I. OVERVIEW OF TAN BINH MARKET, VIETNAM
Tan Binh Market is the biggest fabric wholesale market in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Besides fabrics, people also sell accessories, garments, jewelry, and food at a very cheap price. Tan Binh Market is divided into four areas with the total square of 22,800 m2. Tan Binh Market has totally 9 gates including 4 big gates and 5 smaller gates. The biggest gate is exposed to Ly Thuong Kiet Street. There are nearly 3,000 shops run by local people here. Because of the low price and the diversity of stocks, Tan Binh Market attracts many visitors every day including business people and tourists who are looking for good products at a low price. The market has changed significantly for the last 50 years. Now, it is one of the busiest markets in Ho Chi Minh City. Not only in the market itself but trading activities also happen in surrounding streets.
Read more articles about attractions in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam:
Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam 2018 – The Essential Travel Guide
Saigon Opera House, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – Everything You Need To Know
War Museum Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam – Everything You Need To Know
II. HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS OF TAN BINH MARKET, VIETNAM
Tan Binh Market was built in the 1960s. It used to be a very small market by local residents located near four big streets including Ly Thuong Kiet, Le Minh Xuan, Tan Tien, and Phu Hoa Street. At that time, it was called “Nguyen Van Thoai” Market. In 1975, after the North and the South of Vietnam got united, Tan Binh Market was repaired to meet local people’s demand in doing business. After being upgraded from 1982 to 1985, Tan Binh Market became one of the biggest shopping malls in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It was not until 1991 that Tan Binh Market was officially put under the direct control of the People’s Committee of Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City.
Now, Tan Binh Market is one of the biggest wholesale markets in Ho Chi Minh City. Tan Binh Market provides various kinds of stocks including fabrics, jewelry, electrical products, and food all of which fabrics are the most popular. Tan Binh Market is famous for ready-to-wear clothes, wedding clothes, and wedding accessories at the low price.
III. WHERE TO VISIT AROUND TAN BINH MARKET, VIETNAM?
Best places for designers and crafters near Tan Binh Market, Vietnam
1. Streets around Tan Binh Market, Saigon, Vietnam
These streets are located from 100 to 650 meters from Tan Binh Market and are famous for wholesale fabric like Tan Binh Market. However, for some people, these streets are even better than the market itself. Firstly, this area is not as crowded and busy as in the market. Therefore, sellers are friendlier and care more about customers. They are always happy no matter how many meters of fabric you want to buy. Here, you are usually not overcharged. The price for a meter of fabric ranges from VND 5,000 to VND 10,000 for wholesale and from VND 15,000 to VND 30,000 for retail. Secondly, most of the products sold on these streets are clearance products from export companies, so normally, they are of better quality than products in other markets. Therefore, these streets are an ideal place for going shopping near Tan Binh Market, Vietnam.
2. Soai Kinh Lam Fabric Market – The biggest fabric wholesale market in Saigon near Tan Binh Market, Vietnam
Soai Kinh Lam Fabric Market which is also called “Dong Khanh Department Stores” is the biggest fabric market in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. There are totally about 500 shops in this market. Each shop provides a certain type of fabric. One highlight of this market is that there are various kinds of fabric available here including cotton, denim, velvet, corduroy, chiffon, and tartan. All rolls of fabric are displayed along Tran Hung Dao B Street so that customers can easily see and choose what they need, which creates a colorful street. Traditional materials used to make “Ao Dai” and “Ao Ba Ba” are the best selling items in Soai Kinh Lam Fabric Market. This is the place where professional designers and tailors can get their materials at a low price.
3. Dai Quang Minh Market – The accessory market near Tan Binh Market, Vietnam
Dai Quang Minh Market is famous for sewing and crafting accessories. This is the commonplace of Saigon Creatives. Being here, you are surrounded by handmade merchandise such as strings, artificial flowers, non-woven textiles, and festive ribbons for decoration and gift wrapping. There are also strings with diamantes, metal strings as well as other vibrant strings for designing shoes and handbags. One of the most favorite items of customers is wooden buttons and beads of all types, sizes, and shapes which are used to create vintage-looking outfits. Besides, there are many kinds of metal hardware such as zippers, hooks, and clips which you may need for a project.
