Hoi An Old Town, a tiny, endearing, and lovely city situated in Quang Nam Province, in Central Vietnam, is one of the most alluring locations regarded by nearly all foreign visitors. In the past, Hoi An rose to prominence as one of Vietnam’s most significant harbors, with numerous ships and other vessels passing through every day, particularly those from China. It is for this reason that there are still many traces of Chinese culture and history there at the present time. Numerous marketplaces were established to meet the demands of the populace at the time, as Hoi An developed in the past. After tourists learned about the area, several of the markets in Hoi An are still around and are must-visit locations.

Visit Hoi An is not perfect without exploring famous local markets. So what are the best markets in Hoi An, and what to buy in Hoi An? Follow our comprehensive guide to make your journey to Hoi An more fulfilling!

markets in hoi an vietnam
Markets in Hoi An vietnam

Top 6 Popular Markets in Hoi An Vietnam – Useful Tips For You

1. Exploring the Vibrant Markets in Hoi An Vietnam

Perhaps when coming to Hoi An, the thing most mentioned is an ancient town that has been kept almost intact with more than 1,000 architectural relics from streets, houses, assembly halls, communal houses, pagodas, shrines, and ethnic churches. However, few people know that this was once a busy trading port, a meeting place for Japanese, Chinese, and Western merchant ships, and now that culture has been deeply ingrained in the souls of people here. Join VM Travel to take a look at some markets that you should not miss when you have the opportunity to visit Hoi An.

1.1 Hoi An Central Market

Hoi An Central Market, which is conveniently positioned close to the heart of the old town, is the biggest and most well-known market in Hoi An. It represents a very well-known bustling port in earlier centuries and is one of the few historical sites still standing in Hoi An’s old town, therefore it is more than just a local market. While the big yellow structure stands out among all the nearby homes, it almost retains the old town’s historical splendor. The market’s French-inspired architecture and decor help draw a large number of customers.

In contrast to the serenity of other parts of Hoi An, Hoi An Central Market is always a packed and lively place in the old town, regardless of the time of day. It has been a gathering place for locals to buy everyday food such as meat, vegetables, fish, and other necessities both in the past and in the present. There is no better site in Hoi An to learn about the local culture and lifestyle than the market, which portrays people’s daily activities almost intact. Hoi An Market is organized into distinct sections with small stalls specializing in specific commodities, making it easy for both customers. Tourists can roam through the market and get everything they need, from food to souvenirs.

market central hoian
Hoi An Central Market

1.2 Hoi An Night Market

Hoi An Night Market has only recently opened for tourism purposes, but it has already drawn a large number of visitors who come to find souvenirs for their families, try local foods, learn about local cultures, listen to local traditional music known as “Chòi” or simply enjoy the bustling atmosphere of a crowded place.

The Hoi An Night Market has only about 50 vendors that line Nguyen Hoang Street. At the entryway, there are colorful lantern kiosks with a variety of lanterns of various forms and colors. Inside, guests will find gift kiosks selling a variety of specialties. The majority of Quang Nam’s traditional craft villages’ specialties are concentrated at Hoi An Night Market for guests to pick from. Furthermore, Hoi An Night Market is a must-see for everyone interested in learning about Hoi An cuisine. Hoi An Night Market will exceed any tourist’s expectations, with over 20 food stalls selling all of the traditional specialties of the people. The market’s final appealing feature is the free “Chòi” performances by local performers. “Chi” is a classic Vietnamese kind, like “Hò”, “Quan Họ”, “Ca Trù”, and so on, that originated in the central region of Quang Nam.

hoi an night market
Hoi An night market

1.3 Thu Bon River Market

Thu Bon Market now belongs to Duy Tan commune, Duy Xuyen district, Quang Nam province. Thu Bon River Market was one of the most famous floating markets in Hoi An in the past. Many people believe that the market was opened in the 18th century by a man named Dien, who worked as a fabric seller. Because he encountered robbers many times and ran out of money, he asked the village chief to open a fabric store at the end of the village.

After many ups and downs, by mid-2020, Thu Bon Market was put into use after a completely new construction period. Although, in terms of product diversity, the market cannot compete with other markets, if you are someone who wants to learn about the history of the market or surrounding stories, this is the place you should come to experience.

thu bon market
Thu Bon River market

1.4 Thanh Ha Fish Market

Thanh Ha Fish Market is one of Hoi An’s busiest fish markets. Because of the high quality and freshness, many young people and visitors visit Thanh Ha Fish Market to purchase seafood gifts for family and friends after visiting Hoi An.

