Intersection of Le Loi, Ham Nghi, Tran Hung Dao Avenues and Le Lai Street, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Ben Thanh Market has existed for a long time even before the French arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, also popularly known as Saigon. The market was initially situated along Ben Nghe River, near Gia Dinh Citadel. It is the reason why it was called Ben Thanh Market. In 1911, the French colonial government decided to relocate the market to the position seen as today. The market was started its construction in 1912 and finished at the end of March 1914. Ben Thanh Market has been held so far. Ben Thanh Market today has become one of the must-see tourist sites in Ho Chi Minh City travel. Tourists to the market not only purchase goods or souvenirs but also have a chance to find particular images and characteristics shown in daily activities of the inhabitants in the city.
Ben Thanh Market retains a total area of 13,056m² daily welcoming average of 10,000 tourists at home and abroad for going shopping and sightseeing. The market is home to 1,437 pavilions, 6,000 small businessmen and 11 enterprises. Ben Thanh Market is considered as the retail market owning the largest scale. Here, tourists can find it easy to catch all sorts of items from budget to luxury, especially delicious food, all kinds of seasonal fruits, sweets, clothing, shoes, handbags, appliances, electronics and souvenirs... Thanks to abundant commodities, Ben Thanh Market deserves one of the biggest and most important markets in Ho Chi Minh City; simultaneously, it is also one of the wonderful tourist attractions in Ho Chi Minh City annually attracting the enormous number of both domestic and foreign tourists.
As one of the largest markets in Vietnam as well as the region, the market is designed with 4 main entrances and 12 side doors emitting four directions. The south entrance (overlooking Quach Thi Trang Square) is with the symbol of three-side clock tower. Inside is home to trading of clothing and dry food. The north entrance (on Le Thanh Ton street) is splendid with colorful fresh flowers and fresh fruits. The east entrance (on Phan Boi Chau Street) attracts tourists with cosmetics and colorful candies. The west entrance (on Phan Chu Trinh Street) houses footwear, handicrafts and souvenirs. In addition, along the corridor surrounding the market houses is stalls selling all kinds of souvenir items, garments, silk fabrics, handicrafts, embroidery and brocade... Ben Thanh Market is worth the impressive tourist Ho Chi Minh attractions.
Commodities here are much more diverse than other markets in Ho Chi Minh City from all kinds of export goods, processed goods to high-end portable products. Food here reaching food safety standards is truly fresh and delicious. There are also the large number of items at the market nowhere else can be found such as ill-timed vegetables and fruits, imported fruits, fresh seafood, specialty products of abalone, shark fin or nudibranchs... which are taken straight to the market from Tan Son Nhat International Airport. The most unique feature at Ben Thanh Market is beautiful shop assistants stylish dressing and language proficiency. Setting foot on the market, foreign tourists will encounter the greeting in English, French, Japanese and Thai languages... as a colorful chord. It can be said that there are very few markets in Vietnam attracting the number of tourists with high density, multiple skin color and multi-nationality than Ben Thanh Market.
In particular, food court is open from dawn and the most vibrant at nightlife. Starting from 7 pm daily, 178 stalls concentrate along Phan Boi Chau Street and Phan Chu Trinh Street. It is the convergence of full range of traditional dishes all over the country. Ben Thanh Market was renowned as one of10 world's destinations retaining the most impressive street food on the planet by Food and Wine Magazine in 2012. Discovering unique cuisine at Ben Thanh Market is definitely one of the most impressive things to do in Ho Chi Minh City.
Although shopping trends of a modern metropolis is in supermarkets or shopping centers, sometimes in the fast pace of life, people need to live more slowly a little bit as a way to regain the balance of mind. That is one of the reasons Ben Thanh Market in particular and traditional Ho Chi Minh City markets in general will remain timelessly. The essence of Ben Thanh Market is located right inside the market where urban life lively takes place through intimate communication between human and human. Ben Thanh Market deserves one of the indispensable tourist sites in Ho Chi Minh City and plays the pioneering role to promote Ho Chi Minh City tourism closer to international friends.