Ben Thanh Market Vietnam: Shopping, Timing, and Delicious Food

Ben Thanh Market Vietnam: Shopping, Timing, and Delicious Food

Ben Thanh Market timing, located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City. It’s become a vibrant and bustling symbol of Saigon. Blending traditional culture with a lively commercial space, Ben Thanh Market history attracts visitors with its unique and appealing characteristics.

Ben Thanh Market history in Vietnam, Discover shopping delights, history, market timing, and a wide array of mouthwatering food options.

With all its enticing features, Market is not just a fascinating destination for shopping and culinary delights, but also a distinctive cultural icon of Ho Chi Minh City. Explore Market today to experience the intriguing offerings it has in store for you.

If Dong Xuan Market is a cultural feature of Hanoi in the North, Market is one of the unique features of Saigon in the South Vietnam that every tourist will gain unique experiences when visiting. With diverse choices of traditional food, handicrafts, clothes, souvenirs, purses and friendly vendors, wandering around Market is a must-do experience, especially for foreigners visiting Ho Chi Minh City. Here’s a guide to help you get around Market once you visit it.

ben thanh market vietnam

History of Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market history is one of the oldest markets in Ho Chi Minh City and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vietnam. This destination should not be missed when coming to the city of more than 300 years old. Visitors can explore many colorful stalls to buy food, souvenirs and costumes, fabrics.

The market has a history dating back to the early 17 century, with its original as a meeting place for small businesses selling goods on the street near the Ben Thanh River (now it is Saigon River). In 1870, the French colonial government officially named the area Les Halles Centrals (or Central Market). The market was moved into a new building in 1912 with the new name of Ben Thanh Market history.

However, in 1914 the market was relocated to a more central location to what was then near My Tho Railway Station (current Saigon bus station) and again renamed as the “New Ben Thanh Market” to distinguish from its predecessor. In 1985, the new one was renovated to keep up with the city’s progress, yet the famous clock tower on the south entrance was left unchanged. Despite the restorations over time, the market remains one of the earliest surviving structures of Saigon – having witnessed war after war, and finally peace.

What to buy at Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market has 4 main gates and 12 entrances. The main front gate or the south gate is on Le Loi Street, the North on Le Thanh Ton Street, the East on Phan Boi Chau Street, and the West on Phan Chu Trinh Street. The main entrance is famous for the big clock tower which is the iconic symbol of Market. It’s a chance to truly get stuck in with the locals and test your bargaining skills. It’s a very different experience if you come from Europe or America and are so used to fixed priced items that the idea of bargaining never comes to mind.


Clothes: Near the entrance, you can find rows of colorful textiles and clothing. You can buy different kind of clothes, even the traditional “Ao Dai” costume and “Non-La” – a Vietnamese conical hat you often see people wearing on the street. You also can find them selling mosquito nets, hammocks, embroidery, and even bedding.

Accessories: jewelry, watches, bags, wallets, handicrafts are sold in the East Gate side.

Souvenirs: a paradise of many stalls for gifts, ceramics, handicrafts and art will be found on the West Gate side of the market.

Food: you can buy a lot of Vietnamese packaged food and specialties here such as coffee beans, tea, fish sauces, and dried goods in the East side of the market. They sell different varieties of coffee to take with you back home, available for purchase by the kilo. Phin filters are also available (and make wonderful gifts) for you to use every time you want to make your morning coffee in Vietnamese way. Fresh food with a variety of fishes and meat, processed food and fruits are sold at the North side. You can also find flower shop at this side. The food stalls in the back or outside the market is worth your try because of its variety and tastiness.

Attractions around Ben Thanh Market

Do not forget to pass by Ben Thanh Street Food Market which brings a sense of fresh air to diners, especially to foreign travelers who wish to explore the cuisine of local people. Ben Thanh Street Food Market is only 80 meters away from Market, starting from the North Gate, opens from 19.00pm to midnight.

When visiting the food market, guests should try traditional Vietnamese dishes including bun ca Long Xuyen (noodle with fish), com tam la sen (Vietnamese broken rice wrapped in lotus leaf), bun mam (noodles with broth made of fermented fish), goi cuon (spring roll), chao tom (grilled shrimp mousse on a sugarcane stick) and grilled seafood, with prices starting from VND25,000 each. In addition, those who love street food delicacies of other Asian countries can experience many authentic dishes like Thai fried rice, Malaysian pancakes, Balinese coconut water, and Korean soft serve ice cream among others.

