At 8am in the sunrise on the banks of the Han River, local vendors unpack carts and storefronts to set up shop at the Han Market. The riverside business hub stays bustling all day with shopkeepers and local customers doing business here as they’ve done since the 1940s when the market was opened.
The market unfolds into four basic sections over two floors. If visitors enter from the riverfront boardwalk they’ll pass through halls of local produce farmed on the outskirts of the city and in towns like Hoi An and Da Lat. Rolled down bags of spices at one stand blend into mounds of dragon fruit and mango followed boxes of sprouts and roots.
The other half of the first floor is devoted to dried goods. Cloth-lined boxes and plastic tubs display dried fruit, shrimp, and squid. Other shops are devoted to bread, nuts, cakes and candies, and coffee. Here there are also a number of wood carvings and jade jewelry stands.
Between these two floors just below the staircase, women whip up classic Vietnamese dishes, dunking rice noodles in boiling vats of broth, marinating beef and pork, and hawking buns steamed in banana leaf. The food is fast, clean and undeniably fresh since ingredients have just been picked.
Silk shops, garment and shoe makers make up the second floor of the market. Long swaths of floral silk hang from the beams of the shops. Other storefronts show hand sewn gowns. Along one wall, rows of women at sewing machines take orders for handmade garments and repairs. Along another wall hang rows of shoes and a stable of men willing to make or repair them.
After the customary rest at noon, action at the Han Market wraps up around 6pm, the stalls are packed up and locked and arrangements made for the next day’s business. A great place to see local culture and commerce. Be sure to haggle (a time-honored Vietnamese tradition), say đắt quá and offer 20% less. Locals see it as a way to make the market experience more fun.
Address: 119 Tran Phu, Da Nang
Phone: 0511 382 1363
Business Hours: 8am – 6pm