A night tour of the iconic Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City offers visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the bustling atmosphere, marvel at its illuminated stalls, and enjoy the energetic vibes there.
The glow of electric lights brightens various food stalls and stands of goods at the traditional market when it is dark, turning the place into a haven of relaxation, comfort, and pure joy for tourists.
Ben Thanh Market was built from 1912 to 1914 on an area of 13,000 square meters.
The market is one of the symbols of Ho Chi Minh City and a popular tourist attraction of the southern metropolis.
One day, at about 9:00 pm, a group of visitors were dropping into Ben Thanh Market in District 1 to have a snack after spending their afternoon exploring the city and going shopping.
The owner of a sweet soup stall, Be Che (Little Sweet Soup), at the market said that she often opens from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm every day.
That day, her shop was still open to serve tourists at night.
“Sweet soup is appetizing. Its sweetness makes eaters feel cheery, so people can savor the dish any time,” she happily introduced numerous types of her sweet soup.
Be Che is the oldest sweet soup stall at Ben Thanh Market.
Many tourists who live in Ho Chi Minh City were surprised at the relaxed and warm night-time atmosphere of the market.
The overnight operation of the market gives visitors a glance at a different city which is more enjoyable and appealing.
The market houses 300 stalls operating at night, while many others just open until 6:00 pm daily, said a representative of the Ben Thanh Market management board.
The board is calling on more vendors to keep their stalls open at night to raise the number of night-time stores to 50 percent of all the stands.
The plan is aimed at offering tourists a vibrant shopping and sightseeing space at night in the city.
|Tourists visit Ben Thanh Market at night. Photo: Hai Kim / Tuoi Tre
Exploring Ben Thanh Market at night, as part of the ‘District 1 - Colors of Night’ tour, has been seen as an initiative by the District 1 administration to enthrall visitors and diversify tourism offerings.
Most travelers to Ho Chi Minh City are already familiar with evening activities at Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street, Bui Vien Walking Street, and lots of shopping centers.
They rarely engage in a tour to a place full of cultural and art performances, as well as food stalls at night.
Many tour operators have said that though economic activities are abundant at night in Ho Chi Minh City, the tourism agencies have yet to beef up night-time tourism promotion.
Furthermore, a few unique tourism products have been launched for tourists to enjoy at night.
Tran The Dung, general director of Vietluxtour, which has been offering night-time tours in the southern metropolis, said that tour operators should weigh up tour time, activities, and tourist sites to arrange an exciting inner-city tour.
During these tours, tourists can enjoy art performances, take a stroll along streets for sightseeing, go shopping, savor specialties, and experience healthcare services.
The time frame of a tour should be taken into account to suit all activities and gratify tourists, he added.
The addition of by-night package tours does raise some eyebrows even though Ho Chi Minh City's vibrant nightlife has long captivated visitors.
These tours are believed to bring tourists the new shade of a mesmerizing city life.