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Getting to Know Ben Thanh Market In Saigon
Ben Thanh Market is situated in the centre of Ho Chi Minh City, Le Loi Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1. Being one of the earliest existing structures, it is regarded as a famous destination for both natives and foreigners and an important symbol of Ho Chi Minh City. The opening hours start at 6 a.m, GMT + 7, and end at 6 p.m. Then, a transition takes place, and Ben Thanh continues to run as a night market for 4 to 6 hours more.
These days, Ben Thanh Market welcomes approximately 15000 visitors per day in terms of both visiting and shopping. The market has about 3000 booths, 6000 businesses from retailers to wholesalers. Goods that are available in the Ben Thanh market include both consumable and luxurious ones. Currency exchange is not required in Ben Thanh Market; however, many vendors find Vietnam’s currency, which is Vietnamese Dong, most preferable.
Ben Thanh Market’s History
The current location was constructed in 1912, according to sources. The market is well-known for numerous aspects, but probably, street food is the most outstanding one. Specifically, in January 2012, the Food & Wine Magazine recognized Ben Thanh Market as one of the top 10 most attractive destinations for street food.
In a century since construction, the market has gone through several name changes. Ben Thanh Market, as we acknowledge today, used to be called Old Market, Ben Thanh New Market, and Saigon New Market. Some would even compare the place to an old man who witnesses Vietnam’s reinventions and evolution. There are also many business booths in Ben Thanh Market that share the same age as it.
Vietnamese Cultural Ethics
It is evident that numerous visitors come to Ben Thanh Market to shop for Vietnamese souvenirs and other goods. However, when dropping by Ben Thanh Market, you are likely to figure out the insights of lifestyles or lifestyles and local features.
As a Vietnamese old saying goes – “Trai khon kiem vo cho Dong”, visiting such a place as Ben Thanh Marketing may interpret the meaning for those who have yet to discover. Eastern Lady traders are well-known for their critical business mindset, flexible trading methods, and incredible communication skills. This saying indicates the standards of choosing lifelong partners of Vietnamese men in the past.
Architectural And Economic Values
Ben Thanh Market has a total square of 13,056 m2 with an outstanding Indochina design. The construction took place before the French colonial period, and the market was then located by the riverside of Ben Nghe river, which was close to Gia Dinh Citadel. Many assume this is the primary explanation for the name Ben Thanh Market.
It was in 1911 that the French decided to relocate the market to its nowadays location. Ben Thanh Market now lies among four roads, which are Quach Thi Trang, Le Thanh Tong, Phan Chu Trinh, and Phan Boi Chau.
In the opinion of architectural experts, Ben Thanh Market’s structure assembles unique traits of a 100-year-old quarter without being irrelevant or out-of-date among the surrounding modern and contemporary buildings in the city. The place even appears to be compatible and characterized by its clock tower.
(Ben Thanh Market’s Clock Tower)
Apart from being an architectural symbol, Ben Thanh Market is also regarded as one of the most remarkable economic hubs of Vietnam. Since its construction day, Ben Thanh Market has been earning impressive revenues through street food, handicrafts, garments, fresh farm produce, and flowers. In recent years, the market has also achieved significant amounts of money and contributed to Ho Chi Minh City in terms of tourism.
Transportation to Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh Market is accessible to visitors through four main entrances and 12 gates, and it is about 7 kilometers from Tan Son Nhat International Airport. When travelling from Tan Son Nhat or elsewhere, you will find no difficulties reaching the market, as both public or private transportation in Ho Chi Minh City is flexible and always available.
Public Means of Transportation
Public means of transportation available to visitors include Grab, Be, traditional taxi, and bus. The transportation fees can vary, depending on which place you are travelling from. For example, if you want to reach Ben Thanh Market from Tan Son Nhat International Airport, it would take you about 50000 VND to travel by Grabbike, and 180000 by grab car or a traditional taxi.
If you travel by bus, the transportation fee would be much cheaper, which is from 6000 to 20000 VND. Bus stops that are recommended are routes 152, 109, and 49. You can take other routes as well if your first location is not Tan Son Nhat International Airport. Bus routes in Ho Chi Minh City can be looked upon on the website Xe-Buyt.com.
