Ben Thanh Market has experienced many ups and downs of history and events such as fire, collapse and relocation. However, the market still retains the ancient architecture and trading traditions until now. This is not only a market but also a famous place that any visitor wants to visit when coming to Saigon.

Location and opening hours of Ben Thanh Market

The market is located at Le Loi Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. The main gate of Ben Thanh market, which overlooks Quach Thi Trang square with the symbol of a three-sided clock tower, also known as the South gate.

There are many other interesting attractions close to the market such as Landmark 81, city post office, Independence Palace, “corn building”,… 

The market usually opens from 4am to 7pm.

History of Ben Thanh Market

Not everyone knows where the name “Ben Thanh” comes from. In the past, this market was located next to a river wharf, regularly welcoming visitors and soldiers, so from then on, the name of the market became Ben Thanh market.

  • From 1859 to 1911:

For the purpose of trading essential supplies, before the French colonial period, Ben Thanh market appeared and welcomed many people. However, during the French invasion, the market was burned down and it took a year to be restored to its original location.

  • From 1912 until now:

After a long time, the market gradually deteriorated, in danger of collapse at any time, so it was rebuilt by the French. From 1912, it took 2  more years, the French contractor Brossard et Maupin completed this work. The old architectures have been preserved until now, although Ben Thanh market underwent a major renovation and repair in 1985.

Architecture of the market

With a unique design of 4 main doors and 12 side doors, the gate architecture is quite simple, but each gate is featured with ceramic reliefs associated with the homeland of Vietnam such as cows, gooses, bunches of bananas, etc. These delicate sculptures were carved by Bien Hoa pottery artist in 1952.

Each gate will specialize in selling different goods, so you can easily visit and buy whatever you want. The goods at the market are quite diverse in design and quality. Visitors often choose this place to buy souvenirs and gifts for the trip.

4 main gates include:

South Gate: the gate with the famous 3-sided clock tower, located on Le Loi Street, opposite Quach Thi Trang Park, often attracts a lot of visitors to check-in. They always sell fabric and dry food here.

East Gate: located on Phan Boi Chau Street, is a place that attracts people with colorful sweets and cosmetics;

West Gate: located on Phan Chu Trinh Street. Here, you can find items like shoes, handicrafts, souvenirs…

North Gate: located on Le Thanh Tong Street, this place has all kinds of fresh flowers and tropical fruits to attract visitors.

When should you come to Ben Thanh Market?

There are 2 suitable times for tourists to visit Ben Thanh market:

  • From 7:30 to 18:00: If you want to visit the inside of the market.
  • After 19:00: If visitors want to feel the noisy atmosphere, and see colorful stalls at night.

The market area is quite large and there are many different stalls, so it may take visitors 1-2 hours to visit all around.

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