The Magic of Ben Thanh Market at Night

When the sun sets and darkness envelops the city, Ben Thanh Market illuminates the streets with its vibrant lights, creating a haven of relaxation, comfort, and pure joy for tourists.

Constructed from 1912 to 1914 on a 13,000 square meter area, Ben Thanh Market has become a symbol of Ho Chi Minh City and a popular tourist attraction in the southern metropolis.

One evening, around 9:00 pm, a group of visitors descended upon Ben Thanh Market in District 1, seeking a delightful snack after a day of exploration and shopping in the city.

The owner of a sweet soup stall called Be Che (Little Sweet Soup) shared that her stall typically operates from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm every day. However, on that day, she decided to keep her shop open to cater to the night-time visitors.

With a cheerful smile, she introduced the various types of sweet soups offered at her stall, explaining that the sweetness of these soups brings joy to eaters and can be savored at any time.

Be Che is the oldest sweet soup stall in Ben Thanh Market, attracting both tourists and locals who are captivated by the relaxed and warm night-time atmosphere of the market.

Beyond its historical charm, Ben Thanh Market houses 300 stalls that operate at night, providing visitors with a different experience of the city that is both enjoyable and appealing.

The market management board is actively encouraging more vendors to stay open at night, aiming to increase the number of night-time stores to 50 percent of all stalls. This plan is designed to offer tourists a vibrant shopping and sightseeing space at night in the city.

Tourists visit Ben Thanh Market at night

Tourists visit Ben Thanh Market at night. Photo: Hai Kim / Tuoi Tre

As part of the ‘District 1 – Colors of Night’ tour, exploring Ben Thanh Market at night is an initiative by the District 1 administration to enchant visitors and diversify tourism offerings.

While travelers in Ho Chi Minh City are familiar with evening activities at Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street, Bui Vien Walking Street, and various shopping centers, they rarely engage in a tour to a place full of cultural and art performances, as well as food stalls, during the night.

Although economic activities thrive at night in the city, tourism agencies have yet to fully promote night-time tourism. Few unique tourism products have been launched for tourists to enjoy at night.

Tran The Dung, the general director of Vietluxtour, which has been offering night-time tours in the southern metropolis, suggests that tour operators carefully consider the tour duration, activities, and tourist sites to ensure an exciting inner-city experience.

These tours offer a wide range of activities, such as art performances, sightseeing, shopping, savoring local specialties, and even experiencing healthcare services. The duration of a tour should be strategically planned to accommodate all activities and satisfy tourists.

Introducing night-time package tours may raise some eyebrows, considering Ho Chi Minh City’s already captivating nightlife. However, these tours provide a new perspective on the mesmerizing city life, bringing tourists a different shade of excitement and enjoyment.