Central Market, Hội An, Vietnam

The Central Market in Hội An is chaotic, hot, crowded, boisterous and, at times, very annoying as young women spruikers hang about, determined to take you to their clothing stalls on the upper levels. Inside the market building, though hot and close, is reasonably well-ordered. Around the perimeter, along the narrow streets between the buildings, women sell fruit and fish laid out along the road as motor bike shoppers weave through pedestrians, determined to buy their goods from the back of their bikes.

Fish for sale, Hội An Central Market, Vietnam
Fish for sale, Hội An Central Market, Vietnam

Amidst all this pandemonium, enter the renovation team. One man on a motor bike steers an overloaded makeshift trailer through the busy market lane. A woman sits astride a load of wood and tin, shouting loudly to clear the way. Pedestrians, motorbikes and chickens give way. The building load moves through. The market returns to its normal level of chaos.

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28 thoughts on “Central Market, Hội An, Vietnam”

  1. Have not been to Vietnam but love, love, love Asian markets with all their noise and smells ! Especially the food parts. Perhaps I was lucky because I first began going to Asia [primarily on business] quite regularly in my early twenties and always had locals to show the way and teach how to ‘get rid’ of the overly zealous 🙂 ! As long as one’s money, passport etc are safe, I do enjoy and would so this one . . .

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    1. I love Asian markets too and, like you, I have been frequenting them since my twenties. I have never been robbed in a market, and am overzealous about the type of bag I carry and how I carry it. Markets are a delight and a great place to chat with locals, enjoy the thrust of bargaining with good humour, and a place to learn about the local culture. This one in Hoi An was up there with some of the best. The food section was really tempting.

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  2. Thank you for liking my new post ‘chaos.’ I haven’t been to Vietnam, but I have been to Bangkok, Indonesia, Philippines, and Singapore. My ex lives in Thailand and Vietnam. He is German but he likes Asia. Your posts are interesting. I’m going to follow you. Why don’t you come back to my site to visit more and follow me back so we can be in touch.

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  3. I adore Asian markets. Did you get to the Danang markets, where there are a bunch of ladies, sitting in a corner, Killing & pulling the legs off frogs?! Quite a sight.

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    1. aaghhhh no I didn’t. We drove through Danang on the way to Hue ( could be a song title in that) and only stopped briefly at Danang to take a few pics of those thung chai basket boats.

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  4. I have to give the wood hauler and his crew credit for bravery. I’d never be able to accomplish that feat. Who am I kidding? I wouldn’t even attempt it!
    I always make a point of visiting at least one market when I’m traveling abroad and I must admit, none compare with most Asian markets. I’ve never gone to one with the intent of purchasing something. Hotels frown upon using a hotplate to make a fish stew. So, I go to observe and walk away with a different perspective than had I been looking for ingredients. Either way, I enjoy the time spent there.

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  5. Hi Francesca, you could see that chaos in every markets in Vietnam. It is really noisy and disorderly but interesting, too. I love Hoian. I and my partner often visit this ancient town in Sep. or Oct. when climate is cool and sky is clear. I like the feeling of walking along narrow streets in early morning there when shops are not opened yet.

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