Ben Thanh (Mean: Wharf Of Citadel) was close to a landing stage of the old city, hence its name of Ben Thanh. The opening ceremony for the market in March 1914 was a big festive event.
Ben Thanh Market is the main shopping zone in Saigon – Ho Chi Minh City. Located at the intersection of Le Loi, Ham Nghi, Tran Hung Dao, and Le Lai streets, this huge market dates back to the days of French occupation. Initially it was situated in a different spot. The market stands in its present location since 1899.
Ben Thanh Market in Saigon may lack the grandeur of modern shopping malls but it has enough to satisfy the shoppers. Even if you are not in a mood to shop, getting around the market is a great experience. Within the market there lies a well-organized network of aisles, where shops are arranged according to the types of products. The shops of Clothes, shoes and fabric items mostly stand in the front part of the market.
However the food section of the market is far more interesting. This section offers a wide range of products including pickled vegetables, ducks, Crab, scorpion wine, Calvin Klein knockoffs, rice, flip-flops and the list goes on.
Ben Thanh Market is particularly popular among the locals as the prices charged in this market are much less than that in all other shopping areas in the city. Near the end of the market there are few small cafes in which you can try out the mouth-watering local cuisine, coffee and che, a famous desert of Vietnam. While moving around the market you are advised to be aware of pickpockets. This vibrant market is no doubt an integral part of the city’s life and economy.