To many people, especially Saigonese, Ben Thanh Market is nothing strange. However, there are many interesting things about this market that not everyone knows.
Being a bustling market all day and night, Ben Thanh Market is considered as a symbol, a destination that is incredibly fascinating for not only international visitors but also local people. Walking around, shopping, exploring Ben Thanh Market has long been an integral part of Saigon tours.
Ben Thanh is so famous, with foreign tourists, that their trips to Ho Chi Minh City or even Vietnam will not be complete without a visit to this market. Built in 1870, Ben Thanh Market was originally named Les Halles Centrales before being renamed Ben Thanh in 1912. With many ups and downs, Ben Thanh is one of the oldest markets in Saigon.
Ben Thanh Market is especially placed in one of the most significant locations of the city, intersection of Ham Nghi Boulevard and Tran Hung Dao Street. This is an absolutely favorable condition for the activities of trade and exchange happening lively and bustling. It has four main doors with 4 directions: South, East, North, and West. Not only a cultural symbol and a must-visit destination when tourists have the opportunity to visit Saigon, Ben Thanh Market is also a place where you can find almost everything from the common to the rare, from the popular to the high-end including food, clothes, jewelry, supplies, spices, souvenirs, electronics, etc. with good quality.
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Both vendors inside and hawkers outside Ben Thanh Market are somewhat aggressive, so you should get used to politely declining or ignoring their frequent terse sales pitches. It is always best to explore the different shops first and hunt for the best deals instead of buying at first sight, to get what you like at a cheap price. You can always get cheap prices and the best deals with some bargaining or if you purchase several items at once.
The shops inside the market close between 5 pm and 6 pm, giving way to the appearance of vendor stalls at three directions East, West and North. This is the time when Ben Thanh Market turns into more charming. While the indoor stalls shut down, the streets on both sides get very busy. People are setting up the night market, which offers mainly souvenirs, T-shirts and food. Not only the sellers will address you to buy various items, but also street vendors with hawker’s trays are trying to sell miscellaneous items like postcards, lighters and bracelets. Food stores offer a wide selection of grills, seafood, beer, etc.
It is also where the world-famous chefs come to choose fresh food and discover Vietnamese cuisine. If you are curious what Saigon people eat, wear or use every day, just come here and you will find the answer. If you are a shopping addict, this is the place you are looking for.
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