Location: Dong Ba market is situated along the northern bank of Huong River, Tran Hung Dao Street, Hue City and it is far about Trang Tien Bridge about 100 meters to the North. Dong Ba market is the biggest central market of Thua Thien – Hue province and area.
History of Dong Ba Market
Under the reign of King Gia Long (1802-1819), there was a big market named Qui Gia near Chanh Dong (Dong Ba) Gate of Hue Citadel. The name “Qui Gia” referred to the return to Phu Xuan Capital (Hue nowadays) of Nguyen Dynasty. In 1885, the capital was attacked by French colonial and Qui Gia Market was burned. In 1887, King Dong Khanh had the market rebuilt on the foundation of Qui Gia Market and renamed Dong Ba. The market supplied food to the royal, hospitals, army camps and dormitories of Quoc Hoc, Dong Khanh, Binh Linh, Thien Huu schools… In 1899, under the Western-style reconstruction project of King Thanh Thai, the market was moved to the nowadays position. Even though Dong Ba Market underwent several repair projects from the beginning of the 20th century, but nowadays, it still embraces many old features.
What to see in Dong Ba Market?
When visiting Dong Ba Market, you can easily spot the old bell tower standing proudly amidst the complex of buildings. With nine new buildings and four new sections ranging from seafood to clothes, the market reaches an area of up to 16,000 m2.
However, the architecture is not really a highlight but the atmosphere and the daily pace of the market itself. Similar to most of Vietnamese markets, this one is divided into different sections, depending on the types of products. The whole floor upstair is for garment and clothes.
What to buy in Dong Ba Market?
All of the most special cultural gifts and souvenirs of Thua Thien Hue that remain until today can be found in Dong Ba Market. They include “non la bai tho” (conical hats having poems woven into their design) from Phu Cam Village, which is made of latanier leaves; “me xung” (candies), Truoi berries, Tuan tea, tom chua (Hue Sour Shrimp), lotus seed of Tinh Tam Lake… Traditional food such as mussel rice, Hue beef noodles soup, leaves cakes… can be purchased in the market, too.
It’s said that Dong Ba Market is where people can get most of Hue’s delicious dishes within a place – its food courts, and at a high quality standard. Don’t miss these street vendors on the ground of the market (under the stair). They’re really worth a try.
Nowadays, Dong Ba Market still holds an important position in the economy and trade of the city, though many supermarkets have been established. Apart from providing food and other goods for the cities, it’s also a must-stop of visitors to discover typical trading methods as well as buying some specialities of the local people.
Best time to Dong Ba Market:
The market begins at early in the morning. From about 3.00 AM, some sellers, especially of food stalls, have to arrive at the market. Interestingly, the morning market is a special scene, where people buying and selling in the dim light and the silence, freshness of the city. So, best time to visit Dong Ba Market early in the morning.
How to get there?
There’s a bus station inside the market where tourist buses often park. Thus, it’s convenient for travelling there by bus or car as well. However, the most interesting way to visit Dong Ba Market must be by cyclo. Some local people even travel there by boat, starting from Vi Da Boat Station. This is really interesting. We are sure, you will have a nice trip in Hue – Vietnam!
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