The Ben Thanh Market
30 Mar 2015 | From Phúc of Vietnam
After some postcard swaps, Phúc sent me this postcard showing the Ben Thanh Market as a surprise.
Ben Thanh Market is one must-see attraction of the most dynamic city of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh. It is bustling market in the daytime and a social center after sunset. Built in 1870 by the French, the market was initially called Les Halles Centrales before being renamed Ben Thanh in 1912. From a wet market created by street vendors by the early 17th century, Ben Thanh has experienced many ups and downs throughout it’s history, and is now the oldest surviving market and one of symbols of Ho Chi Minh city.
Everything that’s commonly eaten, worn or used by the Saigonese is piled high: vegetables, dried fruit, meats, spices, scorpions in alcohol, sweets, tobacco, clothing, one-day suits, wristwatches, blingtastic jewellery, hardware and more spill forth from a profusion of stalls. Souvenir items can be found in equal abundance.
The market is one of the earliest surviving structures in Saigon and an important symbol of Hồ Chí Minh City, popular with tourists seeking local handicrafts, textiles, áo dài and souvenirs, as well as local cuisine.