Parts of Southeast Asia are famous for their fabulous markets, and Vietnam is no exception.
In fact, this land of bustling cities, beautiful beaches and Buddhist pagodas leads the way, hosting some of the most diverse and fascinating markets in the world.
Here’s our roundup of the best markets in Vietnam, including those internationally famous night markets:
1. Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City is one of the oldest and largest markets in the country. It’s housed in one of the city’s oldest surviving buildings, constructed during French colonial rule. The market’s impressive 13,000 square feet is home to hundreds of stalls, selling everything under the sun. And at night, the main market hall shuts down and three vibrant night markets open on the same site.
2. Ho Thi Ky Flower Market
Flower markets are a must-see if you’re visiting Vietnam, and the Ho Thi Ky Flower Market in Ho Chi Minh is the largest of its kind in the area. Visit in season and you’ll see fields of roses, tulips and other blooms grown in the Mekong Delta. It’s a glorious sight, but you’ll need to get up early.
3. Dong Ba Market
Dong Ba is a historic market in the former imperial capital of Hue. It’s enormous, at 16,000 square metres. And it’s home to stalls ranging from fresh produce to clothing, along with some pretty fabulous hot food vendors.
4. Hanoi Weekend Night Market
Set in the Hanoi Old Quarter, this iconic night market boasts incredible street food, bia hoi (known as the cheapest beer in the world) and dozens of other stalls selling arts, crafts, clothing and more. Local musicians also entertain the crowds.
5. Hoi An Night Market
Love Vietnamese street food? You’ll find the best of the best at Hoi An Night Market, which is also famous for its glowing lanterns and bustling atmosphere.
6. Quang Ba Flower Market
Located in Tay Ho in Hanoi, the Quang Ba Flower Market is a feast for the senses. Here, you can drink in colours and scents from exotic flowers from across Vietnam. It’s a particularly popular market during festivals.
7. Dan Sinh Market
Now for something a little different. The Dah Sinh Market in Ho Chi Minh City is a specialist Vietnam war memorabilia market. It’s more like wandering into a museum than shopping at a market, but of course you could pick up something interesting while you’re there. It’s heaven for history buffs, while also being an important reminder of the country’s troubled past.
8. Cai Be Floating Market
Floating markets are a Vietnamese speciality, and are a fascinating sight to behold (even if you don’t actually get to buy anything). The Cai Be Floating Market not far from Ho Chi Minh City features local fishers and fruit sellers, hawking their wares from stalls on wooden sampan rowing boats.
9. Le Hong Phong Market
Known as the Cambodian Market, this ethnic Khmer market is a bustling spot in Ho Chi Minh. It’s particularly good for food, with must-try specialities including Num bank chok noodle soup and Cambodian ‘che’ sweet desserts.
10. Khau Vai Love Market
If you want to see one of the most unique markets in Vietnam, you’ll need to visit a remote place on very specific dates. The Khau Vai Love Market in Ha Giang takes place on a particular day of the third lunar month, which will be 16th May in 2023 and 5th May in 2024. Local men and women dress in traditional costume, and meet their former lovers in the marketplace – and new romances are created too. It’s a fun and colourful day, packed with games, competitions and festivities.
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