Trading at the Ben Thanh Market and Street Life in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


A visit to Ho Chi Minh isn’t always about history. We also took in Vietnam’s street markets and trading centres at the Ben Thanh Market, along with viewing some of Saigon’s street life. The trading markets and street interactions are engaging and unique to life in South East Asia.

This post is one chapter on our third Round the World trip via South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, the Maldives and India. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) and Hyatt Gold Passport (World of Hyatt) loyalty programs. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Trading at The Ben Thanh Market and Street Life in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

“It’s always a special experience visiting an Asian Street Market; the opportunity to buy anything from a purse to book choy beckons around every corner”

Getting to the Market:

No trip to Asia is complete for MrsWT73 without a visit to the market. Ho Chi Minh’s market is the Ben Thang Market just west of Dong Khoi. The market was easy to get to being centrally located in Ho Chi Minh City. It was a comfortable ten minute walk from our hotel at the Sheraton Saigon Hotel and Towers.

MrsWT73 enjoys visiting the markets in Asia. She prefers the goods, whereas I went for the food. There were reports of theft and purse snatchers (Lonely Planet) and bad taxis (Lonely Planet and the hotel concierge) around but we didn’t have any trouble, or see any surly looking characters. We also didn’t get approached by anyone either offering us rides. 

Inside the Ben Thanh Market:

The market is split into both hard products and food products sections. It is free to enter the market and no admission is charged.

Any chef, or “home cook” as Gordon Ramsey likes to call them, would have enjoyed exploring the food that the market had to offer. I spent a good amount of time wandering the stalls while MrsWT73 evaluated the purses and other souvenirs available.

The wares of the Ben Thanh Market – Textiles Zone
A typical stand
The Freshest Produce
Almost anything “green” is available
Brilliant Greens
Everything needed
Leafy greens

There were also fruits available. Although less exotic to photograph, they sure looked appealing.

Fruit Stands

We managed to make it away from the market with “only one small Celine bag” and some ceramics that miraculously made it the rest of the way around the world without breaking. 

The Ben Thanh market was well worth a few hours for an afternoon visit if your travels take you through Ho Chi Minh City. There was almost everything available for sale there

Street Life in Ho Chi Minh City:

One of the wonderful parts of Saigon is the outdoor scene. It’s easy to miss if you rush from sight to sight. Instead, it’s happening all around you. Many people eat, sell and conduct their wares outside. It’s pretty neat to photograph, and just take in as a general experience. 

Street Life in Ho Chi Minh
Street Vendors in Ho Chi Minh City
Almost every food available for sale
Pancakes over Charcoal Coals

Life around the city takes place everywhere on the streets.

Four to a Motorcycle
Lunch Carriers
Street Spice Sellers
Chuong Duong Sodas

If eating street food isn’t your thing, maybe a puppy to take home?

Puppy Sellers

My thoughts on seeing the sights in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam:

Our city visit to Ho Chi Minh City started off by taking in the buildings and historical structures of the city once known as Saigon. While it doesn’t contain world class structural attractions like the Eiffel Tower or the newer Burj Khalifa, there were quite a few attractions that were well worth seeing for any history buff that appreciated older history and the cross roads that Saigon had in the years past.

If you’ve toured through Ho Chi Minh City, what was your visit like?

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