Ben Thanh Market, located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City. It’s become a vibrant and bustling symbol of Saigon. Blending traditional culture with a lively commercial space, Ben Thanh Market attracts visitors with its unique and appealing characteristics.
With all its enticing features, Ben Thanh Market is not just a fascinating destination for shopping and culinary delights, but also a distinctive cultural icon of Ho Chi Minh City. Explore Ben Thanh Market today to experience the intriguing offerings it has in store for you.
1. Explore the Location and Overview of Ben Thanh Market
1.1: Discovering the Location of Ben Thanh Market and Nearby Attractions
To find out the address of Ben Thanh Market, visitors simply need to head to Le Loi Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. The main entrance of the market, also known as the Southern Gate, faces Quach Thi Trang Square with its distinctive three-faced clock tower. The market usually operates from 4 am to 7 pm, but for the liveliest atmosphere, visitors should come early in the morning when locals are preparing for work and school.
In addition to Ben Thanh Market, there are several other fascinating attractions nearby, such as Landmark 81, the city’s post office, Independence Palace, and the “corn-shaped” building. By combining these destinations in your itinerary, you can save time and conveniently explore the area.
1.2: Information about Ben Thanh Market – A 100-Year History of Development
1.2.1. Origins and Naming of Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh Market has undergone over a century of development and has become a distinctive symbol of Saigon. However, few people know the origin of its name. The name “Ben Thanh” came about because the market was located near a riverside wharf, which served as a busy hub for people and troops. Thus, the market was named after that riverside wharf.
1.2.2. History of the Formation of Ben Thanh Market
Old Ben Thanh Market (1859 – 1911): Ben Thanh Market existed even before the French colonial period, serving as a place for trading and exchanging essential goods. The market attracted a large number of people and bustling boats carrying goods on the river. However, during the French occupation, the market was completely destroyed and it took a year to rebuild it at the same location.
New Market Phase (1912 – present): After years of use, Ben Thanh Market gradually deteriorated and was at risk of collapse. Therefore, the French decided to rebuild the market after filling in a swampy pond called Bo Ret. From 1912, after two years of construction, the project was completed by the French contractor Brossard et Maupin. The ancient architectural features were preserved and have survived to this day, although Ben Thanh Market underwent a major renovation and repair in 1985.
Exploring Ben Thanh Market, District 1
2.1: Transportation Methods to Ben Thanh Market
To conveniently reach Ben Thanh Market, visitors need to know the correct directions. Here are three popular transportation methods:
Bus: There are several bus routes that pass near Ben Thanh Market, such as 03, 04, 152, 19, 20, 39, 53, 93, 96. The bus stops are usually located within a distance of 200 – 600 meters from the market, taking around 4 – 8 minutes to walk from the bus stops.
Motorbike, Car: Around the market, there are many private parking lots with varying prices. The fares can range from 10,000 to 20,000 VND per trip. However, it’s important to note that on weekends and during Tet holidays, it may be more crowded. Visitors should inquire about the prices before parking to avoid unnecessary expenses.
Taxi: The simplest method for those unfamiliar with Saigon’s streets is to call a taxi. Taxis can directly take visitors to the market’s entrance conveniently.
Note: To avoid getting lost or stuck in traffic, it’s advisable to travel during non-peak hours and choose a transportation method that suits your needs and convenience.
2.2: Number and Locations of Entrances to Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh Market has a total of 4 main entrances and 12 auxiliary entrances, each serving a different direction and providing a diverse range of products for visitors to shop or enjoy on the spot. Here is the information about the locations of the main entrances:
Southern Gate: This is the famous main gate with a three-faced clock tower, located on Le Loi Street and facing Quach Thi Trang Park. This entrance often attracts many visitors for check-ins and offers items such as textiles and dry food.
Eastern Gate: Located on Phan Boi Chau Street, this gate entices visitors with various types of cakes and colorful cosmetics.
Western Gate: This gate is situated on Phan Chu Trinh Street and features many stalls selling shoes, handicrafts, and a variety of souvenirs.
Northern Gate: Located on Le Thanh Tong Street, this gate is a destination for fresh flowers and tropical fruits, drawing the attention of visitors.
2.3: Best Time to Visit Ben Thanh Market
There are two suitable time periods for visitors to explore Ben Thanh Market:
From 7:30 am to 6 pm: This is a great time to explore and shop inside the market. During this time, Ben Thanh Market is bustling with vibrant trading activities. Visitors can find a wide range of goods and diverse food items and enjoy the shopping experience at the stalls.
After 7 pm: If visitors want to experience the lively and colorful atmosphere of Ben Thanh Market at night, this time is perfect. The brightly lit lantern stalls make the market exciting and attractive. Visitors can enjoy street food, participate in entertainment activities, and explore the unique ambiance of the market at night.
With its large area and numerous different stalls, visitors may spend 1-2 hours to fully explore Ben Thanh Market. It’s recommended to plan the starting and ending time appropriately to have a complete market experience.
3. Inside Ben Thanh Market
3.1 Ben Thanh Market in District 1 – A Hundred-Year-Old Ancient Architecture in the Heart of Saigon
Ben Thanh Market, rebuilt with bricks and wooden roofs since 1912 after a period of deterioration, still preserves its ancient and unique architectural features to this day. Inside the market, visitors will discover the following:
- Market Gates: Ben Thanh Market has 4 main gates with distinctive highlights. The gates are adorned with artistic sculptures, showcasing the specialties and symbols of Southern Vietnam. One of them is the famous Southern Gate with a clock tower designed as a miniature tower right at the main entrance.
