Dong Ba Market – Where to Shop and Eat in Hue City Vietnam

Vietnamese traditional market is awesome to discover. It’s great to see the diversity of local products, go shopping (somehow with more affordable prices) and try local dishes with an authentic taste. Kids will be interested in spotting things that they never see or know before. For those who love photography, it’s perfect to capture photos about a real Vietnam. 

In Hue, travelers often go to Dong Ba market because its city center location and diverse merchandises. There are a plenty of sellers and goods to buy during the day. No doubt to say that nothing can’t be seen here. Food options are also rich, and sold with a reasonable price. 

In this article, everything travelers need to know about Dong Ba market in Hue is outlined. It’s often in Hue city tours or an optional attraction in day trips from Da Nang or Hoi An. Another famous market is the one close to Thanh Toan tiled-roof bridge.

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History of Dong Ba Market

Dong Ba market (Cho Dong Ba) is the central market of Hue city. At the present, it has 1,800 household businesses with 2,700 kiosks, stalls and shops, both indoors and outdoors. So, no other day markets are bigger than it. Now, it comprises a building with two floors, the ground one for what to eat and the upper one for what to wear. In the surroundings, there are what used for cooking. 

This market was opened firstly in the reign of Gia Long king, the founder of the Nguyen dynasty. It’s located by the eastern gate of the Hue citadel (that’s why this gate is called ‘Dong Ba gate’). In 1885, French colonists attacked on the city and destroyed it. In the later time, Dong Khanh king’s reign, it’s rebuilt and moved to the current location in 1899. The new place is prime, more convenient for selling and buying activities and for all vehicles. In detail, the market is by the confluence of Perfume river and a major canal, with a road in the front (connecting with the Old city), and close to Truong Tien bridge – the only bridge in the city at the time. 

In the Vietnam war, Dong Ba market was reconstructed and in 1987, it gained the present-day design. In near future, the city is going to rebuild this foremost shopping center and open a night market, to attract more tourists.

Fact: The original name of Dong Ba market is ‘Dong Hoa’. It contains ‘Hoa’ word which is same to the name of Thieu Tri king’s mother. After her death, public places with ‘Hoa’ have to change as he requested. 

How to Get to Dong Ba Market

Dong Ba Market Location and Address

Dong Ba market is right in Hue city centre, on the left bank of the river (so same side with the Old city). Its address is 02 Tran Hung Dao street, Dong Ba ward. In the back, there is the Perfume river, and to the north, it’s a canal.

Distance from popular places to Dong Ba market is:

– The Imperial city to Dong Ba market: 1,5 km

– Thien Mu pagoda to Dong Ba market: 5 km

– Tu Duc tomb to Dong Ba market: 6,5 km

– Minh Mang tomb to Dong Ba market: 12,5 km

– Khai Dinh tomb to Dong Ba market: 10 km


From the ‘New city’ on the right bank of the Perfume river, travelers can walk to Dong Ba market. The walking distance is 2 kilometers maximum. Those who self visit the city often plan to go to the market with the Imperial city and Truong Tien bridge to see the river. Read our article about Hue self-guided walking tour to get more information. 

Car and Taxi

It’s easy to get to Dong Ba market by car because it’s on one of the major roads of the city (particularly Tran Hung Dao road). In high traffic hours, cars are prohibited to go across Truong Tien bridge, and Phu Xuan bridge is the replacement. So, from the New city, on the other side of the Perfume river, the distance is 2 km on average. Taxi fare is around 50,000 VND. It’s kind of similar if depart from the Imperial city. 

The private car rental is proper for longer drives or trips. For example, travelers should book one for a Hue city tour with Dong Ba market, Thien Mu pagoda, king’s tombs, the Old citadel and somewhere else. Contact us in whatsapp number +84968009827 or for further details.  

Bicycle and Cyclo

Traveling to Dong Ba market by bicycle is also popular. Unlike cars, bikes are allowed to go through Truong Tien bridge all the time. Parking lots are to the left hand side of the market, and the fee is 5,000 VND. From there, visitors just need to walk inside by the nearby gate. On the other side, outdoor spaces on Chuong Duong road are open to the bicycle, so visitors can walk with it. 

Getting around Hue by a cyclo (three-wheeled bicycle) is loved by many travelers. During the ride, they join the traffic, see the city and life of citizens, go through symbolic Truong Tien bridge, and enjoy taking pictures. Different from motorcycles, it’s slower and safer. During the day, there’re some cyclo riders around the Bacpacker area (Pham Ngu Lao, Vo Thi Sau, Le Loi, Doi Cung, Chu Van An streets). No fixed prices actually, so bargainning is needed if you feel that their offer is overpriced.   


