Dong Ba Market (Cho Dong Ba)

Hue’s Dong Ba market (Cho Dong Ba)–like so many of the markets around the world in places people rely on markets for their day-to-day food and merchandise needs–is a bustling, crowded affair with things for sale crammed into every available space.

Cho Dong Ba in Hue Vietnam Shallots
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Hue‘s Dong Ba market (Cho Dong Ba)–like so many of the markets around the world in places people rely on markets for their day-to-day food and merchandise needs–is a bustling, crowded affair with things for sale crammed into every available space.

As with pretty much everywhere that there’s buying and selling going on, you can find the usual touristy stuff. But much of the market caters to locals. Deep in its heart, there’s a mishmash of stores and wares. You can buy hardware items next to a shoe stall next to costume jewelry, with a little conclave of tables around a small stove area where you sit to have a steaming bowl of delicious pho for 80 cents or so. If there’s a patch of ground with direct sunlight, you might trip over squid laid out to dry.

Head on over to the eastern end–follow your nose–and you’ll find the main concentration of fresh produce–a marvelous variety of fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafoods. This part of the market is at its best in the morning. By lunchtime or so, many of the vendors–especially those selling very perishable meats and fish–are packing up and scrubbing down.

A bit beyond that, and you’ll be at the muddy banks of a small tributary of the Perfume River, where kids swim in the muddy water and sampans pull up to resupply the market stalls.

Photos of Dong Ba Market (Cho Dong Ba)

Cho Dong Ba in Hue Vietnam Vegetables
A selection of cooking staples. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Cho Dong Ba in Hue Vietnam Fresh Produce
Fresh produce. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Cho Dong Ba in Hue Vietnam Ceramics and Pottery
Pottery and ceramic goods. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Cho Dong Ba in Hue Vietnam Tea Sets
Tea sets. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Cho Dong Ba in Hue Vietnam Brass
Brassware and crockery.Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Cho Dong Ba in Hue Vietnam Ceramics
Porcelain and crockery.Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Cho Dong Ba in Hue Vietnam Entrance
The main entrance.Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Cho Dong Ba in Hue Vietnam Sign
An advertising sign that lights up and is clearly visible across the Perfume River. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Cho Dong Ba in Hue Vietnam Ginger
Ginger root, coconuts, and other edible fruits.Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Cho Dong Ba in Hue Vietnam Light Shades
Fabric lanterns.Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Cho Dong Ba in Hue Vietnam Decorated Helmets
Decorated scooter helmets and hats.Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Cho Dong Ba in Hue Vietnam Bamboo Hat
When you first look at it, this looks like any normal bamboo canonical hat (nón lá). But When you shine a light through it, it reveals the internal pattern–in this one, a pair of lovers. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Cho Dong Ba in Hue Vietnam Lights and Light Shades
Lanterns and light shades. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Cho Dong Ba in Hue Vietnam Stairwell
A central staircase. The shops around it tend to be ones focusing on fabrics and clothing. The food stalls are mostly in the downstairs and outer areas. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Cho Dong Ba in Hue Vietnam Plush Toys
Toys and stuffed animals. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com

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David Coleman / Photographer
by David Coleman

I'm a freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my gear reviews and tips here. More »