Standing along the north bank of Huong River, stretching from Trang Tien Bridge to Gia Hoi Bridge, located on Tran Hung Dao street, Dong Ba is the biggest commercial market of Thua Thien Hue
province as well as adjacent areas.
In the past, before this market was opened, there was a grand market named Qui Gia Thi located outside of Chanh Dong Gate right in the reign of King Gia Long. In 1885, the capital city was attacked and this market was damaged by fire. Two years later, in 1887, King Dong Khanh conducted to rebuild and renamed this market as Dong Ba Market
. This market after that functioned as the major source of food for the palaces, army camps, hospitals, and dormitories of some national universities like Quoc Hoc, Binh Linh, Dong Khanh, Thien Huu, and so on. In 1899, under the reconstruction conducted by King Thanh Thai, this market was moved to the current position. Even when Dong Ba Market has gone through some projects since the beginning of the 20th century, it still embrace a lot of old features.
When visiting Dong Ba Market, you will see the old bell tower locating proudly amidst the series of buildings. There are nine new establishments and four new parts ranging from clothes to seafood. Dong Ba Market, one of the most frequent Hue attractions reaches an area of approximately 16,000 m2. Nevertheless, while the architecture o this market is not really impressive, the atmosphere here is worth enjoying. Similar to the majority of markets in Vietnamese, this market contains a few sections, depending on the kinds of products. The upstairs is for clothes and garment.
If you like to buy something for your family and friends when coming back home, then you could find almost every special cultural gift and souvenir of Thua Thien Hue in this market, namely conical hats that have poems woven into, special candies named Me Xung, Truoi beries, Hue Sour Shrimp, mussel rice, beef vermicelli, lotus seed of Tinh Tam Lake, leaves cakes and so on.
Actually, this market is the exact place where both locals and tourists could get most of tasty dishes of Hue at high quality standard, within just one site. They are really worth a try. In these days, Dong Ba Market remains a crucial role in the economy as well as trade of the city, despite the occurrence of a lot of supermarkets built here. In addition to supplying food along with other goods for many adjacent cities, it is a must-stop destination for tourists when discovering Hue city.
Food at Dong Ba Market is delicious.
Yet, remember this when shopping in Dong Ba Market: bargain and bargain. This is the most important tip, even for locals. Few sellers could speak English well, yet it does not matter as they could use the calculator and say the numbers. Begin bargaining from half of the initial price, particularly if you are an international tourist. Purchasing in bulk will also help you reduce the price when dealing with the vendors. If you are lucky enough and good at this skill, you could get your desired stuff at the best price as the living cost in Hue is rather cheap.
The conical hats is an interesting item sold at Dong Ba market.
This market starts at early morning and if you can visit this market this time, you can witness a special scene, where people selling and buying in the silence, freshness and dim light of the city. This is when locals could buy freshest food at significantly lower price. It opens throughout the day, till 20:00.
During big holidays, the number of customers coming here increases doubly, so be aware of pick-pocketing. You should also avoid coming to this market on the first day of the Lunar New Year as there are very few shops opened.
To get to this market, you can choose various means, such as bus, car or motorbike. Some local people even travel surround by boat, beginning from Vi Da Boat Station. However, if you are not familiar with something irregular, then chose the safe means to get there. An idea of passing by Dong Ba Market after visiting must-see Hue attractions will let you have time to relax and enjoy the real life of Hue locals.