Ben Thanh Market is in the center district 1 of Ho Chi Minh City, a famous place to buy souvenirs and clothes, and taste local food.
The area of the market is large, so it takes you from 1 hour to explore full of the stores. You may avoid the hottest time of midday because ist building just has one floor, causing the hot temperature inside. The best time to come here is from before 10:00 am, and after 4:00 pm.
With the special location, Ben Thanh Market has 4 main gates and 12 auxiliary doors to enter the internal shops. The South Gate is the façade facing the Quach Thi Trang construction site. The most outstanding feature of this is the clock tower with three sides, built according to French architecture. The market has become one of the must-see places in Hoi Chi Minh City.
Ben Thanh Market
- Location: Inside the connection of the streets of Phan Boi Chau, Phan Chu Trinh, Le Thanh Ton, and Le Lai – Le Loi.
- The main gate is at Le Loi Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
- Opening hours: 7:00am – 7:00pm, night market up to 24:00.
- Phone: 028 3829 9274
Unique products at Ben Thanh market:
Many products sold in the market are handed down over generations, contributing to the charm and attraction to visitors.
- Handicrafts: In Ho Chi Minh City, the market of Ben Thanh is the most diverse handicraft market. This business has been maintained for a long time. You can choose this place to buy souvenirs.
- Curry: is sold exclusively here with several dozen different types and flavors. Anh Hai curry stall has an exclusive trademark and has been handed down for three generations. He sells carry not only to consumers but also to famous restaurants and supermarket chains.
- Fabric stall: Instead of selling fabric just like other retail markets in Saigon, the fabric shops in Ben Thanh Market also accept sewing for customers and deliver within one day. This is a way to help foreign customers save time and get satisfied with tailor-made clothes. Prices of making clothes here range from a few hundred thousand to several million.
- Seafood: The stalls displayed are quite eye-catching, many types of fish weighing very large to several dozen kgs. According to small traders, these large fishes are imported from Phan Thiet, mainly used to sell to restaurants. So, you just see to take pictures of seafood, not for tasting right here.
- Da Lat Vegetables: many stores specialize in selling vegetables from Dalat. All fruits and vegetables have a certificate of origin, well preserved, eye-catching decoration.
- Roasted coffee: you can find coffee beans in Ben Thanh market. The stall owner personally handles the purchasing, then roasts the beans to create the own coffee recipe. Thoi Vinh coffee is not only sold domestically but also exported.
The famous delicious food in Ben Thanh market
The food court in Ben Thanh Market is one of the eating addresses in Ho Chi Minh City many people choose, and me, too.
- Rieu Ganh vermicelli: located on the East door of Ben Thanh market. Its broth has a sour taste from tamarind juice and fried tomatoes, combined with the sweet taste from the well-cooked bone. All of these create a bowl of noodle soup with the typical flavor of the South. The noddle bowl has crab juice, pork blood, and fried tofu. Price: 55,000 VND / bowl.
- Be Sweet Soup: situated at the door 7 of the food court. The shop mainly serves Southern sweet soup such as the sweet soup of beans, tapioca, corn… Also, you can taste some cakes such as steamed banana cake, flan … Price to spend: 30,000 VND.
- Bun Suong Co Mai (Suong Vemicelli of Ms. Mai): you may come here when feeling hungry. The bowl of vermicelli includes shrimp, lean meat, and Suong (that is made of Suong like shrimp with freshwater fish of Thac Lac). Price: 70,000-80,000 VND / bowl.
- Banh Beo Hue: also is at the door 7. The store sells different dumplings of Hue, including Banh Beo, Bot Loc, Banh Nam. The shop is small, so you will join to sit in the tiny space. Price: from 20,000VND
- 7-color sticky rice (Xoi 7 Mau): the cart of sticky rice often stands at Le Thanh Ton in front of the market. It attracts eaters with different colors and fragrances. They often sell sticky rice in the late afternoon. Price: from 20,000VND
Here is the typical food in the Ben Thanh Market. If you want to taste more the local flavor, you can come to the street food area on Nguyen Khoa Huan Street that is a few steps from this market. Another suggestion is to come to the Ben Thanh Market at night (outside on the streets of Le Thanh Ton, Phan Chu Trinh), you will join the night activities and have chances to try different food.
Ben Thanh market at night
Although the main building is closed at night, a night market is opened on Phan Boi Chau and Phan Chu Trinh streets (outside the market), attracting many domestic and foreign tourists to go shopping and try tasty food.
Starting from 7:00 pm, the scent from the kitchens at Ben Thanh night market follows the wind spreading in the air as if holding visitors every time passing by here.
Not just a dining area, Ben Thanh night market is also a place for visitors to learn and experience the nightlife of Saigon.
Besides, you can taste Hu Tieu (South noodle), My Quang (Quang noodle)… It is like inviting customers to enter an attractive and colorful world of culinary delights.
The road is less than 200 m but the night food area is very rich and diverse with many tasty dishes. You will find flavorful dishes of different regions, including a hot bowl of Hanoi pho, fishy mussel rice, Hue beef noodles…
The dishes here are processed quite sophisticatedly with the price not too high. You see the most crowded guests at the barbecue area. About after 20h, the tables and chairs often have no vacancies. At the most is foreign tourists, groups of four or five friends gathered together to enjoy regional specialties such as snakehead fish rolled with rice paper; roasted beef of Soc Trang; grilled pork of the Central Highlands …
Not only attracted by the tasty food, but you can also visit and shop at clothing stalls, shoes, souvenir shops … One thing is that you can bargain to buy an item at a suitable price.
It can be said that the food court in Ben Thanh night market is like a miniature Saigon that can fully meet the needs of eating and shopping of tourists at night.
Although the quality of the products is not really good, Ben Thanh night market has generally become a cultural place for tourists who want to understand more about Saigon.
Some notes to visit Ben Thanh Market
- Most of the items Ben Thanh Market are higher than other markets because the life in district 1 HCMC is more expensive.
- Bargaining is allowed to do here, but should not do too much, especially in the early morning. It is because the sellers usually believe easy trade at the beginning of the day, giving them good luck business of all day.
- Tasting food is the best activity while visiting the market.
- Taking pictures at the gates outside the market is great because the building of the market has a beautiful design that carries the history of Saigon.
- If your tour includes the visit to Ben Thanh Market, it’s alright. If not, you do not need to book a tour separately. You can come here to explore it by yourself. It’s easy to access.
- Minding your wallet is to avoid pickpockets.
Will you visit Ben Thanh Market when traveling to Ho Chi Minh City?