Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City

81 Reviews

Lê Loi, Ben Thành, Ho Chí Minh, Vietnam +84 8 3829 2096

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  • Ben Thanh Market
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  • ErwinKoo's Profile Photo

    Busy tourist market ,bargain is a must !

    by ErwinKoo Written Mar 4, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Cho Benh Thanh market is just beside our hotel , the Liberty Central.So everyday if we have free time , we would kill our time in here.We found this market interesting, as well as other markets in every countries we visited.
    This market is huge,hot,humid, with so many vendors and stores you can imagine, selling everything from clothing , foods, drinks ,souvenirs,coffee,tea ,handicrafts, bags,snacks, daily necessities etc.
    It reminds us of Chatujak weekend market in Thailand , but in an indoor building, not in an open area.
    Compared to other markets we have been visited , found that prices in Cho Benh Thanh market was quite high.
    Go round the market during your first hours of your visit,gather as much information about prices of stuffs you want to buy, so you will know roughly how much for a reasonable price.
    Start your bargain about 50-60 percent of the offered price ,if they wont sell you the stuff you can walk away nicely, and bargain further up a bit at other shops.
    Things tends to repeat itself here , so there should not any problem for you to find the same stuff at other shops.Almost all vendors and sellers here ,understands simple English ,or they will show you a calculator for you to input the price you wanted.
    Opening hours is from 5.00 am to 6.00 pm.
    On 5.00-6.00 am you can visit the wet market within the main market,so you can see the livestocks , like fishes ,eels , pork ,shrimps, frogs and so on.
    If your time is short and cannot visit the market during morning ,daytime or afternoon , you can always visit the Ben Thanh Night Market.This market flanks the 2 sides of the Benh Thanh Building, vendors will sell their stuffs here after the main building closed.
    Nice atmosphere ,worth a visit !

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    Eating Out

    by debay Written May 20, 2013

    Eat like the locals do. At night, the area around Ben Thanh Market becomes a giant food court.
    At first, I was wary of the plastic chairs and plastic sheets over the tables and seemingly unsanitary surroundings. But we were hungry and we saw that everything was cooked right there and then and food was served fresh and warm. I am prone to food poisoning issues but I did not encounter any. All our food was gobbled down in minutes and we even tried the cold drinks with ice.

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    Shop in Ben Thanh Market

    by theguardianangel Written Sep 8, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ben Thanh market is located in district 1; just a walking distance from the Pham Ngu Lao Road. You can easily see it with the belfry and the clock on its entrance. Opposite of this is a statue of a horseman in the center of a round about.

    I recommend you to walk going here rather than taking a taxi because there are lots of taxis that don't use their meters and would ask for a specific large amount. But for any other reasons that you really have to take a taxi, take the Mailinh taxi. This taxi is known for complying with the rules and use of calibrated meters. We had this advise from one of our kind tourist guides.

    Lots of things that you can buy in Ben Thanh Market like coffee as in all kinds of coffee- grounds, beans, powder, etc.! Lots of bags, shirts, souvenir items- shirts, keychains, frames, caps etc.. I also like the big fruits being sold here.

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    Typical Asian market

    by helelara Written Jul 8, 2012

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A beautiful market packed with history, sights, smells, colors and delights. It makes ideal place to practice your bargaining as people here were so friendly and welcoming. They wont be hard on you if you drive price to earth yet I think 25% down is fine. What I loved most was food corner, cheap and earthy Vietnamese food. Even if you do not want to buy anything, it is worth wandering around for some nice photos and people watching.

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    Not as Humid as Chatuchak but expensive here!

    by machomikemd Updated Jul 6, 2012

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    You Must be very good in Haggling unless you want to be gouged as the prices are jacked up (from 200 to 300% of the price for westerners and japanese and korean tourists). Ben Thanh market was founded since the French occupation in the 19th century. It was originally located on the bank of Ben Nghe River near Gia Din Fort until 1899 when it was moved to the present location. The market is now standing at the intersection of Le Loi, Ham Nghi and Tran Hung Dao Avenue – the centre of the city. Almost every road in the city is connected to the market. The main gate of the market is a yellow clock tower that becomes the symbol of the city.

    Inside is a tightly organized grid of aisles, arranged according to product. Clothes, shoes and fabric dominate the front, before giving over to kitchenware, cooked food, fresh vegetables and a somewhat alarming display of seafood and meat (some of it still alive). There is plenty for the visitor to buy, but the main attraction is the way in which the bustling market is still very much part of the city's life and economy.

