Hoi An’s Night Market is one of many attractions that make the city so enchanting. With over 50 local vendors selling a variety of items, be prepared for emotions to be heightened, senses to be alerted and imagination to be inspired as you walk past stalls selling everything from snacks to souvenirs to shoes. Vendors will be eager to sell their trinkets to you, so have your bargaining hat ready!
Where is Hoi An’s Night Market?
Luckily for you, the night market in Hoi An is not difficult to find. In fact, throughout your time in Hoi An, you would most likely stumble upon it given that it is a popular attraction for locals and foreigners. Located across the river from Hoi An Old Town, the night market takes over Nguyen Hoang Street on An Hoi Islet.
What are the Market’s Opening Hours?
5pm – 11pm, Daily
These are the standard opening hours, however, there are some things to keep in mind. Some vendors might begin to set up their stalls around 5pm, but the market isn’t in full swing until about 6:30pm, with the main market chaos occurring from around 7 – 9:30 pm. Most stalls begin to close around 10 pm.
What to Buy
Whether you are just browsing or have something in mind, Hoi An’s Night Market is the perfect place to shop for something special. Here are our top five items to consider purchasing at the Hoi An Night Market, if you find a good price of course!
This is classic symbol of Vietnam, most noticeable from postcards and movies. Historically, these cone shaped hats were used in the origins of Vietnamese rice growing. It was a way to protect against the harshness of the sun while working in the fields. Now you can continue to see Vietnamese people wearing them on the farm or on their bicycles around Hoi An. There are around 50 types of conical hats with various colours, materials and sizes.
This is probably what you came to Hoi An to see. The sheer volume of bright lanterns brings a distinct whimsical quality to Hoi An and once you see them, you will be wishing for one to take back home with you. There are a plethora of colourful lanterns that decorate the stalls and streets of Hoi An. They are typically made up of a bamboo frame and Vietnamese silk and cost around 100,000 to 500,000 VND (4 – 22 USD). Additionally, they are luggage friendly! Lanterns can be collapsed and folded down so you can easily pop one into your suitcase. This will be a special, decorative piece in your home for years to come.
Whether it’s postcards, notebooks, t-shirts, magnets, statues or small knick-knacks, souvenirs are plentiful at the night market. You can find a lot of cute trinkets to give as gifts or to take back for the memory.
Hoi An is truly a clothing paradise. It’s well-known that getting clothes tailor-made is an excellent choice for a unique experience and souvenir for yourself. But you can also find a variety of ready-made clothes, both with traditional and modern styles.
You will be spoiled for choices of bags in Hoi An’s night market. Amidst the vendors are gorgeous round straw bags, leather bags, silk bags and more.
What to Eat
Vietnam has some of the best food and boldest flavours in the world. Since being put in the spotlight by Anthony Bourdain, travellers now flock to Vietnam just for the culinary experience. Hoi An (and Vietnam in general) is a foodie’s paradise. You will find some of the most popular Vietnamese dishes at the Hoi An night market, so go with an empty stomach and extra Vietnamese dong in change. Here are our top five dishes to indulge in at the night market.
Also known as a Vietnamese pancake, Banh Xeo is a very popular street food dish. It is a savoury pancake made out of rice flour, turmeric powder, and stuffed with either pork, shrimp and bean sprouts, then pan fried. Once it is cooked, you pull a piece of the Banh Xeo and wrap a lettuce leaf around it before you dip it in a sweet and salty sauce.
Cao Lau Noodles
This is the staple noodle dish of Hoi An and consists of thick, chewy, rice noodles, fresh greens, bean sprouts, croutons and smoky pork. The flavours and pairings in this dish are exclusively made in Hoi An. Noodle dishes are very regional-specific in Vietnam, so it’s best to try each one to get a sense of the area and its food.
Banh Mi may be the ultimate must-try street food during your time in Vietnam. This is essentially a sandwich made with a baguette (from French tastes) and stuff with grilled meat, pate and various vegetables. These are easy, cheap and great on-the-go as you continue to do your night market shopping.
Like Cau Lau noodles, this is also a popular regional dish for Hoi An. The noodle is either yellow or white and made from rice flour. It’s then mixed with shrimp, pork, vegetables and toppes with spices and grilled rice paper. This is a unique dish for it’s rich broth and crushed peanut toppings.
Ice Cream Rolls
Ensure you make room for dessert, as these ice cream rolls are too good to pass up! More so, the process is fascinating to watch. You choose your ice cream flavour and toppings, then within minutes the food vendor is chopping and mixing your custom, fresh ice cream rolls. A perfect way to end an evening at the night market.