Ben Thanh Market – Paradise for Shopaholics

Ben Thanh Market, an unofficial symbol of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), is know as the paradise for any shopaholic to buy local handicrafts, Vietnamese art, branded goods, and other souvenirs.

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Inside Ben Thanh Market, there are dining stalls inside the market where you can sample hawker-style Vietnamese cuisine or simply cool off with a cold drink.

The market is large, at times difficult to navigate, and best avoided during the hottest part of the day, but it is definitely worth a visit. When the sun sets, eateries along the market's perimeter open their doors, creating a bustling street scene filled with the aromas of wok-fried noodles, grilled seafood, and meats. Ben Thanh, one of Saigon's oldest monuments, has a fantastic ambience that is very authentically Vietnamese.

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Highlights of Ben Thanh Market

Save your appetite for the evening and visit Ben Thanh Market, where you can sample authentic Vietnamese street food at one of the 20 or so cafes that encircle the market building. Chefs will prepare a variety of cuisines right in front of your eyes, including vegetarian noodles, fresh fish, crispy rice pancakes, and steamed pastries. You'll be in good company because most of the establishments are bustling with people stopping for a bite to eat and a short drink on their way home from work.

Head to the market, preferably early in the morning, for some great deals on lacquered pottery, bamboo goods, and arts and crafts. Clothes, fabrics, luggage, watches, and a variety of technological goods are also on sale. The air is highly scented with spices, nuts, and local fruits, as well as the noise of tourists and residents bartering for discounts. However, keep in mind that some things will have a set price.

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Ben Thanh Market is located at the crossroads of Le Loi, Ham Nghi, Tan Hung, and Le Lai streets in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City. Shops close late in the afternoon, so it's better to conduct your shopping early in the morning before the heat of the day sets in.

The market is one of Ho Chi Minh City's most well-known sites, and all cab drivers are familiar with it. If you're staying downtown, check to see if you can walk there from your hotel because it's extremely conveniently located.

Opening hours: 06.00 24.00 everyday.

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