    Opens 6:00 am to 6:30 pm Everyday.

    Front of Benh Than Market Again Front of Benh Thanh Market fixed price area Lots of Silk Bags here for gifts for lady friends! Cheap Food Stalls Inside!
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    Hustle, Bustle, and Organized Chaos!!!

    by wilocrek Updated Jun 25, 2012

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    No visit to Ho Chi Minh would be authentic without experiencing the chaos and madness of the Ben Thanh Marketplace. Located in the center of the city near a massive roundabout the Ben Thanh Marketplace is the largest indoor marketplace in the city and the most famous as well. You can find everything under the sun here from routine souveniers, silk products, and all sorts of delicious Vietnamese food. There are countless aisles chock full of vendors with their products filling up just about every available space. This is the place for one stop shopping for all your souvenir needs as well as a great place to sample Vietanmese delicacies. But the food is about the only thing that has a price tag so be ready to bargain and bargain hard. There are rock bottom prices to be had if you are willing to go toe to toe with some of the fiestiest vendors west of the Middle East. But don't be intimidated, the Ben Thanh Marketplace is full of food, folks, and fun!

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    Civet Cat Coffee (Weasel Coffee in Vietnam)!

    by machomikemd Updated Jun 13, 2012

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    Although Vietnamese Coffee is not as fine as Indonesian Coffee, they have more civet cats to compensate for it hence Civet Cat Coffee (Chon in Vietnamese or Weasel Coffee in English) is the Most INEXPENSIVE Civet Cat Coffee in the World! (Note Indonesia (Coffee Luwak) and Philippines (Coffee Alamid) also exports this blend made from coffee beans excreted by civet cats and cost $ 600 a pound in the US. it only cost 140,000-200,000 Vietnamese Dong (VND) or 8 tp 10 US Dollars to buy 100 grams or about $ 41 for 1 pound (454 grams! Talk about cheap, it is even cheaper than Kona Coffe of Hawaii!) of it but you must know how to haggle for it, you can bring it down to 125,000 VND!

    if you don't want to haggle then just Buy Trung Nguyen Weasel Coffee in any supermarket, they are the Nescafe of vietnam!

    beware: there are replica civet cat coffees and they sell much cheaper so be sure that you are buying the real thing

    Various Vietnamese Coffee and Teas! Cheapest Civet Cat Coffee In the World! Chon or Weasel Coffee! by Trung Nguyen Back Cover! buying at benh thanh market
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    by Gilbert87 Written Jan 3, 2012

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    Saigon Night Market is not just for lovers, for those who like to bring his family here to eat, shop and walk around at night ... this place is also a place to meet friends for a long meet, just food, chatted recently confided.

    While they may not be as bright and shiny as malls or supermarkets, night markets have their own character and are popular destinations for local people and travellers alike.

    There is an enormous variety of goods on offer including clothes, footwear, hats. hair clips, jewellery, watches..etc The prices are normally cheaper than day markets or supermarkets as the sellers pay less for the rent, so there are some great bargains to be had. As well as the choice in souvenirs there's also a great range of food, with many street vendors setting up shop to take advantage of the passing trade.

    Some night markets specialise in cheap goods for students and workers, and are located out of town near universities and textile factories, such as the huge Ky Hoa night market on Cao Thang in District 10, where many student live. In these markets the prices are often cheaper than in town and less bargaining is necessary; many people also come to these markets and buy wholesale to stock their shops in town.

    Culinary attractions in the national and international

    Culinary attractions in the national and international Street food is very poetic names such as Eastern Star, Huong Vi Da, Em and I, two rice, rice paper Trang Bang - Tay Ninh ... with all the dishes of both the North - Central - South. That's bun bo Hue, dirt cake, pie year, cake mold, ... Pho Bac, Nam Vang hu tiu, noodles with beef types, Spicy fried noodles, hot pot dishes, exposed to frost cake is actually very attractive .

    The food in Ky Hoa is delicious and surprisingly cheap, just $1 for a bowl of noodles or a plate of broken-rice with grilled pork and fried egg, plus a glass of sugar cane juice on the side. You will find a similar atmosphere at Binh Tay / Cho Lon, Hoa Hung and Ba Chieu night markets.

