7 Colorful Night Markets in Vietnam That Are Worth a Visit
The markets are a bustle of noise and energy, with friendly food sellers calling out their menus, stall holders calling out their wares, and crowds of curious onlookers, shoppers and diners mingling together in the night air enjoying the infectious energy that abounds from night markets.
One of the “must go” in South East Asia is definitely to visit night markets, and Vietnam is not an exception. Exotic, vibrant, historic and modern, just some of the things you can expect when you go on one of our Vietnam holidays. Vietnam provides a world of unimaginable beauty offering the perfect setting for an adventure that will take you everywhere. However, until today, just a few places boast a good range of nightlife. If you are looking for a fancy night out but not at a bar or cafe, there are night markets bringing out urban culture, with colourful stalls and great food livening up the city's scene. At night, these roadside markets really come to life and conspire to create a heady atmosphere that is beloved by locals and travellers alike.
Let’s look through most well-known markets from North to South to know more about lively and unique night market culture of the country. Happy shopping!
1. Night market in Hanoi Old Quarter
People looking for their favorite items at some stalls
Hanoi night market which can be found a few minutes from Hoan Kiem Lake, opens on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6p.m. to around 11p.m.. The market stretches from Hang Dao Street to Dong Xuan Market, creating a long walking road of nearly 3 km. For the night market, these streets are blocked off to motor traffic. The market is mainly made up of vendors selling under a line of tents pitched in the center of the street. On both sides, vendors are also there and stores were selling their stuff, making for a very lively scene. The range of items on sale is varied and seems to go on and on; you’ll find everything from souvenirs to clothes and bags and food. The night market in Old Quarter is not only a place for shopping but also for tourists to immerge into lively, exciting and fun atmosphere and feel featured culture of Hanoi.
2. Ha Long Night Market
A corner of Ha Long Night Market.
Ha Long is famous for the bay with magical scenery. Everybody has dreamed of a cruise trip through thousands of limestone islands and overnight on a junk boat. However, Ha Long city is also worth exploring. Ha Long Night Market, located near Bai Chay Beach, is a nice place to find wooden products, bags and purses, accessories, souvenirs, and locally made clothes. The night market includes more than a hundred stalls, some offering crafts along with more typical souvenirs. There are also a number of vendors selling food, offering opportunities to sample the local cuisine. It’s open seven days a week from 6p.m. until midnight.
3. Hoi An Night Market
Night market of Hoi An set beautifully by the river side
Evenings are a special time in Hoi An when lanterns are all lit up. If you’re up for a night time shopping, you can cross the bridge over to An Hoi island where a night market sets up selling everything from silk lanterns to beaded necklaces. Hoi An Night Market really seems to universally appeal to people from anywhere, it is indeed one of the most beautiful night markets. Always keep in mind to settle with a price where both of you are going to be happy with.
And all these beautiful lanterns are for sale
4. Nha Trang Night Market
Night Market on Tran Phu Street, Nha Trang
When people talk about Nha Trang Night Market, generally it's usually the one on the walking street next to the cultural center at 46 Tran Phu as this is largest night market in Nha Trang. From 7p.m., the street is flled with locals. Market space is relatively spacious and quite clean. From gorgeous fabrics and hand-crafted jewellery down to specialities of Khanh Hoa like salangane nests, aloe wood, dried seafood, there are lots of choice on offer. There’s also a really nice beach-front walk with plenty of bars and cafes for grabbing a drink and watching the world go by.
5. Am Phu Night Market in Da Lat
Am Phu Night Market is great place for food
Those who have a chance to visit Da Lat should not miss a popular venue in the city downtown with a special name cho Am Phu (Hades) Market. The market’s name was born in the days when there was no lighting system in the area. Despite its horror name, the night market brings an extremely bustling atmosphere. The market with diversified products is open from 5 p.m. onwards. There’s not much to buy at the night market, most common products found here are clothes, souvenirs, dried and candied fruits... But, this place is a place for food. From a distance, tourists can recognize the market with the delicious smell of food vaporizing in the air. A popular treat for young people is banh trang nuong (grilled rice paper cake). Other highlights are warm fresh soymilk and artichoke tea. Perfect combination to these drinks are delicious homemade cakes.
6. Ben Thanh Night Market
Pop-up restaurants at Ben Thanh night market
The bustling city of Ho Chi Minh has a vibrant and lively nightlife and party scene. In the evening, from 6 p.m. till midnight, along the roads just outside Ben Thanh Market, they close down the roads to traffic and open them as a night market with a few restaurants and touristy shops. This is one of the main night markets in Ho Chi Minh City. The market operated well into the evening and also features stalls selling clothing, jewelry and other items. Basically, the night market is a scaled down version of the day market with more seafood meal options. Entire restaurants and stores appear. Canopies go up and stoves, barbeques, tables and chairs come out. Signs go up and carts filled with all kinds of food appears. Just after dusk there are convoys of people rolling all these things to the market.
7. Dinh Cau Night Market in Phu Quoc
Very obvious entrance to the night market
Dinh Cau Night Market in Duong Dong Town is a downtown hub. Locals and visitors gather here for great shopping, food, and drinks. The market is just down the street from Dinh Cau (Cau Temple). The stalls open for the night at 5p.m. and wind down around midnight. There are hundreds of stalls, each has an eye-catching display of jewelry, crafts, or souvenirs. The most unique goods at Dinh Cau Night Market are the jewelry made from local pearls, shells, and natural stones. All the pearl products sold here are locally sourced. They make great souvenirs or gifts. This is also one of the most affordable places to sample seafood. Stalls are overflowing with an abundance of freshly caught seafood. So, just take your pick from the selection of fish, sea snails, crabs, and scallops. Prices are set and clearly displayed, so there's no need to haggle.
Stalls are overflowing with an abundance of freshly caught seafood
Definitely, night market is one of the cultural beauties of Vietnam. They offer a great window to understand the lifestyle of local people and sample authentic street food. A great night market is loud, noisy, packed with people, and filled with exciting things to see, buy, and, most importantly, taste. It is something everyone should experience. So, when you plan to visit Vietnam, make sure you keep a night or two free in your schedule for a visit to the night markets!
Image Sources: Internet