The Myth

Is it true that Ben Thanh Market will be demolished to make space for a new shopping mall?

No, this is not true because Ben Thanh Market is one of the most recognizable symbols in Ho Chi Minh City and has been so for the last 50 years and will continue to be so for a long time. This rumor, however, has been circulating for quite some time. An official decision to tear down Ben Thanh Market and replace it with a modern shopping mall in 1970 was the closest it ever came. There was even a design contest held to choose the best design for Ben Thanh 3.0 (Ben Thanh Market 1.0 is where the old Market near Ho Tung Mau stands, and Ben Thanh Market 2.0 is its present location). The winning design was a blueprint created by architect Huynh Kim Mang. This design, however, was never put to application due to the simple reason that it was too expensive for the government coffers. The total cost to construct Huynh Kim Mang’s aesthetically bold and ambitious vision in real life was a then whopping VND2 billion.

In 1985, the market underwent renovation overseen by Professor Hoang Nhu Tan. This renovation was strictly a maintenance job however and the base work as well as overall structure of the market remained unchanged. In 2008, yet another incident gave new life to the rumor that Ben Thanh Market would be replaced by something newer and swankier. This time, it was the blueprint of the future Saigon metro line and a vague request made by a subdivision of the city government to clear out space for the future Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien metro line and Ben Thanh central metro hub that restarted the old rumor. Ben Thanh Market, because of its well-placed location, sits at the central hub of the planned metro system and will see traffic coming in from five out of the six metro lines. Despite the request to ‘make space’ being incredibly vague, common sense would have that empty space for this incredible amount of traffic must be created and that old structures, in this case, the market, will have to make way. When the 1500 merchants who make their fortune from the market voiced their objection, the city government representative made it clear that this was simply a suggestion made by an investor and there was no concrete plan to ever follow through.

Share this story, choose your platform!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on tumblr
Share on google
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on vk
Share on email
About the author:

Leave a Comment

CH House

The house is designed for three family generations who wanted to create a harmonious space in the hectic city (Hanoi) in order to enhance traditional  family life. The site of the house is a typical plot for long and narrow local tube houses; with CH house the dimensions are –  4,2 m  wide by 35

Read More »

Furever Gifts

For many, the joy of giving can be marred with the realization that gift-giving itself is a dressed up episode of consumerism. But what if you want to actually be charitable this season and buy your gift conscientiously? A number of Saigon charities and organizations sell gifts that directly benefit important causes, like womens’ economic

Read More »

Shared Knowledge

The spirit of connectedness and increased knowledge for increased knowledge sharing that animates UpLearn “Never let a good crisis go to waste,” goes the now-famous quote by former Obama advisor Rahm Emanuel. The quote seems tailored to this moment, this very one where “crisis” seems to be in abundance. The rest of it—well, where might

Read More »

Electric Youth

Oi speaks to Celine Ventalon about Miha Bodytec and EMS training in Saigon What is Electric Muscle Stimulator (EMS)?Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) training is a full-body workout that originally comes from a physiotherapy and combines a ‘free will contraction’ through an exercise and an external stimulus from an EMS device. This high-intense whole-body workout uses

Read More »

Nước Mắm

Dedicated to my tenacious bà ngoại (grandma) Text by Emili N. Lok I am a 13-year-old Vietnamese-American living in NYC. I’m also a boba lover, a Korean drama watcher, and a self-proclaimed spice food maniac. I’m currently a 7th grade student and wrote this story to feel more connected to the Vietnamese side of my

Read More »

A Tale of Two Traditions

The origin and evolution of Vietnamese traditional medicine The current historical (and hysterical?) moment has brought into sharp focus Vietnam’s northern neighbor, specifically a practice that feels almost occultish: the eating of exotic animals. It’s a custom that deserves context: Vietnam’s northern neighbor consumes animals reportedly for their healing or medicinal properties. Similarly, the Fito

Read More »