4. Phu Tho Hoa Street – The “fabric scrap street” near Tan Binh Market, Vietnam
This street is about 1.2 kilometers long with hundreds of fabric remnant and scrap shop. The price of scrap depends on its sizes and often ranges between VND 5,000 and VND 20,000 per kilogram. The scraps bought from Phu Tho Hoa Street are often used to make masks, cushion covers, aprons, and teddy bear stuffing.
5. Hai Thuong Lan Ong Street – The paper street near Tan Binh Market, Vietnam
Hai Thuong Lan Ong Street is the place where you can find various kinds of paper at a reasonable price. Both new and recycled paper of different color and thickness. Most people go here for recycled paper rather than new paper because new paper is available almost everywhere. Recycled papers often have white, brown, cream, grey, ivory, and orange. These papers are used for gift wrapping and business cards. A good point about this market is that there is no big difference between prices of shops, so you don’t really need to bargain. However, if you need to buy a large amount of paper, you should ask around before ending up buying in a shop.
6. Ben Thanh Market – The symbol of Ho Chi Minh City near Tan Binh Market, Vietnam
a. Historical highlights of Ben Thanh market – The bustling market near Tan Binh Market, Vietnam
Initially, by early 17th century, Ben Thanh Market was a wet market created by local street vendors and located by the side of Saigon River. It was not until 1859 when French Colonial came and took over Gia Dinh Citadel (the Citadel of Saigon), that the market was formally established. At that time, it was called “Les Halles Centrales”. In 1870, after being rebuilt, Ben Thanh Market became the biggest market in Saigon. In 1912, the market was moved from Saigon River to District 1 and renamed “Ben Thanh” Market.
Being over 100 years old, Ben Thanh Market is the oldest market in Ho Chi Minh City which has been witnessed the up and down of Saigon from war to peace. It has appeared in many paintings, songs, articles, and movies so much that people see it as a symbol of Ho Chi Minh City.
b. Things to do around Ben Thanh Market – The bustling market near Tan Binh Market, Vietnam
During the daytime, Ben Thanh Market may be one of the busiest area in Ho Chi Minh City, even busier than Tan Binh Market. However, when the night falls, it turns out to be a social center. Therefore, there are a lot of things to do here, and Ben Thanh Market attracts many visitors during the whole day.
Firstly, people go to Ben Thanh Market for shopping. This market provides a large number of handicrafts, clothing, fabrics, fridge magnets with Vietnamese landmarks on them as well as Vietnamese arts and paintings. So, if you are looking for something that can remind you of Ho Chi Minh City or can be a souvenir to bring back to your country for your friends and family, Ben Thanh Market is one of the best places.
Secondly, many people also visit Ben Thanh Market for tasting Vietnamese traditional dishes. In Ben Thanh Market, there is a particular area for food with many food stalls and food vendors. Here, you can find various kinds of Saigon traditional food such as Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Crepe), Banh Cuon (Stuffed Pancake), and Hu Tieu (clear rice noodle soup). The most recommended food in Ben Thanh Market can be the deep fried whole fish. Those kinds of food have become a unique flavor of Saigon and are famous throughout the whole country. Therefore, tasting Vietnamese food should be a must-try experience in Ben Thanh Market.
IV. THINGS TO DO AROUND TAN BINH MARKET, SAIGON, VIETNAM
1. Visiting the Reunification Palace – The important historical site near Tan Binh Market
The Reunification Palace (also known as the Independence Palace) started to be built in 1868 and was completed in 1871. As you may know, in 1858, the French colonial launched their invasion of Vietnam. The Reunification Palace was the place where General Ngo Dinh Diem, the President of South Vietnam and his family lived and worked from 1945 until he died in 1963.
The palace was built in the total surface area of 4,500 m2. It consists of 4 floors and 95 rooms including 2 exhibition rooms, 33 guest rooms, and numerous entertainment rooms.
