Ben Thanh Market Ho Chi Minh City

Ben Thanh Market A Brief History

The markets were originally a wet market created by local street vendors in the 17th century. Ben Thanh Market has had a turbulent time over its many years however it is the oldest market in Ho chi Minh city.

The buildings themselves have been built many times although 2012 the current building celebrated 100 years, and was renovated in 1985.

Now it is a bustling market with, food, produce, clothing and accessories available.

The Market

This market is a without a doubt a MUST when visiting Ho Chi Minh.

Within a warehouse style building in the centre of the city, lies this treasure chest of anything your mind can conjure. From clothes and rolls of silks, to chopsticks and raw meat, there isn’t an inch of this building not utilised for wares of some sort

The market is divided up into different sections so you can easily avoid the raw food section if you have a weaker tummy, but if you can, this area is worth a visit to see how grocery shopping in done in a different culture.

Food stalls

There are many of food stores inside the markets served traditional Vietnamese foods and drinks. Here you will find some of the finest Vietnamese delicacies

There Is also a Ben Than street food market (only open evenings) located at the back of the markets which sells traditional Vietnamese street food. With a licensed bar and live music it makes a great spot for a relaxed evening.

Produce

A wide variety of meat, seafood and vegetables are sold at the back of the markets. Probably not a place if you are a bit queasy or not a meat eater so just a bit of advice stay away from the back in this case.

I had a look at the produce myself and to be honest it looked freshest of the fresh. Below is a little gallery of the produce markets.

Clothing & Accessories

So much to choice! bags, clothing, shoes, jewelry, woodworks, materials eg. silks, sunglasses you name it they have it there.

Something you may also need when visiting these markets is a little extra patience than usual. The stall holders are keen to flog you their wares so as soon as you show a speck on interest in their goods, they will do all in their power to convince you to make a purchase. This is good if you are interested in making a purchase as it allows you to haggle with the tellers. There are many stalls with similar products so each stall owner will be willing to give you a ‘discount’ if they can keep you at their shop.

Top Tip: A little tip would be to half whatever their asking price is and go from there with your bargaining. If that doesn’t seem to be working, pretending to walk away often helps negotiations.

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