- Trading Area: Inside Ben Thanh Market, visitors will experience a vibrant space with hundreds of stalls and diverse wholesale shops. The stalls offer products ranging from clothing, shoes, and bags to electronics, pottery, fresh produce, and enticing street food.
- Culinary Delights: Ben Thanh Market is also a fantastic place to explore street food. Visitors can savor traditional dishes such as banh xeo, pho, hủ tiếu, and various other street food delicacies. Additionally, there are many fast food stalls and beverage stands serving delicious treats for visitors to enjoy right at the market.
- Local Culture: Ben Thanh Market is not only a place for trade, shopping, and dining but also a destination to learn about local culture and interact with the people of Saigon. Visitors can observe the vibrant lives of the vendors and engage in the unique living space of the city.
Ben Thanh Market is a popular and diverse destination, combining culture, shopping, and culinary delights. Visitors can explore not only unique products but also immerse themselves in the lively atmosphere and the beauty of the market’s ancient architecture.
3.2: Ben Thanh Market with Diverse Stalls
3.2.1. Locations of Shopping Stalls in Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh Market is considered the largest retail market in Saigon, with nearly 1,450 stalls and 6,000 small traders, offering a wide range of goods from ordinary to high-end, catering to every shopping need of visitors.
- Clothing and Accessories Stalls: This includes not only the main market area but also the two side streets, Phan Boi Chau and Phan Chu Trinh. Visitors can easily find numerous stalls selling clothes, souvenirs, and accessories with various colors and price ranges.
- Dried Specialty Product Stalls: At Ben Thanh Market, visitors can find almost all kinds of dried fish, candied fruits, and dried products from various regions across the country. Visitors can sample them before buying as gifts or enjoy them right at the market.
- Handicraft Stalls: This is a place where diverse handicraft products are gathered, offering a wide range of items and price levels. From colorful woven scarves to exquisite and unique wooden boxes and pottery, visitors can find unique items to gift to their loved ones.
- Fruit Stalls: Visitors cannot miss the delicious and fresh fruit stalls at Ben Thanh Market. With a variety of colorful and fragrant fruits, visitors will have plenty of options to buy and enjoy.
Ben Thanh Market is a diverse and fascinating shopping world with hundreds of stalls catering to the shopping and exploration needs of visitors.
3.2.2. Locations of Food Stalls in Ben Thanh Market
Inside Ben Thanh Market, visitors will find many enticing food stalls, offering diverse specialties from different regions of Vietnam and the distinctive cuisines of various European and Asian countries. Here is a list of interesting dishes that visitors can enjoy when visiting the food area of the market:
- Main Courses: Ben Thanh Market provides a range of enticing dishes. Such as fresh spring rolls, fried spring rolls. My Tho-style noodles, broken rice dishes, pork rib dishes, rice porridge with offal, vermicelli with fermented fish sauce. Hue-style beef noodles, grilled meat vermicelli, crab noodle soup, rainbow sticky rice. Hanoi-style pho and Vietnamese pancakes.
- Snacks: Visitors can explore interesting street snacks. Such as sweet dessert soups, pomegranate jelly, skewered meat. Thai-style ice cream, mixed rice paper salad, various shellfish dishes, rice cakes, and young sticky rice.
- Desserts: To quench thirst after indulging in the delicious food. Ben Thanh Market also has a variety of dessert stalls, including bubble tea, soft drinks, fruit juices, and more.
Inside the market, visitors can find a wide range of delicious and diverse dishes, representing the unique flavors of Saigon and Vietnam. Enjoy the food at Ben Thanh Market to discover the rich culinary culture of this area.
3.2.3. Ben Thanh Market at Night
Although Ben Thanh Market closes at 7 pm, the nightlife here is lively. Surrounding the market are bustling night market stalls offering various specialties, grilled food, seafood stalls, and beer vendors.
- Time: Starts from 7 pm
- Location: The two side streets of the market, Phan Boi Chau and Phan Chu Trinh.
During peak tourist seasons in Saigon, each night, this market area attracts nearly 1,000 visitors, including locals and tourists from both domestic and international destinations.
Despite being crowded, the security and order in the area have improved. The city authorities continuously enhance the quality of goods and the business attitude of the small traders, ensuring comfort and peace of mind for visitors exploring Ben Thanh Market at night.
4. Tips for Visiting Ben Thanh Market, District 1
When visiting Ben Thanh Market, there are a few things to keep in mind for a better experience:
- Bargaining: As Ben Thanh Market is a popular destination for foreign tourists, vendors often set higher prices. Make sure to ask for prices in advance and demonstrate your bargaining skills to ensure you purchase products at a reasonable price.
- Your Safety: Due to the crowd and high foot traffic. It’s important to ensure the safety of your bag and personal belongings. Hold onto your bag tightly and be cautious to avoid pickpocketing or snatch-and-grab incidents while shopping.
- Traffic Observation: The area around Ben Thanh Market has heavy vehicular traffic and crowded streets. When crossing the road or taking photos, pay attention and follow traffic rules to ensure your safety and the safety of others.
With these tips in mind, you will have a safe and enjoyable experience exploring Ben Thanh Market in District 1.
Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City is a vibrant and iconic destination that offers a unique shopping experience. With its rich history, diverse goods, and bustling atmosphere, the market immerses visitors in Vietnamese culture. From traditional souvenirs to authentic cuisine, it caters to every taste. Ben Thanh Market symbolizes resilience and showcases the entrepreneurial spirit of the Vietnamese people. A visit here is an opportunity to connect with the heart and soul of Vietnam, leaving lasting memories of its vibrant culture.
Hopefully, with the above experiences of going to Ben Thanh market, you will know how to explore this market simply and easily. Have a nice tours in Ho Chi Minh City and have a lot of interesting experiences.