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Vietnam’s markets are the centre of local life! This is especially true in a big city like Ho Chi Minh. Visiting a Ho Chi Minh City market while you’re traveling through southern Vietnam is a must. Where else can you try traditional food, people watch, pick up legitimately cool souvenirs, and take amazing photos all in one go?

Our Favorite Ho Chi Minh City Markets for Backpackers

Ho Chi Minh City markets seem chaotic at first glance, but there’s method to the madness. Once you get your bearings you’ll be surprised how organized the market really is. Still, the unexpected can be found around any corner. The best part about visiting a Ho Chi Minh City market is wandering the aisles and happening upon some kind of treasure or unforgettable experience.
We’ve pulled together this list of the 5 best Ho Chi Minh City markets. Each one is very popular with locals, expats, and backpackers alike. We’d recommend visiting as many as you can while you’re in town!

 

Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market is probably the most famous market in Ho Chi Minh City. It’s definitely one of the oldest (it was built in the 17th century) and one of the largest. Ben Thanh Market is located right in the heart of the city, in District 1. It has become a symbol of Ho Chi Minh City and few tourists miss it when they visit.

You can find a dazzling array of products inside Ben Thanh Market. Everything from local arts and crafts, to clothes and bags, to electronic goods. If you’re a foodie, you’ll be in heaven. Ingredients like spices, nuts, and local fruits line the aisles. If wandering through the stalls gets your stomach rumbling, plenty of food stalls sell ready-to-eat snacks, meals, and drinks. As night falls, casual restaurants around the perimeter heat up their grills and the market becomes a vibrant social hub. It’s a perfect place to grab a beer after a day of exploring.

If you’re more interested in shopping than eating, head over early in the morning. You can score the best deals at this time, and you avoid the peak heat of the day in the afternoon. Haggling over prices is part of the fun, but some items do have legitimate set prices. Use your best judgement to avoid making a faux pas.

Location: Le Loi, Ben Thanh, Quan 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Hours: 6:00 am – 12:00 midnight (Monday – Sunday)
Benh Than Market on TripAdvisor

 

Hoa Hung Market

Hoa Hung road has some of Ho Chi Minh City’s worst traffic, so the trip to the market can get under your skin. Don’t let it deter you, though – the market is worth it! Once you enter the doors, the noise and congestion outside fade away and you get sucked into the charming atmosphere of the market itself. Cars and horns are drowned out by the sounds of vendors setting out their wares and the chatter of locals negotiating prices and trading gossip.

Hoa Hung Market is small in size but big in character. If you find some of the other markets on this list overwhelming, this might be the best Ho Chi Minh City market for you to explore. The space is small, but a lot of variety is crammed inside. You can still find everything, from farm-fresh produce to trendy clothes and jewelry, here.

 

Hoa Hung Market - Ho Chi Minh City Markets: A Backpacker’s Guide
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Location: 539A Cách Mạng Tháng Tám Street, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City
Hours: 6:00 am – 12:00 midnight (Monday – Sunday)

 

An Dong Market

An Dong Market has a different vibe than the other Ho Chi Minh City markets on this list. It’s a mix of a wholesale market and a retail market. The array of clothes, accessories, bags, and shoes inside will floor you. In fact, this is where many of Ho Chi Minh City’s fashion retailers come to stock their stores and boutiques. You can score some awesome deals if you take the time to browse!
Take the time to learn how to play the game at An Dong Market. If you see something you really love, remember that you’ll most likely find the same at 10 other stalls down the hall. It’s a competitive field, so if you’re willing to walk away you can probably drive the listed price down.

Fashion and apparel are the name of the game here, but if shopping gets your appetite up you’ve got options. Stalls beside the market sell traditional snacks and desserts. You can grab a refreshing drink for less than a dollar. For an interesting contrast, check out An Dong Plaza next door to An Dong Market. It’s a more modern and convenient shopping centre. If you just can’t find what you’re looking for in the market, it’s probably easily found in the Plaza – just at a higher price.

 

An Dong Market - Ho Chi Minh City Markets: A Backpacker’s Guide
© Courtesy of guideofvietnam.blogspot.com

 

Location: Phường 9, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
Hours: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm (Monday – Sunday)
An Dong Market on TripAdvisor

 

Ba Chieu Market

Ba Chieu Market is a big and bustling market in the centre of Ho Chi Minh City. This is the best of the markets in Ho Chi Minh City for those seeking an authentic Vietnamese experience. It’s not as popular with tourists, but it’s always swarming with locals. The atmosphere inside is fast-paced and a little unruly.

Like at most markets in Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll find the fruits and vegetables in the outer stalls, the dry goods in the next circle, and meat and fish in the centre. The first floor houses a clothing market where you can browse apparel, accessories, scarves, and blankets. You can usually bargain down to about half or two-thirds of the listed price. If you need a bite to eat, check out the canteen on the building’s west side.

 

Ba Chieu Market - Ho Chi Minh City Markets: A Backpacker’s Guide
© Courtesy of www.joephebus.com

 

Location: corner of Phan Đăng Lưu & Bùi Hữu Nghĩa streets, Bình Thạnh District, Ho Chi Minh City
Hours: 6:00 am – 12:00 midnight (Monday – Sunday)
Ba Chieu Market on TripAdvisor

 

Binh Tay Market

You’ll find Binh Tay Market right in the middle of Ho Chi Minh City’s largest Chinatown. Like Ba Chieu Market, Binh Tay Market is more popular with locals than tourists. It serves up an impressive variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, livestock, and seafood from across Vietnam. There are also souvenirs and crafts available, but they don’t really compare to those at the more tourist-friendly markets.

Morning is the best time to visit Binh Tay Market. It’s a popular breakfast spot for Ho Chi Minh City locals. Food stalls abound in the market, selling Vietnamese staples like pho, spring rolls, and ‘broken rice.’ Binh Tay Market is unique because it also offers a range of Chinese-influenced delicacies, given its location. A hot banh bao (steamed bun filled with meat and vegetables) is a great way to start the day!

Location: Phường 2, District 6, Ho Chi Minh City
Hours: 6:00 am – 7:00 pm (Monday – Sunday)
Binh Tay Market on TripAdvisor

 

 

More to read about the best Ho Chi Minh City markets:

We only recommend writers and blogs that we read regularly and believe will deliver substantial value to our readers. The following are our top picks for articles we think are worth reading for more information on Ho Chi Minh City’ markets.

 

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About the Author

Stephanie Mayo is from Manila, Philippines. When she isn’t writing awesome articles for Mad Monkey Hostels, she enjoys traveling, photography, and movies.

About the Author