Night and day, this market has been running non-stop for half a century
Vo Thanh Trang Market is located on Truong Chinh Street to the northwest of Ho Chi Minh City. This is the main route in District 12 which leads to northern parts of the city and connects with surrounding provinces.
The market is open day and night, which is unusual compared to other traditional markets in the city. Goods are delivered early in the morning, and peak hours are 3-4a.m.
Buyers can find a variety of products including fruit, meat, fish and processed food. The market covers 2,000 square meters, and expands out into smaller “satellite markets” down the surrounding alleyways.
Vo Thanh Trang was the name given to the market in 1978, but local people are more familiar with the old name, Ba Queo.
The name Ba Queo (Debilitated Lady) is thought to have originally come from a widow who had a debilitated hand (“queo” means “disabled” or ”debilitated” in Vietnamese). The childless widow worked in the market for years, hence the name given to distinguish it from other markets.
There is also a story which suggests that the market gained its name name from a lady who was one of five wives of a Vietnamese general in the 18th and 19th centuries. The general founded five markets in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), and gave one to each of his wives to manage.
Market vendors often take naps whenever possible.