You should pay a visit to Thanh Ha Fish Market between 4:00 and 6:00 a.m to select the freshest seafood goods because the merchants have just completed organizing them. Then wander down the market’s main axis; don’t be shocked if you come across some unusual varieties of seafood that appear to be found solely in high-end restaurants: snails, scallops, grouper, etc.

thanh ha fish market
Thanh Ha fish market

1.5 An Bang Market – Beach market

An Bang Market, also known as the Beach Market or the Early Morning Local Market, is the market in Hoi An nearest to the beach, selling everything from fruits and vegetables to local fish and street food. Imagine coming to the market early in the morning and seeing rows of fresh seafood that have just arrived at the port on both sides of the market. What could be better than that? Furthermore, An Bang Market sells really fresh produce at very low prices.

1.6 Ba Le Market

Ba Le market, located on Le Thanh Tong street, is just about 5 kilometers from Hoi An center towards Cua Dai beach and may be called a gastronomic heaven of affordable food with meals such as duck, noodles, bread, smoothies, and so on. Many residents consider the eateries in this area to be reliable gastronomic destinations. 

Ba Le Market is significantly smaller than Hoi An Central Market, yet it has everything you need, from fruits and vegetables to fresh fish and traditional cuisine. Tourists can not miss Cao Lau, a popular dish in Hoi An Old Town that is served here with the most authentic taste.

If you’ve had enough of the restaurants in the center, try something new at Ba Le Market! If you are a lover of Vietnamese culinary culture or want to experience the trading culture of local people, you should not miss the Hoi An City Tour.

markets in hoian
Ba Le Markets in Hoian

2. What to buy in Hoi An Vietnam

Surely everyone who travels wants to buy unique items or souvenirs as gifts for relatives and friends. So if you are still wondering what to buy in Hoi An, let VM Travel take you there!

2.1 Lanterns

  • Lanterns are a popular item in traditional craft communities around Vietnam, particularly in Hoi An. During the traditional Tet Holiday or Mid-Autumn Festival, Hoi An lanterns can be spotted in restaurants, festivals, and residences. 
  • Hoi An lanterns represent “shining.” The people of Quang Nam regard light as a human emblem. Offering lanterns at a shrine implies praying for the gods’ protection. Furthermore, the hues of Hoi An lanterns have diverse meanings. Red lanterns, for example, symbolize fortune and wealth. 
  • Hoi An lanterns are available in a range of shapes and styles. Each lantern is painstakingly constructed, demonstrating the artists’ devotion to this ancient product.
lantern market
Lantern market – best markets in Hoi An Vietnam

2.2 Tailor Made Clothes

Tailoring in Hoi An has been operating for almost two decades, initially catering to international tourists. The service has now become a distinctive element of the historic town that can be found nowhere else. From the time a customer arrives and offers their measurements until the time the outfit is finished, it only takes 3-4 hours. 

On the other hand, you can order the costume online. You only need to provide your dimensions, fabric preferences, design specifications, and so on, and then wait for the designated time to pick up your items. Many travelers pick this strategy so that they would have new clothing by the time they arrive in Hoi An Ancient Town.

Tailor Made Clothes
Tailor Made Clothes in Hoian

2.3 Non La

  • Non La is a round hat constructed of young banana leaves, often known as the conical hat. Non La, with its distinctive shape and natural materials, has become a symbol not just of Hoi An, but of the entire country. Local artists skillfully create Hoi An Conical Hats. Harvesting young banana leaves, processing, drying, and assembling them into complete hats are all part of the manufacturing process. The artisans focus not only on the quality of each hat, but also on their own ingenuity and aesthetic quintessence, making each hat distinctive and with its own artistic worth. 
  • Non La Hoi An is not only a traditional item, but also a one-of-a-kind souvenir for travelers to take home. Non La is frequently available in Hoi An’s shops, markets, and tourist locations. Visitors can find hats in a variety of forms and designs, ranging from simple traditional hats to beautifully embellished hats with lovely motifs.
visit hoian
Hoi An Conical Hats

2.4 Silk Scarves and ties

Scarves and ties in Hoi An are often made of silk fabric. If everyone doesn’t know, Hoi An silk is a premium silk that makes ao dai, or scarves, with sophisticated patterns and elegant colors and is honored as one of the cultural features of Hoi An around the world. When you come to Hoi An, run to the nearest store to immediately buy a scarf and tie made with the enthusiasm and experience of artisans as a gift for relatives, friends, or yourself!

