A Completed Travel Guide to Central Market in Hoi An Old Town
Hoi An Central Market, located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hoi An Ancient Town of, will entertain you like no other. If you’re looking for a place to sit back and relax, this actually not for you. Being in the middle of the most touristic area and spanning across five busy streets. This is the biggest and most crowded market. It has everything you need and every gift you love to buy.
Where is Hoi An Central Market located?
If you’re staying at Hoi An Old Town, then this is the place you can have local breakfast every day and watch all the activities of the early rising Vietnamese. It’s in a walking distance of all the main cultural tourist attractions of Hoi An in the eastern side of town.
You’ll see the entrance to the Food Court at the intersection of Tran Phu and Nguyen Hue Streets. That is easy to find a big yellow building with the massive words “Chợ Hoi An”. (Chợ means Market). The central market will be bustling with local people from before sunrise until after dark, and spaning all the way to the Thu Bon river and across from the bridge of Cam Nam to the Folklore Museum on the west.
What can you buy in Hoi An Central Market?
You can actually buy everything here. Get there early in the morning - the central market is already busy at about 5.00 am! Thi’s the best time to buy your fish and meat as fresh as you can. Others like Fruit and vegetables are available all day long, as well as house tools and pantry ingredients on the inside of the market. Stock up on handicrafts, clothes, souvenirs, and fabric to make your own garments
- Hoi An Central Market Food Court
If you wake up early to see all the acttivities of the Vietnamese women buying their fish straight from the fishman on the river before 6 am, then you will love a good breakfast for your effort. In Hoi An’s Central Market, you can get some of the best traditional local dishes in town. Cao Lau Noodle, Bánh Xèo, and White Rose are waiting for you at any of the many food stalls in the central food court.
You can also find more carts in the adjacent streets too. Spend from 20.000 to 50.000 VND (.85c USD to 2 USD) for your meal. Then have a cup of Vietnamese coffee for 10,000 to 20,000 VND (.40c to .85c USD). Making it to be one of the best value meals you can have in town and an easy buying experience (the menus are all in Vietnamese and English).
- The Produce, Meat, and Fish
Keep on walking further to the Thu Bon river through the same building, you’ll find a scene not for the fainthearted at the end. You’ll see pork, beef, whole chickens, and other parts of animals that are not very easy to identify.
If the scene is too grotesque for you, keep on walking and you’ll be at the Bach Dang street. Here you can stop to take a deep breath of fresh air and stroll through the lanes filled with vegetables and fruits displayed in wooden baskets. Keep an eye out for motorbikes and bicycles. and ignore the touters if you’re not there to buy anything. The women at Hoi An’s Central Market are all experts at selling. So if you jusst engage even with a “No, thank you,” you might end up buying something you hadn’t even considered before. So it is better to politely ignore them and move on.
- Cloths and Fabric for Tailored Made
At the corner of Tran Phu and Hoang Dieu Streets, you’ll see Hoi An’s Cloth Market. It has a plethora of hot deals in silk, fabrics and tailoring of clothes with all types and qualities for really low prices. Arrive here with a strong mind and full stomach as this can be the most nerve-wracking. The local shop sellers are super intrusive and will leave you no silent even a minute when you enter inside.
If you are really up for the challenge, this area will have the most variety per inch in town. So you can easily walk from one vendor to the next to fill your home wardrobe with clothes tailored just made for your body.
- Souvenirs, Handicrafts, and Much More
Hoi An’s Central Market is one of the best places to look for souvenirs and decorations to bring home, from painted coconut shell bowls to hand-carved chopsticks. There are great quality local handicrafts in the streets next to the main construction. Take a walk on the streets for electronic gadgets, silver jewellery or even a new suitcase.
When is the Best Time to Visit Hoi An Central Market?
If you love to experience the local life, then you should come between about 5 am and 9. This time is when it’s at its most original state with locals stocking up their pantries. The added bonus for morning persons is that the vendors will be busier seting-up and have not mch time to play around with you for a price if you’re looking to buy something.
After that, many tourists start flocking in, and the tour groups come to buy their goods for cooking. Meaning the local experience will become a bit washed out by the blond heads 30 cm above the conical hats! This doesn’t mean you will not have fun at any other time though. If you come there, you will surely have yummy food to eat, loads of people watching to do and interesting things to buy.
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