It’s easy to ride the bicycle to Dong Ba market. Unlike cars, bikes are allowed to go across Truong Tien bridge 24hrs, so don’t mind to use it to get there. On the bridge, travelers will see the Perfume river and lush parks along its banks. Parking fee at the market is 5,000 VND. 

We recommend hire a motorcycle full day to explore the city. Besides Dong Ba market, other well-known tourist spots are the Imperial city (of course), Thien Mu pagoda, the Abandoned waterpark and imperial tombs. Book a tour (ride pillion) if you prefer to go with a local rider. 


Dong Ba market is the main market of the city and the greater area. For that reason, local people visit it usually to buy neccessities (a supermarket stands next to it too). During the day, there are several bus lines connecting this bazaar with different parts of Hue and outlying districts (Huong Thuy, Huong Tra, Phong Dien, Phu Loc or Phu Vang. 

Dong Ba Market Opening Hours

Dong Ba markets open from 6 am to 6 pm daily. Fishermen and fish buyers will come earlier because they need to offload fishes and seafood or purchase them to re-sell in smaller, further market places. Food vendors and eateries also wake up early to prepare breakfast for local people.

What to Buy in Dong Ba Market?

Dong Ba market is a shopping paraside with more than 1,000 stalls and over 60 categories of goods. It’s the biggest markerplace in Hue city. For that reason, no surprise that it’s busy by both locals and tourists. 

Around the entrance (Tran Hung Dao street), there are small shops selling jeweleries, accessories, shoes, and more. Here, it’s possible to exchange the foreign money to local currency. 

Visitors will see a large variety of local products when walking inside. Most popular things are what local people use for eating and cooking. Local tourists often buy sweet candies and cakes made of nuts and beans (the most famous one is me xung, the sesame cake), or candied fruits (made of coconut, grapefruit, jackfruit, pumpkin, carrot, winter melon, sweet potato, mango, lotus seed, etc). Local sauces made by fishes or seafood are abundant, colorful, and smelly. Sellers try to introduce all of these and don’t mind to give byers a small piece of something to let them know the taste. The most special sauce is Mam tom chua – the fermented shrimp sauce. Here, we recommend adventurous visitors but not for kids and people with stomach issues.  

If looking for souvenirs and gifts that are not to eat, visitors can buy handmade items. Non la – the conical hat made of leaf is a perfect reminder, and is the favourite for both men and women. Other products are household goods, ceramics, bamboo bags, or fashion items (leather shoes, sport shoes, jacket, ready-to-wear dresses, shirts, etc). 

Asian tourists are interested in local essential oils which are made of cajeput tree, lemongrass, cinnamon or other medical plants. These liquids are used for cold days, protecting from mosquito, massage, and household chores. Keep in mind to see the volume if you fly!

Along Chuong Duong street, behind the market hall, there are vendors selling meats, living animals (duck, chicken, etc), vegetables, fruits, spices, eggs, flavours, processed food and more. Here, it’s busy in the early morning or late afternoon when local women come to buy something to cook at home. Morning is more stunning for those who seek fishes. Before the official working hours, fishermen will go to Dong Ba market to sell fishes and seafood they catch in the sea or rivers.

By Truong Tien bridge, the supermarket is nice to buy something you need for the trip (such as sun cream, swimsuit, bag, towel, toothpaste, etc). It’s air-conditioned here, cooler than the traditional market. In the other side of Tran Hung Dao street, shops have office shirts, pants, sport wear, shoes, books, etc.

Local Foods in Dong Ba Market

In Dong Ba market, visitors will see any dishes that are typical to Hue city. They’re sold by vendors outside of the bazaar and stalls inside the bazaar. The best time to start your food tour here is when local people come to have breakfast (6 to 8:30 am), lunch (11 am to 1 pm) or pre-dinner (4 pm, 5 pm). Sure, they eat different food for each meal.     

Vendors on the pavement in the front of the market, and along Chuong Duong street sell banh mi sandwich, Hue local beef noodle soup, che (sweet soups), rice cakes, tapioca cakes and tropical fruits. Foreigners need Vietnamese translation to communite with them because they have no English.  

To find a seat and see more food options, let’s go inside. Besides local fish sauces and sweet candies, other dishes are bun bo – beef noodle soup, banh khoai – crispy pancakes, banh nam – soft rice cake, banh loc – clear dumplings, nem lui – grilled pork skewers, banh beo – water fern cakes, com hen – baby clams noodle, banh canh ca loc – snakehead fish noodle soup, etc. Like any local stalls in town, prices in Dong Ba market aren’t expensive. Local people eat each food by specific sauce, veggies, herbs or way (using hands or chopsticks or spoon). Some ingredients have been never seen before if not born in the city. Going with a local guide or friend is necessary to deepen the knowledge. Contact us in whatsapp number +84968009827 or to reserve our Hue food tour.

