In the years of development and integration, dynamic cities like Ho Chi Minh City are packed with high-end shopping malls, and the city gradually becomes a shopping paradise to locals and foreign visitors coming from every corner around the world. However, to some people, the local markets are the best highlight of Vietnam as a whole and parts of Vietnamese traditions that are special and irreplaceable for years to come. They emerged historically with the growth of the city, and among the oldest ones is Tan Dinh Market or Tan Dinh Fabric Market.
How to Get to Tan Dinh Market
Located at 48 Hai Ba Trung Street, Tan Dinh Ward, District 1, Tan Dinh Market stands at one corner of the crossroad of Hai Ba Trung and Nguyen Huu Cau Street. The market is opposite to the famous 150-year-old pink Tan Dinh Church, which really stands out from the neighborhood, making it easier to find your way around this area. Regarded as a landmark, some bus routes to this market are 38, 10, and 54. A convenient option is to go by taxi.
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Tan Dinh Market Opening Hours
The market opens from 5 AM to 5 PM daily, and people can go shopping here for ingredients for every meal of the day, from breakfast to dinner. However, you should go early in the morning because some goods such as vegetables, fish, and fruits will be fresher at this time.
The History of Tan Dinh Market
Tan Dinh Market was originally Phu Hoa Market, which is said to have been around since the 1880s in Phu Hoa Hamlet. The market was packed with local goods and always crowded with traders and buyers. The residents were rather affluent, so the market had been known as the one reserved for the rich. It was not until 1926 that the market was officially constructed by the French in just one year. People started to call it by a new name, Tan Dinh Market, when Phu Hoa Hamlet and another hamlet were combined to become Tan Dinh Ward.
Many generations of locals have witnessed the growth of the city and the solid standing of Tan Dinh Market from then till now. In their memory, there are certainly some small changes between the market in the past and the one you see today.
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The Structure of Tan Dinh Market
Tan Dinh Market was constructed by the French, which made its architecture influenced by the European style. The main highlight and most recognizable feature of this building is the 3 small bell towers on the roof, with only one bell still installed in the central one. The roof is tiled with red bricks, and the pillars are made of concrete, painted in a lighter tone than the rest of the building.
The parking lot is situated just next to Tan Dinh Market, with a few guards always keeping their eyes on the transport. If you just come for the food, you may not need to go inside the market. On the outside of the market building, several food stalls are lined up, serving authentic Vietnamese dishes and drinks, along with some fabric shops.
But there is more to Tan Dinh Market than just foods to explore. You can go into the market through any gateways on the 4 sides; the main entrance is on Hai Ba Trung Street, where you can see the three bell towers and a clock in the middle. The market layout is divided into separate areas based on the type of goods, like dry food, wet food, jewelry, and clothes, with many sellers in booths of about 1.2m in width.
Entering from the gate on Hai Ba Trung Street, you will see the jewelry booths first and a large fabric area just behind it. But if you want to look for ready-made clothes, find them at the sides’ gateways on Ba Le Chan Street and Nguyen Huu Cau Street. Dried food, groceries, and kitchenware stalls are at the back gate, opposite to the one on Hai Ba Trung Street. Besides, you can find many products like foods, flowers, and fruit all around the market.
The front of Tan Dinh Market
The standard scale guarantees fair weight
What You Can Find in Tan Dinh Market
Like other markets, Tan Dinh Market offers different kinds of goods, from clothes to food and jewelry. It would take you about an hour to go around and discover all the things displayed. But you should see for yourself the items that made this market so well-known to the locals. That is food and Vietnamese fabric.
There are fabric retailers and wholesalers who trade fabric of different kinds, like those to make shirts or Ao dai. The patterns on the fabric are diverse, mostly with Vietnamese images like the farmers, rivers, and flowers. But what sould really catch your eyes is the color, ranging from neutral to many vivid shades. Because of the good quality and the long reputation of its fabric trading, the market is the favorite of many silk lovers like tailors, culture enthusiasts or just people who want to buy fabric as gifts for beloved ones.
Read more about the biggest fabric market in Ho Chi Minh City.
The fabric in one booth in Tan Dinh Market
As for the food, there are a lot of stalls offering famous dishes like hu tieu (clear rice noodle soup), sup cua (crab soup), or Vietnamese street eats like Banh mi, sea snails, and Che (Vietnamese sweet soup). Many businesses have been passed down from generation to generation and become not only signature dishes of this market but also a part of the memories and childhood of many locals.
However, it is to note that the prices are much higher compared to that of other markets, so you should know how to bargain to avoid being overcharged.
Food stalls serving Vietnamese dishes in Tan Dinh Market
Fresh seafood sold in Tan Dinh Market
Conclusion on Tan Dinh Market Review
Tan Dinh Market has its own featured items and beauty that have been around for almost 100 years. Therefore, visiting this market is a way to immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture and lifestyle. It is an even more special attraction to shopping lovers and street food explorers. The long history, an easy-to-access location, and many goods make the market a top choice for your tour in Ho Chi Minh City.