23/9 Park and Ben Thanh Market

We wanted to visit Ben Thanh Market and Leo at our hotel advised that going through 23/9 park was the quickest and most pleasant way to go.  We walked the few blocks from our hotel to 23/9 park which  extends several blocks and is a nice green space in the middle of concrete and city noise.  Many people enjoy passing the time sitting on park benches while watching the world go by, reading a book or playing a quiet game of chess.

Other visitors to the park spend their time jogging, biking and taking part in various forms of exercise.  The park even has permanently installed exercise equipment such as this stationary bicycle.  Note the young woman jogging in her heels!

I don't know what kind of trees these are, but they have massive roots that people enjoy sitting on while reading or meditating.

The park ends adjacent to where Ben Thanh Market begins.

 And, it has a really cool clock tower which makes a handy landmark.

 It is a huge market with an entire food court area as well as vendors selling everything from clothing to bedding, to fabric, household goods, dried goods, decorative items, beads, shoes, produce, flowers, coffee and much, much more.

This is part of the area that surrounds the market:
And, to get there and back one has to cross this busy street:

There's an art to crossing the street in Vietnam.  Motorcycles, cars and buses do not give the right of way to pedestrians.  We found the best technique for crossing is to glom onto a local person or group that is crossing and stick with them like glue.  If that is not an option, then wait for a break in traffic (don't wait until there is no traffic - that will never happen) and start to cross.  Try to make eye contact with drivers when possible and don't EVER pull a squirrel move by taking a step back or changing your mind.  The drivers are counting on you to continue moving forward.  We found that as a general rule, the motorbikes will slow down for people but cars, taxis and buses do not, so if one is barreling down, just stop where you are until they pass.  Scary at first, but exhilarating one you get the hang of it!


  1. Love the market and the park, wished we had those with the exercise equipment. :)

    1. Carina, I thought the exercise equipment was brilliant!