Fact: Anthony Bourdain (a famed American chief, show producer) visited Dong Ba market. Here, he tried the signature dish of the city – bun bo (beef noodle soup). It’s praised by him as the greatest soup in the world.

When is Good Time to Visit Dong Ba Market?

Good time to visit Dong Ba market depends on the visiting purpose. If just like to go around and see, travelers can come anytime between 6 am and 6 pm. We recommend the period between 10 am and 3 pm in which sellers fully open their shops and stalls.

Those who want to shop around in Dong Ba market should go later than 10 am. This recommendation comes from Vietnamese culture in which sellers like first customers buying something for them. Bargaining makes them not happy. They belive that if somebody askes but doesn’t buy (with a good price), they won’t be lucky for the whole day. So, locals try to avoid going to the market too early in the morning (except buying food). 

Photography lovers should come in the early morning or late afternoon. If choose one, early morning is better because local produres are more diverse and it’s busier. Local women prefer to seeing the market in this time because everything is very fresh. Definitely, it’s wonderful to capture fun pictures about the life in Hue.

Foodies should visit Dong Ba market in breakfast or lunch times. Buyers and sellers will find a street vendors to have a bowl of noodle soup or traditional rice cakes or sticky rices. Inside the market, they can eat grilled pork noodle or rice dishes. Mothers absolutely buy food for the family for breakfast or lunch. In several days of the month (full moon, half moon days, Buddha’s birthday festival), vegetarian dishes dominante. Vegetarianism is one of the highlights of Hue local cuisine.  

In the evening, the market is closed. There are some vendors on the pavement selling noodle soups or porridges or local snacks. If love shopping, of course, this time isn’t suitable. ‘Dong Ba night market’ is not yet launched but will be soon.

Places to Visit near Dong Ba Market

Truong Tien Bridge

This metal bridge is just 5 minutes away from Dong Ba market. It’s built by French people to connect banks of the Perfume river. Today, it becomes a source of inspiration for artists and one of non-official symbols of Hue city. 

Dieu De Pagoda

This edifice is by the river, not far away from Dong Ba market. It’s the birthplace of Thieu Tri king in 1841, and later he titled it ‘the national pagoda’. It’s one of the most important Buddhist temples in Hue, besides Thien Mu pagoda, Bao Quoc pagoda, Tu Hieu pagoda and Tu Dam pagoda.

The Ancient Citadel of Hue

1,5 km west of Dong Ba market, this is a must see attraction. It’s the most important monument in Hue, the former capital city of Vietnam. A visit here (by foot) is around 2 hours. Major sightseeing places are Thai Hoa palace (under reconstruction at the present), The Mieu (temple), Dien Tho residence, Truong Sanh residence, Duyet Thi Duong royal theatre, the Red corridors. 

See everything in our complete guide to the Imperial city of Hue in

Private Hue City Tour with Local Guide

A classic Hue city tour will start with the Imperial city and Forbidden purple city, the seat of power of Nguyen kings for 143 years (until World war II). Visitors will follow the guide to see the surviving monuments, such as temples, palaces, residences, gardens, theatre. The city was suffered from some wars and conflicts in past decades. After that, Thien Mu pagoda – the oldest, best known Buddhist temple in Hue is the next attraction. It’s built according to a local story. Before having lunch with local dishes, Dong Ba market is the stop.

Two tombs make a great afternoon. The first one is Tu Duc mausoleum in which the king owner stayed in 16 years and then he was buried here. Local people in the nearby village have made incense sticks and conical hats for hundreds of years. Visitors have the chance to learn about their traditional handicraft and try their hands in producing one stick. Khai Dinh king’s tomb is different in style. It is an unique combination between western and Vietnamese architecture that has inspried architects.

Read more information in Hue city tour. Contact us in whatsapp number +84968009827 (24hs service) or to reserve.

Hue Day Trip From Da Nang or Hoi An

Dong Ba market is optional in Hue day trip from Da Nang or Hoi An. This tour must start in the morning to have time enough to sightsee and learn about history and culture. Before arriving Hue city, visitors will go to the top of Hai Van pass – a spectacular mountain pass, to take pictures and enjoy the views. At its foot, Lang Co’s lagoon is picteresque. Here, stop to have a cup of coffee and see a great scenery. Lunch is served in Hue, with local dishes, but before that, visitors visit an imperial tomb (Minh Mang tomb, Khai Dinh tomb or Tu Duc tomb as requested or recommended). In the afternoon, the focuses are the Imperial citadel and Thien Mu pagoda. Lots of stories are told by our knowledgeable guide at these sights. Our team selects the quickest way to go back to Da Nang or Hoi An.  

Book this tour directly via whatsapp number +84968009827 or

Dong Ba Market on Google Maps

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