Bui Vien (the backpacker street) is not much further away and can also easily be reach by walk. And the same can be said about Walking Street (Nguyen Hue) and other famous tourist sites of the city such as the City Hall, Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office, Opera House, War Museum, Reunification Palace, etc. The interior of these structures may be closed ben thanh market vietnam timing, but they are a sight to behold at night with floodlights illuminating their cream-colored walls in the dark. The favorite thing to do is walk around this area at night because the traffic is not congested, and it is extremely relaxing. There is also just so much to see – so you can definitely make a good night out of it.


– Visitors should also be wary of pickpockets.
– Be careful with your personal belongings.
– Do not buy the first thing you see.
– Do not pre-determine a fixed price in your head before you start to bargain.
– Be prepared to walk away from a deal.
– Ask questions about quality, original, warranty of goods or products etc.

Transportation Methods To Ben Thanh Market

To conveniently reach Market, visitors need to know the correct directions. Here are three popular transportation methods:

Bus: There are several bus routes that pass near Market, such as 03, 04, 152, 19, 20, 39, 53, 93, 96. The bus stops are usually located within a distance of 200 – 600 meters from the market, taking around 4 – 8 minutes to walk from the bus stops.

Motorbike, Car: Around the market, there are many private parking lots with varying prices. The fares can range from 10,000 to 20,000 VND per trip. However, it’s important to note that on weekends and during Tet holidays, it may be more crowded. Visitors should inquire about the prices before parking to avoid unnecessary expenses.

Taxi: The simplest method for those unfamiliar with Saigon’s streets is to call a taxi. Taxis can directly take visitors to the market entrance conveniently.

Note: To avoid getting lost or stuck in traffic, it’s advisable to travel during non-peak hours and choose a transportation method that suits your needs and convenience.

Number And Locations of Entrances To Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market timing has a total of 4 main entrances and 12 auxiliary entrances, each serving a different direction and providing a diverse range of products for visitors to shop or enjoy on the spot. Here is the information about the locations of the main entrances:

Southern Gate: This is the famous main gate with a three-faced clock tower, located on Le Loi Street and facing Quach Thí Trang Park. This entrance often attracts many visitors for check-ins and offers items such as textiles and dry food. Ben Thanh Market in Vietnam timing, Discover shopping delights, history, market timing, and a wide array of mouthwatering food options.

Eastern Gate: Located on Phan Boi Chau Street, this gate entices visitors with various types of cakes and colorful cosmetics.

Western Gate: This gate is situate on Phan Chu Trinh Street and features many stalls selling shoes, handicrafts, and a variety of souvenirs.

Northern Gate: Located on Le Thanh Tong Street, this gate is a destination for fresh flowers and tropical fruits, drawing the attention of visitors.

Best Time To Visit Ben Thanh Market

There are two suitable time periods for visitors to explore Ben Thanh Market:

From 7:30 am to 6 pm: This is a great time to explore and shop inside the market. During this time, Market is bustling with vibrant trading activities. Visitors can find a wide range of goods and diverse food items and enjoy the shopping experience at the stalls.

After 7 pm: If visitors want to experience the lively and colorful atmosphere of Market at night, this time is perfect. The brightly lit lantern stalls make the market exciting and attractive. Visitors can enjoy street food, participate in entertainment activities, and explore the unique ambiance of the market at night.

With its large area and numerous different stalls, visitors may spend 1-2 hours to fully explore Market. It’s recommend planning the starting and ending time appropriately to have a complete market experience.

Inside Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market – A Hundred-Year-Old Ancient Architecture in The Heart of Saigon

Ben Thanh Market timing, rebuilt with bricks and wooden roofs since 1912 after a period of deterioration, still preserves its ancient and unique architectural features to this day. Inside the market, visitors will discover the following:

