If you are visiting Ho Chi Minh you will likely end up at Ben Thanh Market having a look around.
We have been there twice so far and I’m sure we will be back again a few more times.
Well I hope so (Update – We have already been back a few times now!)
I only managed to get a few photos and shoot one video in this visit.
Keeping one eye on the kids doesn’t leave you too much time for good photos.
The funny thing is the last time we went there it was a Public Holiday and it wasn’t very busy at all.
This meant we got hassled a little more than normal to buy stuff off each stall as you walk past.
When you enter the market for the first time, if you aren’t used to large noisy crowds, it can be a bit daunting.
So just hold onto your bag, go with the flow and enjoy!
Here is some information for you about the market and what’s inside it and of course, photos and a video to watch.
The Ben Thanh Market covers a very large area and there is plenty of different stalls inside.
The main bus station is across the road from Ben Thanh Market too, so this is handy if you want to buy a bus pass booklet, like we have done to save money in our time living here.
Ben Thanh Market has undergone three major transformations over its history and is one of the longest standing buildings in the city.
The latest was in 1985 where the amount of stalls was increased to over 1500.
All of the stalls in the market are private businesses and there are a few stalls that sell the same stuff, so I wonder if they are all run by the same owners?
There are four sections across the market and in each section the stalls sell the same style of products.
You have the part that sells clothes (this includes dresses, t shirts, suits etc), hats, bags, suitcases, watches, bracelets, jewelry and more.
This area, as you can imagine is pretty massive.
We found there is a barter section and also a fixed price section.
I bought a t shirt for around $6 AUS in the fixed price section and my wife bought some smaller purses in the barter section and got the price down pretty well.
So feel free to try and talk down the people in the barter section as you know their prices have to start high to begin with.
There are lots of handmade souvenirs and ornaments in this section and I also forgot to mention lots of paintings and artwork for you to take home as well.
I’d say, just check if you are buying anything wood or similar that you can take it home with you.
I know that even bringing wooden souvenirs back from New Zealand into Australia had to be declared when I came through customs.
There is a section that sells coffee, tea, spices, dried fruit, fresh fruit and more.
Most of the pricing in this area is done by the kilogram and there is plenty to choose from too!
Also there is a fair amount of fresh fruit here too I noticed.
The dragon fruit and water melons were massive here compared to the ones we get in our local supermarket.
And they looked delicious!
The variety of produce in this market is amazing, it has you thinking, where do I start?
Another section is the meat section, we could only walk down this part of the market for a little while.
To me, the smell and the sights brought back memories of working as an electrician fixing equipment in the butcher shops in my home town.
But as vegetarians now, it is a pretty overpowering smell mixed with the visuals too make it a truly unique experience.
Around this area is also the fish, fresh fruit and vegetable areas where you can get all the daily bargains for fresh food.
There is an amazing variety of food in this market, if you live close it should definitely be a place to consider going to get your supplies.
Although when you think about it, food already prepared isn’t too badly priced either depending where you eat.
So it depends on whether you like to cook or not.
We are in country for a while we can’t eat out every night so we have to prepare meals.
The eating section is pretty big too, lots of different sit down places to eat.
For us this area would’ve been good to explore a little more to have a meal, but it is hard with the kids in tow on a hot day.
We would have to consult our Vietnamese Language Book as well to see what we were being offered.
Some of the food looked delicious!
From the time we arrived, people were walking delivering food to the stalls.
A lot of these meals looked amazing!
I’ll add to this page when we get back to Ben Thanh Market again in the future.
And remember, even if you don’t buy anything, this place is an amazing experience when it is full to the brim of people, so make sure you check it out if you are in Ho Chi Minh City.
Where is Ben Thanh Market?
Here is the address for you for the Ben Thanh Market.
If you’re walking to the market from the city just be wary of the traffic and crossing the road.
There are some pretty big intersections around the market so you have to cross some big, busy roads.
If you aren’t use to it, make sure to tag along with others when they’re crossing.
Try not to invade their personal space too much!
Here is the address of Ben Thanh Market below for you.
Ben Thanh Market
Intersection of Le Loi, Ham Nghi, Tran Hung Dao Ave and Le Lai Street,
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Just type in Ben Thanh Market into Google Maps or “Click Here” and it will open for you in another window.
Then you just have to walk, Taxi, Bus, Grab or Uber and you’re on your way!