It goes without saying that if you are interested in a slice of real ‘Hoi An’ life and joining the locals in their search for the freshest produce, you have to visit the Hoi An Markets. Since shopping is one of the best chances to chat, learn about the culture and practice the language, you will be able to immerse yourself in the daily life of the community. And it’s amazing how much you can get across to people by only using sign language, gestures and facial expressions, when there is a language barrier.
There is no doubt that the Hoi An Markets are the best places to buy produce straight from the source. In this way, you contribute as a traveler by supporting the families who depend on agriculture for their livelihood.
Why not start with the fabulous, unique fruit of Vietnam using our latest guide, Top 10 Fruits of Vietnam to get you into the swing of things? Whatever you do we recommend you put on some comfortable shoes and explore the vibrant markets of Hoi An. Scroll down to see the complete list and if you have enough time, try to visit all of them for the full experience!
Hoi An Central Market
For one of Vietnam’s best shopping experiences, head southeast to Hoi An’s Central Market. You’ll find a myriad of stalls where you can rummage through spices, silks, fruit, vegetables, trinkets, clothes, accessories and anything you can think of. Being so close to the riverside, there is a vast selection of fresh fish on display, as well as some of the most authentic Vietnamese cuisine and local dishes so make sure you do not leave the city without grabbing a bite at Hoi An Central Market.
Lastly, travelers looking for local handicrafts and souvenirs can browse through an eclectic array of stalls. Keep in mind that prices are often steeper near the entrance, so do a bit of exploring – and bargaining – before you settle on a particular vendor to hand over your cash to.
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Tiger Market is where locals go to do their weekly shopping, as it is a great place to buy fresh fruit, vegetables, tofu, meat and other fresh products. You can also find stacks of second-hand clothes, which makes it a fun place to explore for vintage cloth-hunting. A five-minute cycle north of the Old Town, Tiger Market is smaller than the rest of the marketplaces in Hoi An. Things get kicking around 8am, which is fairly late by Vietnamese standards so try to be there early.
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Ba Le Market
Tucked away just off Cua Dai, Ba Le Market is the market of choice for those staying in Cam Chau or Cam Thanh. About 15 minutes’ cycle from the old town, this market in Hoi An is smaller and less daunting than the Central Market but it has everything covered, with butchers, fishmongers, fruit and vegetables, as well as toys, clothes and household goods. It is definitely a favorite of expats living in the city because it is more relaxed than many of the other Hoi An markets.
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Hoi An Fish Market is where most of those delicious fishy things that end up on your dinner plate are bought and sold. It is about 3km west of the Old Town, on the banks of the Thu Bon River and at the beginning of a friendly village called Thanh Ha – known locally as the “Pottery Village”. As most fishing is done overnight, the market is in full swing at 5am and starts to get quiet and run out of some items by 7am. However, it is well-worth setting your alarm for the vibrant spectacle the Fish Market offers. There’s also a small covered market adjacent with general produce.
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Hoi An Night Market
For those wishing to take home a piece of Hoi An’s lanterned charm, the Hoi An Night Market on An Hoi Islet (across the river from Hoi An Old Town) provides a large array of inexpensive souvenirs and snacks from which to choose. Though largely similar to countless souvenir markets found across Vietnam, Hoi An’s signature lanterns light up the booths lining the entrance to the market, providing a beautiful warm glow.
Some vibrant night spots like Belleville Restaurant & Lounge and Mango Mango are conveniently nearby for dinner, cocktails and live music. As the name suggests, unlike other Hoi An markets, the Night Market is best visited at – you guessed it – night-time, when the full beauty of the lanterns can be appreciated in the darkness.
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Noi Rang Market
Just the other side of the Cua Dai Bridge, Noi Rang Market is far enough – 15 minutes by scooter and 45 mins by bicycle – to be out of both the tourist and expat circuits and it is well worth visiting for this very reason. It’s a small covered country market with super-friendly stall holders and no other tourists in sight. As with most Hoi An markets, it is best to get there fairly early if you want to get your hand on the best produce. Noi Rang Market is definitely the best choice if you want to escape the crowds and get some genuine local exposure.
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Central Market Clothes
The Hoi An Cloth Market is not for the faint hearted. However, it is the best place if you want to get some really good bargains on materials and dress making, for a fraction of what you would pay in the tailor shops. The Hoi An Cloth Market is located near corner of Tran Phu and Hoang Dieu Streets and we highly advise you not to miss it, on your trip to Hoi An.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Markets in Hoi An offer a different experience, depending on what you are looking for. For most choice, you cannot go passed Central Market. It sells everything from handicraft, food, shoes, souvenirs to chickens and ducks and more. Hoi An Night Market, with its myriad lanterns on sale, offers the most dazzling experience. It’s also the best for sunset views of the Old Town. On the other hand, if you want to have a real glimpse at how locals start their day, head to Noi Rang or the Fish Market where the chance to bump into other foreigners is quite low.
The prices for local products are quite the same in all the markets in Hoi An. However, as it usually happens in South-East Asia, you may get a different price, for simply being a foreigner. Noi Rang Market and Ba Le Market tend to have smaller prices, thanks to their location, while the Central Market and Tiger Market get far more visitors, therefore prices can be a little higher. Whichever market you’re in, smile, be polite and remember to bargain. Also, remember this should be fun, with no obligation to buy!
Central Market is by far the biggest. It sells everything from jewelry, souvenirs, kids toys, leather, fabric, basket ware to clothes and household goods. There is also a very cheap food market adjoining that is great for a sit down after your busy shopping spree.