This spot marked a glorious victory of Vietnamese people and army in 1975. At 10:45 on the 30th of April 1975, the liberation army of Vietnam attacked the palace, successfully defeated South Vietnam’s Government, and got the North and the South of Vietnam reunited after several years of separation. Since then, the palace became the workplace of Vietnamese liberation government.
Nowadays, when visiting the Reunification Palace, you will see the two first tanks that entered the palace and collapsed the gate of the palace exhibited on the ground of the place. This is also the place that many important events of Vietnamese Government happen including the APEC Summit in 2017. The Reunification Palace is an important historical spot that reminds Vietnamese people especially young generation of our hard but glorious time in the past.
2. Visiting the War Remnants Museum – The appealing museum near Tan Binh Market
a. Historical highlights of War Remnants Museum
War Remnants Museum is located on Vo Van Kiet Street and about 5.1 kilometers from Tan Binh Market, Vietnam. At the beginning of the 19th century, under the reign of Nguyen Dynasty, there existed a pagoda. After the French colonial launched their invasion in Vietnam in 1858, they collapsed the pagoda to build a villa on its ground. In 1975, thanks to the victory of Vietnamese liberation army, the North and the South of Vietnam got reunited. The villa was turned into a museum run by Vietnamese Government.
b. Highlight exhibits and architectural features of War Remnants Museum
War Remnants Museum consists of several buildings with series of rooms and military equipment. There, people reproduce the long and brutal Vietnam War and its terrible effects on Vietnamese people even until now especially the consequences of chemical spray and pesticide American army poured into Vietnam which results in thousands of Vietnamese children born with birth defects every year.
They display bombs, weapons, helicopters, and fighter planes that American army used in Vietnam War to demonstrate how hard Vietnamese people had to struggle to save our country.
On the ground floor of the museum, there is a poster and photograph collection showing people around the war supporting Vietnamese army in fighting against the American invasion.
Upstairs is the Requiem Exhibition. This exhibition was compiled by Tim Page who was known as the legendary war photographer. All photos exhibited here were created by photographers killed in the wartime including Larry Burrows and Robert Capa.
Two of the most appealing exhibits of this museum are the guillotine and the “tiger cages”. Tiger cages are prisoner cells where Vietnamese prisoners are kept and tortured brutally. Up to 14 prisoners were kept in such a small cell. The guillotine was brought from France and used to take the head of Vietnamese prisoners. These things are the shocking reminders of war and crimes colonial enemies committed in Vietnam.
3. Visiting Saigon Central Post Office – The tourist site near Tan Binh Market
Saigon Central Post Office was built between 1886 and 1891 and typical for French architectures with looping arches, marble floors, and the yellow painting. International tourists like visiting Saigon Central Post Office because of its unique architectural features. This is is one of the grandest post office in South East Asia located in Ho Chi Minh City Center, Vietnam. Now, as the technology is developed, the post office was turned into a tourist site. However, there still remain clocks, glue pots, and telephone boxes to remind of the importance of post office in the past.
Getting insides the post office, you will see a portrait of Ho Chi Minh President hanging high at the back of the building to remind everybody of Ho Chi Minh’s contribution to our country. Painted on the walls are two maps. One map describes the telegraph line between Vietnam and Cambodia. The other is the map of Saigon and surrounding areas in 1892.
There are two souvenir shops inside the post office where people sell postcards, stamps, lacquerwares, and some other souvenirs. However, tourists are not recommended to buy souvenirs here because of the inflated price. You can easily buy these things outsides of the post office at a much lower price.
Saigon Central Post Office has been one of the well-known symbols of Ho Chi Minh City and is a must-visit spot in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
4. Visiting Vinh Nghiem Pagoda – The Buddhist spot near Tan Binh Market, Vietnam
Vinh Nghiem Pagoda started to be built in 1964 and was completed in 1971 when two monks Thich Tam Giac and Thich Thanh Kiem came here to separate Buddhism. It is the biggest Buddhist Pagoda in Saigon, Vietnam.
