Ben Thanh Market is the most popular market in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. The history of the market dates back to the 17th century when a few traders began to settle on the bank of the Saigon River to engage in trading activities with the indigenes of the town.
As years went by, the trading activities at the river increased in volume with the location also becoming an exponentially crucial commercial centre in Saigon (now Minh Chin City). The area was officially declared as the designated trading and commercial centre of the then Saigon in 1589 after the French colonial powers took over the administration and control of the country.
In 1870, the market was razed down by fire, forcing the French colonial administration to build a new market at the same spot. Finally, in 1912 the market was moved to its current location after the construction of a modern market building. The new market was named New Ben Thanh and is what is generally known as Benh Thanh Market today.
Currently, the market is one of the busiest traditional shopping are in Vietnam, where traditional and local products, as well as foreign products, can be purchased at relatively low prices. Retailers and wholesalers also abound in the market while artwork collections such as paintings, frames and sculptures are also readily available for purchase.
The market is huge and complex with different sections making mobility within the market sometimes stressful and extremely hectic during the days, especially when the sun is at its peak.
Aside from being a commercial zone, Ben Thanh can also be regarded as a tourist destination and receives millions of tourists from all over the world each year.
During the night, Saigon presents a beautiful place to behold with the area littered with restaurants, vendors, pubs and open bars where people can spend the evening and night enjoying some indigenous food and good music.