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)
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