Travel Guide

The 5 most famous markets in Vietnam to explore the culture

When visiting these markets in Vietnam, tourists have the opportunity to shop for their favorite items, and to discover many interesting things about the culture of each market.

1. Ben Thanh Market – The historical market in Ho Chi Minh City

Ben Thanh Market | © Tuan86/pixabay

When it comes to the most famous markets in Vietnam, we cannot ignore the name Ben Thanh Market. This market is very familiar to Vietnamese as well as international visitors when traveling in Saigon Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC).

Before 1859, on the banks of the Ben Nghe River, there was only one small market close to then center of Saigon. Therefore, the locals called it Ben Thanh Market until now. In 1870, the market was partially burnt, until 1911, the people began to demolish the old market to build a new market more spacious and beautiful.

The market was completed in 1914, until now the market with more than 100 years of age is not only one of the largest shopping centers in HCMC but also considered a historical witness through the mysterious ups and downs of city.

The special feature of the market is on the intercecton of four streets with four gates facing the East, West, South and North. The main gate of the market is the South Gate overlooking Quach Thi Trang Square, the North Gate facing Le Thanh Ton Street, the East Gate on the Phan Boi Chau Street and the West Gate towards Phan Chu Trinh Street.

As one of the oldest commercial centers of HCMC, as well as a place bearing traditional values, Ben Thanh market attracts many domestic and foreign tourists to shop and visit. When you come here, you can find goods you like, and you will hear different languages ​​in the place while trading.

The market operates every day. Especially, at night, around the market, many small stores gather, creating a bustling night market that helps Saigon always vibrant and colorful.

2. Nga Bay Floating Market – The largest floating market in Mekong Delta of Vietnam

Nga Bay floating market | @trphan125

With a dense network of rivers, Mekong Delta in Vietnam is famous for its interesting floating markets. In particular, Nga Bay floating market, also known as Phung Hiep floating market in Hau Giang, is known as the oldest trading place in the Mekong Delta.

The market was estabished in 1915, until now this is not only a place for trading and exchanging goods of the local residents but also attracts many domestic and foreign tourists to experience and shopping.

The unique feature of this market is the intersection of 7 main river routes converging here: Xeo Vong, Lai Hieu, Xeo Mon, Soc Trang, Bung Tau, Mang Ca, and Cai Mon. For Nga Bay floating market, the convergence of these 7 branches of the rivers to form a famous market has become a unique feature that is difficult to mix with any other, as well as a mystery that many tourists want to explore.

The market is most crowded at dawn. When coming there, you will see a colorful scene from rivers, fruits, vegetables to food shops on the river very interesting. Each boat usually sells only one item of its own, and they advertise their products on the hanging the example items which also create a highlight for this market.

If you have the opportunity to come here, you should try to float on the water to enjoy early morning coffee, delicious fish noodle bowls or listen to the endless traditional songs. You will have exciting experiences to enrich your holidays in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam.

3. Dalat Market – A symbol of the Central Highlands market

Da Lat Market | @viviho246

Da Lat Market locates in the heart of Dalat city with unique and spacious architecture in Vietnam. Aslo, this symbolic market of the Central Highlands region attracts many domestic and foreign tourists when traveling to Dalat.

The market started construction in 1958 on the old market floor, Chợ Cây. By 1960, the market was conceptualized and designed by architect Nguyen Duy Duc. Due to the growing tourism in Da Lat and the demand for trade, in 1993 the market continued building the zone B with 3 floors. At that time, Dalat Market was the first 3-floor market in Vietnam.

Like other most famous markets in Vietnam, Da Lat market also focuses on selling a lot of different local items, and many products form other provinces in the Central Highlands, and other cities in Vietnam.

Dalat market is the largest trading center of the city, so the operating time is almost day and night to serve the business needs of the locals, as well as create favorable conditions for tourists to visit.

When coming to Dalat Market, you do not forget to buy specialties here as gifts, such as coffee, strawberry jam, artichoke tea, and persimon jam. Visiting this market will help you get the rich experience of the beauty of the local people.

4. Dong Ba Market – The busy market of the Central Vietnam

Dong Ba Market | @hungjerry58

Built in the early 19th century, Dong Ba market is the oldest and largest market in Central Vietnam. The market situates on the left bank of the Perfume River, in Phu Hoa ward, Hue city, about 300m from Truong Tien bridge.

Initially, the market was built outside the mouth of Dong Ba Gate of the royal citadel. By 1885, due to the fall of the capital of Hue capital during the war, the market was also burned by the French colonialists. In 1887, at its old location, the market was rebuilt under the reign of King Dong Khanh. However, in the reign of King Thanh Thai (1899), the market has been moved near the Perfume River until now.

 Through many times of being destroyed and repaired, up to now, this market has been much more spacious and beautiful. A special feature in Dong Ba market is built according to the old Hue architecture, including a main building in the center and surrounded by 9 blocks of houses with 4 new sales areas, such as service area, fish market, food corner, and souvernir shops.

The total area of ​​the market is nearly 15,600m2 with hundreds of small traders doing business here. On average, each day at the market there are about 6,000 customers including residents and tourists coming to the market. At times like holidays, New Year, the market travel season is even more crowded, sometimes over 12,000 people.

In addition, when you visit Dong Ba Market, you can buy any products you love from clothes, shoes, cosmetics, cuisine to the famous Hue specialties as gifts, conical hats, shrimp sauce. Besides, the market locates in the center of the city, so people can move to the surrounding Hue tourist destinations such as Truong Tien Bridge, the Perfume, the Imperial Palaces easily and conveniently.

5. Dong Xuan Market – The busiest market in Hanoi

Dong Xuan Market | @annahbcr

Dong Xuan Marketis one of the most famous markets in Vietnam. Also, the market, which locates in Hanoi Old Quarter, is also known as the largest and oldest one. This market was built in 1889, has a history of hundreds of years since the feudal era of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802 – 1945).

Initially, the market was held mostly outdoors or covered with foliage. Experiencing many events caused by wars, fires and society’s growing development, Dong Xuan market is now built quite superficially, with spacious three-storey architecture.

In addition to its historical values, Dong Xuan Market is also a famous and bustling tourist destination in Hanoi. With a location located in the center of the old town, here focuses on a variety of items from fabrics, household goods,  and traditional clothes of Vietnam.

Not only that, the travelers also know Dong Xuan Market is a famous food market in the capital of Vietnam. When you come here, you can enjoy the traditional dishes, such as bun cha, pork rib porridge, and bamoo shoot vemicelli.

A special point in Dong Xuan market is to remember the merit of the Ve Quoc soldiers who fell here, so inside the market, the people built a unique bronze relief cluster. Besides, the builing of the market is solidly built in a new architectural style.

The market’s location is right in the old town, so people can move easily to this area, as well as explore famous tourist attractions in Hanoi, such as Hoan Kiem Lake, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the streets of Hanoi Old Quarter, and the Thang Long old citade.

Each market has its own distinctive features, showing the beauty of each region. So, take the time to discover the beauty of the most famous markets in Vietnam to better understand the life, people and culture of in a lovely country from the popular things.