8 Best Markets in Vietnam to Explore Local Trading Culture

The market is both a place to trade and an area to show the delicate culture of each region. Visiting the markets, tourists not only buy the items they love but also explore the unique culture of that place.

Let’s explore five famous markets in Vietnam.

1. Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho

cai rang floating market in Can Tho Vietnam
Cai Rang floating market | © nguyenthai1601/pixabay

Cai Rang Floating Market locates about 5 km from Can Tho city center and takes 30 minutes by boat from Ninh Kieu wharf.

Formed in the early 20th century to serve the needs of trading in the region, Cai Rang is now one of the three largest floating markets in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. It has more than 300 boats gathering every day.

Cai Rang market opens from 5:00 am, the busiest beat at 6 am – 8 pm and then gradually reduced. Tourists often come here from early morning to catch the dawn and feel the bright, crowded atmosphere of the market. Small boats often come to passenger boats to invite the guests to buy fruit, breakfast, and soft drinks.

The people often use a long stick on their boat to hang the examples that they want to sell. So, the buyers can see what they need from a long distance.

The main items in the market are agricultural products, handicrafts, and necessities, but the most are fruits. When immersing in the atmosphere of the market, you can see the typical life of families living on boats, such as mobile apartments with full TVs, stoves, and even plants.

To visit the floating market, visitors can take a motorboat for between 100,000 per person or rent a whole boat.

  • Address: On the Can Tho River, Ninh Kieu District, Can Tho City, Vietnam
  • Opening hours: 4:00 am – 9:00 am

2. Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh

Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh Market | © Tuan86/pixabay

In Saigon, no one does not know the Ben Thanh market that is both the oldest in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC).

Ben Thanh Market has long been a symbol of Saigon, the former name of HCMC. Operating from 1914 up to now, this over the 100-years market is a busy trading place and a historical relic.

This place concentrates many items, clothes, shoes, fabrics, handicrafts, brocade products, jewelry, and specialties.

With its traditional value as a long-standing commercial center in Saigon, the market attracts a lot of foreign tourists to visit and shop

When coming there, you will encounter all languages ​​to exchange and purchase. Typically, at night, around Ben Thanh shopping center becomes a busy night market to create a vibrant and colorful Saigon.

  • Address: Le Loi Street, Ben Thanh Ward, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Opening hours: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
  • Phone: 028 3829 9274

3. Dam Market in Nha Trang

Dam Market Nha Trang
Dam Market | © Vietnamdrive

Tourists traveling to Nha Trang should once step into the famous Dam market. This market often appears in most tours, and many guests love it.

With unique, fancy architecture and located in the city center, Dam Market is a popular choice when tourists intend to discover the local trading culture and buy souvenirs of this city.

Built in 1908 on a large swamp, the name of the Dam market also came from that reason (chợ Đầm means a market on a swamp). The market is designed with 2 floors, circular architecture, V-shaped roof, representing pure lotus – one of the beautiful flowers in Vietnam.

In addition to popular products, the market also sells souvenirs made from shells and snails with strange and beautiful shapes. The special products of the Dam market are fresh seafood products or local specialties, such as spring rolls, Nha Trang rolls.

  • Address: Van Thanh Street, Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam
  • Opening hours: 5:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Phone: 025 8381 2388

4. Hoi An Central Market

Hoi An Market
Hoi An Central Market | @iam.hieuvo

Hoi An Central market locates at the intersection of Tran Phu, Bach Dang, and Nguyen Thai Hoc streets, right in the heart of the Hoi An old town. You only take a few minutes to walk to be able to reach this market.

Hoi An Market used to be a bustling place for domestic and foreign traders exchanging goods. Up to now, although the lifer has developed, the market still retains the old traditional buying and selling features of the people in Central Vietnam.

Coming to the Central Market as the other Hoi An markets, you seem to forget that you are just a visitor there. You will feel like a local person because Hoi An people are friendly and available to support you whenever you want to find some things, such as a filter to make Vietnamese coffee or a small cooking tool.

Like other markets in Vietnam, Hoi An market has the sections selling everyday goods and industrial products. Along the streets in the market area, you can see many people doing Asian squat to sell and buy fresh vegetables.

More prominent, there is a beautiful and tidy food market. Going to Hoi An food market, you can find any dish from salty to sweet, from breakfast, lunch to dinner. The food area in the market is divided into different sections, such as rice, Cao Lau (dry noodle), Quang noodle, vermicelli, bakery, drinks, and sweet soup. Thus, it’s easy to find what you want to taste there.

  • Address: 19 Tran Phu Street, Cam Chau Ward, Hoi An Old City, Quang Nam, Vietnam
  • Opening hours: 6:00 am – 6:00 pm

5. Han Market in Da Nang

Han Market in Da Nang City
Han Market in Da Nang City | © Vietnamdrive

Ha Market locates in the city center, on the bank of the Han River, near the turning bridge. Its four sides are adjacent to Hung Vuong, Tran Phu, Tran Hung Dao, and Bach Dang streets.

