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Binh Tay Market, Ho Chi Minh City Overview

Binh Tay Market in Cholon offers an eclectic mix of indigenous handicrafts and tid-bits as well as a taste of the local cuisine. Objects such as lacquerware and textiles are interspersed throughout the market that mainly serves locals with fresh produce and snacks. Pho noodles, com tam (broken rice) and banh bao buns filled with meat are some of the staples here.

Binh Tay Market called Cho Lon Moi or New Market locally, is one of the main local markets across Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Known predominantly for its fresh supplies, it serves the local Vietnamese population mainly unlike Ben Thanh Market, the prime tourist attraction. The common populace living in and around the city buys their daily groceries as well as fresh meat, fish and local produces that are sourced from the length and breadth of Vietnam. Many locals make a beeline for the wet market set outside the market premises early in the morning where the produces are offered at cheaper rates.

Binh Tay Market Shopping

Binh Tay Market, Ho Chi Minh City's Most Inexpensive and Popular Market for Locals
Binh Tay Market Caters More to the Local Crowd of Ho Chi Minh City Over the Touristy Ben Thanh
Market (Source)

Binh Tay Market is definitely the most inexpensive market in Ho Chi Minh City. It is known predominantly as a wholesale market where many of the retail shop owners come looking to buy bulk products that can be sold to their own clients for a small profit. It is a crowded place that has more than 2000 shops occupying the space. It is divided into distinct sections, akin to a treasure trove with lacquered goods, electronic equipments, plastic toys, kitchen basics, cosmetics, ethnic clothing, head gear, flipflops and sandals as well as leather goods being available in plenty. People looking for wholesale goods at throwaway prices can definitely find it advantageous to shop here.

Wet Market of Binh Tay Market
The Food Market Section of the Binh Tay Market Offers Choiciest of Meats, Poultry and Fish (Source)

The other sections resembles a wet market offering fresh vegetables along with fish, meat and poultry along with dried fish and a variety of pastes needed for Vietnamese and Chinese cuisines. The vendors seem to be in no hurry and there is no hustle and bustle within the main section of this centrally located market.

Binh Tay Market Food

Pho, Binh Tay Market Food
Binh Tay Market is a Popular Spot in Ho Chi Minh City for Food (Source)

People intent on doing their daily shopping are found satiating their appetites here as well. Known as one of the top breakfast spots across the country, the market is highly popular for serving Pho soup, a broken rice dish known as com tam as well as goi cuon rolls. Tiny banh bao buns with a number of fillings make a brisk sell as well. The tiny food court within the market also attracts thousands of tourists who are eager to taste authentic Vietnamese dishes.

Banh Bao Buns, a Popular Vietnamese Dish at Binh Tay Market
Binh Tay Market is a Major Breakfast Spot of the City (Source)

This is the go to place for breakfast especially when one is not looking for fancy seating arrangements. Piping hot food prepared and served instantly makes the market a foodie's paradise. People are seen sharing bowls of fried rice and beef (mi goi xao bo) while sitting on plastic stools. The Hu tieu ca or fish noodle soup cooked with Chinese spices is a must have here. However, one can sample just about every kind of noodle soup including the hot chili paste laced dish at the market food court too. Teochew porridge is kept simmering in the pot right from the opening hour. The working class people flock to satiate their hunger effectively by grabbing a bowl from the stalls just outside the wet section of the market. Vendors are found wandering through the market and selling Jiaozi or the boiled dumplings to the shoppers along with a variety of sticky, rice encrusted sweetmeats.

How to Reach Binh Tay Market

Binh Tay Market Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
Binh Tay Market is Located in the Cholon District of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam (Source)

Binh Tay Market is located at 57A Thap Moui in the heart of the Chinatown, Binh Tay Market is easily accessible from District 1 of Ho Chi Minh city with the eager shoppers taking Bus No. 1 from Tran Hung Dao Street to The Cho Lon bus station. The market is a short walk away from the station. Tourists, unfamiliar with the route, usually make use of a metered taxi to reach the market. A trip from the Ben Thanh Market to this one is likely to cost about VND 110,000. Solitary individuals find it most convenient to hop on a Xe-Om (motorcycle taxi) to reach the destination in 15 minutes from downtown Saigon.

Binh Tay Market History

Binh Tay Market in the 1880s
Binh Tay Market was Built in the 19th Century by a Chinese Businessman (Source)

The construction of Binh Tay Market in the 1880s was largely thanks to Quach Dam, a Chinese philanthropist and the market's patron. The market had once housed a statue erected in honor of its patron Quach Dam. The bust has been shifted to the Fine Arts museum since then, with a smaller glass altar taking its place at the market. The market sports a courtyard at its center surrounded by beautiful gardens today.

Tips on Visiting Binh Tay Market

  • It is best to visit Binh Tay Market early in the morning
  • It is not necessary to shop. Many tourists simply visit the market for its delicious food.
  • Picking up a smattering of Vietnamese or Chinese would help in bargaining
Binh Tay Market Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
Binh Tay Market in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (Source)

A visit to Binh Tay Market can prove to be most enlightening, if one has the tenacity to survive the chaos and crowds. However, for the ones intent on sampling the best of Vietnamese cuisine, this is the place to go. Buying souvenirs at a heavily discounted price is possible here as well. Many tourists choose to visit the market before going to see the churches and temples of Chinatown in Ho Chi Minh City.

Photos of Binh Tay Market

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