2.5 Round Straw Bags

Seagrass and rattan are two straws that are popular in Vietnam. They make excellent and enduring materials for bags. You could see a lot of Round Straw Bags as you walk through the streets of Hoi An’s historic town. The straw is gathered and sun-dried before being used to create the bags by trained craftspeople. With a product like this, you can enjoy the lovely craftsmanship of Hoi An artists as well as an additional benefit, such as the aroma of sun-dried straw. These Round Straw Bags are the perfect accessory for any summer ensemble.

Round Straw Bags
Round Straw Bags

2.6 Custom Shoes

There are several options available in Hoi An for individuals wishing to add a fashionable piece to their wardrobe. The town is home to a vast selection of footwear for every occasion, from traditional handcrafted leather sandals and beach slides to fashionable sneakers, leather boots, and high-end designer brands. T

he opportunity to design your own shoes and have it created specifically for you once in a lifetime may be the best thing, and it’s even better for people who have two feet that are weirdly shaped. In Hoi An, it takes 24 hours from the time of measurement to pick-up custom shoes. But if you need it quickly, let them know; they can finish it sooner.

3. Tips for Market Exploration

To make your experience when exploring traditional markets not only in Hoi An but also in most of the markets in Vietnam from the North to the South more comfortable and cost-effiecient, you can learn some helpful tips from the authentic locals. With our tips for market exploration, you just apply them when shopping at markets in Vietnam. Wish you have the best experiences in the dynamic markets of Vietnam!

3.1 Planning Your Visit

When getting ready to visit the market in Hoi An, you should make plans in advance to save time for other well-known tourist attractions.

  • Note down the items you need to buy on your phone or notebook.

Writing down what you will buy when you get there and checking its prices on the internet in advance will help you compare prices when you get there and avoid overcharging!

  • Discover prominent stores or brands at those places on your smartphone so you don’t waste time shopping. 

Finding the stores you will go to first while still at the hotel is critical since you will notice which stores you can trust and freely choose the products you prefer, besides being inexpensive. travel time.

  • Get yourself a local. 

Find for yourself a local tour guide or friend. This is how you can both make a new friend as well as have the opportunity to communicate indirectly with traders at the market through this local friend. Moreover, having a native by your side will help you have more fun visiting the market in Hoi An.

3.2 Bargaining Skills

Bargaining is a talent that you should have or learn before visiting Hoi An since it will come in handy during your tour, from shopping for souvenirs to simply purchasing stuff or items by the roadside in Hoi An Ancient Town. To avoid being misinterpreted when making a transaction, some understanding is essential. Keep the following important guidelines in mind to save as much money as possible

  • The advertised price is not the actual price

You should not quickly accept to buy at the indicated price if you ask for a shoe, buy items in the market, or ask anyone selling goods on the street or along the market in Hoi An. They claim to test everything, from silk to jeans. If you try to negotiate a lesser price, you will find it worthwhile, especially if you are on a tight budget.

  • Best time to buy

When the business is going to close, go shopping. The seller is eager to get home at that point, but traders will want to sell a few more items before closing. This is the time to easily bargain for a cheap price because the seller wants to sell quickly so that the store may close.

  • Boldly pay the price

Don’t be scared to pay a “strong” price when purchasing. Many people, especially guys, are quite shy when it comes to bargaining or simply paying a slightly cheaper amount while purchasing products. However, you should be aware that the salesperson is aware of that mindset, therefore the challenge is significant. As a result, you should pay a low price (say, half) and progressively increase it if the seller is adamant about not selling. According to the experience of many people, it is recommended to raise prices slowly.

