Looking for the local market in Hoi An? Just follow your nose down to the river’s edge and you can devour the fascinating sights, sounds and smells of a Vietnamese local market. If you are an early riser or a keen photographer, visit the market just before sunrise and get a glimpse of the local fisherman bringing in their night’s catch. Many of the local women and restaurant chefs get to the market as early as possible to grab the freshest, tastiest produce, and while the market runs all day, early morning is when it is really bustling.
The market is set out according to different culinary areas: the wet market, selling fish and seafood; the meat section (not for the faint hearted or vegetarian); fruit and vegetables; and inside the large shed is the dry market selling nuts, seeds and spices.
If you choose to go on one of the cooking classes like The Morning Glory Cooking class they will take you to the market first to show you where the ingredients come from and explain some of the more unusual fruit and vegetables. The market is a worthwhile adventure especially if you have not been to an Asian market before. The smells are sometimes overwhelming, the ordered chaos is sometimes baffling but if you are used to buying your produce packed and wrapped from a supermarket then this will be a real eye opener.
Make it Happen
Unless you are embarking on a cooking class tour to the market, this excursion is absolutely free. Just walk down to Bach Dang Street and along the river until you can see (and smell) the hustle and bustle. Most tourists are just there to look so the local market women pretty much leave you alone to take photos. If you are looking to buy something then make sure you are ready to haggle, the price really is whatever you are willing to pay.