Vietnam’s third largest city, Danang is one of the country’s leading cities in tourism and commerce. It has been recognized by the business firm Euromonitor International as in the top 90 most visited destinations in the world in 2019 and decided by locals to be the best place to live in. One of the big factors in making tourism bloom and making life enjoyable here are the markets, their diversity, and the merchandise they offer.
Keep reading to know more about some of top 5 best markets in Danang, in my opinion.
This market is right in the center of the city, making it easy for tourists to find, and has parking on the road nearby. More specifically, it is at 290 Hùng Vương St., Hải Châu District. It operates everyday from 6AM to 6PM.
The market itself is quite big, with a three-storey block, two two-story blocks, and 6 small houses in the center. Most of its activities occur on the ground floor, where all stuff from commodities to luxuries can be found. Most tourists, however, go to the food and dried delicacies sections to have some eat and some souvenirs to bring back home. The foods are diversified and delicious, with dishes from all regions of Vietnam, and so are the dried delicacies. All kinds of dried seafood can be found: squid, fish, beef, and so much more. Some people even call the market “Danang’s culinary heaven.”
The name “Cồn” comes up from the market’s formation in the 1940s. It was on a dune above the surroundings, or you could say it was on a “cồn đất cao.” (a high mound of land). In the past, it used to be the biggest retail and wholesale market in the whole region. This market has been renovated once from having bamboo houses to all the housing blocks you see today and was named “Danang Commerce Center.” However, as the locals are too used to its old name, the name Cồn Market stays with the market even till today.
A small precaution for any visitors of the market is that the clothes section is more prone to buyer scams and cut-throat prices. If you are not acquainted with the prices around here, you are more likely to be ripped off by the merchants in this section.
Opening hours: daily, from 6:00 - 18:00
Phone: 0236 3837 426
2. Helio Night Market (Chợ Đêm Helio)
Right next to the famous Sun World Theme Park with the address on the 2nd of September Road of Hải Châu District) is another Danang’s food heaven, named the Helio Night Market. This heaven is only open by night and contains all the foods you know you want and you did not know you needed. It is open from 5 PM to 10:30 PM every day, and has one hundred and fifty stalls that sell all kinds of food and beverages at a reasonable price: BBQ, seafood, beer, wine, bubble milk tea, and so much much more. With such variety in goodness, the place is always crowded with hungry visitors and always completes its job to fill up the stomach of those coming in. In the center, there are clean and big seatings for tourists to sit down and enjoy the hot and yummy food that they have bought.
This is a perfect spot for lovebirds to go have a eat, a walk, a photoshoot, and having small talks with each other while enjoying themselves. If they are husbands and wives, they can always put their kids in the arcade sections and let them play there, while the spouses can go elsewhere for a romantic time together. Make it better, there is also a cinema nearby, for anyone with the needs to watch some blockbusters, either with the love of their life or with their whole family. Sometimes, if you are lucky, there would be even live music performances to have a look at.
In addition, there is also an indoor theme park inside the market, even though it is mostly left unused. There are souvenir sections where you can buy things to remember about Danang too, even though this section is small. The parking itself is not expensive, and there is always a spot to park your motorbike or car.
Opening hours: daily, from 17:00 - 22:30
Phone: 0236 3630 666
3. Han Market (Chợ Hàn)
Once used to be a self-sufficient small independent market, Han Market became big thanks to its geographical location near the Han river, which is also how the market earned its name.
In the 1940s, the French colonists built the junction train station Tourane Marché near the market. Therefore, Vietnamese and Chinese merchants took the chance to get a spot in the Hàn Market, making it a very big market in the city. In 1989, the market got renovated with new and clean architecture and a bigger area of 28,000 meter squares. Thanks to its new clean arrangement, visitors to the Hàn market found it easier and less disorienting to navigate the big market.
Han Market also used to have the nickname of “Market of the Bourgeois” since most of the people shopping here are of the upper class. However, now everyone of every class comes to this big market to go shopping, eating, and generally having a good time. Since mostly tourists come here, the prices here are jacked up a bit compared to neighboring markets.