The widely accepted bargaining rule is to begin by paying half the list price. It may sound absurd, but you will not be able to get it for that price. Expect raised eyebrows, sighs, and other startled responses from the vendor. However, by bidding vigorously from the start, you will allow the price to gradually inch up into an acceptable range. If you are turned down, other local shippers may be willing to deal with you.

markets in hoi an
Markets in Hoi An

4. What to eat in hoi an

What to eat in Hoi An? The question seems simple but is very difficult to answer. Hoi An is not only famous for its old street corners that look like they just came out of a movie, but it is also known as Vietnam’s culinary paradise. It’s difficult to choose your favorite Hoi An specialty because each dish has its own unique flavor. In that case, let VM Travel tell you about Hoi An specialties you cannot miss when coming to the old town.

hoian foods
Street foods in Markets Hoi An

4.1 Banh mi Phuong – Hoi An

Banh Mi Phuong Hoi An has been in operation for 20 years. The business is at 2B Phan Chu Trinh in Hoi An’s historic town. The bread includes over 20 different sandwich contents, such as mixed meat, beef with wine sauce, spring rolls, and so on, giving diners a variety of options. It is no coincidence that Banh Mi Phuong is well-known throughout the region and is popular among both domestic and international tourists. After many years of eating with meat, veggies, and sauces, the crispy, aromatic bread flavor keeps its distinctive flavor, producing harmony and novelty. A quick reminder that you should go buy early, otherwise you will waste a lot of time queuing.

banh mi
Banh Mi Phuong

4.2 Cao Lau

When it comes to Hoi An delicacies, everyone has heard of the famed Cao Lau meal. This dish was first seen in the 17th century. When Lord Nguyen decided to establish trade at Hoi An port, numerous Japanese and Chinese people came to trade and settle here. Since then, Hoi An Cao Lau noodles have emerged as a distinctive culinary element of this region.

  • Cao Lau fibers are manufactured from pure Quang Nam rice. Cu Lao Cham provides the rice-soaking water. The rice will get a yellow tint after soaking, similar to turmeric. To achieve the flexibility and strength of Cao Lau fibers, the water used to knead the dough comes from the historic Ba Le well. People in Quang Nam have their own recipes for kneading dough to ensure it is pliable and not dry. Typically, the dough is rolled thinly, heated, and then sliced into strips.
  • The xa xiu meat used in the Cao Lau meal must be thin and entire. Wash, marinate with many spices, fish sauce, salt, and five spices, and cook over low heat after purchasing. After the meat has been cooked, remove it and proceed to make the sauce with tomatoes, oil, and minced onions.
cao lau
Cao Lau

4.3 Quang noodles

  • Hoi An Quang Noodles are a familiar dish to locals and tourists here. Walking on the ancient streets, stop at the Quang noodles shop to enjoy the unforgettable flavor of this Hoi An specialty. 
  • Quang noodles have many “versions” such as crab noodles, shrimp noodles, beef noodles, fish noodles, chicken noodles, jellyfish noodles, duck noodles,… The appeal of this rural noodle dish comes from the ivory-white noodles. Soft and chewy with the sweetness of the broth and the rich taste of the toppings. Therefore, no gourmet can resist the charm of Quang noodles.
my quang
Quang noodles

4.4 Dap cake

  • Banh Dap Hoi An, or Dap Cake, is crafted with simple, rustic ingredients that will “captivate” any diner. Banh dap, with its wonderful and distinct flavor, has become a popular Hoi An tourism specialty. The cake is produced using diluted rice flour, thinly coated, and steamed in a saucepan of boiling water. After finishing coating the wet cake layer while the cake is still hot, a layer of compressed peanut oil will be applied. Then, to make a delectable cake, place it on crispy grilled rice paper, fold it, or leave it intact.
  • The bowl of fish sauce dipping sauce adds “soul” to this dish. A high-quality dipping sauce with an irresistible flavor. Before serving, squeeze the center of the cake with your hand until it breaks into many pieces. Then dip into the delicious dipping sauce. Dap Cake is currently served with boiled pork and stir-fried mussels; therefore, this meal is also known as Banh Dap stir-fried mussel. Take a bite, and you’ll experience the crispiness of the grilled rice paper layer on the exterior mixed with the hardness of the wet cake layer within, with a little of richness from the fish sauce dipping sauce, continually stimulating your taste receptors together.

Explore Market in Hoi An Vietnam is an ideal way to delve into the authentic local life in one of the most charming towns in the world. Wandering the local markets, savoring the delicious specialties, talking with friendly people, and observing the daily pace of the ancient town, is such a wonderful chance to discover the beauty of Hoi An through the little things! Come and get lost in the vibrant Markets in Hoi An!