The USA Today (USA) has ranked 45 most attractive cuisine markets in the world, based on the ability to reflect food importance and local characteristics through items in the market. According to the USA Today, these 45 markets can be regarded as the peak of market culture in each country, nation, and most clearly reflect the local culinary culture. Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam was ranked 15th in the list.
Located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Ben Thanh Market is an interesting place that attracts a lot of tourists. For a long time, Ben Thanh has become the symbol of Ho Chi Minh City.
Initially, Ben Thanh Market was built of brick with wood frames, thatched roof on the Ben Nghe Riverbank. In 1859, a fire destroyed the market. In 1860, the French rebuilt the Ben Thanh Market in the old location. On July 1870, a part of Ben Thanh Market was burnt. Around mid-1911, the French broke the market and choose the location near the My Tho train station (Saigon Bus Station now) to build a new larger market (Ben Thanh market today) to serve the needs of growing trade. The new Ben Thanh Market constructed from 1912 to the end of the March, 1914. Since then, the market has gone through many times of restoration, but the biggest one is in 1985.
Ben Thanh Market has a total area of 13.056m² with 04 gates East, West, South, North, open to the Phan Boi Chau, Phan Chu Trinh, Le Loi and Le Thanh Ton Street. In particular, the main entrance (South) is seen as a symbol of Ho Chi Minh City with a clock tower. Ben Thanh Market possesses the most ancient architecture, which is praised as one of the most attractive tourist sites inHo Chi Minh City. The market is located in the hustle and bustle center of Saigon; therefore, tourists can easily reach the Ben Thanh Market after some walking steps from the hotels in Saigon downtown.
The market consists of over 3,000 stalls selling a full range of retail and wholesale goods, from fresh food, daily supplies to luxury items. Each day, Ben Thanh market welcomes about 10,000 visitors to trade and visit the booths of arts and crafts, souvenirs, textiles or enjoy the traditional dishes of Vietnam. From Hanoi’s Pho to Hue’s banh beo (rice cake), Vietnamese’s hu tieu (noodle), spring rolls, and more, culture in Ben Thanh market is a wonderful mixture of cuisines of different regions to form a diversified and unique feature for the market, which are both familiar and new.