Over at Ben Thanh Market, you can buy virtually anything — from clothing, footwear and textiles to electronics, household items, art, jewellery, souvenirs and food — fresh and packaged! Take your time wandering through the maze of colourful stalls, but try not to touch everything — it’s far too tempting. Touching something would indicate to the vendor that you are interested in buying, so expect prices to be shouted at you in almost perfect English! The prices are of course elevated as this is a rather touristy spot, so get your bargaining skills ready.
The market is best seen during the early hours of the day — it’s quieter and less stressful, and vendors are much less annoyed. Ben Thanh Market closes its doors around 06.00 p.m. and soon after, the night markets at the East, West and North gates simultaneously open.
Ben Thanh Market, Lê Lợi, Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh City, Vietnam
Binh Tay Market, located in Chinatown, is the busiest commercial centre in all of Ho Chi Minh City, and also one of the oldest markets in the city. Its beautiful exterior features an exotic mix of French, oriental Chinese and Vietnamese architecture, with a large, yellow-tiled roof as well as colourful and historical motifs adorning the entrances and exits. Thanks to its stunning design, it has been featured in several movies.
The majority of wholesale goods transported from Southwest (Mekong Delta) provinces are brought here, and you will find a plethora of messy, winding stores offering colourful products within its walls. Vietnamese candied fruits, vibrant cloths, nuts, other handmade goods, household and electronic items — these are all sold for affordable prices.
At the back of the market, you will find a bunch of restaurants enticing customers with authentic and tasty Vietnamese cuisine. You can easily make a day out of exploring the market and Chinatown region — there are plenty of foods to try, temples to visit and alleys to photograph.
57a Tháp Mười, phường 2, Quận 6, Hồ Chí Minh City, Vietnam