Photo: Old and new.

Binh Tay Market

Our rating:

Ho Chi Minh City’s Chinese settlement was named Cho Lon—literally “big market”—due to its importance as an economic, mercantile powerhouse. And the big market’s big market is Binh Tay (Cho Binh Tay), a photographer’s and curious traveller’s dream.

Sponsored placement.

Binh Tay market was first established in the 1870s. It was then rebuilt, expanded and reopened in September 1928, garnering it the nickname “new market”, a moniker that has stubbornly stuck to this day. Whatever you call it, it’s now one of the biggest wholesale markets in Ho Chi Minh City.

Easy to spot from a distance. Photo taken in or around Binh Tay Market, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

Easy to spot from a distance. Photo: Cindy Fan

The pale yellow building with clocktower and striking Chinese features is an architectural treasure. Unfortunately, the building is in desperate need of repairs. When we saw it in June 2017, it had been closed for renovations/fenced off for a stretch through there were no signs of any work being done. Vendors now sprawl outside in all directions, radiating from the old building. It makes the experience of squeezing through stalls, navigating the labyrinthian alleys, checking what’s slimy underfoot all the more atmospheric and head-spinning.

There are no “I Heart Pho” t-shirts here like in touristy Ben Thanh market. There’s only stuff locals are interested in and lots of it—things are meant to be sold in bulk. In fact, many Vietnamese who operate stalls or shops in the city come here to buy wholesale.

Warning: They are not baguettes. Photo taken in or around Binh Tay Market, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

Warning: They are not baguettes. Photo: Cindy Fan

Goods of a feather are clumped together—traditional medicine in one area, shoes in another. Wander around further and find entire streets devoted to one thing only: aquarium fish, wedding supplies, fishing gear, cigarettes, pollution face masks, lanterns, mysterious chemicals just to name a few.

A visit to Cholon is a must and Binh Tay will be a highlight. It’s easy to wander the market yourself, especially now that motorbike taxis are easier than ever with GrabBike and UberMOTO. Or hop on any local bus headed to “ben xe Cho Lon” station.

Picking the right conical hat can be tricky. Photo taken in or around Binh Tay Market, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

Picking the right conical hat can be tricky. Photo: Cindy Fan

It’s best to go in the morning, watch your valuables and try not to get in the way. However, a guided tour will be invaluable in helping to identify what you’re looking at, and include stops at Thien Hau temple and some delicious eats.


Binh Tay Market
Thap Moui St, District 6

By .

Location map for Binh Tay Market

Popular attractions in Ho Chi Minh City

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Ho Chi Minh City.



Best places to stay in Ho Chi Minh City

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Ho Chi Minh City.


What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Ho Chi Minh City.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Ho Chi Minh City.
 Check out our listings of other things to do in and around Ho Chi Minh City.
 Read up on how to get to Ho Chi Minh City, or book your transport online with Baolau.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Ho Chi Minh City? Please read this.
 Browse tours in Vietnam with Tourradar.




Like what you see? Then you’ll love our newsletter

The Travelfish newsletter is sent out every Monday and is jammed full of free advice for travel in Southeast Asia. You can see past issues here.


See below for more sights and activities in Ho Chi Minh City that are listed on Travelfish.org.


Top of page