Ben Thanh market – a symbol of Ho Chi Minh City
Ben Thanh market – a symbol of Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: Vietnam Pictorial)
Located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Ben Thanh market has long
been viewed as a symbol of the country’s largest economic hub.
market, a destination for many tourists, possesses the most ancient
architecture, which is praised as one of the most attractive tourist
sites in the megacity.
Constructed by the Brossard et Maupin
Construction Company in 1912, it was earlier called New market or Saigon
market to distinguish it from Old market. After 1957, it was renamed
Ben Thanh market.
The famous market has four entrances and four
sections, a roof clock tower, and overlooks four main streets of
In 1985, the market underwent major renovations
to both its exterior and interior design, though the overall
architecture remains with its trademark clock tower in front.
According to architectural experts, Ben Thanh market is considered a
historical monument, as it bears the unique traits of a 100-year-old
market without feeling irrelevant or looking out of place in the busy
city life. If anything, it seems to glisten among the surrounding modern
and contemporary buildings.
Khuong Van Muoi,
President of the city Architects’ Association, said “when we talk about
the market, the first thing people remember is the clock tower, but
there are also banners surrounding the clock tower extending over the
market to provide shade and the market building, designed specifically
for natural air-conditioning.”
These are the unique aspects that the French architects were able to accomplish even back then, he added.
Spanning over 13,000 square metres, Ben Thanh market welcomes over
10,000 visitors daily. The market itself hosts nearly 1,500 stalls with
over 6,000 small businesses selling wholesale and retail items from food
to luxury goods.
The four main market gates also
serve as a directory for its customers. For instance, the South gate,
facing Quach Thi Trang Square, is divided for garments and textiles
along with dried food products. At the opposite end, the North gate,
people can find cosmetic products and colourful sweets.
The majority of the market is open from dawn to daybreak, but the
market’s north gate remains bustling with activities throughout the
Ben Thanh has rows and rows of goods
specifically to serve the demands of tourists, such as souvenirs, unique
clothing, silks, arts and crafts and brocades, but beyond products,
what people buy on their trip to Ben Thanh market is the uniqueness and
edgy style that reflects life in Ho Chi Minh City. Ben Thanh market has
now become one of the destinations of all city tours in Ho Chi Minh
Nguyen Thi Anh Minh, Vietnamese living in the
US, said “my mother recommended Ben Thanh market because the items here
are much better than at other markets. I’ve come here to shop and
Located in the centre of the city, Ben
Thanh market is a cultural work of art, with its architecture reflecting
the pride of an exciting and modern city.-VNA