From fresh fruit and vegetables to clothes and furniture, Vietnamese markets have it all. Every town and city has a large, central market, as well as several smaller, more specialised markets.
With such a wide variety of goods and markets on offer in Vietnam, finding the best market for what you want can be tricky.
To fully understand a Vietnamese market experience, it's important to know how they fit into Vietnamese culture.
History And Importance Of Markets In Vietnam
Markets have traditionally formed the backbone of local and regional commerce in Vietnam. Today, fresh produce still arrives from across the provinces to towns and cities, giving locals access to goods at affordable prices.
Despite the growth of shopping malls and retail supermarkets like Vinmart, markets in Vietnam continue to play an important role in local culture and daily life. As well as trade and commerce, markets remain a focal point for communities to purchase not only buy essentials but also socialise.
Whilst the largest and most famous markets usually have an array of vendors selling everything you could wish for, smaller specialised markets also pepper the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and other cities.
Read on to find out how to navigate Vietnamese markets!
Types Of Markets In Vietnam
Day markets tend to be the largest markets in urban settlements, often being a focal point in a city. Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi have two of the most iconic markets in Vietnam:
Dong Xuan Market, Hanoi
Housed in a soviet-style building on the edge of the Old Quarter, Dong Xuan is the largest indoor market in Hanoi.
Stuffed with electronic appliances, souvenirs, clothing, and accessories, Dong Xuan also features a wet market on the ground floor, where bustling locals shop for meat and the latest catch from local trawlers.
Make a trip here and take advantage of the find affordable prices. And, after you shop till you drop, the food vendors will be at hand to replenish you with delicious local dishes like bun cha and banh cuon, leaving you more than ready to take on the Old Quarter afterwards!
Address: Dong Xuan Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.
Opening hours: 6 am - late
Binh Tay Market, Ho Chi Minh City
Set foot in this bustling market and prepare to be swimming in a sea of colour and chaos.
Located in district 6, or Chinatown, Binh Tay Market is relatively far from the tourist hubs of D1 and D3, meaning you will likely find more affordable prices than Ben Thanh market - but less English.
The market receives goods from across Vietnam and South East Asia every day. From lanterns and lightbulbs to fresh flowers and fruits - you name it, Binh Tay Market has got it!
Recommended: A history and Guide To Ho Chi Minh City’s Cholon (China Town) District.
Address: 57A Tháp Mười street, District 6, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: 6 am - 6 pm
Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City
Located in the heart of District 1, Ben Thanh market is one of Ho Chi Minh City's most popular tourist attractions.
There is a food court in the middle where you can buy classic Saigonese dishes like Hu Tieu and other Saigon noodles soups at a reasonable price. Around the perimeter, there are dozens of shops selling local handicrafts, dried nuts and fruit, art and other souvenirs.
If you are in town, the chances are your hotel will be within walking distance, so make sure you pop in for a browse or a munch in one of Ho Chi Minh City's most iconic landmarks.
Address: Đ. Lê Lợi, Phường Bến Thành, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: 6 am - 7 pm
Dong Ba Market, Hue
The former imperial capital, Hue, is home to one of the oldest markets in Vietnam. Dong Ba market is home to hundreds of vendors selling fresh produce, clothing and household essentials at affordable prices.
At almost 16,000 square metres, you could easily spend a whole morning exploring Dong Ba market. If you do, make sure you tuck into some banh khoai (fried plantain) and bun bo hue (beef noodles) to keep your energy levels up!
Check out our guide to Hue street food to discover more great eats!
Address: Phú Hoà, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế
Opening hours: 6 am - 830 pm
Duong Dong Market, Phu Quoc
As the busiest and largest market in Phu Quoc, Duong Dong market is a popular spot for locals and tourists to see local cuisine at it's source.
Although there are some stalls selling the usual electronic goods, souvenirs, and t-shirts, Duong Dong market is famed for its peppercorns, cashews, fish sauce, fresh food, and, not to mention, world-class seafood.
