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Explore Ben Thanh market - shopping and culinary paradise of Saigon

Posted By : Threeland Travel / Ho Chi Minh ( Saigon )

Saigon tourism has dozens of places to go and hundreds of spots to explore. However, you definitely cannot miss Ben Thanh Market, the busiest market in Saigon. With a long history, unique architecture, and diversity of goods, this market has become a place that everyone wants to visit once.

1. Some details about Ben Thanh market

Ben Thanh Market is not only a place to trade goods but also an attractive destination for domestic and foreign tourists. Let's explore in more detail the place known as the "first generation" entertainment paradise of the city right below!

1.1. Address of Ben Thanh market

Address: Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Where is Ben Thanh Market? This market is located in a prime location, right in the central area of District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. The market is located between Phan Chu Trinh, Phan Boi Chau, Le Thanh Ton and Quach Thi Trang Square. In front of the market is Ben Thanh station on Metro Line 1.

Ben Thanh Market is one of the most famous and iconic places in Saigon. Through many historical ups and downs, the market has moved twice, changed locations, and been repaired many times due to collapses and fires. Until now, the market has been built spaciously right in the center of Saigon and is a symbol and tourist attraction of the city.

1.2. How to get to Ben Thanh market

Located right in the center of District 1, moving to Ben Thanh Market is quite convenient. Visitors can choose one of the following means of transport:

  • Bus: Currently, there are many bus routes, such as 01, 02, 03, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19..., with stops near the market. Therefore, you can catch these bus routes to get around, then just walk a few minutes to reach Ben Thanh Market.
  • Taxi: Visitors can choose traditional taxis or book technology taxis on applications. The drivers will take you to a stop right in front of the market gate. This form of transportation is suitable for large groups and is both safe and cost-effective.
  • Cars and motorbikes: If you want to explore many other fun places near Ben Thanh Market, you can choose to rent a car or motorbike in Saigon, then look up Google Maps for directions to the market.

1.3. Ben Thanh Market opening hours

According to regulations, the market is open from 07:00 to 22:00 every day. Regarding holidays, the New Year, and other days off, there will be separate announcements. The food and fresh produce industries will be open from 4:00 a.m. Stall owners and customers need to strictly comply with regulations on daily opening and closing hours at Ben Thanh Market. At the same time, before 7:30 a.m. every day, the stalls must complete the arrangement of goods.

2. Explain the name of Ben Thanh market

According to historical records, the name "Ben Thanh market" is related to the Bat Quai citadel built by Nguyen Vuong Nguyen Phuc Anh (King Gia Long). Accordingly, in 1788, after recapturing Gia Dinh from the Tay Son army, Nguyen Vuong built a citadel to protect it.

In 1789, Bishop Ba Da Loc, after returning to Gia Dinh, used the money he raised to buy warships, guns, and ammunition and recruited many French people who were good at industry and weapons to help Nguyen Vuong build the citadel. Construction on Bat Quai Citadel began in 1789 and was completed in 1790.

The citadel has three sides bordering the river, including a wharf of the Ben Nghe River located near the citadel. This wharf is used for soldiers and visitors entering the citadel, so it is called Ben Thanh (the wharf before entering the citadel). At the same time, there is also a market near the wharf called "Ben Thanh Market.". Thus, the origin of the name "Ben Thanh Market" comes from here.

3. History of Ben Thanh market

When introducing Ben Thanh Market, you certainly cannot ignore the history of this market. Accordingly, the construction and development process of the market is associated with the ups and downs of the Saigon-Cho Lon urban area. The market was built in 1912 and has undergone many relocations and restorations to gain the spacious appearance and leading position it has today.

Initially, the market was located on the banks of the Ben Nghe River. By the period 1833 - 1835, after the uprising of Le Van Khoi and the destruction of Bat Quai Citadel, the market was also deserted. In 1859, after the French colonialists attacked Saigon, Ben Thanh market was completely burned down. In 1860, the French rebuilt the market at the old location. After many times of repair and restoration, the market has become more and more spacious.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the French rebuilt the new Ben Thanh market at its current location. The southern gate of the market has a symbolic clock attached. In 1952, when the market was renovated, 12 bas-reliefs of the Bien Hoa fine arts workshop were mounted at the four market doors. And since then, this market has become a close image and an urban cultural memory for the people of Saigon.

