Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City, Ben Thanh Market
Ho Chi Minh City was formerly known as Saigon and remains the largest city in Vietnam. Travelers to the city should take into consideration some tips for shopping in the local Ben Thanh Market.
Ben Thanh market is located in District One. It’s easily visible from the street and just a short walking distance from Pham Ngu Lao Road. It’s easily recognizable due to its large belfry, and the main entrance is guarded by the statue of a horseman. It’s a beautiful market packed with history, sights, smells, colors, and delights.
The Ben Thanh market is extremely crowded with both people and merchants. This market is huge, but also extremely hot and humid due to the number of people. Be warned that the crowds can pose a threat if you’re not watching yourself, and there are pickpockets looking for easy targets.
Ben Thanh Market makes the ideal place to practice your haggling. Merchants there are very friendly and welcoming, and won’t be too hard on you while you try and get a better price. Some locations have merchandise with prices as much as 300% above market value, so haggling is a requirement if you want to get a decent deal.
When in Ho Chi Minh City, eat like the locals do. At night, the area around Ben Thanh Market becomes a giant food court. When the sun goes down, plastic chairs are set out and sheets are tossed over the tables. Visitors to the area will find people eating dinner throughout the market at this time. You don’t have to wait for evening to get a meal though, and the food corner serves Vietnamese food throughout the day.
You’ll find stalls trying to sell you everything from souvenirs to food. A full list of the merchandise on sale includes t-shirts, cloth and other materials, souvenirs, kitchenware, spices, fruit, flowers, watches, and jewelry.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City.