Private Means of Transportation
If you don’t plan to travel to many places in Ho Chi Minh City, public means of transportation may be the most appropriate method of travelling. However, if you are in the opposite case, then you should go for the alternative, which is a private means of transportation.
There are many agencies offering visitors services with flexible means such as cars or motorbikes and reasonable prices. It is advisable that you hire motorbikes since it is more flexible and easier to travel during rush hours in Ho Chi Minh City. The fee for hiring motorbikes in Ho Chi Minh City is usually from 100000 to 180000 VND, dependent on which types of motorbikes you intend to hire.
Like transportation, accommodations in Ho Chi Minh City are also diverse and prices can vary from types to types. This is highly controlled by the amount you would spend on accommodations while visiting Ho Chi Minh City and Ben Thanh Market. In this part, we would inform you of the nearby homestays and hotels as well as the average price ranges.
- Chill Box: Chill Box Homestay is located in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Bookings are claimed to be cheaper than the average price range of 50 per cent as it only costs you about 300000 VND per night spent. There are also other supporting policies such as free cancellation or direct payment, which are very convenient. The rating for Chill Box on Agoda is up to 8.4, and you can get numerous discounts when booking online.
- Lela Homestay: Lela Homestay attracts its customers with an impressive design with both vintage and romantic vibe. Situated at 26 Ly Tu Trong Street, District 1, this homestay has a big capacity, which is suitable for groups. It also enables you to hold BBQ parties on its chilling rooftop. The price for a night spent in Lela homestay is about 372000 – 500000 VND.
- Urban Saigon Homestay: the next homestay recommended in our list is Urban Saigon Homestay. It impresses its customers with a modern and elegant design and numerous conveniences. Especially, it allows you to easily access the city as well as Ben Thanh Market. However, the price range of this homestay can be quite expensive for some as it costs you from 600000 to 1700000 VND per night.
- AYA Homestay: the fourth homestay in this post is AYA homestay. This is regarded as one of the most worth-hiring homestays and popular with tourists in Ho Chi Minh. Once entered, you would get impressed by its sense of vintage but also daydreaming and positive. It is located on Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, and the cost for a night there would be 600000 – 1800000 VND.
- Megustas Homestay: Megustas homestay is also an affordable but excellent choice for visitors. The cost to pay is from 300000 to 500000 VND for a night. However, when staying there, you would get a sense of comfort and relaxation during nights spent on the balcony and rooftop with friends or family. It is also elegantly decorated with bright colors and a favorite place for many tourists.
- Maison 31 Homestay: the last one to recommend in this list would be Maison 31 homestay. This homestay is well-known for its classic, romantic, and sophisticated design with main colors such as white and blue. It offers customers various conveniences and chilling spaces while staying. The average costs of this homestay are from 800000 to 1200000 VND.
- Silverland Central Hotel: Silverland Central Hotel is only 52 meters from Ben Thanh Market, which is ideal. It is also nearby such places as Saigon Railway Station, Saigon Central Post Office, Vinmec Hospital, and Ba Trieu Vincom Center. Also, it is highly recommended by tourists for its high-quality and professional services.
- Winsuites Saigon Hotel: Winsuites Saigon Hotel is also another ideal accommodation for those who want to visit Ben Thanh Market as it is only 143 meters from the market. Like Silverland Central Hotel, it is not far from Saigon Railway Station, Vinmec Hospital, and Ba Trieu Vincom Center. This hotel also has a swimming pool, which would please many customers.
- Indochine Ben Thanh Hotel & Apartment: Indochine Ben Thanh Hotel is the third to be recommended. Besides its advantage in terms of geography, it is also providing clients with an affordable price and many discounts on hotel booking websites. The price of a three-star hotel can be as low as 700000 VND.
- Liberty Central Saigon Citypoint: the fourth competitor in our list is a four-star hotel. The price for a night there can be quite high as it costs up to 1200000 VND after discounts. However, the price is worth the services and conveniences it can provide its clients. Notably, Liberty Central Saigon Citypoint requires no booking fees.
- Lotus Boutique Hotel: another four-star hotel in the list is Lotus Boutique Hotel. This one offers a highly competitive price for tourists. The lowest price can be 550000 VND for a room for two. But there are also other options for customers, which would cost about 1000000 – 1500000 VND. However, compared to the quality it offers, these prices are all worth it.
Shopping at Ben Thanh Market
What and When to Shop There?
