Guides & Tips

Ben Thanh Market: Shopping & Street Food in Ho Chi Minh

Mai Anh
3 min. to read

Nestled in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Ben Thanh Market stands as a vibrant emblem of the city’s dynamic spirit. Join Sun Getaways Travel as we explore the bustling lanes and alleyways of Ben Thanh Market, where the worlds of shopping and street food converge in a delightful fusion!

Table of contents

1. Overview of Ben Thanh Market

2. Exploring the Shopping Experience

3. Indulging in Street Food Delights

4. Practical Information and Tips

1. Overview of Ben Thanh Market

The Ben Thanh Market occupies the intersection of Le Loi, Ham Nghi, Tran Hung Dao, and Le Lai Streets in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City. If you find yourself within 500 meters of the market and require directions, simply follow the stream of tourists making their way towards it.

  • Opening hours: 6:00 AM – 7:00 PM (Even though Vietnam’s Ben Thanh Market shuts down at 7 PM, it remains a vibrant and lively spot, with many street food vendors surrounding it. If you want to experience the dynamic nightlife of Ho Chi Minh City, it is highly recommended to visit this market at night).

Ben Thanh Market in Saigon

With a rich historical legacy dating back to the 17th century, the Ben Thanh Market has served as a pivotal trading center throughout various epochs of Vietnamese history. From the era of French colonialism to the Vietnam War and subsequent economic progress, it has borne witness to Saigon’s evolution.

Ben Thanh Market in the era of French colonial

As the oldest and most iconic market in the city, Ben Thanh has become a popular tourist hotspot. Offering an array of goods ranging from fresh produce and meats to authentic Vietnamese street food, vendors populate the market from dawn till dusk. Visitors can indulge in traditional dishes like pho, banh mi, and spring rolls or peruse stalls selling cultural items such as ao dai, lacquerware, and silk.

Decoding Saigon >>> Unveiling the Charms of Ho Chi Minh City

2. Exploring the Shopping Experience

Stands as the largest retail market, boasting approximately 1,450 stalls. Renowned for its extensive range of products, the market offers a diverse variety of goods available for purchase:

Clothing and accessories

Ben Thanh Market presents an array of shops specializing in fashion items such as silk, shoes, and garments. Numerous stores offer budget-friendly options for those seeking to acquire an ao dai, the traditional attire of Vietnamese women.

Dried specialties

At Ben Thanh Market’s dry specialty section, locating gifts for your loved ones is a breeze. The market boasts an extensive selection of top-notch dried seafood, including dried squid, shrimp, and simmered crab, along with Saigon’s signature dried delicacies like beef jerky and dried mango. Prices range from 2 to 40 USD, catering to various budgets.

Handicrafts

Aside from the Saigon specialties mentioned earlier, visitors can also procure exquisite handicrafts to bring back home. These handicrafts, meticulously crafted from sedges and rattan, undergo intricate and time-consuming production processes. Consequently, these products are priced higher due to the labor-intensive nature of their creation.

Various handicrafts in Ben Thanh Market

Fruits

Market serves as an ideal destination for both locals and travelers seeking to procure fresh fruits in the morning. These fruits are sourced directly from nearby farms, ensuring their utmost freshness. The market showcases a diverse selection of fresh vegetables and tropical fruits, including durians, watermelons, pineapples, and coconuts, all available at reasonable prices.

3. Indulging in Street Food Delights

Ben Thanh Market’s expansive dining area is a culinary haven for aficionados of Vietnamese cuisine. Here, visitors can savor a diverse array of delectable dishes representing every corner of Vietnam, attracting both local residents and international tourists alike. Some of the most esteemed Vietnamese delicacies to indulge in at this market include:

  • Vietnamese pancakes
  • Coconut ice cream
  • Vietnamese noodles with grilled pork
  • Grilled spring rolls
  • Vermicelli with snails
  • Grilled meat skewers

Let’s Explore >>> Top 10 Restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City: Delight in Exquisite Dining

4. Practical Information and Tips

When navigating Ben Thanh Market, consider these shopping strategies:

  1. Bargain Wisely: Embrace the local custom of bargaining, but maintain politeness and friendliness for favorable deals.
  2. Price Comparison: Explore multiple stalls to compare prices before committing to a purchase. Variations in pricing make it essential to scout for the best value.
  3. Assess Quality: Thoroughly examine desired items for authenticity and quality. While genuine products abound, be wary of counterfeits. Assess materials, stitching, and craftsmanship to ensure a worthwhile investment.
  4. Bring Vietnamese Dong: Ensure you have enough Vietnamese Dong (VND) as most vendors prefer cash. Smaller denominations can aid in bargaining effectively.
  5. Watch for Pickpockets: Stay vigilant against pickpockets in crowded areas. Keep belongings secure and avoid flaunting valuables or large sums of cash.

You want to know Saigon River >>> Unmissable Activities and Experiences

Ben Thanh Market is a bustling marketplace offering a variety of goods, street food, and cultural encounters. With diverse products like clothing, handicrafts, and fresh produce, visitors can enjoy a vibrant shopping experience. Contact Sun Getaways Travel for quality Vietnam package tours or explore the available packages below:

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