Situated in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, bustling Ben Thanh Market in District 1 is a great place to buy local handicrafts, branded goods, Vietnamese art and other souvenirs. Here, you’ll find eating stalls in the market where you can get a taste of hawker-style Vietnamese cuisine or simply cool off with a cold drink when the bargaining becomes too much.
The market is big, difficult to navigate at times and certainly best avoided during the hottest part of the day, but all the same its well worth a look. When the night falls, restaurants around the perimeter of the market opens their doors creating a vibrant street-side scene filling the air with the scents of wok-fried noodles, barbecued fish, and meats.
One of Saigon’s oldest landmarks, Ben Thanh offers a great atmosphere that is absolutely authentic Vietnamese. For shopping heaven head of the market, preferably early morning to pick up some bargains including lacquer ware, bamboo goods, and arts and crafts. Also on sale are clothes, textiles, luggage, watches and an assortment of electronic goods. Spices, nuts, and local fruits heavily scent the air, which is also filled with the chatter of tourists and the locals haggling for bargains.