Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1 is a great place to buy local handicrafts, branded goods, Vietnamese art and other souvenirs. Here, you’ll find eating stalls inside the market where you can get a taste of hawker-style Vietnamese cuisine or simply cool off with a cold drink when the bargaining becomes too much.
The market is big, difficult to navigate at times and certainly best avoided during the hottest part of the day. Frankly, not the best place to bring children but worth a visit if you are nearby. One of Saigon’s oldest landmarks, Ben Thanh offers a great atmosphere that is absolutely authentically Vietnamese.
It was my 2nd trip to Vietnam but was surprised with the changes which happened by far in the city. My hotel was just a stone’s throw away so I definitely popped by the old market for a look.
5 things you should take note of when going to Ben Thanh Market
👉 The market closes in the evening, but there is a night market which opens after outside.
👉 it offers a variety of food in the market and because it has a lot of tourists, it may not be the cheapest in Ho Chi Minh city but definitely cheap for international standards.
👉 I made a jacket many years ago in Vietnam and did the same this time. The price for the jacket and pants is about US$80 which is a pretty good deal. (I think it was like $50-70 15 years ago.) They made mistakes for my requirements for special pockets as a magician but happily made changes as per my requests. Although a jacket and pant can be done in 24 hours, I suggest at least 3 days so you can do the fittings and make changes accordingly.
👉 Check out the shops on both sides of the markets, . I was initially confused when one street was accepting Malaysia ringgit. Apparently, this is the Malay street so it’s great if you are looking for halal food.
👉 look out for pickpockets and snatch theft on motorbikes.
Although Ho Chi Minh definitely has it’s old world charm with offbeat things to do there, if you have time, you should definitely check out Danang. I like the slower vibes there.