VietnamHo Chi MinhBen Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City

Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City

If you are looking for a local experience, don’t miss out on the local markets. Here, you can see the daily life and trading of many Vietnamese people. Ben Thanh Market is one of the busiest local markets in Ho Chi Minh City, where you can enjoy Vietnamese foods and shop for lovely souvenirs.

How to Get to Ben Thanh Market

The market is on a block surrounded by four streets: Le Loi, Phan Chu Trinh, Le Thanh Ton, and Phan Boi Chau. You should be able to recognize it instantly: a big yellow building at Quach Thi Trang Roundabout. It is a 4-minute ride or 10-minute walk from the Independence Palace.

ben-thanh-market-location

Ben Thanh Market Opening Hours

5 AM – 11 PM
From Monday to Sunday

Most shops close at dawn, but it is time for the eateries to open and serve delicious dishes. So whether you visit the market day or night, you can still find something to treat your stomach.

History of Ben Thanh Market

ben thanh market history

Ben Thanh Market is one of the oldest markets in Ho Chi Minh City, and it appeared even before French colonization. It was built at the beginning of the 17th century for small traders to exchange their goods on Ben Nghe River’s bank, next to a harbor near Gia Dinh Citadel. The port was where many travelers or people who worked in the military were dropped off before coming into the citadel. Thus, it was called “Ben Thanh” (“ben” means “harbor,” and “thanh” means “citadel”). The market near it is also associated with the name Ben Thanh Market.

In 1870, the French Government called this place Les Halles Centrales (The Central Market). Then, in 1911, the market building became old and on the edge of collapsing. As a result, it was officially moved to a new building in the present location at Quach Thi Trang Roundabout.

Ben Thanh Market Map

ben thanh market map

Ben Thanh Market is in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, where many office buildings and trading centers are located. The main front or Southside is on Le Loi Street/Quach Thi Trang Roundabout, the North on Le Thanh Ton, the East on Phan Boi Chau, and the West on Phan Chau Trinh.

ben thanh market map

Southside (Le Loi Street)

Locals and visitors to Ho Chi Minh City are familiar with the big clock tower on top of the market. Two small gates are on the left and right of the big hall, and two others are on the far end of the front side.

Upon entering, visitors are usually attracted by rows of colorful textiles and clothing. You are in the right place if you are looking for Ao dai materials. Besides, a wide range of clothing, such as T-shirts, shirts, and pants, makes lovely gifts for your Vietnam trip. The price range is commonly from VND 100,000 to VND 200,000.

ben thanh market le loi side 1 1

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ben thanh market clothes

Eastside (Phan Boi Chau Street)

ben thanh market phan boi chau side 2 1

There are 6 gates on this side of the market. When going inside the market through these entrances, you can find many packaged foods, usually Vietnamese specialties. They sell candied fruits, a must-try for any sweet tooth, coffee beans, tea, fish sauce, and other spices. Besides these stalls, you can also see many dried goods like roasted peanuts and dried fish, squid, and shrimp. These dried seafood are very popular in Vietnam because they can be stored for a long time and create unique dishes’ flavors.

ben thanh market confectionery 1

On the left side of the East entrances, next to the clothing ranges, are many cosmetics and shining jewelry stores. Cosmetics are very various; they are not only domestic products but also imported items.

Northside (Le Thanh Ton Street)

ben thanh market le thanh ton 1

The first thing you notice when coming through this entrance is a variety of fish and meats. Many locals come here to shop for ingredients to cook their lunch and dinner. There are also places selling processed foods, flowers, Vietnamese fruits, herbs, vegetables, and a range of fish and meat stalls. Ben Thanh Market won’t disappoint if you are a fan of tropical produce like mangoes, mangosteen, jackfruit, and sweetsop.

ben-thanh-market-food-stalls

But perhaps the eateries in this area keep visitors and locals the longest. They sell typical Vietnamese foods here, like Pho, broken rice, and some sweet desserts like Che. The price is also quite reasonable.

ben-thanh-market-local-food

Westside (Phan Chu Trinh Street)

Inside this entrance, there are stalls selling gifts, art, and ceramics. These would be exciting souvenirs that will remind you of your Vietnam trip years later.

ben thanh market le thanh ton 1

You can also find many shops in this area selling shoes for men, women, and children. Besides, there are ranges of appliances and daily necessity stalls where many locals come to shop for their homes.

Check out more exciting things to do in Ho Chi Minh City:

Klook.com
  • Ben Thanh Market ranked 15th on the list of the best markets in the world.
  • Most of the shops are owned by Vietnamese people, and the sellers are also Vietnamese. However, many sellers can make basic conversations in two or more languages to invite foreigners into their shops.
  • If you want to buy an item at a reasonable price, it would be better to have some bargaining skills. The first number the sellers tell you is usually not the actual price of that item.

Conclusion on Vietnamese Markets: Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market is a mix of modern and traditional Vietnamese local markets. Many items are sold here, from fresh produce, processed foods, and eateries to fashion, cosmetics, and even luxury goods. You will find many local shoppers here, but you might also bump into many other fellow travelers from all over the world when going around this market.

Find hotels around Ben Thanh Merket’s area:

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