Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ho Chi Minh City - Ben Thanh Market

One of the reasons why I chose Pham Ngu Lao as my base for my short stay in Ho Chi Minh City is that it is within walking distance to many famous landmarks in the city. I can basically walk to almost all the sights within the city and this is perfect for someone who enjoys walking when travelling like me. For example, from Saigon Youth Hostel to Ben Thanh market, it takes only about 5 minutes walk. Hence, on my second day, I began my exploration of Ho Chi Minh City, first with the aforementioned central market.

Ben Thanh market

Ben Thanh market is a very famous marketplace where you can find absolutely anything and everything in it. From household items such as meat, vegetable and fruits, to touristy products such as key chains, shirts, and so on, you can find it all inside the building. You can also have your meals in there as well. It’s like the market version of those modernized, air-conditioned shopping complexes.

Dry market and...

...wet market all in the same building

This beautiful structure is hard to miss. Besides its yellow façade, there is the imposing statue of the mighty General Tran Nguyen Han mounting a horse right across it, in the center of a roundabout. With heavy traffics circling around the statue, it is quite a sight to absorb in.

That's General Tran Nyugen Han statue

By night time, Ben Thanh market becomes the host of the night market. Streets surrounding the structure will be crowded with makeshift stalls, selling almost the same things as those inside the market in the morning. Shirts, foods, handicrafts, you name it, there it will be.

Ben Thanh market at night

I'm amazed at the way Vietnamese crossing the roads...

Night market right beside Ben Thanh market

Colourful sticky rice

Once I'm done with Ben Thanh market, it's time for the next destination. 


Sharing is caring. A word of advice and a piece of information.

I heard tales that the products sold in Ben Thanh market are highly inflated, with 50% to 100% more expensive than its original prices. Locals and tourists are charged differently even though it's the same items being bought. Therefore, if you want to buy anything at the central market, be sure to haggle persistently. Or, even better, go to Binh Tay market at Cho Lon where you can get basically the same items at much lower prices.


  1. If I still remember correctly, the market was divided into 3 sections: the haggle part, the part where price is fixed with price tag somemore, the food section. We just couldn't stay for the food as we feel quite suffocated.
    I certainly miss Vietnam with its famous coffee and beef noodles. :P

  2. Is it? I didn't realise that but to be honest, I just explored the central market briefly...after what I found out about the prices, I was not motivated to shop at all...

  3. after 2 years, the market still looks the same:D

    good tip on bargaining. the prices can sometimes be crazily marked up.

  4. Don't think there will be much changes to it since it's a national heritage site and all...