Best Markets in Vietnam
Vietnam markets are also great for sampling a wide range of local delicacies at affordable prices, as they are often fitted with a dedicated food court surrounded by food stalls.
Hoi An Central Market Resting on the banks of the Thu Bon River, bustling Hoi An Central Market is certainly worth a look for its authentic slice of Vietnamese life. The market is busy throughout the day with locals bargaining hard alongside tourists so its best to arrive first thing in the morning. The negotiating over fish usually starts around 07:00 as the fishermen drop their catch off and the market vendors and local buyers dive in to get the best fish.
Be warned that it can get very messy, nevertheless it's certainly a sight not to be missed. Inside the market there are also plenty of live ducks and chickens tied together and ready for sale alongside row upon row of Vietnamese cooking ingredients. The smell can get quite strong as the day heats up and the market will also become a lot busier and louder as the day progresses. If you want to avoid this, then head to the east side and the large shed type building which houses the tailors and all manner of Asian silk and textiles.
Good to Know As a tourist browsing round Hoi An Central Market you can expect plenty of stall holders pushing their wares on you quite hard, the best course of action is to simply smile and continue on your way. When you do decide to make a purchase then remember that the first price you will be told will be over inflated, you should then offer around half and then work up to a price that you are both happy with. Be prepared to walk away and you might be surprised by the fair price you are then offered.
Opening Hours: daily from 06:30 and is best visited early starting with a walk by the docks to watch the fish arrive before you enter
Location: Nguyen Hue and Tran Phu on the Thu Bon River Remarks: It's a good idea to wear closed shoes as the floor in the market can get damp and sticky, especially if you are visiting the fish section.
Han Market’s ground level is where locals shop for fresh vegetables, seafood, and butchered meat in the early morning. There are also numerous fruit stalls set in front of the market, where you can purchase tropical fruits such as bananas, mangoes, durian, and jackfruit. Ideal as souvenirs for loved ones back home, make sure you stock up on prepacked chilli paste, Ly Son garlic, rice crackers, and dried squid, all of which are available on the same floor.
Han Market’s indoor food court offers just about any Vietnamese dish you can think of, from mi quang (Vietnamese turmeric noodles) and com tam (broken rice) to banh xeo (crispy pancake) and goi cuon (Vietnamese spring rolls), each of which should cost you no more than VND 30,000.
Opening Hours: Daily 05:00 – 19:00
Address: 119, Tran Phu Street, Hau Chai District, Da Nang
Hanoi Weekend Night Market
Held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Hanoi Weekend Night Market is a busy, bustling gathering of roadside stalls and local food vendors that brings huge crowds of locals and tourists. It runs through the Old Quarter district from 19:00 onwards, starting from Hang Dao Street and running north to the edge of Dong Xuan Market.
Pedestrian streets and historical sites within the area are illuminated with decorative lights, making this a popular spot for travelling photographers. Shopping-wise, the fashion items on sale won’t turn many head as you will find the usual array of inexpensive t-shirts, handicrafts, accessories, shoes, sunglasses and souvenirs at Hanoi Weekend Night Market. However, the overall environment is very lively and bargaining is a way of life here - a good start is to offer about 75 per cent off the opening price.
With prices starting at VND 15,000, visitors can also find plenty of iconic Hanoi dishes while strolling through the busy night market, including bun thang (rice vermicelli soup with shredded chicken, fried egg, and pork), La Vong grilled fish, pho (noodle soup with beef or chicken), banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich), and bun cha (rice noodles served with grilled pork). Hanoi Weekend Night Market showcases cultural performances, where locals in traditional costumes play traditional Vietnamese music as well as classical tunes. As with all busy markets, be aware of your belongings and keep your wits about you as the throng of motorbikes and people can be intense.
Opening Hours: Friday - Sunday 19:00 - 23:00
Address: Hang Dao Street, Old Quarter, Hanoi
Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 is a great place to buy local handicrafts, branded goods, Vietnamese art and other souvenirs. Here, you’ll find eating stalls inside the market where you can get a taste of hawker-style Vietnamese cuisine or simply cool off with a cold drink when the bargaining becomes too much. The market is big, difficult to navigate at times and certainly best avoided during the hottest part of the day but all the same its well worth a look.
When night falls, restaurants around the perimeter of the market open their doors creating a vibrant street side scene filling the air with the scents of wok-fried noodles, barbecued fish and meats. One of Saigon’s oldest landmarks, Ben Thanh offers a great atmosphere that is absolutely authentically Vietnamese.
Save your appetite and head to Ben Thanh Market in the evening where you can be served some real street style local food at one of the 20 or so eateries that surround the market building. Chefs will cook in front of you with an endless array of cuisine choices including vegetarian noodles, fresh seafood, crispy rice pancakes and steamed cakes. You will be in great local company as most of the places thrive with locals enjoying a bite to eat and a quick drink on their way home from work.
For shopping heaven head to the market preferably early morning to pick up some bargains including lacquer ware, bamboo goods, arts and crafts. Also on sale are clothes, textiles, luggage, watches and an assortment of electronic goods. Spices, nuts and local fruits heavily scent the air which is also filled with the chatter of tourists and locals haggling for bargains. Do note however that some items will be strictly fixed price.
Ben Thanh Market is situated in District 1 in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City at the intersection of Le Loi, Ham Ngh, Tan Hung and Le Lai streets. Shops close late afternoon with shopping best done in the morning before the heat of the day hits. The market is one of Ho Chi Minh’s most famous landmarks and is known by all taxi drivers, although if you are staying downtown check first to see if you can walk to it from your hotel as it’s very centrally located.
Ben Thanh Market Opening Hours: Daily 6:00 –24:00
Address: Le Loi, Ben Thanh, Quan 1, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam