Ben Thanh market – immortal symbol of Saigon
Ho Chi Minh City has dozens of places to go, hundreds of places to explore, and thousands of activities waiting for you to participate. However, if you have not visited Ben Thanh market, the busiest market and the symbol of the city, your journey is still incomplete. Ben Thanh Market is absolutely a must-see attraction of the most dynamic city of Vietnam.
Introducing Ben Thanh Market
Built in 1870 by the French, the market was initially called Les Halles Centrales before being renamed Ben Thanh in 1912. From a wet market created by street vendors by the early 17th century, Ben Thanh has experienced many ups and downs throughout it’s history, and is now the oldest surviving market and one of symbols of Ho Chi Minh city. That makes it a must for any visitors travelling to this 300-year-old city.
However, by mid-1911, the market was in disrepair and was in danger of collapsing. To avoid risks, the French chose the area of Bo Ret pond (Marais Boresse), leveled and planned 4 roads, thereby building a new, more stable market. That is the location of Ben Thanh market so far.
Today, because the market possesses one of the most crucial locations in District 1 (the intersection of Le Loi, Ham Nghi, Tran Hung Dao Avenues and Le Lai Street), transportation is extremely convenient and trade is bustling. In the morning, you can find almost everything from dry food to clothes for a reasonable price. The market atmosphere can sometime be a real hustle and bustle, but it is an exciting experience after all. However, always remember that bargain is a must in any Vietnamese market.
How Many Gate Does Ben Thanh Market Have?
Ben Thanh market design 4 main gate facing 4 streets and 12 side doors. Each main gate includes many popular items for visitors to visit or enjoy on-site.
- Cua Nam (main gate) is located on Le Loi street, is a place to sell fabrics, clothes, dried food. In particular, where the South Gate also houses a 3-sided clock tower.
- Cua Bac (Nothern Gate) is located on Le Thanh Ton street, leading to fresh foods and fruits, meat and flowers.
- Cua Dong (East Gate) is located on Phan Boi Chau Street, a paradise of confectionery and cosmetics where you can get to buy a wide range of body care and skin care products.
- West Gate is located on Phan Chu Trinh Street, focusing on shoe stores, fine art goods and souvenirs
Also, there is a large food centre inside the market which offers local Vietnamese food which can pleased all food lovers.
Ben Thanh Market Opening Hours
Ben Thanh Market usually “runs” operating from 4 am and ends at 7 pm. However, after 7pm, Ben Thanh night market lights up extremely busy and crowded.
There are 2 ideal times for you to visit Ben Thanh market:
– From 7:30 to 18:00: Suitable for you to visit, shop, eat and drink inside the market.
– After 19:00: For those of you who like the bustling atmosphere and brilliant stalls at night.
With a large area and thousands of stalls arranged in different areas, it can take you nearly 2 hours to go all the way to Ben Thanh market.