Commerce activity is always at a high level year-round with a variety of goods and with renownedly good meat, seafood, fruits, and many more. Especially, there is a stall for some local and traditional mắm (meat sauces) that can make quite unique gifts or souvenirs. There is even a flower section for those looking to impress their crushes. Hàn Market is also known with its vast collection of fabrics, clothes, and shoes.
Generally, vendors inside the market are generally polite and will not rip visitors off. Even though the Hàn market itself is not the cleanest market in the city, it has security cameras installed all over to inhibit any criminal activities inside it. So it can be said shopping here will be an overall good experience.
Opening hours: daily, from 6:00 - 18:00
Phone: 0236 3837 426
4. Bac My An Market (Chợ Bắc Mỹ An)
Just like every other best markets in Danang, Bắc Mỹ An market is also a “culinary heaven.” This one is near to Danang’s University of Economics, so the prices in this market will much better fit the pockets of poor university students who want a fun time and of tourists alike. The Bắc Mỹ An market used to be only a small local market for the ward it is located in. However, thanks to it being located in a residential area with a university nearby and also near the resort strips, many people came here for the cheap price and it suddenly became a large-scale market.
Just like every other market in the city, it sells a wide variety of merchandise (although there is little fancy stuff on offer): fabrics, dried foods, livestocks, spices, veggies, and so on.
Nevertheless, the highlight is that the price here is actually cheap relative to the other markets in this article. For example, a scoop of avocado ice cream here can be as cheap as half a dollar or even cheaper than that. Despite the cheap price, the food in this market is still very delicious and worth having a try. The food section of the market is mainly in the center of the market, and there are a lot of dishes for every time of day. The stalls here are definitely not the best decorated, but the food they offer sure is something to be noted. Some highlights of the food section is the bún mắm and bún thịt nướng dishes with an explosive taste in a very normal-looking package at a price of around an dollar to one and a half dollar.
However, a downside of this market is that it is not as clean as the other markets. Otherwise, if you do not mind the trash that you see on the street, you will have an overall good time, as the parking is very accessible (since there is also a university nearby) and crime is not common here. The tourists can also have the vibe of a residential market, where they can see merchants and buyers bargaining the price and the students having a good time together eating at this market, unlike the other more “touristy” markets on this list.
Opening hours: daily, from 6:00 - 19:00
Phone: 0236 3954 513
5. Son Tra Night Market (Chợ Đêm Sơn Trà)
This night market is the newest market in the city, only established on the Second of September, 2018. Right next to the market, there is the famous Dragon Bridge (Cầu Rồng) where there is a dragon “built” into the bridge and does incredible lightwork every night. Thanks to its location at the heart of the city and near the tourists’ area, it has the potential to be a tourist magnet for Danang at night. In this market, souvenirs and food are the two emphasis of it.
When you walk around the market, souvenir stalls are everywhere and oftentimes you would see street artists painting portraits for customers. Therefore, it is a nice spot to look around for a souvenir item when your trip is about to be over: you can buy magnets, conical hat (Nón lá), T-shirts, portraits, among other things. The price for these products are reasonable, so you do not have to worry about making a dent in your pocket.
Another big selling point of the market is the food. There are a lot of food stalls selling seafood grills, Vietnamese street food, and even some international dishes, like takoyaki. In addition to the view of the beautiful Dragon Bridge at night, this would make for a memorable last day in the city. However, be noted that there is no restroom in the market, so be considerate with the food and drinks you consume.
Opening hours: daily, from 18:00 - 23:00
Phone: 0935 917 037
In summary, markets can be considered one of the highlights of the city of Danang. It is where you can immerse yourself in the everyday residential atmosphere while still enjoying the scene, the walk, and the food. It can be even said that to not go to the markets means you are missing most of the essence of this bustling and beautiful city. Therefore, I highly recommend going to these places for a completely new experience that is much different from the farm market in your hometown.