4. Entrance gates to Ben Thanh market

The market consists of 4 main doors and 12 side doors radiating in 4 directions: East - West - South - North. Each store sells different products to meet customers' shopping needs.

  • East Gate: The East Gate of the market is located on Phan Boi Chau Street, where all kinds of cosmetics and confectionery are sold.
  • West Gate: Located on Phan Chu Trinh Street, this is a shopping paradise for women, with many items from shoes to souvenirs to fine arts.
  • South Gate: This is also the main gate of Ben Thanh Market, with the symbol of a three-sided clock tower, overlooking Quach Thi Trang Square. Inside the south gate is a place to sell dry food and fabric items.
  • North Gate: Cua Bac is located on Le Thanh Ton Street. This place attracts tourists with stalls of fresh flowers and fruits of all types and colors.

5. What to discover in Ben Thanh Market?

To not miss the most interesting experiences, let's wander around Ben Thanh Market for a day with VinWonders to see what this market has that is so attractive to tourists!

5.1. Impressive architecture: a check-in point that attracts tourists

Visit Ben Thanh Market; visitors will certainly be impressed by the unique architecture of this market. Similar to many early markets that the French built in Vietnam, Ben Thanh Market has the architecture of cage houses with sloping tile roofs, bones, and thin, light concrete arches.

Coming to this market, every corner can help you take sparkling photos. However, the most expensive is still the 3-sided clock tower background at the South Gate, with the words "Ben Thanh Market" below. In addition, Bien Hoa ceramic paintings and ceramic reliefs installed from 1952 until now also contribute to the beauty of Saigon's most famous market.

5.2. Shopping paradise with diverse and abundant goods

It is no coincidence that Ben Thanh Market is known as the shopping paradise of Saigon people. Here, you can find all kinds of items, from affordable to high-end. Among them, there are many stalls that attract many international tourists to buy souvenirs such as traditional conical hats, ceramics, woven baskets, bamboo paintings, and bronze items.

As the city's largest retail market, you will be overwhelmed by the diversity and richness of the items. From fashion, fine arts, and crafts to household appliances and electronics,. Visiting the market, visitors can also find fabrics and garment accessories to design their own outfits.

In addition, Ben Thanh Market is also a dry food paradise with all kinds of jams, cakes, and dried seafood. Along with that, there are hundreds of types of fruits and agricultural products in the West, South, and some other regions. No need to go all the way to Vietnam; coming to this market, you can still enjoy specialties from all over the country. If you still don't know where to buy Saigon specialties as gifts, Ben Thanh Market could not be a more ideal choice.

5.3. Experience the vibrant and interesting Ben Thanh market at night

Coming to Ben Thanh Market without experiencing the vibrant and bustling atmosphere of the market at night is a big mistake. The night market starts operating at 7:00 p.m. and lasts until 10:00 p.m. to meet the dining and shopping needs of customers.

In addition to the traditional and fashion stalls, Ben Thanh Night Market is also bustling and "bustling" with barbecue, seafood, beer, and snack shops. Every evening when the city lights up, locals and tourists gather here to enjoy delicious dishes and shop for their favorite items.

6. What should I eat at Ben Thanh Market?

Food tour of Ben Thanh market is always an interesting experience that any tourist who has the opportunity to come to Saigon does not want to miss. This market is considered a culinary paradise, with a series of typical dishes from Saigon and other provinces. Coming here, you definitely have to find and enjoy the "national" dishes here, such as banh beo, vermicelli noodles, and crab soup.

In particular, this market is also famous for its rich tea menu with all kinds of sweet soup, from Thai sweet soup to bean sweet soup to durian in coconut water. If you are still wondering what to eat in Saigon and where to eat, then rush to Ben Thanh Market to enjoy the delicious dishes below!