The question of what to buy at Ben Thanh Market has popped up a lot. When it comes to shopping in Ben Thanh Market, the first recommendation would go to street food. As mentioned, Ben Thanh Market is recognized as one of the ten locations with the best street food around the world. In Ben Thanh Market, there are hundreds of eateries with a huge range of options. You can choose among food types such as Pho, Bun Rieu, Hu Tieu, or Banh Xeo, and other countless kinds of street food. The price range is also affordable and can be as low as 10000 VND.
Other goods to shop at Ben Thanh Market include garments, handicrafts, souvenirs, and fresh ingredients. They are offered in an excellent variety, and most of them are cheaper, compared to the price you may get from retailing stores in other places.
Two other must-buy items at Ben Thanh Market are dried specialities and fruits. Dried specialities are one of the most bought goods in Ben Thanh Market, and in the stalls opened there, you have the number of options up to hundreds. Fruits are also highly recommended to buy when you visit Ben Thanh Market. Not only are they cheap, but they are also as tasty as any elsewhere. Such fruits as durians, red dragon fruits, pomelo, and rambutan are the must-try ones. If you are a foreigner, tropical fruits may gain you an interesting and memorable experience.
So when can you shop at Ben Thanh market? The first part of our article has brought up two terms of Day Market and Night Market. Ben Thanh Market opening hours start as early as 6 a.m till 6 p.m. However, you should save the best for the last because the Night Market is the most dynamic with a vibrant vibe to visitors. Ben Thanh Night Market hours would take place from 6 to 10 or 12 o’clock. Hence, Ben Thanh Market shopping hours can be as long as 16 to 18 hours per day.
Useful Tips and Tricks While Shopping at Ben Thanh Market
- Bargaining would be necessary: as you shop in markets, goods being inflated would be so surprising. The tip here for you is to bargain to the bottom, then you would get the best price possible.
- Having a Vietnamese Companion is Advisable: your journey while shopping at Ben Thanh market would be a little easier if you are accompanied by a local. The leading reason for this can be the reduction of language barriers. Also, it is always better to have a companion around.
- Shopping in The Morning Can Be Easier: Shopping in during the morning hours is more advisable since the vendors have more energy and are in better moods in the morning. Besides, the ingredients and food are also fresher in the morning. It is fine to go during the hours of 4 PM to 6 PM, but it would be best if you can shop in the morning.
- Pay Attention to Your Valuables: Thievery is one of the most common issues when visiting Ho Chi Minh City in general. Your valuables such as phones, jewellery, and wallets must be looked after carefully if you don’t want them to get stolen.
- It’s Best to Use Vietnamese: this is not a huge problem because many vendors in Ben Thanh Market are able to speak different languages, and some of them can even speak fluent English, Chinese, French, Korean, and Japanese. However, it would be best if you manage to use Vietnamese for communication.
Topics and Questions to Answer
- What are the price ranges for goods purchased at Ben Thanh Market?
The price ranges for different types of goods at Ben Thanh are distinguished from each other. For example, if you tend to buy Ao Dai, the price range can vary from 250000 to 350000 VND. Meanwhile, T-shirts can cost you from 130000 to 200000 VND, and the range applied for souvenirs is from 20000 to 50000 VND.
- Which means of transportation would be better when travelling to Ben Thanh Market?
This is highly dependent on your locations and routes. If you travel from Tan Son Nhat International Airport, the suitable means for you can be public ones. In a different case, it may be a private means as it is more convenient to travel. Also, if you are staying near from Ben Thanh Market, for instance, in the listed accommodations in our list, then you can even walk to Ben Thanh Market
- What are the food recommendations at Ben Thanh Market?
The food recommendations in Ben Thanh Market should be Hu Tieu, Bun Rieu Ganh, Banh Beo Hue, Summer Rolls, Com Tam, and Che. When you have the chance to drop by Ben Thanh Market, it is advisable to try the local food there. They are not only tasty but also come at a reasonable price.
The guideline for your trip to Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City should be ending here. In this article, we have shown you about the history, cultural, architectural and economic values, as well as the necessary information about transportation, accommodations and tips to shop at Ben Thanh market. We’re hopeful that the travel guide provided is useful to you, and we are looking forward to updating our readers with the latest and most helpful posts about travelling.