Vinh Nghiem Pagoda’s architectures are the combination of the modern Japanese style and traditional Vietnamese structure which together create the majestic, elegant, and peaceful beauty. The whole complex consists of the pagoda, a 25-meter tower, and a building with classrooms and accommodations of monks and nuns. The pagoda itself is a two-floor house. The first floor is open for tourists. The second floor is the sanctuary. The tower is located behind the pagoda and was built in 1982. Inside the Vinh Nghiem Pagoda Complex, there is also a vegetarian restaurant to satisfy the needs of visitors.
Inheriting such a beauty as well as historical and religious values, Vinh Nghiem Pagoda attracts many visitors every year especially on Tet Holiday and on the 15th of every Lunar month. Local people come here to pray for luck, happiness, safety, and blessings for themselves and their family. However, the pagoda is more crowded during these occasions. International visitors who are not religious come here simply to admire the unique architectural features.
IV. WHAT TO EAT AROUND TAN BINH MARKET, VIETNAM?
It is believed that visiting local markets is an easy way for guests to get exposed to local people’s culture, customs, and daily life. Markets are also the places that you can look for unique local traditional foods. Near Tan Binh Market, besides Vietnamese food, they also serve special food of other countries in the world. Here are some addresses for good foods near Tan Binh Market, Vietnam recommended for you.
1. Oc 59 Lam Thuy – The famous snail food near Tan Binh Market
Oc 59 Lam Thuy restaurant is famous for a variety of dishes related to snails, oysters, cockles, scallops, and octopus at reasonable prices. Moreover, the food here is clean and fresh.
2. My Quang Tam Ky – The unique noodle near Tan Binh Market
My Quang Tam Ky restaurant is famous for My Quang (or Quang Noodle), a kind of noodle soup originated from Quang Nam Province, a province in the central of Vietnam. The noodle is dip into the soup cooked from pork, bone, chicken, and shrimp, and is eaten with fresh herbs. This is a favorite and delicious food of Vietnamese people.
3. Clammy – Yogurt and Cream – The Vietnamese dessert near Tan Binh Market
The Clammy – Yogurt and Cream restaurant is well-known for kinds of desserts especially yogurt, ice-cream, and smoothies.
4. -18oC – Food and Drink – The dessert restaurant near Tan Binh Market
In this restaurant, they serve yogurt, coffee, and fast food in a modern atmosphere which is most recommended for young people.
5. Rat Thai – The Thai style restaurant near Tan Binh Market
Rat Thai is one of the very few restaurants that serve Thai food near Tan Binh Market. There, tourists can find Thai food with the traditional flavor.
6. Moon Fast Food – The Korean Style Restaurant near Tan Binh Market
There are a variety of Korean traditional dishes here such as Tokbokki, Gimbap, Korean Noodle, and chicken with cheese.
VI. TIPS WHEN TRAVELING TO TAN BINH MARKET, VIETNAM
Firstly, there are many markets in the area surrounding Tan Binh Market, Vietnam which provide a variety of products including fabrics, handicrafts, souvenirs, etc. Normally, each market is specialized in one or some certain kinds of products. Therefore, tourists should find out what kind of products you are interested in and decide what market to pay a visit.
Secondly, there are usually no fixed prices in Tan Binh Market as well as most markets in the area. As you may know, Tan Binh Market is the wholesale market where people can get good products at a low price. However, most merchandisers are Vietnamese people. International tourists are often given an inflated price. Therefore, bargaining is recommended. You can start by half of the beginning price and shouldn’t pay more than seventy-five percents of it in order not to be overcharged.
Thirdly, purchasing in the morning is a little bit cheaper because Vietnamese store-keepers believe that selling at a cheap price in the morning can bring them good luck for the whole day.
Fourthly, most local people know that vendors in Tan Binh Market is less aggressive and takes care of customers better than those in Ben Thanh Market, and some other markets, so many people prefer to go shopping here.
If you travel to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Tan Binh Market is worth a visit. Hope you just got useful information and will have a wonderful trip to Tan Binh Market, Vietnam.