Local fishermen drop their fish off from 3 am, so if you are visiting and keen for a BBQ on one of Phu Quoc's spectacular beaches, make sure you are up early to get the catch of the day!
Address: 21 Đ. Trần Phú, TT. Dương Đông, Phú Quốc, Kiên Giang
Opening Hours: 3 am - 11 pm
Dam Market, Nha Trang
Known for its unique lotus flower design, Dam Market is a staple on any tour in Nha Trang.
Nha Trang market is conveniently divided into zones stocked with a full range of hand-woven bags, handicrafts and souvenirs, as well as daily items for locals.
As you walk around, it will be hard to miss the wafts of fresh seafood - some of the best in Vietnam! Aside from prepared food, visitors can stock up on souvenirs. Things like dried seafood to make for excellent gift.
After eating some local dishes like nem nuong (spring rolls) and sanh ky noodles, you may be even buying rice paper to make your own when you return home. Good luck!
Address: Phan Bội Châu, P, Thành phố Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa
Opening Hours: 5 am - 630 pm
A trip to a Vietnamese night market is guaranteed to be colourful and exciting.
As you stroll, you will discover an authentic Vietnamese atmosphere and hundreds of items for sale. Think souvenir shops packed with handicrafts and clothes, electronic goods, food stalls, and more - often at bargain prices. We have highlighted the best night markets in Vietnam below:
Hanoi Weekend Night Market
The weekend night market in the Hanoi Old Quarter is a must-visit when in the capital.
Starting at the edge of Hang Dao street, you will find some of the best Vietnamese street food in Vietnam. This central market hosts a food court , with perfect when eaten with fresh bia hoi (the cheapest beer in the world!).
Dozens of stalls line the streets with local people selling t-shirts, snacks, arts and crafts, and local musicians are also on hand, strumming out classics for hours on end.
- Opening Hours: Daily 6 am - 7 pm
- Address: Dong Xuan Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Ben Thanh Night Market
At night, the roads around the Benh Thanh market are closed to traffic and become paved with restaurants and stalls selling souvenirs, jewellery, and clothes.
There are also many restaurants that offer delicious barbecue and seafood. Makeshift as they may be, when you see the small tables and chairs come out, you know you are in for something special.
A staple on the Saigon tourist trail, the Ben Thanh night market is a must-visit.
Opening hours: Đ. Lê Lợi, Phường Bến Thành, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Address: 7 pm - late
Hoi An Night Market
Pro: Has some of the best Vietnamese street food in the country.
Walk any street in Hoi An at night, and you are bound to be impressed. Set amidst glowing lanterns and ancient architecture, the Hoi An night market is on Nguyen Hoang street, next to the Thu Bon River. Famous for its silk and garments, you will be spoilt for choice if your wardrobe needs an upgrade.
You will also find the usual souvenirs and t-shirts, but make sure to bargain as prices are often higher for tourists. And, if you are still hungry after dinner, tuck into some of the delicious Banh Xeo (Vietnamese pancake) or My Quang (pork and shrimp noodles). Not to be missed.
Opening hours: 430 pm - 1030 pm
Address: Nguyễn Hoàng, Phường Minh An, Hội An, Quảng Nam
Honourable mentions: Nha Trang Night Market and Dinh Cau night market are also excellent places to visit if you visit Nha Trang or Phu Quoc.
Specialised Markets in Vietnam
Rather than a one-stop-shop, the following markets specialise in different goods and services.
Quang Ba Flower Market
Located in the ex-pat district, Tay Ho, Quang Ba flower market is an electrifying mix of colour and energy, especially during important festivals like Tet.
The market offers exotic flowers from across Vietnam and abroad.
Flowers are seasonal and often dependent on upcoming festivals, but you are sure to find a bunch that will impress you - or a significant other. The general rule is the larger the bunch, the more room to bargain. Get bartering!
Address: 236 Đ. Âu Cơ, Quảng An, Tây Hồ, Hà Nội 100000
Opening hours: 6 pm - 6 am
Ho Thi Ky Flower Market
In business since 1987, Ho Thi Ky flower market is an institution in Saigon. And, unlike its Hanoian equivalent, it is open all day until the early hours.
