacquerware, and ceramics, there is an endless array of gift options for you to choose from. If you are a fan of the local culture, don't miss out on some colorful conical hats or intricately embroidered Ao Dai dresses. Other popular souvenirs here include coffee beans, tea leaves, and various local spices.

Ben Thanh Market

5. Ben Thanh Market opening hours 

Ben Thanh Market serves as a day and night market from Monday to Sunday with the following operating hours:

  • Day Market: 6:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Night Market: Monday to Sunday: 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

During the day, the market is bustling with vendors selling a wide range of goods, including textiles, souvenirs, handicrafts, fresh produce, seafood, spices, and local delicacies. You can find a variety of traditional Vietnamese items and experience the vibrant atmosphere of a typical Asian market.

In the evening, the market transforms into a night market, offering a different ambiance. The stalls predominantly feature food vendors, where you can enjoy local snacks and drinks. However, you may still find a few shops selling clothes, accessories, and souvenirs.

6. The ultimate guide for your Ben Thanh Market shopping trip

6.1. How to get to Saigon Ben Thanh Market?

The market's prime location in District 1 makes it easily accessible from any part of the city. There are several means of transportation that you can choose from to get here:

  • By bus: Take buses number 03, 04, 152, 19, 20, 39, 53, 93, or 96, which all have a stop near the market and are only a short walk away
  • By personal vehicle: If you have a car or motorbike, there are parking areas near the market with parking fees ranging from 10,000 to 20,000 VND
  • By taxi: If you prefer a convenient way to explore Ben Thanh Market without the need to worry about parking, opting for a taxi is an excellent choice. In particular, consider choosing XANH SM Taxi.
ben thanh market

XANH SM Taxi - the first electric taxi company in Vietnam, operated entirely with VinFast electric cars. Customers who travel by XANH SM taxi not only receive an excellent standard of service, but they also join XANH SM in its efforts to reduce vehicle emissions and safeguard the environment. XANH SM provides standard and luxury taxi service, airport taxi, with attractive promotions. Customers can easily book a taxi in 04 ways:

(1) Call the national hotline 1900 2088
(2) Wave on the street like a traditional taxi
(3) Book on the Taxi Xanh SM app. Click HERE to download the app
(4) Use the beVinFast service on the multi-service customer platform BE to book Xanh SM taxi

6.2. When is the ideal time to visit Ben Thanh Market?

If you want to shop around, the best time to visit the market is between 7:30 am and 6 pm. If you want to enjoy the bustling atmosphere of numerous food stalls on Phan Boi Chau Street next to the market, come after 7 pm. Note that the market is quite spacious and has lots of stalls, so it may take you 1-2 hours to explore thoroughly.

Ben Thanh Market

6.3. Extra tips for a perfect tour to Ben Thanh Market

Below are some additional recommendations for you to have a fulfilling experience at this iconic market:

  • Bargain for a better price: Most of the vendors in the market expect you to bargain for a better price, so do not be shy
  • Bring cash: While some vendors may accept credit cards, it is best to bring cash as it is more widely accepted
  • Wear comfortable shoes: The market can be quite large, so you should wear comfortable shoes to conveniently walk around
  • Mind your belongings: As in any other crowded area, beware of pickpockets. Keep an eye on your belongings and refrain from bringing valuables
  • Explore the surrounding area and other tourist attractions in Ho Chi Minh City: There are many other attractions in the area, such as Quach Thi Trang Square, Landmark 81 Vietnam, War Remnants Museum, Independence Palace, Jade Emperor Pagoda, Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, Bui Vien Walking Street, etc. You should take some time to explore them as well.

Aside from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam has many other captivating destinations to explore, such as the tropical paradise of Phu Quoc, the coastal city of Nha Trang, the charming town of Hoi An, and the vibrant city of Da Nang, etc. To ensure a perfect trip, it is recommended that you plan ahead and decide on a suitable place to stay.

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Ben Thanh MarketBen Thanh Market

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Ben Thanh Market is a must-visit destination in Ho Chi Minh City for those who want to experience the bustling atmosphere of a traditional Vietnamese market. Whether you are looking for traditional handicrafts, delicious street food, or a lively shopping experience, this market has something for everyone. Therefore, don't forget to include a visit to Ben Thanh Market in your itinerary!

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