4 Colorful Markets in Hoi An City to Explore

Markets are a typical feature of Vietnamese culture. Therefore, if you want to learn about the culture of a certain land as quickly as possible, go to the market. You will get an overview of the people’s lifestyle and behavior through trade. And Hoi An is no exception.

market in hoi an
Markets in Hoi An are very colorful. ©Vietnamdrive

The markets in Hoi An City have rich cultural features. Central Market is the gateway to the Old Town with various kinds of products and full of colors. Thanh Ha Fish Market specializes in wholesale and retail seafood to Hoi An and surrounding areas. Meanwhile, two other famous markets, Ong Cop Market and Ba Le Market, specialize in buying and selling the daily necessities of local people.

Let’s explore each market to find out its specific beauty!

1. Hoi An Central Market

hoi an market
Hoi An Market is also called Central Market. ©Vietnamdrive

Central Market, also known as Hoi An Market, is located right at the gateway to the Old Quarter. The prime location has helped this market become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Hoi An City. The market sells almost daily necessities, such as green vegetables, shrimp, crab, fish, meat, etc. In addition, you can also find here all kinds of fabrics, clothes, local products, and small Vietnamese souvenirs.

This market is bigger than the three other markets in Hoi An. It extends from Hoang Dieu Street (head of Cam Nam Bridge) to Tran Quy Cap Street (center of Hoi An ancient town). The market includes many areas:

  • Along the riverbank is an area selling seafood.
  • The building on Hoang Dieu Street sells dry goods.
  • The building adjacent to Tran Quy Cap Street is Hoi An Food Market, and the area sells livestock and poultry meat.
  • Hoi An fabric market is located between instant food and dry goods sections.

One highlight of Central Market is that the food area is organized neatly and cleanly. Therefore, you can have the opportunity to enjoy the local food of Hoi An, such as Banh Mi, pancakes, Quang noodles, duck porridge, and sweet soup.

food shop in hoi an market
A food shop inside Hoi An Market.

The market is situated in the Old Quarter, which blocks cars. Thus, if you use a private car or taxi, please park it in the parking lot outside the old section. And then, you take a short walk to explore Central Market.

Opening hours at Hoi An market are from 6:00 to 6:00 p.m., every day. The busiest time for the market is around 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

2. Thanh Ha Fish Market

thanh ha fish market hoi an

Nestled on the banks of Thu Bon River, about 3km west of the Old Quarter center, Thanh Ha Fish Market is located right at the entrance leading to Thanh Ha pottery village. This fish market plays a vital role in supplying seafood to restaurants, hotels, and large and small markets throughout Hoi An and neighboring markets.

The market starts every day at 3 a.m. when owners of seafood warehouses, wholesalers, and porters come and wait for the first ship to arrive.

Trading activities occur very quickly and decisively. Tons of fish and shrimp, still shimmering with the color of the ocean, are brought ashore by strong men. They classify and measure professionally and quickly. Immediately after that, the sea products are transferred onto large and small trucks and transported everywhere to meet the daily consumption needs of people.

boat dock in fishing market hoi an
The dock for fishing boats to stop.

Although all trading activities revolve around fish, shrimp, and crabs brought from the sea, Thanh Ha fish market has become a vivid film of life.

You coming here will feel the gentle vitality of the people, the enthusiasm for work mixing with the excitement of the results after a working-hard trip from the ocean. The fresh fish color on each full basket is enough to evoke the belief in a prosperous life.

The best time during the day to visit the fish market is from 5:00 a.m. to 5:45 a.m.

With the time of year, sea products are available all year round at Thanh Ha fish market, but most are in September and October. Therefore, these two months are the most interesting to visit this fish market.

The appropriate means of transportation to Thanh Ha market is by car or taxi. It’s best to book a car and driver the day before to ensure your plan to visit the fish market early the next morning is not delayed.

When visiting the fish market, you should be careful to choose a suitable position to stand and take photos to avoid affecting the hasty buying and selling activities.

3. Ong Cop Market

ong cop market in hoi an
Ong Cop Market is also Tan An Market.

Ong Cop market, also known as Tan An market, is located in group 3, Xuan My block, Tan An ward, about 1km north of the Old Quarter center. The market provides daily necessities for local people, such as meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, etc.

