The best markets in Ho Chi Minh City are must-visits for shopping enthusiasts and first-time visitors looking to experience the daily lives of the local population. Mostly set within the tourist-friendly District 1, these traditional markets open as early as 06:00 with local vendors selling fresh produce, household supplies, and Vietnamese street food at attractive prices.
Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh market is the most popular name when mentioning about shopping. As the biggest market in HCMC, you can find all the stuff you need right here in District 1. This bustling street market gets really packed in the mornings as locals come here to shop for fresh fruits, spices, nuts, seafood, and household supplies. Throughout the day (and night), you can see rows of coffee traders with various beans on display and stalls selling apparels, textiles, luggage, watches, handicrafts, and electronic goods until 24:00. Ben Thanh Market is also a good place to get your fill of inexpensive street food such as pho noodles, spring rolls, and banh xeo (crispy pancake).
Binh Tay Market (Cho Lon China Town Market)
Binh Tay market is located in the center of the largest Chinatown district in Vietnam. Great for experiencing the local Buddhist culture, the market offers a vibrant atmosphere, opulent Chinese architecture, as well as a fascinating assortment of handicrafts, lacquerware, textiles and fresh produce.
There’s also an open-air food court at the back of the market where you can enjoy tasty treats such as Vietnamese noodles, banh bao (steamed bun with pork filling), and Chinese sausages. Market shopping – especially in Southern Vietnam’s notorious humidity – can get tiring; for a quick breather, head to the breezy central courtyard and check out the alter and stone plaque honouring Binh Tay’s founder.
An Dong Market
An Dong Market (Craft Market) is a four-storey indoor market that houses mostly fashion wholesalers and handicrafts stalls. The market is an ideal place for fashion enthusiasts because you can find a huge collection of textiles, apparel, handbags, and accessories on the first two floors and quality knitwear, trinkets, and woodwork in the top floor. On the first two floors while the top floor is dedicated to quality woodwork, lacquerware, knitwear and trinkets made by skilled local artisans.
Tan Dinh Market
Built in 1926, Tan DInh market serves as a historical monument and also a well-known shopping location for both local people and newcomers. Head north from the city center and the market should be along Hai Ba Trung street, just across the road from the prominent landmark of Tan Dinh church. It only takes a ten-minute walk to get to Tan Dinh market from the Turtle Lake (Ho Con Rua).
At the front of Tan Dinh market stands a multitude of street vendors offering some of Saigon’s best street food. Besides, you can also immerse in colorful local silks in sophisticated patterns as you walk into the main area of the building. Although fabrics and food are Tan Dinh market’s specialties, the market contains a lot more commodities to make your routine much better: clothing, footwear, fresh produce, household items, accessories,… Many products has good quality but there are other ordinary products as well that you can buy at an affordable price.
Dan Sinh Market
Dan Sinh Market caters to a niche clientele, selling a wide array of military memorabilia from the Vietnam War. Also called the War Surplus Market, it is a short five-minute walk from Ben Thanh Market and Pham Ngu Lao, which is the city’s backpacking district. You can buy old zippo lighters, M-17 gas masks, the helmets of fighter pilots, army uniforms, and dog tags. There are also countless stalls selling different types of building materials, household hardware, plumbing pipes, and industrial machinery. Do note that almost everything here is not an authentic war relic, so make sure you haggle with the vendors to get a decent price.