One of the best ways to learn more about Vietnamese culture and observe how the locals go about their daily life is to visit a local market. In Ho Chi Minh, the Tan Dinh Market is one of the best markets to visit, as it gives you a truly authentic Vietnamese experience. Here, you’ll find local vendors selling different kinds of products while some local shoppers are animatedly haggling some goods. There are certainly lots of action going on in this market, which makes it a truly exciting place to visit.
Tan Dinh Market is open from 5 AM to 5 PM daily and it’s located at Hai Ba Trung Street, in the District 1 area of Ho Chi Minh. Some of the most common products that are being sold in Tan Dinh are clothing, fabrics, accessories, kitchenware, footwear, groceries, fruits and veggies. Most of these products came from the neighboring country of China, while the local fresh produce came from the various provinces of Vietnam.
To reach Tan Dinh Market, simply hire a taxi anywhere in Ho Chi Minh and the driver can easily take you to this market. If you’re staying in the District 1 area, then you might as well walk coming here. Coming from the city center, simply head north to reach Hai Ba Trung Street where you’ll find the market, which is just across the Tan Dinh Church. Driving on a motorbike is the best way to reach the market. There are also numerous bus routes that would pass by this market. You can ask for help from your hotel reception for tips on taking public transport going to this place.
Overview of Tan Dinh Market
Built during1926 by the French colonial government, Tan Dinh market is one of the oldest markets in Vietnam. It’s a popular shopping destination for both locals and tourists in Ho Chi Minh due to its strategic location. The market is located at the corner of Nguyen Huu Cau and Hai Ba Trung crossroads and has four gateways. During the 1870s, the market was called Phu Hoa Market and is one of the most significant markets in north Saigon. After several years, the name was changed to Tan Dinh, which was derived from the nearby Tan Dinh church.
Upon arriving at the market, one of the first things that you’ll notice is its unique facade, which consists of three steeples, two on both sides and one in the middle. Featuring a classical and minimal architecture, Tan Dinh Market stands out easily from the rest of the buildings in the area. After about a hundred years in existence, the market has become Saigon’s significant commercial center in the downtown area. Aside from the thousands of shops selling clothing, footwear, textiles, and accessories, there’s also a food court in the market where one can dine and relax after a whole day of shopping.
Although the market can get very busy and chaotic, there are lots of security guards patrolling the area in order to maintain discipline. Thus, it’s definitely safe to explore the market at any time of the day even if you’re alone. If you’re driving a motorbike to come here, you can park your bike at the adjacent parking area.
Tips When Shopping at Tan Dinh Market
If you’re looking to buy some souvenir items during your trip to Vietnam, shopping at the Tan Dinh market is such a good idea. Although it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming, if you have some bargaining skills and an eye for a good catch, shopping at this place is really worth it. Here are some tips.
- The vendors might try to overcharge you because you’re not a local. So try to haggle the price or simply decline if you find the product too expensive.
- Always keep an eye out on your belongings and avoid flashing your expensive gadgets. Place your wallet and mobile phone inside your bag and not just on your pocket.
- If you plan on buying some fresh produce, visit the market early in the morning. That way, you can be certain that the products you are buying are still fresh.
- Avoid wearing fancy clothes and try to dress casually so you’ll blend with the locals. It can also get very hot inside the market so you need to wear something comfortable.
- Tan Dinh market is located in an area that’s very busy, especially in the streets of Tran Quoc Toan, Hai Ba Trung, and Nguyen Huu Cau, so you can expect heavy traffic in this area especially when visiting during peak hours. Therefore, plan your visit well.
- Don’t forget to check out the nearby attractions as well, including the Tan Dinh Church. This church is painted in pink and is one of the most beautiful churches in Ho Chi Minh.