It is evident to say that: Market is one of the must-see places for any travelers who want to understand more about the local culture of any destination. It is because markets will show you the most bustling and hustling faces of the locals’ normal life.
Going to Vietnam, some tourists look for a modern Vietnam with busy touristy areas while others are so in love with an authentic Vietnamese atmosphere like markets as they truly want to bring home some things of Vietnam as souvenirs. if you are of the latter groups, you should not skip visiting 8 best markets in Vietnam below. Some useful tips will be also given in the end, so keep reading till the end!
8 Must-visit Markets in Vietnam
1. Hoi An Central Market (Hoi An)
Highlights: Hoi An is famous for its various markets, each has its own reputation. However, traveling to Hoi An, tourists cannot miss its central market, which is definitely the largest and liveliest one.
Together with other markets, this market tremendously helps to form Hoi An’s commercial values and spirit. About 600 years ago, in the 15th century, Hoi An used to be the trading center of the Cham Empire (a MalyoPolynesan person once took over the lower and coastline parts of Vietnam). One century later, under the orders of Lords Nguyen, it became an international commercial port and was soon considered vital to Southeast Asia’s trading activities.
In these days, even though Hoi An has declined in its trading values (but increased in its touristy values), the commercial spirit here remains intact.
Hoi An was recognized by UNESCO as one of the World’s Cultural Heritages, thanks to two reasons, one of which is being “an exceptional example of Asian traditional trading port which is perfectly preserved”. Therefore, visiting Hoi An, tourists are highly recommended to visit its wide range of markets, especially the central one.
In Hoi An Central Market, tourists are likely to find a plethora of food, from the fresh ones to the cooked ones.
What to buy:
- Fresh food:
There are various meat in Hoi An Central Market, from pork, poultry to beef, and greens, various too. All are fresher than those in supermarkets, like any other normal markets you can find in Vietnam. However, if you want to see some interesting scenes, you are suggested to come to the river as early as around 4 to 5 a.m every morning. By doing that, you will be able to see the fish delivery scene.
What’s more, tourists can also purchase fish stocks, crustaceans, even superb prawns, small sharks and so on, all of which are ultra-fresh. Sometimes they are still alive, at the most reasonable price. People can also buy daily goods, flowers and roughly anything for self-catering in Hoi An as this market is truly a treasure-house for consumers.
- Cooked food:
Moving on to the cooked ones, the Central Market food court would be an ideal choice for people wanting to eat out. This food court opens from 6 a.m to 6 p.m, which means you can spend all day enjoying the food here, from trying a wealthy traditional breakfast to eating stuff while wandering in Hoi An Central Market.
For the first time being here, tourists are suggested to try Hoi An’s signature food, such as: Cao Lau (special rice noodles with marinated pork, vegetables and a little soup), Mi Quang (Quang Noodles – a typical combination of delicious soup, quail eggs, shrimps and pork ), Banh Xeo – Vietnamese pancake (pork, shrimp, herbs and vegetables, mixed and wrapped in a rice pancake), White Rose (it is not a flower, of course, it is a steamed dumpling with prawn), etc.
Things to note:
What is so pleasing is that even Hoi An is one of Vietnam’s most famous tourist attractions, the goods’ price in this Central Market is appropriate. A bowl of Cao Lau is expected to be paid no more than 30,000 VND (~$1,5), fruit juices also come at a reasonable price of about 15,000 VND (~$1),… The vendors here offer you all the best cuisine, both regionally and internationally at such a good price.
Location: Tran Quy Cap street, Cam Chau, Hoi An, Quang Nam
Opening hours: 6 a.m to 6 p.m