    Ben Thanh Night Market

    These markets are all within a 20-30 minute drive by taxi from the centre, and offer a authentic glimpse into real, living night markets, but for those who are short of time or energy Ben Thanh is ideally situated in the centre of Saigon and offers a taster of the larger night markets out of town. Although the shopping may be limited to souvenirs and tourist tat, there is still a wide choice of food and a great atmosphere.

    There are at least 20 street-side eateries around the market building, with hundreds of diners gathering to feast on a wide range of the best dishes from all over Vietnam. You may spot 'Bún chả' or 'Phở', delicious noodle dishes from Hanoi, 'Banh Nam', little steamed cakes in banana leaf from Hue, or Bánh xèo, crispy rice pancakes from the Mekong Delta, as well as plenty of other delicacies. You can order delicious fresh grilled seafood, or tasty barbequed pork - with such great choices, you can't go wrong!

    One of the best things about eating at Ben Thanh is that you can watch the chef cooking in front of you, and take in every delicious smell and sound, allowing you to enjoy the food with all your senses. The restaurants are also not exclusively tourist traps but offer authentic food and atmosphere - on any night the clientel may be 60-70% Vietnamese families and friends rather than exclusively tourists.

    Eating and drinking on the street is very popular in Vietnam, and night markets offer a great window into the life of the city. If you have a chance we highly recommend joining the crowds to eat on the street for an atmosphere and experience that can't be matched by a hotel restaurant.

    The night market is like that. Just as comments made by a girl from faraway Australia to Saigon Vietnam: Vietnam peace and your cute too. I can go out all night in this city that no matter what happens. Vietnam has gentle person, has the world's most hospitable and the food is great .... Forever I will never forget after returning home from Vietnam to Australia - my hometown.

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  • A must do but keep your whits about you

    by RowanHarrison10 Written Oct 19, 2011

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    The Ben Thanh markets are located within walking distance of most hotels in district one. Just got across the road to that park that stretches across Pham Ngu Road and follow it up in the direction towards the Saigon trade centre (tallest building in Saigon). You'll see it opposite the horse on the round about. It's a must do. Biggest markets in Vietnam but naturally it's full of not only interesting markets but lots of scammers and rip off's. The taxi's around it aare notorious for being fake and running metre scams on unsuspecting tourists. Don't get a taxi around that area. In addition the people in the markets will try to rip you off. As a general rule you should get what you want for half their quoted price. They'll quote you their 'final price' after some negotiating. Don't be afraid to laugh and walk away. I guarantee 99% of the time they will call you back and accept your original offer.

    There is lots of food to eat at this market but to be honest eating there is not a wonderful experience. People harrass you with *** like glasses while you are eating and it is very rude and annoying. Also because you are sitting down they will sit next to you and try to talk to you before offering you the deal of a lifetime. Be careful.

    On the positive it's a must do in vietnam and it's worth the look. The seafood and food sections are interesting (although not sanitary).

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    by DennyP Written Oct 19, 2011

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    Most big cities have a vibrant Market Place and H.C.M.C. has the Ben Thanh Market .This was just a short walk from where I was staying in Pham Ngu Lao .This I found was an extremely busy place so much so , there were goods stacked to the ceiling with hardly room to move.(take care in here).The market sells just about everything that your looking for in the way of souvenirs...leather bags and belts, travel bags, all forms of clothing to toilet items etc.etc.Outside I looked at all the food items...At night the market moves out onto the forecourt of the market with stalls set up everywhere lots of T shirts etc.

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  • Ben Thanh Market - a nice try

    by baby156 Updated Aug 24, 2011

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    Ben Thanh market is located right in the center of Ho Chi Minh city. From there, it's easy to walk to other main attractions in the city. Backpacker streets, Pham Ngu Lao and De Tham, are just within a short walking distance from here. You can find a lot of souvenirs and local products sold here. Price is highly inflated, and you have to bargain extremely hard. They also have a night market there, opening from 6pm till 10pm. Not sure if the night market is still in operating now. Food, souvenirs, handcrafts are sold, and it is really nice experience of Ho Chi Minh local life.

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    MarLeah’s Itinerary: 4D/3N

    by leahdominguiano Written Aug 3, 2011

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    MarLeah’s Itinerary:

    DAY 1
    4:30pm Arrival at Tan Son Nhat International Airport at Ho Chi Minh City.

