VietnamHo Chi MinhSaigon Local Market: Ba Chieu Market

Saigon Local Market: Ba Chieu Market

Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) has a typical lifestyle with many local markets in every district. You can enjoy the bustling but colorful Saigonese daily life and businesses here. Besides the tourist attractions, one of the best recommendations is Ba Chieu Market.

How to Get to Ba Chieu Market

Ba Chieu Market is located at Bui Huu Nghia Street, Ward 1, Binh Thanh District. From Tan Son Nhat International Airport or the center of District 1, you will spend around half an hour getting to the market. You can catch a taxi with an approximate price from VND 100,000 to VND 120,000.

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Read more on taxi fare and traveling by taxi in Ho Chi Minh City

Opening Hours

The inside of the market usually opens from 8 AM to 5 PM. The outside – also called the night market – is operated by merchants from late afternoon until early dawn. That means Ba Chieu Market is active 24/7 for those who want to shop the local way and at reasonable prices.

The History of Ba Chieu Market

There is no surprise to claim that Ba Chieu Market is worth your visit because of its long establishment. Built in 1942 in Binh Thanh District, Ba Chieu Market remains the immense charm of old Saigon despite the city’s rapid urbanization. There are so many theories about its name that have not been confirmed or agreed upon by all. Even people who have been living in Saigon for years and from the time are not sure.

Most people believe that “Chieu” was the name of one of the five wives of Nguyen Ngoc Thang, also known as Lanh Binh Thang. Lanh Binh Thang was a general under Emperor Tu Duc in the 19th century, who rose up against French colonialism in the South of Vietnam. People also believe that he was the one who built the Ong Lanh Bridge, which connects District 1 and District 4.

Rumor has it that he married five women. In order to occupy their time, he built five markets and had his wives in charge of each of them. People now call these five markets by the names of these women: Ba Diem (Hoc Mon District), Ba Hat (District 10), Ba Hom (Binh Tan District), Ba Queo (Tan Binh District), and Ba Chieu (Binh Thanh District).

Another hypothesis was proposed by Vuong Hong Sen – a researcher at the Museum of Vietnam History in Ho Chi Minh City. He stated that these five markets were named after the women who had initially established the market or were simply the first merchants. Although the name sparks some debate, people still admire this landmark’s old but gold architecture.

Getting around the Market

Ba Chieu Market is not as big as Ben Thanh Market and is not always so crowded with tourists. However, lots of locals frequent here, and the organization of the shopping sections is pretty messy. Few merchants are able to speak English. There are 2 particular parts: dry market and wet market.

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Ba Chieu Market’s building
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The outside includes many shophouses and streetside vendors

The dry market inside the building faces Phan Dang Luu Street and sells mainly clothing, jewelry, shoes, bed sheets, bags, or cosmetics. Meanwhile, the back of the Ba Chieu dry market is full of grocery shops and fresh produce.

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Clothes shops inside the building
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Cheap fabric and textiles are what many people come to Ba Chieu Market for
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Fresh produce at the back
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The walk ways are narrow and very crowded

If you want to experience the authentic lifestyle, you can tour around the wet market, where you can find fresh foods such as seafood, pork, chicken, vegetables, and tofu. However, remember that there are plenty of people all the time, so be mindful of your belongings to avoid pickpockets.

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Fresh vegetables at the wet market
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Many locals come here every day to buy fresh ingredients for their meals
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Colorful flowers at the market

The vendors on two sides of Ba Chieu Market are where you can find fresh and dried fruit and various kinds of rice, the staple food of Vietnamese. After a long day exploring, you can quickly stop at the food area on the right side of the Ba Chieu dry market to enjoy local foods.

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Traditional Vietnamese cakes and sweet soup at the market
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Food stalls selling local dishes at a low price

Remember to always ask for the price and bargain before buying. But with food, you don’t have to because most dishes here are very cheap. Some things here may be cheaper than those at Ben Thanh Market because it is quite far from the city center and touristy area.

Conclusion on Saigon Local Market: Ba Chieu Market

Local markets still play an inseparable part in Vietnamese life, and Ba Chieu Market is no exception. You can find various things and Vietnamese foods in the market and buy them reasonably. But that is not all why you should visit this market. Ba Chieu Market perfectly describes the genuine image of locals in how they make their living. Exploring every small corner of this market may be the best way to gain these valuable experiences.

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