Han Market is a shopping center with a long history in Da Nang. The market dates back to the 40s of the 20th century. But with a convenient location for both road and waterway traffic, this place is growing and busy.

The goods here are quite diverse and plentiful, from shoes, bags, fabrics, clothes to souvenirs, small and pretty gifts. But the most famous is fresh seafood and fruit. Typically, tourists are very easy to find unique gifts of Da Nang at the sections of dry goods in the market.

While the Australian and western tourists like the tailor paradise in Hoi An Old Town, plenty of guests from Korea and Japan like to make Ao Dai – traditional long dress of Vietnam in the Han Market. The clothing area is on the second floor of the market.

Thanks to the typical features that still exist for a long time, the Han market serves the shopping needs of local people and is a tourist destination attracting many foreign visitors.

  • Address: 119 Tran Phu Street, Hai Chau District, Da Nang, Vietnam
  • Opening hours: 6:00 am – 7:00 pm
  • Phone: 023 6382 1363

6. Dong Ba Market in Hue

dong ba market hue
Dong Ba Market | @samuelhhg

Dong Ba Market is the largest market in Hue City, built in 1899 under the reign of King Thanh Thai of Nguyen Dynasty, on the banks of the romantic Perfume River.

This trading center is one of the familiar sightseeing places for many tourists when they have the opportunity to visit this romantic city.

With an area of ​​nearly 5,000m2, Dong Ba market consists of three floors, divided into many stalls to serve the needs of trading.

In addition to the essentials for daily life, the market also has souvenir items with the skillful and unique art of Hue displayed for sales, such as Phu Cam conical hats, Thanh Tra Thuy Bieu (grapefruit in Thuy Bieu village), the dried lotus of Tinh Tam Lake, or paper flowers from Sinh village.

Coming to the Dong Ba market, you also have the opportunity to enjoy traditional Hue dishes, such as mussel rice, shrimp cakes, Hue pancakes, or Bun Bo Hue.

Dong Ba Market, Trang Tien Bridge and the Huong River are symbols of the dreamland of Hue City that visitors should come when they have the opportunity to travel in this city.

  • Address: 02 Tran Hung Dao Street, Phu Hoa Ward, Hue City, Vietnam
  • Opening hours: 6:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Phone: 023 4352 4663

7. Dong Xuan Market in Hanoi

dong xuan market
Dong Xuan Market | @ru_rin23

As one of the largest and oldest markets in the capital of Vietnam, Dong Xuan market locates in Hanoi Old Quarter in Dong Xuan ward, Hoan Kiem District, with a history dating back hundreds of years from the Nguyen feudal period (1802 – 1945).

Dong Xuan Market, which has opened since 1889, is associated with the ups and downs of the thousand-year-old Thang Long Citadel (old citadel in Hanoi). The market is the point of harmony and witnessing many changes in Hanoi Capital, Vietnam.

In addition to its historical value, the Dong Xuan market is the busiest place for buying and selling, focusing on a variety of household items, shoes, fabrics, and clothing.

Dong Xuan is not only a commodity but also known as a famous snack area of Hanoi, a familiar destination for tourists who love traditional cuisine.

You can enjoy the famous local dishes in Hanoi, such as Reu vermicelli, snail vermicelli, bamboo shoots vermicelli, and sweet soup.

  • Address: 15 Cau Dong Street, Dong Xuan Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Opening hours: 6:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Phone: 024 3829 5006

8. Bac Ha Market in Lao Cai

Bac Ha Market
Bac Ha Market | @natalitxu

Bac Ha Market opens on Sundays every week from early morning to 2 am. This ideal market is to discover the pristine beauty, bearing the identity of the Northwest ethnic groups.

Located in the high mountains and about 70 km from Lao Cai city, and 100 km from Sapa (Lao Cai), visitors to Bac Ha will have to go through meandering mountain passes. The higher is the steeper, which is the specific feature of the Northwest terrain.

Here, you can see any necessary items for the life of the ethnic people: hoes, shovels, brocade products, or even buffalo and horses. They are in smaller sections in the market for sellers to be easy to find products.

The top highlight for female people is brocade products of upland ethnic women, including colorful bags, hand-embroidered towels. Hand-embroidered handicrafts take up to a month or to a year to complete, depending on size and difficulty.

In addition to fabric clothes, people also bring buffalos to the market to sell. A large land can accommodate hundreds of people to buy and sell. The buffalo region is always the busiest place in the Bac Ha market.

The Bac Ha Market is known as the largest upland market in Lao Cai, attracting many traders from distant ethnic groups gathering and trading.

The market is even more famous for its pristine character and a typical tourist destination in the mountains to visit when you stay at Sapa, Lao Cai.

  • Address: Bac Ha Downtown, Bac Ha District, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam
  • Opening hours: 5:00 am – 2:00 pm on Sunday

Markets in Vietnam still play a very important role in the daily life of local people.

If you have the opportunity to travel to Vietnam, you should visit some of the typical markets introduced above so that you can know it more about the market culture, and how the locals buy and sell.

Please save these market addresses in your list of must-see destinations for your Vietnam adventure in the future.

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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.