6.1. Banh beo Ben Thanh market - Hue banh beo 

Banh beo Hue at Ben Thanh Market is always on the list of restaurants that cannot be missed when coming to this famous market. Coming here, diners will be able to "enlighten" their taste buds with a series of dishes with Central flavors such as banh beo, banh nam, etc. A portion of the cake will be served with spring rolls and pork rolls. and indispensable sweet and sour fish sauce that is extremely mouth-watering.

6.2. Vermicelli noodle soup

This is also one of the most popular noodle shops in Ben Thanh Market. The vermicelli noodles here have a typical Southern flavor, rich broth, a natural red color, and a fragrant crab smell. A bowl of vermicelli includes pieces of sour meat, tofu, and pork blood. Just that much topping makes diners "addicted" to eating it once.

6.3. Thanh Mai vermicelli noodles

Bun Moc Thanh Mai at Ben Thanh Market is the favorite restaurant of many locals. An attractive bowl of vermicelli with a full range of toppings, including pork rolls, ribs, and meat balls, is skillfully and meticulously presented. The broth here is made from bones, so it has a sweet taste. When eating, you can add a little fish sauce to enhance the aroma and make the dish more flavorful.

7. Experience to know when going to Ben Thanh market in Saigon

To have a complete, cost-effective journey to explore the market, remember to pack some useful experiences below:

  • The market area is quite large with many different stalls. Therefore, please arrange your schedule and time to be able to explore and experience all the interesting things at the market.
  • Ben Thanh Market mainly serves foreign tourists so prices here are quite high. Before buying, remember to bargain to avoid price gouging.
  • Ben Thanh Market is always crowded and bustling, so take good care of your belongings to avoid pickpockets and robberies.
  • The front of the market is where there is a lot of traffic, so when checking in here, please observe carefully to ensure safety.
  • You can freely visit the stalls in the market, but if you do not want to buy, do not touch the goods and then put them down without buying, because this will make the seller uncomfortable.

8. Places to visit near Ben Thanh market

Next to the market, there are many interesting places to visit. Therefore, you can combine your journey to explore Ben Thanh Market with the landmarks below to make your trip to Saigon more enjoyable!

8.1. Independence Palace

Independence Palace is located right in the center of District 1. This is also one of the tourist attractions. Coming here, visitors will admire the ancient and modern architecture of the palace and check in with many ideal backgrounds. On major holidays or weekends, the Independence Palace is often full of visitors.

8.2. Notre Dame Cathedral

Not far from Ben Thanh Market is Notre Dame Cathedral, which is also one of the symbols of Ho Chi Minh City. This work is designed in Roman and Gothic styles. The interior of the cathedral is divided into a main chamber, two secondary chambers, and two rows of chapels. This is a virtual living coordinate that attracts many tourists to check in.

8.3. War Remnants Museum

The War Remnants Museum was established in 1975 and is located in District 3. This is a place specializing in researching, collecting, and displaying evidence of crimes and the consequences of wars of invasion in Vietnam. Coming here, visitors will be able to admire artifacts, documents, and films on many different topics, such as the prison regime, weapons on outdoor display, war crimes, and historical facts.

8.4. Nguyen Hue Walking Street

Coming to Ben Thanh Market, don't miss the opportunity to explore Nguyen Hue Walking Street. This is a famous entertainment and dining place loved by many locals and tourists. In addition to checking in to your heart's content, you can also experience many dishes of Saigon street cuisine, such as mixed rice paper, ice cream, bingsu, etc.

Ben Thanh Market is an interesting destination that you cannot miss on your journey to explore Saigon. Coming here, you can freely explore, experience shopping, and enjoy countless delicious dishes. Hopefully, the full experience of exploring Ben Thanh Market in Saigon in this article will help you have the most complete journey! 

Ho Chi Minh city is a fantastic destination to learn about Vietnamese history and culture, and you will have a great time there and on your Vietnam excursions. For assistance in planning your trip to Ho Chi Minh city, get in touch with Threeland Travel. They are an experienced and reliable travel agency. We can handle all the tiny things, including booking hotels and flights and purchasing tickets. We may even alter your schedule to suit your financial situation and preferences. Please visit our website or contact us right away to learn more about our current specials and packages.