There is no doubt that Ben Thanh Market is a must-visit in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) thanks to the perfect blend of beautiful ancient French and Vietnamese architectures and its experience through over 100 years in the city. Ben Thanh Market is always listed as one of the best places to go shopping in Saigon because it sells a wide range of products for tourist expectations. Highlights of the market include the good location, diverse choices and English-speaking vendors. This is an Ultimate Guide to Shopping at Ben Thanh Market which is expected to be fun and memorable.
Location and How to get there?
Location: Le Loi Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. CLICK HERE to see location on Google Maps.
Ben Thanh Market is surrounded by four streets: Le Thanh Ton, Phan Boi Chau, Phan Chu Trinh and Le Lai. So that visitors can enter the market through any gate on these streets. It is easy to reach the market by bus or taxi because the market is located in the heart of the city. The taxi fare in Ho Chi Minh City is about VND 16,000, Vinasun and Mai Linh provide good taxis and professional services. The nearest bus station to the market is called Ham Nghi Bus Station. Taking any bus to this bus station from your place can save money because the bus fare is from VND 5,000. If you are good at using Grab which is similar to Uber in other countries, you can book a ride by car or bike at a good price to the market.
The day Ben Thanh market is open from 7:00 to 19:00. When the sun goes down, the market inside the building closes and the night outdoor market opens on Phan Chu Trinh and Phan Boi Chau Streets. The stores on Le Thanh Ton Street open from the morning to nearly midnight. This guide is about the day market, visitors can check out the Ultimate Guide about Ben Thanh Night Market HERE.
Are the prices at Ben Thanh Market high?
You may have read that prices at Ben Thanh Market are high and bargaining is a must. However, many things have been changed, the prices are reasonable and lots of stores sell the items at fixed prices now. There are more and more markets, stores and shopping malls open in the city. Vendors at Ben Thanh Market know how to attract customers with good prices and their attitude. They speak English well, some can speak a little Korean, Chinese, Japanese, etc.
Shopping Centers and Shopping Stores
Ben Thanh Market has 1500 stores where more than 6,000 vendors do their business. Some stores are located inside the market, some stores are located in the corridors. East Ben Thanh Center, West Ben Thanh Center Ben Thanh Store in the corridors are good places to shop, the staffs in blue uniforms are well-trained and speak English well. Prices are fixed so that customers do not need to negotiate. At the other stores, customers should haggle for great deals.
East Ben Thanh Center and West Ben Thanh Center
East Ben Thanh Center (Trung Tâm Bến Thành Đông) , West Ben Thanh Center (Trung Tâm Bến Thành Tây) are owned by Ben Thanh Trading & Service Joint Stock Company. The East Center consists of 30 stores along the broadway corridor of the market, stretching from the East Gate to the South Gate. The West Center has 40 stores, located along the broadway corridor of the market, stretching from the West Gate to the South Gate. These stores sell fabrics, ready made clothes, handbags, handmade arts, lacquers, embroideries, luggage, etc.
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Ben Thanh Store
Ben Thanh Store or Cửa Hàng Bến Thành, owned by Saigon Co.op Mart – one of the top retail co-operative in Vietnam, has been open since 1978. Ben Thanh Store – East Gate is located in the corridor, from Gate 11 to 13, Ben Thanh Store – West Gate is located in the corridor, from Gate 5 to 7. The stores sell clothes for women, men, children, toys. Ben Thanh Store owns the store at Gate 12 sells high-quality and reasonably priced CoopMart brand products which are designed and managed by Saigon Co.op. Customers can find hundreds of cosmetics, textile, household products and foods.
What to buy at Ben Thanh Market?
Ben Thanh Market sells countless products so that I have divided popular items into the following categories: Clothes and accessories, Fabrics, Souvenirs, Dried foods, Coffee and Tea, Luggage, Toys, Bedding products. Besides, the market provide fresh and artificial flowers, raw foods, household items and kitchenware which are sold mainly for local people.
Clothes and accessories
Clothes and accessories dominates the market. Traditional Ao Dai and Ao Ba Ba, dresses, underwear, T-shirts and other fashion products are abundant at the market. A large number of clothing and accessories are made from good fabrics in Vietnam. However, customers should check the origins of the items before buying. Customers are easily find the items at East Ben Thanh Center, West Ben Thanh Center Ben Thanh Store.
Khaki, linen, nylon, cotton, velvet, silk, chiffon fabrics and many others sold at Ben Thanh Market are made in Vietnam, Thailand, Italy, China. Many tourists, ex-pats and locals buy Ao Dai fabrics and fabrics for suits, trousers and shirts for men at the market. The stores also offer tailor services such as Make suits or Ao Dai in 1 days, Free delivery to customers’ hotel.
Dried foods, coffee and tea
The market sell both fresh foods and dried foods but tourists tends to buy dried foods and cakes to bring home. People who live in Ho Chi Minh City can find fresh vegetables, meat, chicken, seafood, tofu, flowers in the raw food area.
Any tourist love to buy a souvenir to bring home, souvenir store at Ben Thanh Market offer customers many souvenirs. The top souvenirs at Ben Thanh Market are as follows:
Some visitors buy fresh fruits to bring home if the distance between Ho Chi Minh City and their home is not too far. Visitors can buy and try some fruits: pomelos, mangoes, sweet oranges, custard apples, dragon fruits, durians, etc. Baskets of fruits are great presents on death anniversaries and first birthday parties or when you visit a Vietnamese family.
Do you take your children to go with you on the trip to Vietnam? Are you living with your kids in Ho Chi Minh City. Ben Thanh Market has plastic toys, electric toys for both boys and girls.
Summary of Shopping at Ben Thanh Market
Whether you are a visitor or ex-pat, Ben Thanh Market has everything you need for your normal life. Although you can go shopping at modern and luxury shopping malls with air conditioning systems and lots of services, shopping at one of the oldest, most famous and beautiful markets in the city is an amazing experience. At the market, you can meet vendors who have been doing their business for dozens of years. Many things have not been changed and customers feel like shopping in Saigon in the past. Prices are not very expensive, the costs are fixed at some stores. You can freely choose the items and the vendors are happy to advise you which are the best.