For the shopping enthusiasts and first-time visitors, the best markets in Ho Chi Minh are must-visits place. Mostly located in District 1, these markets bring you a brand new shopping experience, totally different from the supermarkets and commercial malls you have visited. So what market in Ho Chi Minh should you visit? Let’s take a look at this list of 7 best markets in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Why go: Ben Thanh market is the most popular name when mentioning about shopping. As the biggest market in HCMC, you can find all the stuff you need right here in District 1. It’s a great place to buy branded goods, handicrafts, Vietnamese art, and souvenirs. It is so big that you may find it difficult to navigate at times but worth your visiting. If you are not going to buy anything and tired of bargaining too much, let’s find eating stalls inside the market. You can simply cool off with a cold drink or get a taste of hawker-style Vietnamese cuisine. Especially, the market becomes more vibrant when night falls. All the restaurants around the market open their doors welcome the guests with the mouth-watering scents of fried noodles, barbecued fish and meats. It is totally on top 1 market for enjoying the authentically Vietnamese market.
Opening hours: Daily 6:00 am – 00:00 pm
2. Ben Thanh Street Food Market
Why go: Ben Thanh street food market is a highlight in Ho Chi Minh City as a food heaven. For food lovers, it is a must-visit place to enjoy a wonderful dining experience with tasty specialties from many countries as well as tasty dishes from all regions of Vietnam. Also, the guests can discover the hustle and bustle of nightlife in the heart of Saigon at the same time. Some traditional Vietnamese dishes you should try: bun ca Long Xuyen (noodles with fish), bun mam (noodles with broth made of fermented fish), com tam la sen (Vietnamese broken rice wrapped in lotus leaf), chao tom (grilled shrimp mousse on a sugarcane stick), and grilled seafood. The price is very cheap, starts at VND 25.000. The Thai, Japanese, Korean, and Indian dishes are also easy to find in this street food market.
Insider tip: At high times, the market usually lack sufficient seating. So, it is better to avoid the lunchtime and dinner time.
Opening hours: 10:00 am – 09:00 pm
3. Binh Tay Market
Why go: Binh Tay market is located in the center of the largest Chinatown district in Vietnam. Constructed by the French in the 1880s, it is a great example of French architecture. Unlike Ben Thanh Market, this market mainly provides the Saigoners with its wide range of fresh fruits, poultry, vegetables, meat and seafood from all regions of Vietnam. Also known as Cho Lon Chinatown Market, it is a two-storey building along Thap Muoi Street. Though the goods are not as various as other markets in downtown Hanoi, you can find an assortment of handicrafts, textiles, and lacquerware here. Apart from the interesting cultural and historical aspects, Binh Tay market also attracts the customers for experiencing the local lifestyle and sampling delicious unique Vietnamese-Chinese delicacies.
- While you are walking around Binh Tay market, be careful of your belongings. Especially when you are taking photos, be cautious and don’t be too attached to anything you take with you.
- It’s better to visit the market in the early morning to buy the fresh food such as meat and seafood in outdoor wet market. The fresh food is the best to create a delicious meal.
- Significantly influenced by Chinese culture, some popular dishes you should try include: Chinese-style roast duck, black chicken braised with Chinese medicine, Pha Lau (pig’s organs), and fish curry.
Opening hours: Daily 07:00 am – 06:00 pm
4. An Dong Market
Why go: Compared to other markets, An Dong Market has its reputation for the variety of fashion wholesalers and handicraft stalls. Located in District 5, An Dong Market occupies a four-storey indoor market and it only takes around 10 minutes to drive from downtown Ho Chi Minh City. The market is an ideal place for fashion enthusiasts because you can find a huge collection of textiles, apparel, handbags, and accessories on the first two floors and quality knitwear, trinkets, and woodwork in the top floor. The ground floor also has several stalls where you can enjoy traditional snacks, desserts, and bulk food for less than USD 1. Some recommended food to enjoy here: pho, banh xeo, goi cuon, and mi quang.
Insider tip: For an interesting contrast, let’s check out An Dong Plaza which is just next door to An Dong Market. It’s a modern and convenient shopping center. If you can’t find something in the market, you probably can find it in the Plaza but at a higher price.
Opening hours: Daily 08:00 am – 02:00 pm
5. Tan Dinh Market
Why go: Built in 1926, Tan DInh market serves as a historical monument and also a well-known shopping location for both local people and newcomers. If you want to have a look at the Vietnamese food heaven, Tan Dinh should be on your itinerary. You can taste many different kind of food, really good food. We especially recommend “bun rieu”- one of Saigon’s signature dishes and sea snails. Besides, you can also immerse in colorful local silks in sophisticated patterns as you walk into the main area of the building. Although fabrics and food are Tan Dinh market’s specialties, the market contains a lot more commodities to make your routine much better: clothing, footwear, fresh produce, household items, accessories,… Many products has good quality but there are other ordinary products as well that you can buy at an affordable price.
Opening hours: Daily 05:00 am – 05:00 pm
6. Russian Market
Why go: Located next to Sunland Hotel Ho Chi Minh City, the Russian Market attracts a steady following of expats and tourists from the north of Eurasia. The market is like a miniature of Russia in the center of Ho Chi Minh City. There are a lot of reasons that it becomes a must for you to pay a visit. It offers you a totally different aspect of the city. Much like its name, it brings the Russian atmosphere from the exterior decoration to the inside. The market has 3 floors for trading and packaging. With approximately 2.000 square meters and about 100 booths, the market offers various goods from clothes, shoes to unique souvenirs. The price is so reasonable that you may not need to bargain. And, another interesting thing you can find in this market is that most of the sellers used to study and work in Russia. They can speak several languages like Vietnamese, English, and Russian. They sometimes share their own stories to the customers who they like.
Insider tip: The sellers in this market know that it’s difficult to make the customers pay, so the price is just a little higher than normal price. So please don’t bargain too much that causes sellers angry.
Opening hours: 09:00 am – 07:00 pm
7. Dan Sinh Market
Why go: Dan Sinh Market is so called War Surplus Market. You just need a short five-minute walk from backpacking street to arrive here. The most common goods in this market are related to the Vietnam War from both infantries (the Vietnamese and the Americans). You can buy old zippo lighters, M-17 gas masks, the helmets of fighter pilots, army uniforms, and dog tags. There are also countless stalls selling different types of building materials, household hardware, plumbing pipes, and industrial machinery. And, if you are planning for a camping, this is the place to go to buy useful camping gear like water-resistant clothing, combat tents, rain boots, sleeping bags, and mosquito nets.
Insider tip: Vietnam War has ended since 41 years ago, therefore, it is very challenging to find authentic items. If you are a serious collector, it may be disheartening because more and more sellers admit that the goods are copies or reproductions. The price is always negotiable, so remember to bargain for the best prices.
Opening hours: Daly 07:00 am – 06:00 pm
The above markets are the most popular markets in Saigon. They play a central role in the daily lives of locals, so it will be truly a shopping experience you won’t forget quickly to visit these markets. Let’s plan for shopping in the nearest day.