In particular, most of the green vegetables sold at Tan An Market originate from Tra Que vegetable village in Hoi An City, which specializes in growing organic green products. Thanks to that, the vegetables here are always fresh and young and have a wonderful aroma.

tan an market photo

For tourists, in addition to the fact that this is the second busiest market in Hoi An, the name Ong Cop also creates excitement for many curious minds.

According to the elders living around the market, before, this area was just a deserted sandy beach with overgrown bushes. Therefore, foxes, weasels, and wild cats gather here to dig holes to live. Every night, they sneaked into the houses to steal chickens and ducks and destroy food.

Even though they tried every possible way, the villagers still could not chase away these wild animals. Suddenly, one day, they heard a tiger’s roar resounding among the dense bushes. Since then, the unmanaged creatures have gradually decreased and are no longer here. People’s assets are less lost and damaged.

Not long after, the locals discovered the body of a dead tiger with many wounds on its body. They believe that the tiger was attacked in the forest, so it sought refuge here. Thanks to the appearance of the tiger, the villagers escaped the destruction of wild animals. Therefore, they buried and built a shrine to show gratitude to the tiger.

In the local language, the tiger is called Cop. So, the Tiger Temple was built in this place and named Ong Cop Temple. Today, when you come to Ong Cop Temple, you will see a screen in front with a picture of a strong tiger.

tiger temple in tan an market
The Tiger Temple is located near the market.

The current temple was built in 1963. Tan An Market is next to this temple, so locals often call it Ong Cop Market or Ong Cop Temple Market.

The market is open all day. However, the busiest time usually lasts from 6 to 9 a.m.

4. Ba Le Market

ba le market in hoi an
Ba Le Market is the friendly name of Cam Chau Market.

Located on Le Thanh Tong Street, Ba Le Market is the friendly name of Cam Chau Market. This one is next to Cua Dai Street, connecting Hoi An Ancient Town with Cua Dai Beach. A good location helps this market become popular for the locals and tourists who want to buy necessary things when going to the beach.

Although the area is not too large, the Ba Le market still fully meets the needs of daily necessities for people living around this region.

When entering the market, on the left is the food court, including popular local dishes such as noodles, pho, vermicelli, bread, etc. On the right are fresh foods.

cam chau market photo

One of the most interesting things to do when coming to Ba Le Market is to enjoy a bowl of Nam Vang noodle soup. The fragrant aroma of cilantro, the sweet fat of bone broth, and the tasty shrimp and meat are strangely attractive.

When asked about the name Ba Le Market, people here said: Previously, this place was just an empty land. A woman named Le often brought some agricultural products grown in her family, such as chickens, eggs, vegetables, tubers, gourds, squash, etc., to sell here. Gradually, people also learned from Mrs. Le, bringing products from their homes to sell together. Just like that, over time, the market was formed and named Ba Le Market, a name associated with the origin of the market.

Like the Ong Cop market, the Ba Le market is open all day. The busiest times for the market are before 8:30 a.m. and after 4 p.m.

Ba Le Market has a small area, so you only need about 20-30 minutes to go around the market. Therefore, we suggest you combine a visit to this place with the same journey between the Old Quarter and Cua Dai Beach or vice versa, or on the way to visit Cam Thanh Coconut Village.

cam chau market hoi an photo
Would you like to taste coconut in Cam Chau Market? ©Vietnamdrive

By observing people exchanging, buying and selling, and bargaining at the markets, you will see some of the personality and local culture of the people and the land of Hoi An.

  • They are simple, honest, and friendly people. This feature shows the comfortable way of buying and selling. The seller doesn’t talk too high a price, and the buyer is impartial in choosing goods, not asking for one less or two more.
  • Outstanding in Hoi An markets are green vegetables and saltwater fish that are always fresh and delicious. That is the result of the hard work of people on a land rich in agricultural and seafood products.
  • You can also easily recognize the intimate and close communication between people at the market. Many people can even spend hours talking to each other about a certain issue. It demonstrates the strong community cohesion of indigenous people.
  • Another feature that cannot be overlooked is the enthusiastic, open, and hospitable personality of the Hoi An people. No matter where you come from, what language you speak, or what accent you have, as long as you come to these markets, you will be warmly welcomed by local people like a sincere friend.

So, let’s list these markets in the catalog of outstanding experiences in Hoi An!

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    About the author

    The editorial staff of Vietnamdrive is a team of travel experts managed by Mr. Thom who has worked in tourism for 14 years. Trusted by thousands of tourists from all over the world.