Binh Tay Market, one of the largest and most famous markets in Saigon, is an unmissable destination for tourists passionate about exploring local culture. Join BDATrip to discover the exciting experiences at this market in the following article!
Also known as Cho Lon, Binh Tay Market was established in 1928 by Quach Dam, a respected and wealthy Chinese businessman. Quach Dam, also known as Chay Quach, generously contributed a significant amount to rebuild the market, replacing the old one that was destroyed by fire.
The architecture of the market features distinctive Chinese style, with vibrant red tiled roofs, solid marble pillars, bright lanterns, and profound Feng Shui sculptures. At the center of the market stands a small temple built to commemorate and thank Quach Dam for his significant contributions to the community.
Cho Lon in District 5 is not just a bustling shopping spot but also a living witness to many memorable historical events in Saigon. During the resistance against the French, the market became a safe haven for revolutionary soldiers. In the era of economic reform, the market evolved into a prominent economic and commercial hub of the city, attracting locals and tourists to visit and shop.
Located in District 6, about 6 km from downtown Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Tay Market is easily accessible by various means of transportation, catering to the preferences and budgets of each visitor.
- Buses are an economical and convenient option, especially suitable for those who want to experience local life. The journey starts from Ben Thanh bus station, with bus number 1 easily taking visitors close to Cho Lon. The fare for a trip is about 6,000 VND, and it takes about 30 minutes to travel.
- Motorbikes, a popular choice in Vietnam, offer flexibility and allow visitors to explore the city in their own way. Visitors can rent a motorbike for about 100,000 VND per day from many locations in the city. One can drive themselves following a map or with the help of locals, or even hire a motorbike taxi.
- Taxis are a comfortable and safe option, particularly suitable for those who prefer convenience. Visitors can easily hail a taxi from anywhere in the city to reach the market. The taxi fare is about 150,000 VND for a trip, taking about 20 minutes. To avoid risks, visitors should choose reputable taxi companies and use metered taxis.
From the first glance, visitors to Binh Tay Market are captivated by its unique and impressive architecture. The market is designed in a rectangular shape, surrounded by sturdy stone and iron walls. Inside, the space opens up with shops cleverly arranged in a U-shape, creating a large, airy central area.
The two-story market features dry goods like clothing, shoes, jewelry, souvenirs, electronics, and household items on the upper floor, while the lower floor mainly sells fresh food such as vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, and seafood.
More than a shopping center, the market is an art piece with many intricate and unique architectural details. The prominent features include the soaring red tiled roofs, stone pillars with Feng Shui images, high-hanging lanterns, and statues of dragons, phoenixes, horses, etc., creating a shopping space rich in culture and history.
Additionally, the market is designed with many windows and ventilation doors, providing a breezy atmosphere and natural light. At the center is the Quach Dam temple, displaying paintings and bronze statues that recount his life and valuable contributions. This is not only an architectural highlight but also a place for visitors to stop, light incense, and pray for luck and peace.
Visiting Binh Tay Market, one of the activities not to be missed is exploring the diversity of its stalls. Cho Lon is a shopping paradise with a myriad of items, from antique products, creative artworks, to exquisite handicrafts. At the same time, the market also offers trendy products from fashion to modern technology. Visitors can easily find special items for themselves or choose meaningful gifts for family and friends.
Cho Lon is also the ideal destination to explore the regional specialties of Saigon and nearby areas. From delicious rice paper, Pia cakes to diverse types of dried fruits, each product has a distinct local flavor. Visitors can buy these products as gifts, or try them right at the market to taste the unique flavors.
An important part of the shopping experience at the market is bargaining with the sellers. This is a unique part of Saigon's shopping culture, offering visitors the chance to buy desired items at reasonable prices. However, visitors should remember to bargain politely and fairly, avoiding excessive haggling to respect the sellers and maintain a friendly atmosphere. Moreover, visitors should be aware of the quality and origin of the products to avoid buying fake, imitation, or poor-quality goods.
To fully enjoy the shopping experience at Binh Tay Market, visitors can participate in professionally organized shopping tours. These tours provide experienced guides who are deeply knowledgeable about the market and local culture, as well as being friendly and enthusiastic. The guides will lead visitors through every nook and cranny of the market, introducing its history, architectural features, and unique stalls with a variety of traditional to modern goods.
Participating in these tours, visitors not only have the opportunity to discover unique products but also learn about negotiation techniques, understand more about local shopping customs, and even try the local specialties at the market. This is a great opportunity for visitors not only to shop but also to immerse themselves in the culture of Saigon, through the interesting stories and experiences shared by the guides.
Exploring Binh Tay Market is not only a shopping journey but also an exciting culinary adventure. The market is known as Saigon's "culinary paradise," where a multitude of delicious dishes from various regions gather. Visitors will have the chance to enjoy famous street foods like tasty banh mi, crispy banh xeo, flavorful bun bo Hue, soft hu tieu, delicate pho, and many others.
Additionally, the market is a place to explore unique Chinese-style cuisine, such as stuffed bao, soft banh cuon, steaming xoi, and sweet che. For those who enjoy trying new and unusual foods, the market also offers exotic dishes like snails, frogs, mice, and snakes, each with a distinct flavor.
Cho Lon in District 5 extends beyond the indoor stalls to the street vendors outside. Here, visitors can easily find a street food stall with fresh, affordable dishes to enjoy on the spot. Moreover, interacting with the stall owners and vendors is not only an opportunity to taste local cuisine but also a great way to learn more about the rich food culture and daily life of Saigon's residents.
Visitors wishing to enjoy convenience while exploring and shopping at Cho Lon in District 5 can choose from the following accommodation options, located near the market:
- Anh Dao Hotel: A striking 3-star hotel, just about 500 meters from the market. With 40 modern rooms, each equipped with amenities like air conditioning, a fridge, a bathtub, it offers a comfortable resting space. The hotel also provides facilities like a restaurant, bar, meeting room, gym, and laundry service. Room rates range from 500,000 to 800,000 VND per night, including breakfast.
- Hoa Mai Guesthouse: A cozy 2-star guesthouse, just a short walk from the market, offering simple yet convenient accommodation. The guesthouse provides free Wi-Fi, ticket booking, and airport shuttle services. The reasonable room rates range from 200,000 to 300,000 VND per night, excluding breakfast.
- Binh Tay Homestay: Located just 100 meters from the market, this cozy homestay features 5 beautifully decorated bedrooms, each with a unique and creative style such as white, blue, pink, etc. Additionally, the homestay offers a kitchen, living room, rooftop, and bicycle rental service. Room rates vary from 300,000 to 500,000 VND per night, including breakfast.
Cho Lon is an ideal destination for tourists who love exploring culture, offering deep and memorable experiences. Visit Binh Tay Market to feel the vibrant and unique atmosphere of Saigon!
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