Flocks of buyers come at dawn for the freshest flowers - mimosas, roses, orchids and chrysanths - from Dalat, the Mekong region, and foreign countries. Things get super busy around Tet and important festivals, so make sure you are ready for the crowds!
Whether it is Valentine's day or another 'me day', you are sure to find a bouquet to your liking here!
Address: Hẻm 52 Hồ Thị Kỷ, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: Open 24 hours
Dan Sinh Market - for all your Vietnam war memorabilia
It is easy to forget just how recent the Vietnam war was - and how far Vietnam has come since. The war museums and war sites showcase this past, but what about if you want to buy some wartime memorabilia? Dan Sinh market is just the place!
From grenades and helmets to boots and gas masks, you will find everything a history buff could dream of. You even get to pick between Viet Cong, ARVN or American gear!
Address: 127 Ký Con, Phường Nguyễn Thái Bình, Quận 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: 6 am - 9 pm
Make your way down to the Mekong delta and its dozens of tributaries, and you will find something curious: floating markets. Popular across Southern Vietnam and parts of Thailand and Cambodia, floating markets reflect the aquatic way of life in the Mekong.
Vendors sell fresh fruits and produce from across the region, including seafood and delicacies like mangosteen and durian. Believe it or not, you can even find delicious food and local dishes cooked on these boats!
Bargaining and trading work just like other markets, except that the goods and services are on boats, and you will likely receive whatever you buy on the end of a bamboo stick. Some of the best floating markets include the Cai Rang market in Can Tho, the Nga Bay market in Hau Giang province and the Long Xuyen market in An Giang province.
Opening hours: 5 am - 5 pm
Top tip: Bac Ha Market in Lao Cai province and Sinh Ho market in Lau Chau province are worth a visit.
Made up of 54 ethnic groups, Vietnam is extremely ethnically diverse. Whilst the majority Kinh (85%) make up the majority in most urban areas, some regions have a high proportion of ethnic minorities, each with their own unique cultures and traditions.
In the Northern Highlands, local farmers and tradespeople from minority groups set up markets to sell their fruit, vegetables, meat, and vibrant fabric and clothing. There are also some unmissable foods native to the region, such as smoked ox, pho chua (sour pho) and corn wine.
Due to the mountainous terrain and large distances, markets are weekly or bi-weekly rather than daily. If you're making a trip to the North, be sure to read our guide to Ha Giang which covers some unique and bucket list Vietnam markets.
Opening hours: 6 am - 2 pm
Le Hong Phong Market, Ho Chi Minh City - the 'Cambodian market'
Numbering some 1.2 million, ethnic Khmers are one of Vietnam's largest minority groups. With many forced to leave their country during the civil war in the 1970s, Cambodians set up Le Hong Phong market, a bustling market area in district 10. The market has since expanded, and now many ethnic Vietnamese traders also ply their trade here, but it still retains the original 15 founding families and Khmer spirit.
You can buy the usual array of goods found in other markets in Vietnam, but you need to come here for the food! The market offers delicious Cambodian cuisine like Num bank chok noodle soup, a lightly fermented fish noodle dish; bok ho long, a salad featuring fresh papaya, tomato, herbs and crab; and Cambodia's own 'che', a famous Vietnamese sweet dessert made with mung beans, tapioca, coconut cream, and fruits. Stop by for a taste of Cambodia - without the airfare and visa!
Address: Lê Hồng Phong, District 10 , Hồ Chí Minh City
Opening hours: 6 am-6 pm
Start shopping with the locals
Whether it is souvenirs, the early morning food shop you are or the street food you are after, Vietnamese markets cater for everyone. With so many different markets throughout the country, you will likely always find something surprising to buy or eat. Wherever you go in Vietnam, just know that a market is not too far if you are in need of something - well, anything!
For more information and guides on Hanoi, head to our dedicated hub page.