  1. Market Gates: Ben Thanh Market timing has 4 main gates with distinctive highlights. The gates are adorn with artistic sculptures, showcasing the specialties and symbols of Southern Vietnam. One of them is the famous Southern Gate with a clock tower design as a miniature tower right at the main entrance.
  2. Trading Area: Inside Ben Thanh Market timing, visitors will experience a vibrant space with hundreds of stalls and diverse wholesale shops. The stalls offer products ranging from clothing, shoes, and bags to electronics, pottery, fresh produce, and enticing street food.
  3. Culinary Delights: Ben Thanh Market timing is also a fantastic place to explore street food. Visitors can savor traditional dishes such as ben thanh market vietnam xeo, pho, hủ tiếu, and various other street food delicacies. Additionally, there are many fast-food stalls and beverage stands serving delicious treats for visitors to enjoy right at the market.
  4. Local Culture: Ben Thanh Market timing is not only a place for trade, shopping, and dining but also a destination to learn about local culture and interact with the people of Saigon. Visitors can observe the vibrant lives of the vendors and engage in the unique living space of the city.

Ben Thanh Market is a popular and diverse destination, combining culture, shopping, and culinary delights. Visitors can explore not only unique products but also immerse themselves in the lively atmosphere and the beauty of the market’s ancient architecture.

Tips For Visiting Ben Thanh Market

When visiting Ben Thanh Market, there are a few things to keep in mind for a better experience:

  • Bargaining: As Ben Thanh Market is a popular destination for foreign tourists, vendors often set higher prices. Make sure to ask for prices in advance and demonstrate your bargaining skills to ensure you purchase products at a reasonable price.
  • Your Safety: Due to the crowd and high foot traffic. It’s important to ensure ben thanh market vietnam the safety of your bag and personal belongings. Hold onto your bag tightly and be cautious to avoid pickpocketing or snatch-and-grab incidents while shopping.
  • Traffic Observation: The area around Ben Thanh Market has heavy vehicular traffic and crowded streets. When crossing the road or taking photos, pay attention and follow traffic rules to ensure your safety and the safety of others.
With these tips in mind, you will have a safe and enjoyable experience exploring Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City is a vibrant and iconic destination that offers a unique shopping experience. With its rich history, diverse goods, and bustling atmosphere, the market immerses visitors in Vietnamese culture. From traditional souvenirs to authentic cuisine, it caters to every taste. Market symbolizes resilience and showcases the entrepreneurial ben thanh market vietnam spirit of the Vietnamese people. A visit here is an opportunity to connect with the heart and soul of Vietnam. Leaving lasting memories of its vibrant culture.

Hopefully, with the above experiences of going to market, you will know how to explore this market simply and easily. Have a nice tour in Ho Chi Minh City and have a lot of interesting experiences.

Ben Thanh Market at Night

Although Market closes at 7 pm, the nightlife here is lively. Surrounding the market are bustling night market stalls offering various specialties, grilled food, seafood stalls, and beer vendors.

  • Time: Starts from 7 pm
  • Location: The two side streets of the market, Phan Boi Chau and Phan Chu Trinh.

During peak tourist seasons in Saigon, each night, this market area attracts nearly 1,000 visitors.  Including locals and tourists from both domestic and international destinations.

Despite being crowd, the security and order in the area have improve. The city authorities continuously enhance the quality of goods. And the business attitude of the small traders. Ensuring comfort and peace of mind for visitors exploring at night.

Locations of Food Stalls in Ben Thanh Market

Inside Ben Thanh Market, visitors will find many enticing food stalls. Offering diverse specialties from different regions of Vietnam and the distinctive cuisines of various European and Asian countries. Here is ben thanh market vietnam a list of interesting dishes. That visitors can enjoy when visiting the food area of the market:

  • Main Courses: Market provides a range of enticing dishes. Such as fresh spring rolls, fried spring rolls. My Tho-style noodles, broken rice dishes, pork rib dishes, rice porridge with offal, vermicelli with fermented fish sauce. Hue-style beef noodles, grilled meat vermicelli, crab noodle soup, rainbow sticky rice. Hanoi-style pho and Vietnamese pancakes.
  • Snacks: Visitors can explore interesting street snacks. Such as sweet dessert soups, pomegranate jelly, skewered meat. Thai-style ice cream, mixed rice paper salad, various shellfish dishes, rice cakes, and young sticky rice.
  • Desserts: To quench thirst after indulging in the delicious food. Market also has a variety of dessert stalls, including bubble tea, soft drinks, fruit juices, and more.

Inside the market, visitors can find a wide range of delicious and diverse dishes. Representing the unique flavors of Saigon and Vietnam. Enjoy the food at Market to discover the rich culinary culture of this area.

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