The history of Ben Thanh market – Saigon attraction


What to do in district 1 Saigon Vietnam


Some documents say that in the 1880s, Ben Thanh market was very busy, and boats in busy places flocked. Description of the hustle and bustle of Saigon’s harbor and streets circa 1880-1882


Front door at Ben Thanh market


Later, the Ben Thanh market in Kinh Cho Vai moved to the Boresse swamp area, from then on people called this market the Old market, while the new market (built in 1914) was called the New market. The name is Ben Thanh. According to the minutes of the Saigon City Council meeting on November 23, 1893, in 1860, the area of Ben Thanh market and Saigon train station later was still a deserted swamp. The French call it marais Boresse, the Vietnamese call it ao Bo – pronounced. This place has many puddles of stagnant water that make disease outbreaks.


( hats and shoes area in Ben Thanh market )


( dry food / coffee / cokie area in Ben Thanh market )


( dry nuts / fruit in Ben thanh market )


( souvenirs area in Ben Thanh market)


(fresh fruit area in Ben Thanh market)


From 1878, the Saigon City Council became interested in the land filling of this swamp. At the end of 1893, although not yet completed, the Department of Public Works made a few roads across this area, with the intention of the city authorities to turn Boresse lagoon into a commercial center. So, after 23 years of starting to consider the need to build a new central market (1870), this story was repeated by the Saigon city government.


By 1903, the city government expressed its determination to build a “central market worthy of the city”. However, it was not until 1908 that the location of this market was decided definitively (at present-day Ben Thanh market). After deciding to build Ben Thanh market (new) here, the French government demolished most of the old market (this place later became the Treasury Department, overlooking Nguyen Hue Street).


In 1913, the central market of Saigon was started with a budget of 400,000 francs. The work was carried out by Brossard et Mopin and Ben Thanh market was inaugurated in early 1914.


Nowaday, Ben Thanh market is one the most popular spot for tourist to buy local sourvenirs or jsut drop by to try some local street food here


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