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Types of Markets in Vietnam

vietnamese-markets Inside Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnamese markets have been established for thousands of years and become a crucial part of the local culture. They are not only a place for buying and selling but also for people to meet each other. Each type of market usually offers its distinctive products and characteristics. Below are some types of markets in Vietnam that you might come across when visiting this country.

Floating Market

All types of markets in Vietnam are closely associated with the culture and lifestyle of local people. The floating market is a typical instance: it is representative of the Mekong Delta's unique geographical features which is a complicated system of rivers and canals.

cho noi cai rang can tho 2
A crowded scene of a floating market in Mekong Delta

The buying and selling activities here are as bustling as any other regular market. The rivers are vast, but they can be full of boats going in different directions, carrying fresh products. Since it can be extremely crowded, the sellers usually tie their products on a bamboo tree and put it on the head of their boats so that customers can see what is being sold from a distance. Fruits, vegetables, and traditional Vietnamese food are what they offer the most.

Day Market

Among all types of markets in Vietnam, the day market is the typical one that you can see in every region of Vietnam. They open daily from very early in the morning till late in the afternoon, except for some special national holidays such as Vietnamese Tet. Most of the markets get their products delivered from wholesale suppliers at around 4 AM or even earlier so as to welcome the guest at 5-6 AM. Therefore, the freshness of everything you buy would depend on what time you arrive at the market, apart from dry products like rice or grains — the earlier, the fresher. Here you can find anything essential for your family meal such as fish, meat, vegetables, spices, and fruits. The price here can be lower compared to supermarkets or convenience stores, but you would need to know a little bit about how to bargain in Vietnam.

vietnamese markets wet market

Day wet markets sell produce from local farmers

If you want to visit a day market, you might need a tour guide to show you around since it can be real chaos, or else you should choose to visit huge markets that might be more accessible for international visitors. Below are some popular markets where you can buy souvenirs at a reasonable price.

Ben Thanh Market

Address: Quach Thi Trang Roundabout, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: 5 AM - 6 PM

ben thanh market

vietnamese markets food tour ben thanh market

Ben Thanh Market is popular among tourists who are looking for souvenirs and local dishes

As it is the icon of Ho Chi Minh City, it is worth adding this market to the must-go list of your trip.

Binh Tay Market

Address: 57A Thap Muoi, Ward 2, District 6, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: 6 AM - 7 PM

vietnam markets binh tay market

A busy corner of Binh Tay Market in the Chinatown of Ho Chi Minh

Being one of the oldest markets of the city, Binh Tay Market is where you can buy good stuff as well as trying some delicious food. The sellers here can use many languages like English, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean, not so fluently but enough for you to understand.

Tan Dinh Market

Address: 48 Hai Ba Trung, Tan Dinh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: 5 AM - 5 PM

The variety of products and dishes of Tan Dinh Market is what makes many local people adore it. It is also located near lots of tourist attractions, so it is an excellent choice for your Day Adventure in Ho Chi Minh City.

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Night Market

Just like day markets, night markets in Vietnam also open all year round. In some cities, they are the places for the local to buy affordable merchandise and hang out with their friends, while in other ones, tourists are their main visitors. They usually sell clothes, souvenirs, and street food. Some popular night markets in Vietnam include:

Ben Thanh Night Market

Address: Quach Thi Trang Roundabout, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: 6 PM - 12 AM (midnight)

markets in vietnam ben thanh night market

Ben Thanh Market is beautiful and crowded from day till night

The market opens almost all day, so feel free to take a look at it whenever you can. It is doubtlessly one of the top Night Markets in Ho Chi Minh City.

Dalat Night Market

Address: 1 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Ward 1, Da Lat City, Lam Dong Province
Opening hours: 5 PM - 12 AM (midnight)

banh trang nuong
Vietnamese Pizza at Dalat night market

The night market is an appealing destination whenever you visit this city of love. At night, they sell a lot of warm clothes and local specialties. They also have mouthwatering street food including BBQ, Banh Trang Nuong - Vietnamese Pizza, hot soy milk, and more.

Specialized Market

Those are the markets that only one type of product. Each seller here can have different products, but they are all in the same category.

The flower market is a specialized market that can be found in many provinces of Vietnam. Before some special holidays such as Valentine or Women’s Day, these markets are incredibly crowded and busy. Thousands of bouquets are well-prepared and carefully shipped to many places around the region.

It is also a tradition for Vietnamese people to decorate their house with colorful flowers in the Tet holiday, so around that time of the year, flower markets are always full of people. The most bought flowers during that period are usually Apricot Blossom and Peach Blossom, two of Vietnam’s National Flower.

Some famous flower markets in Vietnam are Hang Luoc Flower Market and Quang Ba Flower Market in Hanoi, Ho Thi Ky Flower Market in Ho Chi Minh City.

markets in vietnam ho thi ky flower market

Ho Thi Ky Flower Market

Besides flowers, the seafood market is also an attractive characteristic of Vietnam thanks to our long coastline. Duong Dong Market in Phu Quoc Island, Cua Lo Seafood Market in Nghe An Province, the seafood market in Cu Lao Cham, Quang Nam Province are some of the most popular markets in this category since they all have numerous types of newly-caught seafood selling at surprisingly inexpensive prices. Binh Dien Wholesale Market is another big name as it gets every product delivered directly from fishing areas and contributes them to every corner of Ho Chi Minh City.

Kim Bien Market and Dan Sinh Market are two other incredible specialized markets and they are both located in Ho Chi Minh City. The former focuses on selling all kinds of chemicals, the latter offers mechanical and electrical goods. Dan Sinh Market is also a heaven for those who are looking for war memorabilia as here they have boots, hats, clothes, utensils, and tools of soldiers during the war.

vietnamese markets Dan Sinh Market

Dan Sinh Market

Highlands Market

In Northwest Vietnam, the majority of the population is Vietnamese minorities. Their markets are quite different from the ones of Kinh people, the most crowded ethnicity in Vietnam.

People usually use their home-grown products. They eat the vegetables they grow and the cattle, poultry they raise, wear the clothes they sew and use the tools they make. If there is anything they cannot fabricate themselves, they would exchange goods with their neighbors rather than selling them. Therefore, there is no need to open markets every day. You can only find these markets once a week or once a month, usually on Sundays.

markets in vietnam highlands market

A highlands fair of H’mong people

Fresh vegetables, brocade clothes, and accessories are what you can expect here. Buffalo, cow, horse, chicken, bird, and dog can also be found in some highlands markets.

Summary of Types of Markets in Vietnam

Markets are still an irreplaceable place in many Vietnamese people’s life. There are countless markets across the country and the number of types of markets in Vietnam is unknown. Therefore, wherever you go in Vietnam, definitely don't forget to visit the markets.

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Monday, 25 September 2023

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