    4:45pm Waited at the Taxi stand (Vinasun and Mai Linh)
    Vinasun wardens are in dark green shirt with maroon tie.
    Mai Lin wardens are in green shirt with green tie.
    The cost should not be more than 90,000 dong with 15 minute traffic from the
    hotel to the city. With 30 minute traffic, it would cost about 120,000 to 150,000

    5:30pm Arrival at the hotel

    7:00pm Ben Than night market. I bought keepsakes and swimsuit here.
    Marl bought Saigon shirts, a plate made out of egg display which costs us $50
    or USD70 and tried different local street food.

    9:00pm Dinner at Nha Hang Tram near our hotel.

    DAY 2
    9:00am Started our tour thru the local tuk-tuk rides.
    The best way to go-around the city, if you don’t mind the heat and pollution, is
    by their local tuk-tuk.

    9:30am Morning breakfast at Giu Xe Mien Phi – a popular coffee shop in the city.

    10:30am War Remnants Museum
    If you are a serious activist for human equality and that sort, it would be an
    insult if I tell you that this is a good place to visit. It will only be a refuge of
    more heartaches for you.
    If you are a plain spectator, I’d say that this will open up another side of every
    country’s story. Perhaps after visiting this place, you’d have lesser apathy to
    If you are pregnant and easily get-grossed, I highly recommend that you do
    not visit this place.
    If you travel often and you find value on all destinations that you go to, this
    should also be an eye-opener for you.

    11:00am Giao Hoi Phat Giao Temple
    There’s nothing much to see here other than a lot of turtles, meaningful temple
    to Buddhist and friendly people.

    12:00nn Lunch at a local open-style restaurant.

    1:30pm Went back to the hotel and just rested for the entire afternoon.

    5:30pm Strolled along the streets of Ho Chi Minh City.

    8:00pm Exhausted from the day’s activities, we just went for dinner at Lemon Grass at
    93095 Dong Khait Street.

    DAY 3
    10:00am We took a cab going to Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral.
    Saigon Post Office
    Reunification Palace
    All these 3 major tourist attractions are walking distance from each other so
    take your time and there’s no need to take a cab from one place to another.

    12:00nn Lunch along the street of Ho Chi Minh City.

    2:00pm Visited Ho Chi Minh City Museum

    3:00pm There was a nearby flee market that we passed by on our way to HCMC
    Museum earlier. So we decided to go around the area and shop.

    5:00pm Headed back to the hotel for some rest.

    7:00pm Shopping at Zen Plaza.

    9:00pm Dinner at a local hotpot restaurant, where they mostly served spicy food – Pho
    Lau Restaurant. The food was great but the price was just average.

    DAY 4
    9:00am Woke up late and prepared for our check out

    11:00am Had our brunch at the hotel then headed to the airport.

    12:00nn Arrival at the airport.
    Taxi fare from hotel to the airport is 80,000 dong.
    Cost and Entry Fee (for departing tourists) at the airport is 5,000 dong.

    Tan Son Nhat International Airport Queuing at the immigration Taxi waiting area Inside our cab Mah Linh Taxi
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    What a mess but fun !!!!!

    by jlanza29 Written May 10, 2011

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    This market is extremely crowded and full of people and stalls trying to sell you all types of things. Shirts to watches to souvenirs can all be bought here. But be warned it is extremely hot inside and be very careful of pickpockets especially the little kids. Spent about 2 hours here walking up and down the stalls, also make sure to haggle on everything !!!!!

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    Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) most touristic market!

    by kelnsha Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    If you are in the mood for shopping, do not miss the Ben Thanh Market. Centrally located and popular with tourists, it sells everything from fake Nike shoes to silk ao dai.

    This is one of the best places to pick up conical hats and ao dai. The market and surrounding streets make up one of the city's liveliest areas. Everything that's commonly eaten, worn or used by the Saigonese is available here: vegetables, meats, spices, sweets, tobacco, clothings, household items, hardwares, coffee powder and souvenir worthy items.

    Known to French as Les Halles Centrales, it was built in 1914 from reinforced concrete; the central cupola is 28m in diameter. The main entrance, with its belfry and clock, has become a symbol of HCMC.

    Ben Thanh Market Ben Thanh Market main entrance Ben Thanh Market food stalls Ben Thanh Market One of the many things selling in Ben Thanh Market
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    It’s in there somewhere!

    by JessieLang Written Feb 19, 2011

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    The Ben Thanh Market has been operating since 1914. It is in the center of town and takes up a whole block. Whatever you want, you can probably find it. There are lots of souvenirs, but also things the local people need. I bought a t-shirt and some specialty coffee beans.

    Note: pay attention to the door you enter through. There are lots of doors, and it’s easy to get turned around.

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