Wander through Hội An’s Old Town Market

Stimulate your senses while sampling the flavours of Hội An.

Hội An’s night and day markets couldn’t be more different than, well, night and day.

While the Night Market is a crowded street, crammed with vendors selling all manner of tasty street eats, the Old Town Market — which opens shortly after sunrise — is another matter entirely.

The yellow of Hội An’s buildings are echoed in the heaps of flowers amassing along the Old Town Market perimeter. Florists patiently surround themselves with the colourful blooms in preparation for prospective buyers.

Lining the Thu Bon river, the market is geared towards local shoppers — in opposition to its night-time counterpart which caters to tourist tastes. As one nears the market, rows of parked motorcycles line the street — interspersed with women sitting on the ground amidst piles of flowers.

From the very young to the very old, women of all ages work at the market.

Closer to the market centre, locals selling fruits, vegetables, spices and fish also set-up shop on the ground, resting on stools and blankets while they hawk their wares to passers-by. Mostly women work at the market, chatting with their neighbouring vendors while sorting vegetables, cleaning fish or weighing spices.

With the Thu Bon River on one side and the Old Town on the other, the majority of the market is covered in darkness, as tarps hide the sun’s rays from spoiling goods such as meat and seafood.
Primarily fruit and vegetable vendors are found selling their goods in the open-air, calling out to tourists and locals alike in order to tempt pedestrians and make a sale.
Surrounded on both sides by the market is a busy road, filled with commuters and tourists going about their way. In the morning, the street nears gridlock traffic as vendors set up for the day.

Does thinking about markets make you hungry? Discover the tastes of Hội An by reading about the city’s Night Market.

Photos and Text by Sarah Comber

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